Ready to see the world in style, fellow globetrotters? ✈️
Having the right credit card in your pocket can turn your travels from tiring to terrific! Let’s explore some exciting credit card perks specifically related to airport lounge access and other travel benefits. After all, the journey is just as important as the destination, right?
1. Airport Lounge Access:
Let’s be honest, airports can be stressful. But with the right credit card, you can turn your layover into a luxury experience. Some premium travel credit cards provide complimentary access to airport lounges, offering a quiet and comfortable space to relax, enjoy a meal, or even take a shower between flights.
Take the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, for example. Cardholders can enjoy complimentary access to more than 1,300 Priority Pass™ lounges worldwide. Similarly, the American Express Platinum Card® offers access to over 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries, including Priority Pass™ lounges and their proprietary Centurion® Lounges. Remember, the availability of these benefits may vary, so be sure to check the details with your card issuer.
2. Travel Credits:
Many travel-focused credit cards offer annual travel credits that can offset a variety of expenses. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® provides a $300 annual travel credit for travel-related purchases. On the other hand, the American Express Platinum Card® provides up to $200 in Uber Cash for U.S. services, a $200 airline fee credit for incidental charges, and up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fees every four years.
3. Travel Insurance:
A trip can go south quickly if your flight is cancelled or your luggage is lost. Fortunately, several credit cards offer travel insurance benefits, providing peace of mind as you globetrot. For instance, both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, and trip delay reimbursement.
4. No Foreign Transaction Fees:
If you’re traveling abroad, the last thing you want is to pay extra every time you swipe your card. Many travel credit cards, such as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, offer no foreign transaction fees, meaning you can use your card overseas without worrying about those extra charges.
5. Hotel and Airline Perks:
Lastly, many credit cards offer valuable perks with specific hotel and airline partners, like room upgrades, late check-outs, free checked bags, and priority boarding. For example, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card offers complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status, which includes benefits like room upgrades and bonus points.
Whether you’re a frequent flyer or just planning a big trip, the right credit card can truly enhance your travel experience. So, it’s time to buckle up, take off, and let your credit card perks guide you to new heights!
Q1: How do I gain access to an airport lounge with my credit card?
A1: Depending on your credit card, you might gain automatic access to certain lounges just by showing your credit card. Other cards may require you to enroll in a lounge access program like Priority Pass. Once you’re enrolled, you usually receive a membership card that you present at the lounge, along with your boarding pass and ID.
Q2: Can I bring guests into the airport lounge with me?
A2: Yes, many lounge programs allow you to bring guests, but the number of guests and any potential fees depend on the specific program rules. Some credit cards may offer a limited number of complimentary guest entries per year.
Q3: Do I need to be flying with a specific airline to use my credit card’s airport lounge access?
A3: It depends on the lounge access program. For example, Priority Pass allows you to enter any of their lounges regardless of the airline you’re flying with. However, airline-specific lounges like Delta Sky Club or United Club usually require you to be flying with that airline to gain access.
Q4: Can I use my travel credits for any travel-related expenses?
A4: It varies by card. Some cards offer travel credits for a wide range of expenses, including airfare, hotels, and car rentals. Other cards may restrict credits to specific categories or partners. Check your card’s benefits guide for specifics.
Q5: How does travel insurance on my credit card work?
A5: If your credit card offers travel insurance benefits, you’re covered for certain incidents when you pay for your trip with that card. Coverage can include trip cancellation or interruption, lost or delayed luggage, and more. The specifics depend on your card’s policy.
Q6: Will I be charged a foreign transaction fee if I withdraw cash from an ATM abroad?
A6: While many travel credit cards don’t charge foreign transaction fees for purchases, cash advances, including foreign ATM withdrawals, usually involve additional fees. These charges are separate from foreign transaction fees and are typically a percentage of the amount withdrawn.
Let’s delve into a few credit cards that offer lounge access as one of their perks:
1. The Platinum Card® from American Express: This card offers access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries, including Priority Pass Select, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), and Centurion Lounges.
2. Chase Sapphire Reserve®: With this card, you gain membership to Priority Pass Select, which gives you access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide. Note that unlike some other cards, this card’s Priority Pass membership includes certain airport restaurants and cafes.
3. Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®: If you’re an American Airlines loyalist, this card might be for you. It gives you access to the American Airlines Admirals Club lounges, and you can bring in immediate family or up to two guests traveling with you.
4. Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: With this card, you get complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges when you’re flying on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight. You also get two one-time guest passes each year.
5. United Club℠ Infinite Card: This card offers membership to the United Club, which means access to all United Club locations and participating Star Alliance affiliated lounges worldwide.
6. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: This card offers complimentary Priority Pass Select membership with access to over 1,300 lounges around the world.
Airport lounges can turn a long layover into a luxurious pause. Here are some of the world’s best airport lounges that consistently garner high praise from seasoned travelers:
1. The Pier, First – Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong International Airport): Designed with the aesthetic of a modern apartment, The Pier offers day suites with views of the runway, foot massages, and a high-quality dining area with made-to-order dishes.
2. Lufthansa First Class Terminal (Frankfurt International Airport): More than just a lounge, Lufthansa offers an entire terminal for First Class and Hon Circle passengers. Amenities include personal assistants, luxury bathrooms, an outstanding restaurant, and even chauffeur-driven transfers directly to the plane.
3. Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge (Hamad International Airport, Doha): With its futuristic design and luxurious amenities like a garden resort area, private workstations, a game room, and multiple dining areas, this lounge is a paradise for travelers.
4. The Private Room – Singapore Airlines (Changi Airport, Singapore): This exclusive lounge within a lounge (you pass through two other lounges to reach it) offers a serene atmosphere, top-notch dining, and personal attention from the staff.
5. Turkish Airlines Business Lounge (Istanbul Airport): This massive lounge stands out with its library, movie theater, a museum in collaboration with Istanbul Modern, and even a golf simulator.
6. Qantas First Class Lounge (Sydney International Airport): Known for its luxurious spa offering complimentary treatments and a la carte dining curated by renowned Australian chef Neil Perry, this lounge sets the bar high.
7. Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse (London Heathrow): This lounge offers a unique experience with its rooftop garden, poolside lounge seating, a hair salon, and even a recording studio.
8. Swiss First Lounge (Zurich Airport): Offering direct access to the airplane, this lounge features mini suites, a la carte dining, a champagne bar, and even a humidor with a selection of cigars.