Does Lounge Access Feature on Credit Cards Benefit Your Travel Plans?

Airport lounges serve as a peaceful retreat for travellers, offering amenities to help them unwind while waiting for their flights. They enhance the overall travel experience by providing a comfortable stopover, complimentary refreshments, spa facilities and more. However, access to these facilities often comes with a high cost that may not be affordable for everyone. In such situations, credit cards that offer complimentary lounge access can be highly beneficial for frequent travellers.


Let’s first understand in detail what benefits does an airport lounge offer to make your travelling experience better.


Airport lounges come with an array of complimentary services and let you relax, away from the otherwise crowded airport. These can include a variety of food options, ranging from snacks and beverages to full-course meals, which you can avail for free. Apart from the in-airport dining, you can also avail other facilities like bars, free Wi-Fi, charging points, spa services, an airport guide and map, and many more supporting amenities. The extent and frequency at which you can avail these lounge services depends on the lounge membership you have.


To avail these lounge benefits, you are required to get the lounge membership by paying a one-time fee. In addition to this membership fee, an entry fee is also charged every time you visit the lounge. These charges can be brought down or even avoided by getting an airport lounge credit card, which offers various lounge benefits to the cardholders as described below:


Free Airport Lounge Access

Credit cards with lounge access benefits offer complimentary visits to domestic and international airport lounges. While most cards extend the benefit to primary user, some premium cards may also offer complimentary lounge access to add-on cardholders. Some cards may require you to meet a minimum spending requirement to access this benefit.


The lounge access feature is generally limited to a certain number of visits per calendar quarter or year, depending upon the card variant. However, many premium credit cards also offer unlimited access to such lounges. When choosing the best lounge access credit card for you, it is advised to first understand your travel patterns to select a card that offers enough lounge visits to meet your needs. Moreover, you must compare the available options on different parameters like reward points, bonus categories, milestone benefits, etc. and choose the one that best aligns with your spending preferences.


Complimentary Lounge Memberships


Many credit cards come with complimentary lounge memberships like Priority Pass and DreamFolks Club, which allow cardholders to access the associated network of airport lounges domestically as well as worldwide. Similarly, some cards come with access to other types of lounges, including Escape lounges, Centurion® lounges, etc. Card networks like Visa and Mastercard also extend complimentary domestic lounge visits in collaboration with some airport lounges. 


An important point to note here is that, in some cases, the card only provides complimentary membership to these lounge programs but requires you to pay for every lounge visit to avail its benefits. Additionally, the availability of facilities during complimentary visits depends on the membership tier available through your credit card. For instance, most cards with Priority Pass offer the standard membership worth USD 99, which is a base tier membership.


Related Read: Why are banks cutting down on free airport lounge visits?


Complimentary Access for Guests


In addition to primary and add-on cardholders, some premium credit cards also extend the airport lounge access benefit to the accompanying guests. This can be useful for those with travel companions or those who are travelling in groups. However, this feature of complimentary guest visits is only offered by premium cards, which generally come at a high annual fee. Moreover, such guest privileges may also be available only after you reach certain spending milestones.


The airport lounge access feature on credit cards is often accompanied by other travel-related benefits that help enhance your travel experience and make it more efficient. These benefits can include privileges like priority check-in to skip the long queues, airport pick-ups and transfers, as well as airport meet and greet services. Some cards may offer membership to travel loyalty programs with discounts on travel booking, free flight ticket upgrades, preferred seating, or even complimentary air tickets to the card users.


To conclude, credit cards that offer airport lounge access do not just help in making the lounges more affordable and your wait between flights more comfortable, but also come with a lot more benefits for the cardholders. Therefore, if you are a frequent traveller, getting a lounge access credit card could be a good option for you. However, when selecting a card, do not base your decision solely on the lounge benefits; rather consider other card features as well. Opt for a card that best aligns with your needs by providing you with more extensive travel benefits and a good overall value-back on your spending to help you maximise your savings.

Leave a comment