Find out which air miles credit cards in Singapore give free access to Priority Pass and Plaza Premium airport lounges around the world.
Credit card terms and conditions may change without prior notice. Last updated 18 August 2019.
Many Singaporeans think that access to VIP airport lounges is a privilege reserved for business travellers, frequent flyers and the uber rich. But with the right air miles credit card, you too can get complimentary access to airport lounges all over the world, even if you’re not pulling a six-figure salary. (Pro tip: Learn how to maximise your air miles once you’ve earned them!)
What’s the big deal about airport lounges?
Airport lounges offer a range of free facilities include wifi, quiet corners to catch up for work, reading or sleep, shower rooms, charging power outlets and of course, complimentary food, snacks and drinks, which can include a wide variety of alcohol, juices and soft drinks. All in all, airport lounges are a great pitstop for every kind of traveller. If you’re travelling for work or about to go on a long-haul flight, a great place to freshen up, recharge and do some work or reading. If you’re on a holiday, a great place to review travel plans over food and drinks. If you’re in transit and between flights, it’s also a great place to spend a few hours in comfort.
Do I flash my credit card to enter the airport lounge?
Nooooo… Don’t be a noob and do that because you’ll be stopped by whoever is manning the counter or front desk. Credit cards partner with airport lounge programmes, who each run their own chain of lounges. Common ones are Priority Pass, Plaza Premium, SATS lounge and Dragon Pass. For most of these lounges, you will be invited to join the particular airport lounge programme a few days or weeks after you sign up for a participating credit card. Note that it might take a few weeks to process your membership so don’t apply for a credit card the night before you fly off. Membership is usually on an annual basis. In other cases, such as the SIA KrisFlyer Ascend, you will receive airport lounge vouchers which you present at the front desk of the lounge before entry.
Remember, however, that each bank will issue you a separate Priority Pass, and your free visits are tied to an individual card – so don’t mix them up! Label your cards carefully and note down how many visits you have used on each.
Also, check if your free visit entitlement is renewed each membership year (i.e. the anniversary on which your lounge pass was issued) or each calendar year (i.e. 1 Jan- 31 Dec). The majority of banks award free lounge visits by membership year, although Citibank’s PremierMiles cards award free visits based on calendar year.
Can I bring a guest?
Yes, but it’ll cost you a free visit. For example, bringing a guest with you on your Citi PremierMiles Visa Priority Pass would use a total of two visits.
Higher-end cards like the OCBC VOYAGE allow you to bring a guest for free, and cards like the HSBC Visa Infinite issue a Priority Pass for supplementary cardholders that carries the same unlimited visits.
It’s standard policy to count any child above the age of two as an additional visit, but there is no hard and fast rule about enforcement. Some places will close one eye, others will insist on sticking to the letter of the law.
Do I have to pay the annual fee?
Unfortunately, yes, you will have to pay the annual credit card fee to enjoy the privilege of complimentary airport lounge access. Some credit cardswaive the annual fee for the first year (and you still receive the complimentary airport lounge vouchers or complimentary annual membership ) but from the second year onwards, you will have to pay the annual fee in order to receive the same airport lounge privileges again.
Best air miles cards in Singapore with free airport lounge access
We’ve compared 6 different air miles cards in Singapore that offer complimentary airport lounge access worldwide.
Airport Lounge Access
How to Redeem
|DBS Altitude Visa Credit Card||2x complimentary access/year with Priority Pass||Apply for Priority Pass Membership (complimentary for cardholders)|
|Citi PremierMiles Visa Card||2x complimentary access/year with Priority Pass||Apply for Priority Pass Membership (complimentary for cardholders)|
|American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card||4x complimentary vouchers/year to participating SATS Premier Lounges Plaza Premium Lounges worldwide
KrisFlyer Elite Gold Members get KrisFlyer Gold Lounge access at Changi Airport and Star Alliance Gold Lounges worldwide
|Complimentary access to SATS and Plaza Premium Lounges upon Card approval and fully paid renewal of Card membership.
Spend above S$15,000 at singaporeair.com within the first 12 months and get upgraded to KrisFlyer Elite Gold Membership
|Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card||6x complimentary access/year with Priority Pass||Apply for Priority Pass Membership (complimentary for cardholders)|
|HSBC Visa Infinite Credit Card||Unlimited access to over 700 Priority Pass lounges around the world||Flash your Priority Pass Card (membership automatically granted upon card approval)|
|OCBC Voyage Card||Unlimited access to over 70 Plaza Premium VIP airport lounges globally||Complimentary access granted upon card approval and renewal of Card membership fee|
1. DBS Altitude Visa Credit Card
The DBS Altitude Visa Card is a great entry-level air miles card, with an annual income requirement of just S$30,000. It comes with two free airport lounge visits per year but you have to apply for your Priority Pass lounge membership the moment you receive your credit card in the mail.
2. Citi PremierMiles Visa Card
Cardholders get a complimentary Priority Pass membership that lets you access Priority Pass airport lounges twice a year, at any airport in the world. You can use the two complimentary visits on separate occasions or with a guest.
Additional visits will cost US$27 and will be charged to your Citi PremierMiles Visa Card.
3. American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
The Ascend is the American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Card’s sophisticated older sister. Besides getting a higher earn rate for KrisFlyer miles, cardmembers get 4 complimentary vouchers to participating SATS Premier Lounges in Singapore and Plaza Premium Lounges worldwide.
If you charge more than S$15,000 at singaporeair.com on the card within the first 12 months, you are automatically upgraded to the KrisFlyer Elite Gold Membership tier. This unlocks KrisFlyer Gold Lounge access at Changi Airport and access to Star Alliance Gold Lounges worldwide.
4. Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card
The Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card is one of the most exclusive air miles credit cards in Singapore. Like the DBS Altitude Cards and the Citi PremierMiles Visa Card, you get a complimentary Priority Pass membership. But because this is a Visa Infinite Card, members get six (instead of two) free visits to airport lounges a year.
Any subsequent visits after the sixth will cost S$38 per person.
5. HSBC Visa Infinite Card
It’s easy to see why the HSBC Visa Infinite Card is the crème de la crème of travel credit cards. Besides perks like expedited immigration clearance and airport limousine transfers, cardmembers (and supplementary cardmembers) instantly get a Prestige Priority Pass Membership Card two weeks after their credit card approval. This unlocks unlimited access to Priority Pass lounges worldwide, while guest charges cost only S$35 per guest per visit.
6. OCBC Voyage Card
With an annual income requirement of at least S$120,000, the OCBC Voyage Card is for the well-heeled. And if you’re living life at that level, you’d expect nothing less than stellar treatment everywhere you go.
Good thing that this credit card offers unlimited airport lounge access all year round. Cardholders will receive a complimentary Plaza Premium membership that grants access to 70 airport lounges across the globe. But don’t be dismayed by the low number — these are all VIP lounges, so you can be assured of the highest luxury.
Compare and apply for the best air miles credit cards on SingSaver
Comparing credit cards with the most generous air miles rates has never been simpler at SingSaver. Enjoy the most attractive sign-up offers of up to $200 in cash, credit and vouchers now.
Besides complimentary airport lounge visits, air miles cards can also offer a whole lot more, if you know how to turbocharge their use to travel further, faster and cheaper. Here’s a simple infographic showing how.
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Why Citi PremierMIles Visa May Be The Most Useful Miles Card in Singapore
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By Lauren Dado
Lauren has been a content strategist and digital marketer since 2007. She writes about personal finance stories to help Singaporeans save money. Her work has appeared in publications like Her World, Asia One, and Women’s Weekly.