Credit Cards

The Best Credit Cards to Get You into the Top Airport Lounges All Over the World

airport lounge credit card

Peter Lin

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Imagine this: you’re about to take a 17 hour flight across the world, and you’re too cheap to splurge on anything more than an economy class seat. Not to fret, there’s still a way to experience a life of luxury before the flight. Just imagine hours of relaxation with Wi-Fi access, refreshments, shower facilities, even a fish spa! And believe it or not, it won’t cost you anything extra. All you need is to have one of these credit cards.

Here are the best credit cards to get you into the best airport lounges in Singapore and across the globe.

 

1. American Express KrisFlyer Ascend

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card


Card Benefits

  • MoneySmart October Exclusive Promotion! – Bonus S$100 worth of CapitaVouchers
  • Win 2 Business Class Tickets to Sydney
  • Get up to 27,200 Bonus KrisFlyer Miles for a return trip to Bangkok
  • Apply through MoneySmart from 6 Oct 2017 to 31 Oct 2017 to get S$100 worth of CapitaVouchers. Application must be approved by 14 Nov 2017. Submit your (i)Contact Details and (ii)14 Digit Reference Number on the Thank You Page upon completion at this link before 1 Nov 2017. T&Cs
  • 1.2 KrisFlyer Miles = S$1
  • 2 KrisFlyer Miles = S$1 in foreign currency spent overseas on eligible purchases in June & Dec
  • Spend above S$15,000 on eligible purchases on singaporeair.com within first 12 months of Card approval and get upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Gold Membership
  • Four complimentary lounge access to participating SATS Premier and Plaza Premium Lounge each year
  • Complimentary night's stay each year at one of over 90 participating Millennium Hotels and Resorts properties worldwide
  • Up to $1 million travel insurance coverage

Amex’s flagship air-miles credit card surprisingly isn’t on the Priority Pass programme. However, they do give you complimentary access to the very cushy SATS Premier Lounge, located in all three terminals at Changi Airport, as well as 11 Plaza Premium Lounges all over the world including China, India, Canada, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Of course, it must be said that you only get 4 complimentary passes each year (From our reader: These passes are only issued if you pay the annual fee. If you waive the annual fee, you are not eligible for the passes). That’s twice the number of complimentary passes as Citibank or DBS’s card, but considering the limited number of lounges, it seems like an unbalanced trade-off. Still, you will get to enjoy 30% off the walk-in entrance fee rates for selected lounges in Singapore, and 20% off entrance fees in select lounges the rest of the world.

If you’re interested in this card, now’s a good time to apply since Amex is currently running a whole lot of great promotions such as a bonus of 5,000 KrisFlyer miles the minute you make your first transaction with the card.

On top of that, every $50 charged to this card now increases your chances in a year-long monthly lucky draw to win a pair of Business Class tickets to 12 popular destinations worldwide. For this June’s draw, the destination is Male (Maldives).

If that’s not enough, you get another 15,000 bonus miles if you spend $6,000 in your first 3 months of receiving your card.  Considering that minimum spend requirement works out to $2,000 a month, and card holders need to be earning $50,000 a year to qualify, it shouldn’t be that hard a target to hit. Also, from now till 30 Sept 2017, spend an additional $4,000 in 3 months and get a swanky Samsonite Luggage case as well.

Sign up bonuses aside, Amex is also running a Supplementary Cards offer, awarding 1,500 miles for every card applied. Their Member Get Member (MGM) program also gets you 2,000 miles if you refer a friend, so this all adds up to a significant number of miles that don’t require you to spend more money, especially with a first year fee waiver for supplementary cards.

However, do take note that the annual fee for the primary card is $337.05.

If you are interested in the American Express KrisFlyer Ascend card, you can apply here.

 

2. DBS Altitude Visa Signature

DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card

DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card


Card Benefits

  • Win a 7D6N trip to New York for Two with return airfare on Singapore Airlines
  • (Local spend) S$1 = 1.2 miles
  • (Overseas spend) S$1 = 2 miles
  • (Online flight & Hotel transactions) S$1 = 3 miles
  • 6 miles/S$1 spend at Expedia; 10 miles/S$1 spend at Kaligo
  • Enjoy 2 Complimentary Global Airport Lounge Access visits and get up to S$1 million travel accident insurance coverage for you and your family members

Like the Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature, the DBS Altitude Visa Signature gets you a complimentary Priority Pass membership worth US$99, along with 2 complimentary passes every 12 months worth US$54.

As a Priority Pass member, you get access to over 700 VIP lounges in hundreds of cities worldwide. These include 11 lounges in Changi Airport, including the Airport Wellness Oasis in Terminal 1 and the Ambassador Transit Lounges in T2 and T3. However, only two of those visits will be free each year. All subsequent visits will be charged at US$27 per visit.

Like the Citibank card, you can share one complimentary passes with a guest, but only if you’re present too.

To be eligible for the DBS Altitude Visa Signature, you need to earn at least $50,000 a year and the annual fee is $192.60.

If you are interested in the DBS Altitude Visa Signature card, you can apply here.

 

3. HSBC Visa Infinite

HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card

HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card


Card Benefits

  • Get 35,000 Air Miles
  • $1 = Up to 1.25 air miles (Local)
  • $1 = Up to 2.25 air miles (Overseas)
  • Priority Pass™ Membership card will be automatically issued to the primary Cardholder and the supplementary Cardholder(s) - Unlimited access to over 700 VIP airport lounges worldwide
  • Access to HSBC’s Infinite Travel & Lifestyle Concierge service for personalised assistance, 24/7
  • Automatic travel insurance coverage of up to US$2,000,000 (annual value worth S$988)
  • Complimentary limousine transfer and expedited immigration clearance at key airports in Asia

Like the Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature, the HSBC Visa Infinite also gets you a complimentary Priority Pass membership. Unlike the first two cards on this list, this membership is the Prestige Membership worth US$399. It gives you unlimited free access to all the 700 VIP lounges under Priority Pass. Not only that, but all your supplementary cardholders get Priority Pass’ Prestige Membership too. Although all guests you bring in will be charged a US$27 (or $38), that’s an insane amount of luxury.

Of course, it needs to be said that the HSBC Visa Infinite card is targeted at high rollers and thus is by invitation only. Unlike other exclusive credit cards in Singapore though, the relatively low annual fee of $488 for HSBC Premier Customers means it’s actually worth your time, especially if you already do private banking with HSBC.

On top of that, they’re currently offering 35,000 air miles as a welcome gift that’s redeemable with over 30 leading airlines, so you don’t just get free airport lounge access, but you also get a jumpstart to redeeming a free flight as well. The caveat is that you need to be earning $120,000 a year to apply for this card, or maintain a fixed deposit of $30,000 until account closure if you don’t.

If you are interested in the HSBC Visa Infinite card, you can apply here.

 

4. Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature

Citi PremierMiles Visa Card

Citi PremierMiles Visa Card


Card Benefits

  • Earn up to 42,000 Citi Miles when you apply and spend, T&Cs apply
  • MoneySmart Exclusive! - Free S$100 NTUC Fairprice OR Takashimaya Vouchers
  • S$1 = 1.2 Citi Miles (Local spend)
  • S$1 = 2 Citi Miles (Overseas spend)
  • Earn up to 10 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent on online travel bookings
  • Citi Miles never expire
  • Priority Pass™ membership gives you access to more than 600 airport lounges
  • Complimentary Travel Accident Insurance up to S$1,000,000 coverage, Medical Assistance Programme and Travel Inconvenience Coverage
  • Receive 10,000 Citi Miles upon membership renewal and payment of annual fee
  • 1 Citi Mile = 1 Mile with over 60 popular airlines like KrisFlyer, Asia Miles, Enrich, Qantas, Qatar

Citibanks’s best air-miles card gets you a complimentary Priority Pass membership worth US$99, along with 2 complimentary passes every 12 months worth US$54.

As a Priority Pass member, you get access to over 700 VIP lounges in hundreds of cities worldwide. These include 11 lounges in Changi Airport alone, including The Haven by JetQuay and the SATS Premier Lounges in all three terminals. However, only two of those visits will be free each year. Your guest can use one of those two passes. All subsequent visits and guests will be charged at US$27 per guest, per visit.

To be eligible for the Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature, you need to earn at least $50,000 a year and the annual fee is $192.60.

If you are interested in the Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature, you can apply here.

 

Have you been to any of the airport lounges mentioned in this article? Give us your feedback!

 

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Peter Lin

I am the poster boy for reinventing one's self. I've been a broadcast journalist, technical writer, banking customer service officer and a Catholic friar. My life experiences have made me the most cynical idealist you'll ever meet, which is why I'm also the co-founder of a local pop culture website. I believe ignorance is not bliss, and that money is the root of all evil only if you allow it to be.