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—airport lounges.

Almost every bank in Singapore offers at least one credit card with airport lounge access perks, so you can kick back, relax and rest up for your epic holiday. Think cushy seats, free food, free booze, fast Wi-Fi and even shower facilities.

Believe it or not, regular plebs like us can get access to these havens. All you need is the right credit card with airport lounge access benefits.

Credit card Airport lounge benefits
UOB JCB Card 2 free visits to lounges in HK, Korea, Thailand + unlimited access in Japan, China, Hawaii
DBS Altitude Card 2 free visits to Priority Pass lounges
Citibank PremierMiles Card 2 free visits to Priority Pass lounges
Amex KrisFlyer Ascend 4 free visits to SATS Premier lounges in Singapore + Plaza Premium lounges worldwide
BOC Elite Miles Card 4 free visits to Plaza Premium Lounges
ICBC UnionPay / Global Travel Mastercard 6 free visits to DragonPass airport lounges worldwide (mostly in China)
Maybank Horizon Card 1 visit to Ambassador Transit Lounge in Singapore + Plaza Premium lounges in Singapore, KL, HK*

* Requires minimum spend of $1,000 in one retail transaction within the past 3 months.

Here are the best credit cards in Singapore that can get you free airport lounge access around the world. However, it’s a diverse bunch and each card is slightly different in its terms and benefits.

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Can I just flash my credit card to get lounge access?

No. Unless you have the Maybank Horizon card, please don’t make the mistake of whipping out your credit card – you’ll just get laughed out of the lounge.

So how does it work? Credit cards partner with airport lounge access programmes, each of which has its own chain of participating lounges across the globe. The most popular ones are Priority Pass, Plaza Premium, and Dragon Pass. Priority Pass is by far the most prolific chain, with over 1,000 lounges worldwide. Dragon Pass has 900+ lounges, while Plaza Premium has about 80.

In order to get in, you usually have to sign up for membership after you get the card (though some banks will apply for you). Membership is usually on an annual basis. Note that it might take a few weeks to process your membership, so don’t register the night before you fly off!

Text: Eugenia Liew / MoneySmart
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