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How to decide on a bank card for airport lounge entry


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When folks discover out my job is to write down about journey bank cards, they normally ask for knowledgeable recommendation. They need to know which of our favourite bank cards I like to recommend, which playing cards will complement their current portfolio and whether or not their present on a regular basis card is an efficient one.

Simply as usually, in addition they need to know which bank card they need to get if they need airport lounge entry.

Till just lately, this query was pretty simple to reply since many playing cards provided comparable lounge advantages. However currently, it is gotten extra difficult. The issuer lounge house has extra choices than ever, whereas some playing cards have misplaced perks like visitor privileges and restaurant entry.

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It will possibly really feel overwhelming, however we have you. This is a breakdown of what to contemplate when selecting a bank card for airport lounge entry.

Entry with prime playing cards

Bank card Annual price Lounge entry Visitor allowance
The Platinum Card® from American Specific and The Enterprise Platinum Card® from American Specific $695 (see Platinum charges and charges and Enterprise Amex Platinum charges and charges) International Lounge Assortment (Centurion Community, Precedence Cross Choose and extra)

Enrollment required for choose advantages.

Centurion Lounge: $50 per visitor (or two complimentary visitors whenever you spend $75,000 in your card in a calendar 12 months)

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Precedence Cross Choose: two complimentary visitors


Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Specific Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Enterprise American Specific Card $650 (see Reserve charges and charges and Reserve Enterprise charges and charges) Delta Sky Membership (apart from these flying primary financial system)

Centurion Lounge (whenever you guide your Delta flight together with your card)

As much as two visitors at $50 per particular person, per go to
Marriott Bonvoy Good® American Specific® Card $650 (see charges and charges) Precedence Cross Choose Two complimentary visitors
Citi® / AAdvantage® Govt World Elite Mastercard® $595 (see charges and charges) Admirals Membership Complimentary entry for instant household (partner, home associate and/or youngsters beneath 18) or two visitors
Chase Sapphire Reserve $550 Chase Sapphire Lounges

Precedence Cross Choose (consists of Precedence Cross eating places)

Two complimentary visitors
United Membership Infinite Card $525 United Membership Two complimentary visitors
Capital One Enterprise X Rewards Credit score Card $395 (see charges and charges) Capital One Lounges and a community of 1,300+ lounges worldwide, together with Precedence Cross™ and Plaza Premium Group lounges Limitless complimentary entry for you and two visitors to 1,300+ lounges, together with Capital One Lounges and taking part Precedence Cross or Plaza Premium Lounges within the Companion Lounge Community
Capital One Enterprise X Enterprise $395 (see charges and charges) Capital One Lounges and a community of 1,300+ lounges worldwide, together with Precedence Cross™ and Plaza Premium Group lounges Get pleasure from limitless complimentary entry, for you and a couple of visitors per go to, to Capital One Lounges and 1300+ airport lounges globally in our Companion Lounge Community

If in case you have a lounge in your house airport

Presumably, your property airport is the place you spend essentially the most time. For those who reside in an airline hub or have a superbly positioned lounge that you really want entry to, let that drive your determination.

As an illustration, if Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX) is your property airport, you in all probability move an airline lounge no matter your most popular airline since it’s a hub for American Airways, Delta Air Strains and United Airways.


Equally, if in case you have an issuer lounge in your house airport, you could need to select the premium card from that issuer that features lounge entry. Somebody whose house base is Dulles Worldwide Airport (IAD), for instance, will doubtless need entry to the Capital One Lounge that is conveniently positioned simply previous the airport’s safety strains.

On the flip facet, not all of us have a variety of lounge choices at house. I am based mostly in Nashville, and as a lot as I like Nashville Worldwide Airport (BNA), it has restricted lounge choices. As such, I’ve based mostly my lounge entry determination on the airports I ceaselessly journey by way of moderately than my house base.

For those who’re loyal to a particular airline

For those who’re loyal to American, Delta or United, you may doubtless profit from airline-specific lounge entry since you may most ceaselessly fly by way of hubs with a lounge.

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American Airways

Frequent American flyers will need to go along with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Govt World Elite Mastercard® (see charges and charges) because it’s the one bank card with an Admirals Membership membership.

Delta Air Strains

For those who’re a daily Delta passenger, word that the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Specific Card consists of limitless complimentary Sky Membership entry by way of January 2025. After that, cardmembers will obtain 15 complimentary visits per 12 months and might obtain limitless visits by spending $75,000 on the cardboard every calendar 12 months.

United Airways

Equally, United followers will profit most from the United Membership Infinite Card, the one card with a United Membership membership as considered one of its perks.


After all, in the event you’re loyal to an airline that does not have its personal airport lounges, you’ll be able to cross these off the checklist. As a Southwest Airways loyalist, I knew I did not need to restrict my lounge entry to a particular airline, so I used to be in a position to flip my consideration elsewhere.

If you would like issuer-specific lounge entry

For fairly some time, American Specific had the issuer lounge market cornered. However as Capital One and Chase proceed to develop their very own lounge networks, you could resolve you need to select your bank card based mostly on the issuer’s lounge entry it will get you.

American Specific

Yow will discover American Specific Centurion Lounges in over 20 places, making them essentially the most distinguished issuer lounge. If you would like entry, you may most certainly need both the Amex Platinum or the Amex Enterprise Platinum.


Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Delta SkyMiles Reserve Enterprise cardmembers may also entry Centurion Lounges when flying Delta, so long as the flight was booked on their card (excluding primary financial system tickets).

Associated: I am an Amex Platinum beginner — here is why lounge entry is surprisingly my favourite perk

Capital One

Whereas not as nicely established as Centurion Lounges, Capital One Lounges have grown quickly. Presently, you’ll find them in three airports: Dallas Fort Price Worldwide Airport (DFW), Denver Worldwide Airport (DEN) and Dulles Worldwide Airport (IAD).


A deliberate location in Harry Reid Worldwide Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas has been introduced however shouldn’t be but open. To entry these lounges, you may need both the Enterprise X or the Enterprise X Enterprise.


Moreover, Chase has been asserting its presence within the lounge house with Chase Sapphire Lounges. With their spectacular designs and facilities like complimentary facials, they could be gunning for the No. 1 spot.


Presently, you’ll find Sapphire Lounges in 4 places: Boston Logan Worldwide Airport (BOS), Hong Kong Worldwide Airport (HKG), John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK) in New York and LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in New York. There’s additionally a smaller terrace location at Austin-Bergstrom Worldwide Airport (AUS).

To get limitless entry to those lounge ideas, you may want the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can too get one complimentary go to to a Sapphire Lounge per calendar 12 months if in case you have a Precedence Cross Choose membership from one other bank card.

If you would like extra numerous lounge choices

If you would like a wider vary of airport lounge entry choices, go for a card with a complimentary Precedence Cross Choose membership. Precedence Cross is a community of over 1,500 lounges, Minute Suites, Be Loosen up spas and varied eating places positioned in 600-plus airports in additional than 150 international locations.

Airline cobranded playing cards do not embrace Precedence Cross entry, however you may get it with the premium playing cards that unlock issuer lounge entry: Amex Platinum (enrollment required), Amex Enterprise Platinum (enrollment required), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Capital One Enterprise X and Capital One Enterprise X Enterprise.


Moreover, you will get Precedence Cross entry with another playing cards:

The knowledge for the U.S. Financial institution Altitude Reserve and U.S. Financial institution Altitude Join have been collected independently by The Factors Man. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or supplied by the cardboard issuer.

Associated: Is a Precedence Cross lounge membership really price it?

If you would like entry to Precedence Cross eating places

For those who ceaselessly move by way of airports with a Precedence Cross-affiliated restaurant, getting a card with entry can prevent massive bucks. This perk will comp a certain quantity of the restaurant invoice for you and as much as one registered visitor. The quantity varies by restaurant and is usually $28 to $30 per particular person; you’ll be able to search for the precise values for every restaurant on the Precedence Cross web site.

Many playing cards with Precedence Cross Choose entry have eradicated restaurant entry lately, however you’ll be able to nonetheless get it as part of the Precedence Cross Choose membership included with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Enterprise X Enterprise.


Whereas my house airport in Nashville would not have a lot to supply in the best way of lounges, it does have a Precedence Cross restaurant. With my Chase Sapphire Reserve, I get a $28 credit score towards my invoice for me and one other $28 credit score for a visitor. This profit was a significant factor in my determination to go along with the Chase Sapphire Reserve over different bank cards that embrace airport lounge entry since I can get a minimum of $28 of worth from it each time I fly.

Associated: Higher meals and extra choices: Why I worth the Precedence Cross’ airport restaurant credit score over lounge entry

If you wish to convey visitors for no further price

For those who ceaselessly journey with a associate or household, you may need to select a card that features visitor entry. Whereas some playing cards just like the Amex Platinum and the Delta SkyMiles Reserve permit you to convey visitors for a further price, the next playing cards embrace complimentary entry for the first cardholder and as much as two visitors:


Associated: A information to visitor insurance policies for airport lounges

For those who’re not sure

For those who’re new to the airport lounge world, committing to a bank card with a hefty annual price can really feel daunting. For those who aren’t able to make the leap, contemplate considered one of these choices to dip your toes in first.

Go as somebody’s visitor

As outlined above, a number of bank cards include lounge entry, permitting cardholders to convey visitors right into a lounge. If in case you have a pal with this entry, attempt to discover a time to go to a lounge as their visitor to see the way you prefer it.

Develop into a Enterprise X approved consumer

One of the priceless perks of the Capital One Enterprise X is the flexibility so as to add as much as 4 approved customers, every with their very own airport lounge entry profit, for no further price (see charges and charges). If in case you have a pal who has the Enterprise X, ask them to add you as a certified consumer.

Doing so offers you entry to Capital One Lounges, in addition to Precedence Cross Choose lounges for no further price.


Get a card with a set variety of visits

You may get a restricted variety of lounge visits with out paying a premium annual price. Think about considered one of these choices in the event you’re aiming to maintain your annual price prices down:

  • U.S. Financial institution Altitude Join: With this card, you may get 4 complimentary visits to Precedence Cross Choose lounges yearly for only a $95 annual price, making it a good way to check out some lounges with out committing to a excessive annual price.
  • American Specific® Inexperienced Card: The Amex Inexperienced has a $150 annual price (see charges and charges) and comes with a as much as $100 LoungeBuddy credit score, which you should utilize to check out some airport lounges earlier than committing to a card with limitless entry.
  • United Explorer Card and United Enterprise Card: With both card, you may get two one-time United Membership passes per 12 months for an annual price of beneath $100.

The knowledge for the Amex Inexperienced has been collected independently by The Factors Man. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or supplied by the cardboard issuer.

Associated: 11 bank cards that provide Precedence Cross airport lounge entry

Pay for a one-time move

You do not essentially need to have a membership or entry by way of a bank card to get right into a lounge. Most lounges provide the choice to pay out of pocket per go to. If there is a lounge you move usually and are contemplating getting a bank card to entry, paying for a go to to see if it is price it to you is usually a nice possibility.

Backside line

You have got some nice choices when selecting a bank card for airport lounge entry. The various kinds of entry can really feel overwhelming, however deciding which sort of entry issues most to you is vital to touchdown on a card that is the right match. Regardless of which you select, you may be nicely in your method to lounging in fashion in your subsequent layover.

Associated: One of the best premium bank cards: A side-by-side comparability

For charges and charges of the Amex Platinum, click on right here.
For charges and charges of the Amex Enterprise Platinum, click on right here.
For charges and charges of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve, click on right here.
For charges and charges of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Enterprise, click on right here.
For charges and charges of the Bonvoy Good, click on right here.
For charges and charges of the Hilton Honors Enterprise, click on right here.
For charges and charges of the Amex Inexperienced, click on right here.


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