Best Credit Cards in Singapore for Airport Lounge Access

If there is one thing that significantly improved our travel experience, it would be the airport lounges. Ever since we first learnt about their existence and how we could access them, we have never travelled the same again.

These days, we would go to airports several hours before our flight departure to take advantage of the lounge facilities available.

We are also more inclined to accept longer layovers between flights if the transiting airport has an amazing lounge. Some lounges even have shower rooms that are perfect for layovers between very long flights.

How do I access Airport Lounges?

In general, there are a couple of ways one can get access to airport lounges.

The first way is to fly in a premium cabin. This typically means Business Class and First Class tickets, though occasionally Premium Economy might qualify. Your boarding pass will grant you access to an airport lounge regardless of whether it’s a revenue or a redemption ticket.

Entrance to the Singapore Airlines Silverkris Lounge in Changi Airport.
Access the SilverKris Lounge when you are flying on Singapore Airlines premium cabins.

The second way is to purchase a single entry pass. Many lounges around the world allow guests to purchase single passes to enter the lounge, typically around the range of US$40 to US$100 per person. Personally, I would not pay for lounge access as I feel that most lounges are not worth the steep prices asked of them.

Last but not least, my favourite method is to use Credit Cards to get into lounges for free. Many credit cards in Singapore offer free airport lounge access to cardholders and their guests. The most common arrangement is via a complimentary Priority Pass, DragonPass or LoungeKey lounge membership when you hold the credit card.

Lounge memberships typically grant you complimentary access to thousands of lounges around the world, greatly elevating your travel experience.

Free flow buffet meals in Asiana Business Class Lounge in Seoul's Incheon Airport.
Free flow buffet meals in South Korea airport lounges.

In this blog post, we will introduce the best credit cards in Singapore to gain access to airport lounges for free.

Our favourite Airport Lounges

Over the years, we’ve been to multiple airport lounges around the world simply by holding on to our credit cards. No 2 lounges are the same and here are some of our favourites.

ANA Lounge Narita Airport Tokyo

ANA lounge Narita International Airport lounge entrance
Entrance to the ANA Lounge in Tokyo’s Narita Airport.
Japanese sashimi bowl offered in ANA Lounge Narita.

Read our full review of the ANA Lounge Narita Airport Tokyo.

SATS Premier Lounge Changi Airport

SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 1

Read our full review of the SATS Premier Lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

Sky Hub Lounge Incheon Airport Seoul

Entrance to the Sky Hub Lounge in Seoul Incheon Airport.
Buffet food options in the Sky Hub Lounge in Seoul Incheon Airport.

Read our full review of the Sky Hub Lounge at Incheon International Airport Seoul.

Best Credit Cards for free lounge access

There are many credit cards in Singapore that offer complimentary airport lounge access. However, many of them are mediocre or cost too much for what they offer.

Below are the credit cards that we think are the most bang for your buck in terms of gaining free access to airport lounges.

DBS Altitude Visa Card

Lounge membershipPriority Pass
Number of complimentary visits per year2
Number of complimentary guestsUp to the complimentary limit
Summary of DBS Altitude lounge access.

👉 Read our full review of the DBS Altitude Card here.

The DBS Altitude Credit Card offers a complimentary digital Priority Pass membership to its cardholders. With the Priority Pass membership, cardholders can enjoy 2 free lounge visits within each 12-month period.

Cardholders can either enjoy 2 separate visits, or 1 concurrent member and guest visit. Subsequent visits will cost US$32 per person per visit regardless of whether it’s the cardholder or the guest.

The DBS Altitude’s lounge offering is not the best of the bunch. However, given the low cost of the card (waivable annual fee), having some free lounge visits is better than none at all.

DBS Altitude Card Sign-Up Offer

Offers Available for the DBS Altitude Visa Card
32,600 Miles after paying the annual fee
22,600 Miles with an annual fee waiver
Promotion valid until 30 November 2023

The sign-up offer is available only to new-to-bank DBS/POSB customers only. This means that you’ll not be eligible for it if you currently have a DBS credit card, or you’ve cancelled any DBS/POSB credit cards within the last 12 months.

You’ll receive 22,600 Miles after spending S$2,000 within 30 days from the card approval date. If you choose to pay the annual fee of S$194.40, you’ll receive an additional 10,000 Miles.

Use the promo code ALTVIS for the 32,600 miles with an annual fee payment offer.

Use the promo code ALTVISW for the 22,600 miles with an annual fee waiver offer.

Citi Premiermiles Card

Lounge membershipPriority Pass
Number of complimentary visits per year2
Number of complimentary guestsUp to the complimentary limit
Summary of Citi Premiermiles lounge access.

👉 Read our full review of the Citi Premiermiles Card here!

Citi Premiermiles Card is another entry-level credit card that offers complimentary Priority Pass membership. The Citi Premiermiles card allows for 2 complimentary visits per calendar year. This is slightly different from the DBS Altitude card. You can potentially get 4 complimentary visits in a year if you apply for the card later in the year.

After the complimentary visits, each subsequent visit will cost US$32 per person per visit.

I would put the Citi Premiermiles Card at the same level as the DBS Altitude Card. You’ll not go wrong with either of them, though I have a slight preference for the Citi card.

Citi Premiermiles Card Sign-Up offer

Offers Available
Dyson Airwrap Multi-styler (worth S$859)
Sony PlayStation 5 Disc Console (worth S$799)
S$500 eCapitaVoucher
Promotion valid until 19 November 2023

The signing bonus is only available to new-to-bank applicants. You are considered a new-to-bank applicant if you’re not currently a Citibank primary cardholder, and have not cancelled a Citibank card in the past 12 months.

Also, you’ll need to spend a minimum of S$500 within 30 days of card approval to be eligible for the reward.

Standard Chartered Journey Card

Lounge membershipPriority Pass
Number of visits per year2
Number of complimentary guestsUp to the complimentary limit

The Standard Chartered Journey Card was a recent rebrand from the infamous Standard Chartered X Card.

By signing up for the Standard Chartered Journey Credit Card, you’ll get to earn up to a total of 45,000 bonus miles.

Sign Up Offer Breakdown
10,000 miles after paying the annual fee of S$194.40
35,000 miles after spending a minimum of S$3,000 within the first 60 days of card approval
Promotion valid until 31 October 2023

For the current sign-up offer, you’ll first earn 35,000 miles after spending a minimum of S$3,000 within the first 60 days of card approval. This is a pretty respectable sign-up offer right now.

In addition, if you choose to pay the annual fee of S$194.40, you’ll get an additional 10,000 miles. You’re effectively buying miles for 1.94 cents per mile here. There are 2 distinct sign-up links for the card, depending on whether you want the offer with the annual fee or not. Make sure to select the right link when applying.

If you ask me, the additional miles are not worth paying the annual fee for.

In addition, if you sign up with our exclusive link here, you’ll get to receive an additional S$120 via Paynow. This offer is available until 17 October 2023.

HSBC TravelOne Card

Lounge membershipDragonPass
Number of visits per year4
Number of complimentary guestsUp to the complimentary limit

The HSBC TravelOne Card is a relatively new entrant to the travel credit card space. It was launched in the summer of 2023 as HSBC’s first general consumer travel credit card.

It offers a slightly more generous 4 complimentary lounge visits per calendar year to its cardholders. Similar to the Citi Premiermiles Card, you can potentially get up to 8 complimentary lounge visits if apply for the card later in the year.

The main difference with the HSBC TravelOne Card is that its lounge program is offered through the DragonPass program. This is slightly different from the Priority Pass program offered by other credit cards.

In general, there are slightly fewer lounges around the world that accepts the DragonPass as compared to Priority Pass. In Singapore’s Changi Airport specifically, most lounges that support Priority Pass also support Dragon Pass, with the exception of the Priority Pass Restaurant participants.

HSBC TravelOne Sign-Up Offer

Sign up bonus
20,000 miles
Promotion valid until 31 December 2023

Until 31 December 2023, you can earn a signup bonus of 20,000 miles after spending S$800 within 30 days of card approval, pay the annual fee of S$194.40 and provide marketing consent when you apply.

This bonus applies to both new-to-bank customers and existing customers! In my opinion, this is a great deal as far as credit card sign-up bonuses go.

On top of the above deals, you can get an additional S$150 eCapitaVoucher when you sign up now. This additional deal is only available until 31 October 2023.

Citi Prestige Credit Card

Lounge membershipPriority Pass
Number of complimentary visits per yearUnlimited
Number of complimentary guests1
Summary of Citi Prestige lounge access.

👉 You can read our full review of the Citi Prestige Card here!

Now we’re stepping a level up into the premium credit card category with the Citi Prestige Card.

The Citi Prestige has an annual income requirement of S$120,000 for application and costs S$540 for its annual fee which is not waivable. In return, you’ll get a Priority Pass membership which grants you an unlimited number of complimentary visits to airport lounges around the world.

This is a great option if you travel frequently throughout the year. You can easily make back the high annual fee through your lounge visits if you value each visit at US$32.

Citi Prestige Sign-up Offer

Sign up Bonus
177,500 Points (71,000 miles) after spending S$800 within 2 months
Promotion valid until 31 October 2023

There is currently a 71,000 miles sign-up bonus for spending just S$800 within 2 months of card approval. This bonus is eligible for anyone who is not currently a cardholder of the Citi Prestige Card, even if you are an existing Citibank credit cardholder!

This is an incredibly outsized offer and the highest we’ve seen in some time. I’d highly recommend going for it if you have already been eyeing the Citi Prestige Card. Do take note of the high annual fee though.

American Express Platinum Charge Card

Lounge membershipPriority Pass, Amex Centurion Lounge, Delta SkyClub, Plaza Premium
Number of visits per yearUnlimited
Number of complimentary guests1
Summary of Amex Platinum Charge Card lounge access.

Last but not least, the crème de la crème credit card for complimentary lounge access in Singapore would be the American Express Platinum Charge card.

What sets it apart from the rest of the cards is the variety of lounges cardmembers have access to. On top of the Priority Pass lounges typical of other credit cards, cardmembers can enter The Centurion Lounge, International American Express Lounges, Delta SkyClub and Plaza Premium Lounge.

The Centurion Lounge is one of the best airport lounges available around the world. Travellers can only access these lounges if they are cardholders of the Amex Platinum Card or the Amex Centurion Card, making them a lot more exclusive than the typical airport lounge.

However, most Centurion Lounges are located in the US. At the time of writing this blog post, there are only 8 other countries with Centurion lounges. Unfortunately, none of them is in Singapore.

The American Express Platinum Charge Card requires an annual income of S$200,000 and comes with an annual fee of S$1,728. This is not an affordable option for attaining lounge access, but it can prove worthwhile for travellers looking for the ultimate luxury.

American Express Platinum Charge Sign-Up Offer

Offer
Receive up to 61,250 Membership Rewards® points
Sign-up bonus for Amex Platinum Charge Card.

The sign-up bonus is only available to new card customers who do not currently have an American Express Platinum Charge Card and have not cancelled 1 in the past 12 months. Cardholders will need to spend a minimum of S$300 within 1 month of card approval and pay the annual fee of S$1,728 to be eligible for the offers.

This offer is valid until 3 April 2023.

⚠️ Sign up for the American Express Platinum Charge Card here!

Conclusion

Using credit cards to get complimentary access to airport lounges is the easiest way to immediately elevate your travel experience. Air travel is typically a very stressful affair, and airport lounges can really help to reduce some parts of that.

For travellers who are a little more savvy, some airport lounges can even be a great way to save money as they provide great food that can substitute a full meal. It is a no-brainer for anyone who even remotely travels for the slightest bit!

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