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. Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature
- Earn up to 42,000 Citi Miles when you apply and spend, T&Cs apply
- 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.
2. DBS Altitude Visa Signature
- Get 10,000 Bonus Miles when you apply online
- Enjoy double miles for all online flight & hotel transactions, local and overseas spend when you spend S$2,500 - S$5,000 per calendar month from now to 31 Jul 2017
- S$1 = 1.2 miles*; S$1 = 2.4 miles^ (Local spend)
- S$1 = 2 miles*; S$1 = 4 miles^ (Overseas spend)
- S$1 = 3 miles*; S$1 = 6 miles^ (Online flight & Hotel transactions)
- Up to 9 miles/S$1 spend at Expedia; Up to 13 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
- *For first S$2,500 and spend above S$5,000; ^For S$2,501- S$,5000 spend (Valid till 31 Jul 2017)
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, now’s a good time to apply online, since DBS is giving 10,000 bonus miles for online applications.
If you are interested in the DBS Altitude Visa Signature card, you can apply here.
3. HSBC Visa Infinite
- $1 = Up to 1.25 air miles (Local)
- $1 = Up to 2.25 air miles (Overseas)
- Complimentary worldwide travel insurance coverage of up to US$2,000,000 (annual value worth S$988)
- Unlimited access to 700 VIP airport lounges globally
- Complimentary limousine transfer
- Complimentary 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. American Express KrisFlyer Ascend
- Welcome Bonus of 5,000 KrisFlyer Miles
- Online Exclusive - Get a free 12-month subscription of Starhub Go Select (worth S$118.80)
- Win 2 Business Class Tickets to Male (Maldives)
- Get 15,000 bonus KrisFlyer miles
- 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. 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.
You can now also watch your HBO, TVB dramas, etc. on the go with a whole year of Starhub Go Select video streaming. Starhub Mobile subscribers can stream these videos without a dent to their data usage. Imagine yourself watching your favourite shows on your handphone/laptop, while sipping your hot cuppa’ coffee and waiting for your flight!
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.
However, do take note that the annual fee is $337.05.
If you are interested in the American Express KrisFlyer Ascend card, you can apply here.
Have you been to any of the airport lounges mentioned in this article? Give us your feedback!