Many credit cards offer some form of lounge access, but the best ones offer unlimited, no-extra-charge lounge access to as wide a selection of lounges as possible. Typically, these sorts of unrestricted lounge-access perks are only included with the most premium cards. Several issuers feature various cards with lounge access perks, but typically any given issuer will only offer a smaller selection of cards that offer the best access benefits—often for a high annual fee.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders have access to the Priority Pass network that includes complimentary entrance to lounges worldwide. Both primary cardholders and authorized users are eligible and they can each bring up to two guests per lounge visit.
Chase Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee is $550, but cardholders can help justify that high cost by receiving an up to $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases. New cardholders receive a welcome bonus: 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. They’ll also be able to earn 5 points per dollar on flights and 10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals when purchasing travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3 points per dollar on other travel and dining and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express*
The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express* has a more lucrative lounge benefit than other Hilton credit cards with unlimited access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide in the Priority Pass network. Cardholders are also allotted up to two guests per visit at no additional cost.
The annual fee for the Aspire Card is higher than that of the Hilton Surpass at $450 a year. Frequent flyers can justify that cost by receiving up to $250 in annual credits that cover incidental fees like checked baggage for one qualifying airline of your choice (you must select it each year). Cardholders also receive complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status and a welcome bonus: 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening an account.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card (Terms apply. See rates & fees) is best for frequent Delta flyers. It offers complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs and the Centurion Lounge when flying the same day with Delta. Two one-time guest passes to the Delta Sky Club are allotted each year. Once you have redeemed both guest passes, guest access to Sky Club lounges are available for a per-visit fee.
First-time cardholders can take advantage of a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases in the first 6 months of card membership. Other benefits include earning 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases, the first checked bag free when flying Delta, priority boarding on Delta flights and 20% back on Delta in-flight purchases with your card.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Cardholders of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card have access to the Priority Pass and Plaza Premium networks of lounges as well as the small but growing network of Capital One airport lounges. Access to the Capital One lounge network is unlimited for cardholders, plus complimentary entry for two guests per visit.
The Capital One Venture X comes with a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. The card earns: 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel and 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel.
United Club℠ Infinite Card
Another option from Chase is the United Club℠ Infinite Card—ideal for domestic and international travelers who frequently fly United. Cardholders and eligible travel companions have access to all United Club lounges and affiliated Star Alliance lounges worldwide.
The United Club℠ Infinite Card offers a $525 annual fee. Cardholders earn 4 miles per dollar on United® purchases, 2 miles per dollar on all other travel, on dining including eligible delivery services and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases. The welcome offer for this card is 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card*
Cardholders of the $400 annual fee U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card* receive a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership with access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide. Cardholders are allotted four free visits within their membership year and four free guest passes.
One big perk for the Altitude Reserve Visa is the $325 maximum annual credit for eligible travel or dining purchases.
New applicants can earn 50,000 points after spending $4,500 in the first 90 days of account opening. The card also earns: 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center, 3 points per dollar on eligible travel purchases and mobile wallet spending and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible net purchases.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card (Terms apply. See rates & fees) cardholders receive a Priority Pass Select membership with unlimited access and up to two guests per visit within the Priority Pass network after they enroll.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is ideal for people who frequent Marriott Bonvoy hotels. The cardholder can earn up to $300 in statement credits annually ($25 per month) for eligible dining purchases at restaurants and $100 in statement credits toward purchases made at specific Marriott properties, which helps make the card’s $650 annual fee worthwhile. Other benefits include a welcome bonus of 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $6,000 on purchases within the first six months and earning rate of 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program, 3 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Similar to the Platinum Card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Terms apply. See rates & fees) provides access to 1,400 lounges in 140 countries in the Global Lounge Collection, which includes the Priority Pass network, American Express Centurion lounges, Plaza Premium lounges and Delta SkyClub and Lufthansa lounges when flying with the coinciding airline.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is ideal for business owners who have large expenses. The $695 annual fee is on par with the personal Platinum Card.
Eligible cardholders also receive a healthy welcome bonus: 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases with the card within the first 3 months of card membership. The card also earns 5 Membership Rewards® points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels through American Express Travel, 1.5 points per dollar on eligible purchases at U.S. construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software and cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®*
For fans of the Admirals Club, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®* provides access to nearly 50 Admirals Club partner lounges worldwide for cardholders and immediate family (or up to two travel companions). Other lounges with which American Airlines has reciprocal access privileges are also accessible by the primary cardholder only.
The real advantage for those who want an Admirals Club membership is that the annual fee is only $595 (less than the annual cost to an individual Admirals Club membership). New cardholders can receive a welcome bonus: 100,000 bonus miles after spending $10,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening while earning 10 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through aa.com, 4 miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express (Terms apply. See rates & fees) advertises access to more lounges around the world than any other credit card that we know of. Cardholders can access lounges in 140 countries through the Global Lounge Collection and the Priority Pass network once enrolled, plus American Express Centurion Lounges. Cardholders can also access Delta SkyClub lounges and Lufthansa Lounges when flying the respective airline same-day.
The $695 annual fee Platinum Card offers a welcome bonus for first-time cardholders: 80,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $8,000 on purchases on the card in the first 6 months of card membership. Cardholders will earn 5 Membership Rewards Points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 per calendar year, 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card’s (Terms apply. See rates & fees) offerings reflect those of the consumer Reserve card. Cardholders have complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge or Escape Lounge when their Delta flight is booked with their Reserve card with guest passes to the Delta Sky Club available at a special, $50-per-visit rate for the first two guests.
The Business card has an annual fee of $550 and offers a welcome bonus of 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of card membership. Cardholders are also eligible to earn 3 miles per dollar on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases. After spending $150,000 in a calendar year, earn 1.5 miles per dollar on eligible purchases the rest of the year.
HSBC Elite Credit Card*
HSBC Elite Credit Card* cardholders receive complimentary unlimited access to over 1,000 lounges using LoungeKey. Up to one guest is allowed per visit.
Other travel benefits include up to $400 a year in travel credits for all airfare, hotels and car rentals booked through HSBC Travel. This card charges a $395 plus $65 for each authorized user annual fee.
It also includes a welcome bonus of 50,000 bonus points worth $750 in airfare – when booked online through HSBC Rewards – after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening and earns 3 points per dollar on new travel purchases – including airline, hotels, and car rentals, 2 points per dollar on dining purchases and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.