Credit Cards with Airport Lounge Access

Compare credit cards that give cardholders complimentary entry passes into airport airline lounges in Australia and overseas.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 28 May 2024

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Comparing credit cards with airport lounge access

American Express Platinum Card

On website

FeaturedApply by 25 June 2024

American Express Platinum Card

Rewards program

Membership Rewards Ascent Premium

Points per $1 spent

2.25 points

Sign up bonus

150,000 points

Annual fee

$1,450.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Acquire 150,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points by applying before 25 June 2024, getting approved, and spending $5,000 on your new Card within the initial 3 months. T&Cs apply. Exclusive to New Amex Card Members.
  • Utilize a $450 Platinum Travel Credit annually for flight, hotel, or car rental bookings.
  • Indulge in up to $400 per calendar year when dining at a curated selection of over 1,400 hand-picked restaurants, both domestically and internationally. Terms and Conditions apply.

Pros

  • Receive 150,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Receive a $450 Platinum Travel Credit each year.
  • Enjoy up to $400 Global Dining Credit per calendar year.
  • Access to more than 1,400 lounges globally, including The Centurion® Lounge.
  • Get the Amex Experiences App to access information on Platinum benefits, travel offers, events and recommended merchants.

Cons

  • The annual fee of $1,450.
American Express Explorer Credit Card

On website

Rewards program

Membership Rewards

Points per $1 spent

2 points

Sign up bonus

50,000 points

Annual fee

$395.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Obtain 50,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points upon application approval and spending $4,000 on your new Card within the initial 3 months. T&Cs apply. Exclusive to New Amex Card Members.
  • Enjoy a $400 Travel Credit annually for flights, hotels, and car rentals when booked online using this card.
  • Benefit from complimentary domestic and international travel insurance coverage.

Pros

  • The 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when approved and reach spend requirement within the first 3 months.
  • Receive a $400 travel credit every year.
  • Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on purchases except for government bodies in Australia where you will earn 1 point per $1 spent (uncapped).
  • Get two complimentary entries per year to The Centurion® Lounge.

Cons

  • The $395 p.a. annual fee.
American Express Velocity Platinum Credit Card

On website

Rewards program

Velocity Frequent Flyer

Points per $1 spent

1.25 points

Sign up bonus

60,000 points

Annual fee

$375.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get 60,000 bonus Velocity Points upon applying by 26 June 2024, getting approved, and making $3,000 in eligible purchases with your new Card within the initial 3 months. Offer valid for new Amex Card Members exclusively.
  • Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight between specified cities annually following your first Card spend each year.
  • Benefit from 2 complimentary Virgin Australia lounge passes each year at selected domestic airports.

Pros

  • Receive 60,000 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight between selected cities each year after your first Card spend each anniversary year.
  • Enjoy 2 complimentary Virgin Australia lounge passes each anniversary year at selected domestic airports.
  • Receive 100 Velocity Frequent Flyer Status Credits, when you spend a minimum of $50,000 within your card membership year.
  • Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
  • Get the Amex Experiences App to access information on Platinum benefits, travel offers, events and recommended merchants.
  • Add up to 4 additional cardholders for free.

Cons

  • The interest rates applied to balances carried over is on the high end.
  • There is no balance transfer offer on this card.
Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card (Altitude)

On website

Rewards program

Altitude Rewards

Points per $1 spent

1.25 points

Sign up bonus

100,000 points

Annual fee

$150.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Earn up to 150,000 bonus Altitude Points. Receive 100,000 Altitude bonus points by spending $6,000 on eligible purchases within 120 days of card approval. Additionally, get 50,000 points after your first eligible purchase in year 2. Exclusions apply.
  • Initial $150 p.a. annual fee ($295 p.a. thereafter), applicable to new cardholders only.
  • Earn 6 Altitude points per $1 on Qantas, Jetstar, Singapore Airlines, and Emirates flights bought in Australia, subject to eligibility criteria.

Pros

  • Earn up to 150,000 bonus Altitude Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Additional savings with the $150 first-year annual fee ($295 p.a. thereafter).
  • Earn 1.25 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases
  • Get 2 complimentary lounge passes each year with Priority Pass.

Cons

  • The high annual fee of $295 p.a. after the initial year.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

Apply by 30 June 2022

Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

Rewards program

Amplify Rewards

Points per $1 spent

1.5 points

Sign up bonus

200,000 points

Annual fee

$279.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn up to 200,000 bonus Amplify Rewards Points over 2 years when you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases each year. Plus, receive a birthday points bonus of 10% of the points earned in the last 12 months.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with 1% balance transfer fee on amounts transferred.
  • Includes complimentary overseas travel insurance for up to 6 months

Pros

  • The 200,000 bonus Amplify Rewards Points.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
  • Includes complimentary overseas travel insurance for up to 6 months

Cons

  • There is a 1% balance transfer fee.
  • The ongoing annual fee is high at $279 p.a.
St.George Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

On website

Apply by 31 July 2024

St.George Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

Rewards program

Amplify Rewards, Amplify Qantas

Points per $1 spent

1.5 points

Sign up bonus

150,000 points

Annual fee

$199.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Up to 150,000 Bonus Amplify Rewards Points earned upon spending $12,000 on eligible purchases within the first 12 months from card approval.
  • Initial card fee of $199 for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter).
  • 0% p.a. interest for 24 months on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee applied to transferred amounts.
  • Comes with complimentary overseas travel insurance coverage for up to 6 months.

Pros

  • The 150,000 bonus Amplify Rewards Points.
  • Save $96 with the $199 card fee for the first year.
  • Enjoy 2 complimentary Priority Pass lounge visits each year when you enroll in Priority Pass.
  • Comes with concierge services.

Cons

  • After the initial year, the annual fee is $295 p.a.
  • There is a 1% balance transfer fee.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature Credit Card (Qantas)

Apply by 30 June 2022

Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature Credit Card (Qantas)

Rewards program

Amplify Qantas

Points per $1 spent

0.75 points

Sign up bonus

90,000 points

Annual fee

$279.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days from card approval. Exclusions apply.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with 1% balance transfer fee on amounts transferred.
  • Every year get a birthday bonus with 10% extra points of the total points earned in the previous year.


From 1 January 2022, earn 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 up to a maximum of $250,000 spent on eligible purchases annually. Bonus Qantas Points not included in the cap.


Pros

  • The 90,000 bonus Qantas Points.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
  • Includes complimentary overseas travel insurance for up to 6 months

Cons

  • There is a 1% balance transfer fee.
  • The ongoing annual fee is high at $279 p.a.
BankSA Amplify Signature Credit Card (Amplify)

On website

Rewards program

Amplify Rewards

Points per $1 spent

1.5 points

Sign up bonus

150,000 points

Annual fee

$199.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Earn up to 150,000 Bonus Amplify Rewards Points over 2 years when you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases within the first 12 months from card approval.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee on amounts transferred.
  • $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. annual fee thereafter)

Pros

  • The 150,000 bonus Amplify Rewards Points.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
  • Includes complimentary overseas travel insurance for up to 6 months

Cons

  • There is a 1% balance transfer fee.
  • The annual fee reverts to $295 p.a. after the initial year.

Airport lounge access is a travel perk available with many premium credit cards. It allows you to escape the crowds in the main terminal area, relax before your flight and eat and drink as much as you wish.

What facilities can I expect in an airport lounge?

Restricted-entry airport lounges range from basic to luxuriously opulent. At the lower end, your ‘lounge’ may be a bar or café in the ordinary passenger concourse, offering discounts on food and beverages to members (or single-entry pass holders) of specific lounge programs. The most opulent lounges may offer luxuries such as spa treatments, five-star dining, and personal transport between the airline’s check-in desk, the lounge, and the boarding gate.

In most lounges, you will find many of the following facilities:

  • Comfortable seating
  • TV and movies
  • Complimentary newspapers and magazines
  • Complimentary food and beverages
  • A dedicated working area with desks, device charging points, free Wi-Fi, and access to a computer if you don’t have your own
  • A ‘quiet area’
  • Showers with towels provided
  • A screen with flight boarding information

Can I take guests into the lounge with me?

If your credit card lounge access includes two single-visit passes annually, you can usually use the second pass for a guest travelling with you. Alternatively, you may be able to pay a fee (usually between $35 and $65) for your guest’s entry.

If your card provides full membership to a specific lounge program, you might be able to admit a guest free of charge, but this is not always the case. Check the terms and conditions found either in the small print at the bottom of the credit card’s web page or in the link to a file with full terms and conditions.

How much is complimentary airport lounge access worth?

The value of complimentary airport lounge access depends on the level of access your card provides, the quality of the lounge, and how often you travel.

Qantas lounges cater primarily to Qantas Club members ($399 to join plus $450 per year), passengers travelling in Qantas business or first class, and high-tier frequent flyers. These lounge access methods require high expenditure, making even two single-entry passes quite valuable.

Virgin Australia, Priority Pass, and Delta SkyClub have similar programs, with joining and annual membership fees granting unlimited access.

Access to Véloce World, American Express, and Diners Club lounges is limited to holders of specific credit cards, but the value obtained is comparable to programs with a joining and annual membership fee. For frequent travellers, membership in any program with unlimited lounge access is probably worth at least $500 annually.

Based on lounge programs that sell single-visit passes for guests or travellers on their linked airline, two single-visit passes are likely worth between $75 and $130 per year.

Will I find a lounge affiliated with my program at every airport?

Most lounge programs belong to a network of affiliated lounges, so you will likely have access to at least one lounge (and sometimes more) at major airports worldwide. However, you may not be as fortunate at smaller airports.

Qantas and Virgin lounge members will have plenty of choices in Australia and will also find affiliated lounges overseas. In Australia, very few airports outside the state capitals have lounges.

Single-entry passes may have restrictions, such as being only available for domestic or international lounges, so be sure to read the small print.

Can I roll over my unused lounge passes for the following year?

No. Single-entry passes must be used within 12 months. If you are not travelling and cannot use the passes within that year, you will forfeit the benefit.

Is it worth paying a higher annual fee for a credit card with lounge access?

Frequent air travellers are likely to find it worthwhile to pay for a card granting unlimited lounge access in one or more programs, as it saves them the cost of joining a lounge program and paying an annual fee. Premium cards that confer full lounge membership often come with other valuable complimentary benefits, such as reward points, travel insurance, cashback, and free flights or travel credits, all of which help justify the high annual fee.

Infrequent travellers may struggle to justify the cost of such a premium card. Even a less expensive card that provides two single-visit passes annually may not justify its cost in years when you do not use the lounge passes and travel insurance.