Airplane flights get delayed all the time. In fact, it could be for almost any reason, from bad weather to a sick passenger. The delay could simply be a few minutes after its scheduled time of departure. However, at times, it could be hours. This means hours of your time spent sitting next to other people in those uncomfortable airport chairs with all your baggage and personal possessions hunting for an outlet to charge your devices, all while trying to get comfortable to get a few extra hours of sleep. You may be surprised to learn that many banks offer credit cards with complimentary lounge access passes. That’s right, I said, “complimentary.” Here is our list of the best credit cards for airport lounge access.
Unlimited Access: HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card
The first credit card on our list is the HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card and for good reason. It is rare to find a credit card with unlimited access to over 1,200 airport lounges around the world. There are no reservations required. All you need to do is simply present your Priority Pass Membership card to enjoy access. You and your supplementary cardholders are automatically issued memberships cards 14 working days after your credit card is approved. This is one of the many premium perks that come with this card. As for the card itself, you can earn up to 2.25 air miles for every S$1 spent. The annual fee for this card is a bit steep, as you would expect from a Visa Infinite credit card, which is the highest tier available from Visa. The annual fee is S$650. Fortunately, you can add up to 5 supplementary cardholders, which are free for life and will never incur annual fees.
Unlimited Access: OCBC Voyage Visa Infinite Card
The OCBC Voyage Card also offers unlimited complimentary visits to airport lounges. However, there are not as many lounges to choose from when compared to the HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card. This card allows you and a guest access to over 80 VIP Lounges in airports around the world. There are recharging stations, food and beverages, Wi-Fi, shower rooms and baggage handling. There are even 15-minute seated massages in select lounges and spa outlets. As for the card itself, you can earn up to 2.3 Voyage Miles for every S$1 spent. There are two annual fee choices: S$488 with 15,000 complimentary Voyage Miles or S$3,210 with 150,000 Voyage miles. The supplementary card has an annual fee of S$188, with the first year waived for the first two supplementary cards.
Unlimited Access in Japan: UOB JCB Card
As one of Singapore’s top travel destinations, it is only expected that we include a credit card that grants unlimited access to airport lounges in 28 Japanese airports. This card also gets free and unlimited access to lounges in China and Hawaii. Unfortunately, you are capped at 2 free visits for lounges in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Thailand. Please note that the JCB website states that there are 2 free visits to the Singapore Changi Airport, but JCB cards issued in Singapore are excluded from this offer. As for the card itself, you get up to 6% rebate at your favorite Japanese merchants, such as UNIQLO, Ichiban Sushi, and Isetan, as well as 0.3% cash back for all other transactions. It is important to note that since this card will be issued in Singapore but frequently used in Japan, a foreign transaction fee would apply. All transactions would be converted from the foreign currency, first to USD, and then to SGD. This would incur an administrative fee of 2.8%.
Therefore, be sure to weigh the foreign transaction fee of 2.8% against the cash back rewards earn rate when contemplating this card. Furthermore, the annual fee is S$64.20, with the first year waived. The first supplementary card has no annual fee, but all subsequent cards are charged S$32.10 per annum. As a result, this card is ideal if you visit Japan often and enjoy their list of Japanese merchants. Besides, the annual fee is not extremely high, which makes it a nice card to have in your wallet.
Priority Pass Lounge Access
Priority Pass is a network of exclusive airport lounges currently numbering over 1,200. These areas are quiet, Internet-accessible spaces to relax or work in, and come with complimentary pre-flight bites and drinks, including alcoholic beverages at most lounges, to help you relax during this stressful travel time.
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card
With the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card, principal cardholders get up to 6 complimentary access to Priority Pass lounges worldwide. Any accompanying guest counts as one additional visit. You will need to apply for the Priority Pass prior to going to the airport and allow for processing time. As for the card itself, it earns 1.4 miles for every S$1 spent locally and 3 miles for every S$1 spent overseas. The annual fee is S$588.50, which is strictly non-waivable. You are allowed up to 5 supplementary cardholders, all of which do not have an annual fee.
DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card
The DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card gets you 2 free visits to all Priority Pass lounges all over the world per year. For the DBS Altitude card, you must apply for the Priority Pass Membership before you arrive. This processing time may take up to 3 weeks. If you bring an accompanying guest, this will count as 2 visits. As for the card itself, it is one of the best “waivable” fee miles credit card. You can earn 1.2 miles for every S$1 spent in Singapore, 2 miles for every S$1 spent overseas and 3 miles for every S$1 spent on online flight and hotel transactions. The card has an annual fee of S$192.60 but is waived if you spend more than S$2,000 a month. Otherwise, you would get 10,000 bonus miles when you pay the annual fee. Each supplementary cardholder has an annual fee of S$96.30.
Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Card
Similar to the DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card, the Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Card also gets your 2 free visits per year to all Priority Pass lounges all over the world. With the Citi PremierMiles Visa Credit Card, you can earn up to 2 CitiMiles for each S$1 spent overseas and 1.2 miles for each S$1 spent locally. Moreover, you can earn up to 10 miles by booking on select travel sites and up to 14% on fuel savings at Esso and Shell. Your miles never expire and also come with free travel insurance. The annual fee is S$192.60, which can be waived. Choosing to waive your first annual fee results in a different welcome offer. Supplementary cards have no annual fee but must be a family member of the primary cardholder.
It is great to know that in addition to your normal credit card’s rewards program, your card can also make your travels a bit easier. These cards have free airport lounge access but be sure to check which lounges participate with your credit card. It is important to note that you will need to check the terms and conditions about how to activate this perk. Most credit cards will require additional processing time to receive your membership card before you go to the airport. If you plan well, you will be one of the few flyers relaxing in an airport lounge as you wait for your flight to board!