Air travel is back with a vengeance leading to long check-in and security lines. Thus, all of us want that free lounge access to rest before the flight. Here are the best lounge access credit cards in 2022. The idea of this post is to highlight credit cards that are either LTF or have very low fees but offer many free lounge access.
Best Lounge Access Credit Card
IDFC Wealth Credit Card
Lounge Access: 16 lounge access per annum; max 4 per quarter. Includes both international and domestic lounges.
Annual Fee: LTF
IDFC Wealth credit card is probably the best lounge access credit card at the moment. The reason being, it offers 16 lounge accesses in a year to both domestic and international lounges. It also gives access airport spa services. Quarterly, a maximum of 4 visits are allowed. It seems less for a frequent flyer, but more than enough for most of us. That’s not all, this credit card gives you lounge access to 40 lounges spread across 27 cities in India (list here). Despite such a decent offering in terms of lounge access, this credit card is available as LTF. Wow!
IDFC Select Credit Card
Lounge Access: 16 lounge access per annum; max 4 per quarter. Gives access to only domestic lounges.
Annual Fee: LTF
IDFC Select credit card is also one of the best lounge access credit cards. Similar to IDFC Wealth it gives access to 16 domestic lounges in a year with a capping of 4 visits per year. However, the catch here is this credit card gives lounge access to 22 lounges across 17 cities (list here) compared to 40 lounges across 27 cities for IDFC Wealth. This credit card is also offered lifetime free. Thus, if you are not able to get IDFC Wealth, this is a good card to own.
Yes First Exclusive
Lounge Access: 12 domestic lounge access per annum, max of 3 per quarter. Mastercard variant gives 6 international lounge access too.
Annual Fee: 1000 per year, waived off on spending 4lks per year.
The Yes First Exclusive was once counted as one of the most premium credit cards in India. This credit card until recently used to offer unlimited lounge access (both domestic and international). This credit card has been devalued significantly over the past few years. However, it remains one of the best lounge access credit cards in India. As of today, it offers 12 domestic lounge access per year. The number of lounges available varies as per card variant, but both (Visa/MC) have made 30+ lounges available for this credit card (details here). Further, if you have the MC variant, you get 6 international lounge access too. Though the website states that the annual fee for the credit card is 1k per year waived off on 4lk spent. Many a time the bank offers this credit card as LTF. Thus, no harm in calling up the bank or your RM, in case you are interested in this card.
Axis LIC Signature
Lounge Access: 8 lounge access per annum with a cap of 2 per quarter. Only domestic lounge access is available.
Annual Fee: LTF
Axis LIC Signature is a co-branded credit card between LIC and Axis Bank. While the card’s reward rate is not that great; it gives 8 lounges access for free, which is very good. This card gives free access to 27 lounges in 17 airports around the country. The number of lounges available is very good for an LTF card (list here)
PNB Rupay Select
Lounge Access: 8 lounge access per annum; max 2 per quarter. Only domestic lounge access
Annual Fee: LTF if the card is used at least once per quarter
On the bank’s website, it just says this card gives complimentary lounge access. However, given that this credit card is on the Rupay Select platform, I am assuming that it gives 8 lounge accesses annually. Please confirm this before applying for this card. Assuming, that this card indeed gives 8 lounge accesses per year, you effectively get this card as LTF. The reason is validating the card at lounges is also a transactionJ. Further, given that PNB is one of the first banks to start credit cards on UPI, making a transaction every quarter won’t be difficult.
Lounge Access: 12 domestic lounge access per year. Also includes access to 6 visits to international lounges. No quarterly cap.
Annual Fee: 2500+GST. Mostly available as LTF.
HDFC Regalia is one of the most popular credit cards in India. The reason is, HDFC Bank has been issuing this card left, right and centre since it was under the ban. Nonetheless, HDFC Regalia is one of the best lounge access credit cards in India. It offers 12 domestic lounge access per annum to the primary cardholder. You also get 6 international lounge access via Priority Pass. International lounge visit is applicable for add-on cardholders too. The downside, however, is Regalia lounge access is available only in 6 major cities.
Axis Pride Signature
Lounge Access: 8 access per annum. Max 2 per quarter. Only domestic lounges.
Annual Fee: 500+ GST. Credit card is offered only to defense personnel.
Axis Pride Signature is again one of those credit cards that don’t have a great reward structure. However, it gives a decent number of free lounge access. One catch here is that the number of lounges is very less on this card. Only 14 lounges in 6 major cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad) are available. Cities such as Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Goa etc are missing. Thus if you are not a resident of those 6 cities or not a frequent traveller to them, this card is not for you.
Best lounge access credit cards – Unlimited Access
While the focus of the post was to share the best lounge access credit cards that are either LTF or have a very low fee. However, no discussion on lounge access can be over without talking about unlimited lounge access credit cards. Below is that list. J
- HDFC Infinia – Offers unlimited lounge access (international and domestic) for both primary and add-on cardholders. International lounge access is thru Priority Pass. Annual fee of 12500+GST.
- HDFC Diners Black – Unlimited lounge access for both primary and add-on cardholders (international and domestic). Annual fee of 10000+GST
- Kotak White Reserve – Annual fee of 12500+GST
- ICICI Emeralde – Annual fee of 12000+GST
- Axis Magnus – Offers unlimited domestic lounge access to both primary and secondary cardholders. Unlimited international lounge access for primary cardholders with 8 guest visits a year. Annual Fee of 10000+GST
- BoB Eterna – Unlimited domestic lounge access of the primary cardholder. Annual fee of 2500+GST. (Apply Now)
List of credit cards with lounge access
Below is the excel sheet of credit cards with lounge access. Let me know in case of errors/omissions. Will correct it.
Do let me know what is your go-to lounge access credit card.
In the interest of full disclosure, Credit Cardz may earn a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the links in this post. However, opinions and views expressed here are of the author's alone and not those of the bank, credit card issuer, or anyone else and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.