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Best Credit Cards for Complimentary Airport Lounge Access

profileJustin Oh

As a teenager, I used to think that airport lounges with their chio (Hokkien: Pretty) interiors, luxurious lounge chairs, and free-flow food were only reserved for the wealthy…

But boy was I wrong!

Thanks to my dad who was a savvy credit card user, I had the chance to enter one of these lounges that had me feeling like I was the one ballin (Slang: Leading a ridiculously wealthy lifestyle).

The one I visited had a buffet breakfast, lots of magazines to read, free WiFi and even shower facilities.

Source: Giphy

So long as you had the right credit cards, commoners like you and I could get access to these airport lounges for the perfect travel pitstop to relax and recharge.

Intrigued?

Here are the best credit cards for complimentary access to airport lounges!


TL;DR: Best Credit Cards for Free Airport Lounge Access

Credit CardAirport LoungesComplimentary Lounge AccessAnnual Income RequirementRedemption
DBS Altitude Visa Signature CardPriority Pass2 per year$30,000Apply for a complimentary Digital Priority Pass™ membership
Citi PremierMiles CardPriority Pass2 per year$30,000Apply for a complimentary Digital Priority Pass™ membership
Diners Club CardsDiners Network1 per year$30,000Present your card, boarding pass and passport for complimentary access
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature CardAmbassador Transit Lounge (SG), Plaza Premium Lounge (SG, KL, HK) 1 per month (regardless of the number of transactions with the
minimum amount charged within 3 months prior to the date of lounge access)
$30,000Charge S$1,000 in a single retail transaction within 3 months prior to the travel date
AMEX Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit CardSATS Premier Lounge (Singapore) / Plaza Premium4 per year$50,000Complimentary access passes given upon card approval and fully paid renewal of card membership
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Metal Credit CardPriority Pass2 per year$80,000Apply for a complimentary Priority Pass™ membership
CIMB Visa Infinite Credit CardDragon Pass3 per year$120,000Apply for a complimentary Dragon Pass membership
HSBC Visa Infinite Credit CardLoungeKeyUnlimited$120,000Present your card, boarding pass and quote 'LoungeKey' for complimentary access
OCBC Voyage CardPlaza PremiumUnlimited$120,000Present your card and boarding pass for complimentary access
Citi Prestige CardPriority PassUnlimited + 1 guest$120,000Apply for a complimentary Priority Pass™ membership
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit CardPriority Pass6 per year$150,000Apply for a complimentary Priority Pass™ membership

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a high-income earner to enjoy complimentary airport lounge access!

The DBS Altitude Visa Signature, Citi PremierMiles, Diners Club, and Maybank Horizon Visa Signature credit cards only require a minimum annual income of $30,000.

That said, remember that there are annual fees involved if you want to enjoy these privileges and make sure to stay out of credit card debt!


Lounge Passes and Memberships

When it comes to lounge passes and memberships, here are the major players:

  • Priority Pass – 1,300+ lounges
  • LoungeKey – 1,100+ lounges
  • Dragon Pass – 1,300+ lounges
  • Diners Club – 1,000+ lounges

If your card has a complimentary membership with any one of these lounge passes, you’ll most likely have access to a variety of lounges currently opened at Changi Airport’s Terminal 1, 3 and Jewel.

Changi Airport Lounge Access

Lounge PassChangi Airport TerminalChangi Airport Lounge
Priority PassT1SATS Premier Lounge
Marhaba Lounge
T3SATS Premier Lounge
Marhaba Lounge
Ambassador Transit Lounge
Jewel Changi Lounge
Lounge KeyT1SATS Premier Lounge
Marhaba Lounge
T3SATS Premier Lounge
Marhaba Lounge
Ambassador Transit Lounge
Jewel Changi Lounge
Dragon PassT1SATS Premier Lounge
Marhaba Lounge
Plaza Premium Lounge
T3SATS Premier Lounge
Marhaba Lounge
Ambassador Transit Lounge
Jewel Changi Lounge
Diners ClubT1Marhaba Lounge
T3Marhaba Lounge
Ambassador Transit Lounge

Do note that T2 and T4 lounges are temporarily closed.

Annual Fees

As with most credit cards, you’ll have to pay an annual fee in order to enjoy the complimentary lounge access.

However, some cards like the DBS Altitude VISA card do offer an annual fee waiver for the first year. But you’ll have to pay subsequent annual fees to retain the same privileges tied to your card.


Conclusion

When picking a travel credit card, you don’t have to base your decision on which lounge pass the credit card offers as the differences here are negligible.

Instead, look out for a card which best suits your lifestyle and maximises your spending.

For those who already have one of the above cards, make sure you don’t miss out on your airport lounge benefits!

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About Justin Oh
Your average Zillennial who is obsessed with anime, games, movies and of course, personal finance. Join me as I break down personal finance into easily digestible and fun bits!
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