The Best Credit Cards with Free Airport Lounge Access

United credit card lounge access

United credit card lounge access

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Have you ever seen an airport meltdown? When one flight is delayed, others often get stuck too, and the airport can quickly become overwhelmed with hundreds of frustrated, tired, and sometimes angry passengers. Seats fill up, and people end up sitting on the floors for hours, waiting for their flights to depart.

Yet there's always a quiet corner of the airport, behind a understated door where a privileged few relax in comfort and solitude. These lounges can offer guests free food, drinks, Wifi, and even a shower, yet membership typically costs around $500 a year.

For less money than that, you can have a credit card that offers airport lounge membership in one or more programs, plus a whole host of other included benefits. So whether you just want to be able to wait for your flight in comfort, or you're avoiding an airport meltdown, here are the best cards that can get you into the exclusive lounge at no additional cost.

10 Best Credit Cards for International Airport Lounge Access

Planning your next international vacation across the world? How about having a Quiet, comfortable space to relax with Wifi, Complimentary drinks & refreshments before your Flight take off ? Welcome to Lounge Class. Airport Lounges are one of the favorite part of my travel as they give unique experience at airports while saving some money on other side.

International Lounge Access using Indian Credit Cards

If you’re an Indian resident, there are two major ways to access the international airport lounges at free of cost by using the credit card perks. The international lounges can be accessed through two main programme:

Priority Pass is currently the world’s No.1 independent lounge programme that gives access to 1000+ lounges worldwide which means, you can virtually access any lounge with its membership. All you need to access the lounge is a Priority pass card which is given for free as a credit card benefit on some of the premium cards that i’ve listed below.

If you’re new to Priority Pass, check out my Ultimate Guide to Priority Pass Airport Lounge access.

Priority Pass Card looks like this (issued on HDFC Regalia)

Diners Club Lounge access is next best to Priority Pass and they do have quite good number of lounges in their network. Almost all lounges i’ve been to accept both Diners & Priority pass except rare case where Diners is not accepted. For access via Diners Club all you need is the Diners Club credit card itself which will get you the lounge access directly.

Diners Club Black Credit Card Looks like this (issued by HDFC)

Lets see some of the best credit cards in India which can give you complimentary international lounge access through above two programmes.

Best Credit Cards in India with International Lounge Access Benefit:

  • Access Via: Priority Pass
  • Free Limits: Unlimited (Primary & 3 Add-on cards)
  • Read Full Review: HDFC Infinia Credit Card

I love Infinia especially for this benefit. Having this card in hand means guaranteed access to you and your family to any lounge in the world via Priority Pass. I wish i have it soon

  • Access Via: Diners Club
  • Free Limits: Unlimited (Primary & Add-on cards)
  • Read Full Review: HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Card

This stands almost in par with Infinia except that the lounge access is given by Diners Club itself. I’ve recently accessed international lounges in Malaysia & Bali with my Diners Black credit card and add-on card and it works perfectly fine. The visits are not even recorded in the credit card statement.

  • Access Via: Priority Pass
  • Free Limits: Unlimited (both for Primary & Add-on cards)
  • Read Full Review: YES First Exclusive Credit Card

New entrant in credit card segment but this should work perfectly well as like any other. Its currently being issued lifetime free and its the right time to grab one.

  • Access Via: Priority Pass
  • Free Limits: Unlimited (both for Primary & 4 Add-on cards)
  • Read Full Review: Citibank Prestige Credit Card

If you’re happy to pay this card’s annual fee, around Rs.20,000 per annum, know what, you can get upto 4 add-on cards apart from primary card and all has unlimited lounge access benefit through priority pass.

  • Access Via: Priority Pass
  • Free Limits: 6 (shared between Primary & Add-on cards)
  • Read Full Review: HDFC Regalia Credit Card

This is one of the most famous credit card in India with which Priority pass card are issued with decent complimentary visits. Recently they allowed sharing the visits with Add-on Card holders as well.

  • Access Via: Priority Pass
  • Free Limits: 4 (shared between Primary & Add-on cards)
  • Read Full Review: HDFC Regalia First Credit Card

A recently introduced variant placed a bit lower than actual Regalia version, comes with 4 complimentary visits, still holds good for one time foreign travelers.

  • Access Via: Priority Pass
  • Free Limits: 4 (shared between Primary & Add-on cards) Discontinued
  • Read Full Review: HDFC Allmiles Credit Card

While most of them struggling to get Priority Pass card on Allmiles Card, HDFC is still issuing it with 4 complimentary visits.

  • Access Via: Priority Pass
  • Free Limits: 4 (Primary only)
  • Read Full Review: Yes First Preferred Credit Card

Again a new entrant in credit card industry, though its worth it as you can get this card for lifetime free as a temporary promo offer.

  • Access Via: Diners Club
  • Free Limits: 5 (Primary only)
  • Read Full Review: HDFC Diners Premium Credit Card

Apart from International lounge access, it gives unlimited Domestic lounge access which is a good mix for anyone to choose.

  • Access Via: Diners Club
  • Free Limits: Unlimited (Primary & 3 Add-on cards)
  • Read Full Review: Diners Jet Credit Card

A less known card for many, runs on Diners club platform and good for Jet Airways frequent flyers.

While you have a lot of choices, the best way to pick one is based on the annual fee. If you’re able to get any of the above cards with no annual fee, its a go to card. I prefer to have a mix of one Priority pass card and one Diners Club card so you have a backup in-case the other doesn’t work for some reason or other.

Whats your favorite card for International lounge Access? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

I'm a Credit Card freak minting reward points and cashback for years. Obsessed with aviation, airport lounges and luxury travel at affordable cost.

38 thoughts on “ 10 Best Credit Cards for International Airport Lounge Access ”

Big fan of your blog and regular reader of your posts. Can you review the RBL cards as well sometime? Reviews of Platinum maxima and Platinum Delight would be really helpful.

Also, I have a limit of 1.85L on HSBC card (had the option of increasing it to 2.47L a few months back but now not being offered) and 2.62L on Regalia (1 month old). Should I go ahead and apply for the Yes Preferred now (card-on-card lifetime free only)? Multiple queries were made on my cibil 1 month back as I applied foolishly for all cards thinking I could reject them later. Wasn’t aware that would affect my profile, my cibil score is still healthy. Please advise.

Nice to hear. I’m ignoring RBL cards due to its joining fees

Well, will review them shortly.

Ofcourse, Yes preferred is a good option as its a lifetime free card.

Is the Yes Preferred lifetime free on a card-on-card basis? I can increase limit on my HSBC card by submitting salary slips but afraid it will lead to a hard inquiry on my cibil. What do you suggest should be done? Also, I don’t have an account with Yes Bank

Generally it wouldn’t put hard inquiry.

I checked one of my friend’s CIBIL report after HDFC limit enhancement request,

HDFC was not displayed in the inquiry list. Looks like they have different type of access.

Sid, small correction- The limits on Yes first preferred is 4 and they are only for primary. For diners premium it’s 5.

Thanks for pointing out. Updated the same

Great take on the topic. Ofcourse it’s an often asked question. The only mistake in the post is that there are total number of “5” free international lounge access on the Diners Premium Card against the mentioned “4”.

Just updated after seeing the other comment

Hey sid, does sbi/indian or any such bank credit cards provide lounge access across the world?

No complimentary access ASAIK. SBI cards have just access though via Priority Pass

Regalia and Regalia First have downgraded the number of Free visits in their PP offering. Kindly update the article .

Visa Signature cards also provide access ro international lounges. Like Citibank Premier Miles.

It gives access to only Intl Departure lounges located within India. Isn’t it?

If you consider Debit cards then RuPay Premium Debit cards from banks like HDFC and Axis Bank can give 8 free international/national lounge access in a year. Now that’s something from NPCI!! Very few people are aware about this feature.

But i guess its only for Intl departure lounges in India. Right?

No, Rupay Platinum/Premium debit cards allow lounge access (2) times per calendar quarter per card in any of the 27 domestic airport lounges and over 540 International airport lounges.

You’ll be amazed to know that this card comes just for Rs 150+ ST. This is better than most debit cards in India at this fees.

I still wonder what network they use for Rupay Intl lounge access.

I’ve never seen rupay swipe machines or banner promos anywhere in lounges.

RuPay has tie ups with Discover, Diners Club, JCB (Japan), China Union Pay, Pulse. Where ever you see these logos, RuPay cards will be accepted. Sounds interesting now? What say?

I guess it so. Am aware of the diners/discover partnership with Rupay and was digging the Terms & conditions of Rupay card, but it doesn’t mention anything.

Btw, i recently tried charging my Diners on JCB enabled swipe machine in Indonesia but it did not go through.

Exactly. This is because JCB network works only in Japan. That’s why you couldn’t make it go through in Indonesia. Similarly, China Union Pay works only in Mainland China and Pulse network is only for ATM withdrawal and not for POS. However, Diners/Discover is in any part of the world. If you need the link, do let me know on twitter I’ll DM you as links are deleted from the posts here.

Citi Prestige should appear as No.1 as it has unlimited lounge access for 1+5!

AllMiles PPs expire wef from March 1, 2017.

But Prestige has quite high joining fee

Yes, HDFC is ditching the Allmiles card in full swing

Question – Is priority pass membership a one time thing?

So let’s say I have a PP membership from a credit card and I close this credit card, do I have to apply for a membership again with a different/new credit card or will the existing one be valid?

If CC is closed, PP also gets closed. So yes, you need to get a new one with PP membership. You can also get PP directly from Priority pass itself.

after many requests from HDFC managers, 3 month back I got my first Diners rewardz card , That very day i searched the net for credit card, and surprisingly every question landed me to your page/blog.

So my journey of credit card started with your blog page.

First of all kudos to your blog, its amazing, simple and lucid .

Coming to my card, I got two Diners rewardz card in same pack (one for me, other for my Brother )

later HDFC people issued two more cards (Regalia first) for my brothers account for me and brothers,

now we both are having two cards, Diners rewardz and Regalia first. before reading your blog i thought all credit cards were same.

My question may be silly but i know only you can ans my questions. We (I, Brother, Mom, Friend (having a corel card ICICI) are going to Nepal

1. how can we access lounges in India (we all four)?

2. What is the procedure to access the lounge, I mean, my Diners card is sufficient or do i need priority pass ?

3. How can i avail Priority pass for abroad?

4. I wrote a mail to HDFC (Regalia first ) they sent me a single priority pass (Main card is in name of my brother but PP card i got with MY name embossed on it)

5. should i write mail for diners club also? (mine card being primary, my brothers being secondary Diners card)

6. HDFC sent 2 cards , (e.g My diners and bro secondary Diners, and My bro’s regalia and mine secondary Regalia) These cards (Diners for bro, Realia first for me) called add on card?

7. Why i received PP card ( coz i was add on card holder for regalia, it was from regalia side) and my bro dint? or we two are allowed on this single PP?

Its tough for 4 to access lounges with these 2 cards. You can get multiple add-on on regalia first and use though but you’ll hit the limit fast. Only primary Diners Rewardz has lounge access. All these are already spoken in respective blog post. please check them.

Siddharth great work. Appreciate your work across all cards. Based on your recommendation I applied for Diner Black and received it yesterday. After reviewing your site I realized how much I had been missing out on cards. As I maintained only 1 credit card CITI rewards. Now I can make more out of cards. Thanks to you.

On Lounge access, I have Black with 1 add on but to take my kids along ( below 10) I have to pay for the charge or I shall have another set of credit card to skip the charges. especially when travelling with family abroad or domestic.

Infinia is tempting but way high cut off requirements. any other suggestion where i can get through with minimal.

Glad that i was able to help. For Kids, i guess some lounges allow for free. For others, you might need to pay for them as Add-on Credit card may not be issued for them.

Was searching a card which can give good access to lounge. However to my utter surprise I was not aware that HDFC Bank was giving lounge access over Signature Cards. I am holding the card with high value limit. I do air travel almost 5 times in a quarter. Use HDFC CC for booking air tickets. But till date not received any mailer or information or proactive process where in they can join me in “DEFAULT”. I feel cheated now. I know its my issue coz I was not aware. Now when I am seeing the benefits it says the access is going to be withdrawn w.e.f. March 17. Will you suggest any card on Visa/Master platform which I can take.

Well, you might be knowing the features from catalog or website. They or any bank don’t intimate this as its a feature with Visa. No worries about expiry as they’ll be renewing it usually.

I have the following cards

Citibank Visa Platinum Rewards Card

SC Manhattan Platinum Visa

Do I get access to Mumbai Clipper Lounge also any International Lounges in Europe or US. ?

Hi, I have been last week to Malaysia and Indonesia. While trying to use Diners Black card, Lounge guys were able to swipe primary card but as soon they try for addon card, they couldn’t. Reason being same card number (primary and Add On) . I called HDFC, they informed, valid for primary only. through sharing.

He need to wait for a while and swipe after resetting the txn or something like that. I had similar issue, but then went through when tried after a minute or so.

For HDFC Premium card, is the lounge access valid only for the person whose name is on the card or anyone holding the card?

I have both Regalia and Diners Premium cards. Is it possible to use both the cards at the same lounge at the same time ? Will it work ?

I have both Regalia and Diners Premium cards. Is it possible to use both the cards at the same lounge at the same time ? Will it work ? Appreciate your views on this.

I am a NRI and have credit cards issued in UAE, I was able to use it in UAE Airports. However, In india none of my card worked. Would you suggest me some cards which I can take to use in Indian Airports.

Philippine credit cards with airport lounge access

One of the usual tips for traveling in style within a budget is staying at airport lounges. It is certainly true especially on longer connecting flights. For a person who always fly economy, this is luxury. I’ve only recently discovered the comfort of having lounge access in many parts of the world thanks to my Security Bank Diner’s Club card. It gets me access for free to most airline lounges in the world. Diner’s Club even has a website to help you look for one wherever you may be. The link is here. Unfortunately, Security Bank has changed their policy with access to airline lounges as of March 1, 2016. They make it a bit harder now to access it so I am cancelling mine. I am in the lookout for a good Philippine credit card with airport lounge access. I travel maybe 4-5 times each year so for me, it’s really worth it.

In the Philippines, credit cards are not as common as in other countries. Cash is still king in this country. Although credit card companies have been making a huge presence in recent years and more establishments are including credit card payments in their businesses. Applying for a credit card can be a daunting task. They require a lot. Once you have a good credit rating from using your credit card and paying your bills on time, it makes things a bit easier. Admittedly, most Philippine credit cards with airport lounge access are platinum level cards. This makes it a bit more inaccessible for the common folk. Security Bank’s Diner’s Club card was a really good card because it didn’t require much and the perk of having airport lounge access was amazing. I’m really sad they changed their policy. That’s why we’re here to shop for a new card.


Citi PremierMiles Card has access to the MIASCOR lounge in NAIA Terminal 1 & 3. It also has access to PLAZA PREMIUM LOUNGE (select locations abroad). These are the locations of the lounges abroad. They are a bit limited in my opinion but I guess it really depends on the places you intend to go or frequent.

United credit card lounge access

BDO VISA PLATINUM – enrolls you to a Priority Pass membership if you qualify and you are limited to 6 lounge visits in a year.

United credit card lounge access

BDO World Elite gives you access to a complimentary membership and 2 lounge visits per year. Source.

United credit card lounge accessAmerican Express Platinum Credit Card gives you access to the MIASCOR Lounge at NAIA Terminal 1, Skyview Lounge at NAIA Terminal 3 and MIASCOR Davao Lounge at Davao International Airport.

United credit card lounge access

DIAMOND REWARDS CARD (pictured as the third photo above)

The BDO Diamond Rewards card allows you and your companion to enjoy all amenities and privileges in their partner airport lounges.

NAIA Terminal 1:

NAIA Terminal 3:

• Companion/s of Diamond member on top of the 1 Free guest will have to pay the existing rates of the corresponding lounge/s.

• Member is subject and shall be guided by the corresponding lounge’s terms and conditions.

I actually applied for a BDO visa Platinum and I only found out that the Priority Pass doesn’t automatically come with the card. You have to apply for the priority pass once you get your card. There’s a form for it in there. Those 6 passes are not really free. Only the Priority pass membership is free. In order to get a lounge pass for free, you need to spend a minimum of Php 50,000 single or accumulated hotel and/or ticket transactions to avail of up to six (6) Free Lounge Access per year. Click here for more details. Minimum amount per charge slip must be PHP 20,000. Your annual membership fee is waived for the first year. Succeeding annual memberships will also be automatically waived when you spend at least Php420,000 per year.


United credit card lounge access

BPI SKYMILES PLATINUM is the only one listed on the BPI website with access to only a local lounge which is the Pacific Club at NAIA Terminal 3. Also, no international lounge access listed.

United credit card lounge access

All of RCBC credit cards can access the Miascor Airport Lounges, located at NAIA Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 for a fee of US$12. The fee can be waived if you charge at least US$200 abroad (single or accumulated spend) then call 888-1888, to request for the waiver. Principal cardholders of the following premium cards plus one (1) travel companion** are entitled to FREE access to MIASCOR LOUNGE. They don’t have access to international lounges or at least not specified on their website.

  1. Citrus-RCBC Bankard MasterCard Platinum
  2. RCBC Bankard China UnionPay Diamond
  3. RCBC Bankard Diamond Card Platinum MasterCard
  4. RCBC Bankard Black Card Platinum Peso
  5. RCBC Bankard Black Card Platinum Dollar
  6. RCBC Bankard Visa Infinite
  7. RCBC Bankard World MasterCard

** In excess of the plus one (1) travel companion, principal cardholders are allowed to bring a maximum of 2 guests and their lounge access will be charged on their RCBC Bankard at USD $12/ per guest. Children two (2) years old and below are allowed to enter for FREE.

a This card has the access to following local airport lounges:

  • Skyview Lounge at NAIA Terminal 3
  • Club Manila Lounge at NAIA Terminal 1
  • MIASCOR Lounges at NAIA Terminal 1 and Davao International Airport

Again, no international lounge access specified.

United credit card lounge access

DINER’S CLUB INTERNATIONAL – airport lounge access for all Diners Club cardholders will be subject to available lounge credits which can be earned whenever you use your Diners Club credit card. Every Php60,000.00 spend (single or accumulated) you make on your credit card will earn you one (1) lounge credit.

One (1) lounge credit is equivalent to one free entry to over 500 airport lounges around the world.

Airport lounge access will be subject to a fee of USD20 per entry for local lounges and USD30 per entry for international lounges if there are insufficient lounge credits to support the entry to the airport lounge.

United credit card lounge access

Security Bank Platinum Master card offers free access to MIASCOR lounges in NAIA Terminal 1 and Davao airports

Out of all the cards that are available at the moment, I really want the Citi Prestige card but like what I said earlier, I probably would not be approved for it. Haha. The next best one is the BDO Visa Platinum card with 6 free passes a year. I already have one of the cards above so I will at least enjoy local lounge access.

I am really tempted to apply for this one. It has FREE LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP so no annual fees at all. I think that in itself is a very good deal. It also gives you a FREE PRIORITY PASS MEMBERSHIP. You can have access to lounges for a fee of $27 which can be free and credited back to your account for every PHP100,000 worth of accumulated spending from travel ticket purchases and international transactions during your travel period. Compared to the BDO Platinum, it only requires PHP50,000 but it’s limited to travel tickets or hotel accommodations. This one is for all purchases abroad and travel tickets. Also the BDO Platinum has a minimum spend requirement of PHP20,000, this card doesn’t seem to have a minimum spend requirement which is very good.


Miascor Skyview Lounge at NAIA Terminal 1 (Manila)