The Best Airport Lounge Access Credit Cards in Canada

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The demand for the best airport lounge access credit cards in Canada has increased significantly over the years. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise as many travellers are starting to realize how relaxing it is to have access to a comfortable space with food and drinks before you travel.

Admittedly, airports have made significant improvements during the pandemic and now have more dining options and areas to relax, but you’re still dealing with crowds. To escape this chaotic environment, you can head into airport lounges. The problem is, to access these lounges, you would normally need airline status, be flying business, or pay a yearly membership fee and/or an entrance fee.

However, if you have an airport lounge access credit card, you’ll get unlimited access or a few passes to select lounges every year. Here’s a list of the best credit cards with lounge access in Canada.

CardLounge visitsAnnual Fee
American Express Platinum CardUnlimited$699
American Express Business PlatinumUnlimited$499
American Express Aeroplan ReserveUnlimited$599
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite PrivilegeUnlimited MLL, 6 Dragonpass$599
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite6 Dragonpass$139
American Express Gold Rewards Card4 Plaza Premium$250
BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®*4 Dragonpass$150 - FYF
CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card4 Dragonpass$120
National Bank World Elite MastercardUnlimited to the National Bank Lounge$150

American Express Platinum Card

  • $699 annual fee until Sept. 26, 2023
  • Earn 90,000 Membership Rewards points when spending $7,500 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining, 2 points on travel, and 1 point on all other purchases
  • $200 annual travel credit
  • Unlimited airport lounge access
  • Hotel status upgrades

When looking at the best airport lounge access credit cards in Canada, the first one you need to consider is the American Express Platinum Card. With this card, you and a guest get unlimited access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection. That’s more than 1,200 lounges in 130+ countries you can visit. Generally, just about every major airport in the world will have a lounge that you can access with your Platinum Card.

The one downside is that the annual fee of the Platinum card is quite high at $699. However, you do get an annual travel credit of $200, so that effectively makes your annual fee just $499. You also get a generous welcome bonus, higher loyalty status with Marriott Bonvoy, and great travel insurance. I personally never travel without this card. Note that you can get an increased welcome offer when signing up with a referral link.

American Express Business Platinum Card

  • $499 annual fee ($799 as of Sept. 26, 2023)
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points when spending $10,000 in the first 3 months. Must use a referral link
  • Earn 1.25 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Unlimited airport lounge access
  • $200 annual travel credit (as of Sept. 26, 2023)
  • $120 annual wireless credit (as of Sept. 26, 2023)
  • $100 Nexual credit every 4 years (as of Sept. 26, 2023)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status

As the name implies, the American Express Business Platinum is the business card version of the Platinum card. The only real differences are the annual fee is lower at $499, you don’t get the annual $200 travel credit, and the earn rate is a flat 1.25 points per $1 spent. You and a guest still get unlimited lounge access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection.

What makes this card appealing over the consumer version is that the welcome bonus is typically higher. It’s often the highest one available in Canada. In addition, the American Express Membership Rewards points you earn are incredibly valuable as you can transfer them to Aeroplan and Marriott Bonvoy. Alternatively, you could use them on the American Express Fixed Travel Program, and this could allow you to increase the value of your points.

Some people will not apply for this card if they don’t have a business, but American Express rarely verifies the information you put on your application.

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card

  • $599 annual fee
  • Earn 7,500 points per month when spending $2,000 each month for 6 months
  • Earn 5,000 points each when adding additional users at the time of sign up (up to 10,000 points)
  • Earn 35,000 points per month when spending $6,000 between months 13 and 16
  • Earn 3 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on Air Canada, 2 points on dining and food delivery, and 1.25 points on all other purchases
  • Unlimited free access to Maple Leaf Lounges in North America for you and a guest
  • Free first checked bag, priority check-in and boarding on Air Canada

In my opinion, the best airport lounges in Canada are Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges and Air Canada Cafes. Normally these are only available to people flying in business class or have 50K Aeroplan status, but you and a guest can get unlimited access if you have the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card.

One thing to note is that you only get access to Maple Leaf Lounges in North America. In addition, you get a PriorityPass membership, but no free annual passes are provided. Some people prefer this card over other premium Aeroplan credit cards because you get a slightly higher earn rate and when you refer friends to this card, you get a 10,000 Aeroplan points bonus. The annual fee is $599.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card

  • $599 annual fee
  • Earn 20,000 Aeroplan points after your first purchase
  • Earn 50,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $7,500 in the first 180days
  • Earn 30,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $12,000 in the first year
  • Earn 2 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on Air Canada purchases, 1.5 points on gas, and groceries, and 1 point on all other purchases
  • First bag checked free, priority check-in & boarding on Air Canada flights
  • Maple Leaf Lounge access in North America
  • DragonPass airport lounge access + 6 free annual passes

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card is one of the best airport lounge access credit cards in Canada because you and a guest get unlimited access to Maple Leaf Lounges in North America. In addition, you get DragonPass lounge access + six free annual passes.

This card, along with the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege are the only credit cards with lounge access that give you access to Maple Leaf Lounge and the DragonPass network. This is incredibly convenient as you can use your lounge passes when there’s no Maple Leaf Lounge available. The obvious downside is that you only get six annual passes. The card also comes with an annual fee of $599.

If you travel a lot internationally, the Platinum Card is likely better for lounge access. But if you mainly travel domestically, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card and American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card should be your top choices.

Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

  • $150 annual fee
  • 25,000 Scene+ points when spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 10,000 points when spending $40,000 in the first year
  • Earn 3 Scene+ points per $1 spent at Empire owned supermarkets
  • Earn 2 Scene+ points per $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment, and daily transit purchases
  • Earn 1 Scene+ point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Visa Airport Companion Program membership + 6 passes per year
  • No foreign transaction fees

Many of the best credit cards with lounge access come with high fees since you get unlimited access. However, if you’re looking for a flexible travel card with an annual fee of just $150, you should consider the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card. Not only do you get six annual lounge passes that are good for any lounge in the Visa Airport Companion Program (DragonPass). In addition, the card has no foreign exchange fees.

Only this card, and the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Business Card give you airport lounge access and no foreign transaction fees, so it’s not hard to see why they’re popular.

American Express Gold Rewards Card

  • $250 annual fee
  • Earn 5,000 Membership Rewards points when spending $1,000 each month for 12 months (60,000 points total)
  • Earn 10,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on grocery, gas, pharmacy, and travel purchases
  • Earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • $100 Annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass Membership + 4 annual Plaza Premium passes

When the American Express Gold Rewards Card was refreshed, they specifically added four free annual passes to Plaza Premium lounges. This was relevant because, at the time, Plaza Premium had pulled out of its agreement with Visa. That meant cardholders couldn’t use their passes at Plaza Premium lounges anymore. The problem was that most lounges in Canada were Plaza Premium, so cardholders found it difficult to use their passes.

About a year after the change, Visa switched to DragonPass, which restored access to Plaza Premium, so now everything is back to normal.

The question is, why would you choose the American Express Gold Rewards Card over others that give you more free annual passes? Simply put, Membership Rewards are more valuable than Scene+. Over the course of a year, the points you earn will likely be worth more than the two lounge passes you didn’t get.

BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®*

  • $150 Annual fee – First year free*
  • Get 30,000 BMO Rewards points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, and 2,500 points for each subsequent month in which you make at least $2,000 in purchases on your card, for 12 months
  • Earn 5 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on travel
  • Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on dining, entertainment, and recurring bills
  • Earn 1 BMO Rewards point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass, plus 4 annual passes

The BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®* comes with four free airport lounge passes, and the annual fee is waived for the first year, so you check out some lounges for free. Your earn rate is 5 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on travel; 2 points on dining, entertainment, and recurring bills; and 1 point for all other purchases. While that may seem appealing, 1 BMO Rewards point is worth just .67 cents, so the overall earn rate is not the best. That said, it’s still one of the best BMO credit cards.

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card

  • $139 annual fee – First year free
  • 15,000 Aventura points when you make your first purchase
  • 20,000 Aventura points when you spend $3,000 in the first 4 months
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on CIBC travel
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on gas, grocery, and drug store purchases
  • Earn 1 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Visa Airport Companion Program membership and 4 free annual passes

Many people forget that the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card is one of the best airport lounge access credit cards in Canada. Not only do you get four free annual airport lounge passes to the DragonPass network, but you also get a rebate on your NEXUS membership. What’s interesting is that this card typically has a rebate on the annual fee for the first year. That means you can get airport lounge access for a year without having to pay an annual fee.

National Bank World Elite Mastercard

  • $150 annual fee
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on grocery and restaurant purchases up to $2,500 per month. Then earn 2 points per $1 spent
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on gas, electric vehicle charging, recurring bills and à la carte Travel
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Unlimited access to National Bank Lounge at Montreal-Trudeau airport
  • Annual $150 travel credit

If you’re based out of Montreal and fly internationally frequently, then you’ll want to consider the National Bank World Elite Mastercard since it gives you and a guest, and up to two children under thage age of 12, unlimited access to the National Bank Lounge. Since this lounge is considered the best in YUL and you can bring two children and a guest with you, the National Bank World Elite Mastercard is a great choice. The Montreal airport has a Maple Leaf Lounge, but no lounge is available via the American Express Global Lounge Collection.

What is airport lounge access?

An airport lounge is a separate space from the airport’s common areas that allows passengers to relax. Every major airport will typically have at least one lounge per terminal, but international hubs usually have multiple lounges. In addition, airlines will often have their own lounges located in major airports.

With airports becoming more crowded and delays more common, airport lounges have become increasingly popular as travellers are looking to escape and relax while at the airport. Fortunately, airport lounges have realized that there’s a vast market, and they’ve increased their services to include the following:

  • Hot and cold food
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Snacks (chips, fruit, yogurt, etc.)
  • High speed internet
  • Business centre (computers and printers)
  • Flight information
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Beds
  • Showers
  • Outdoor lounge areas

Not every lounge will include all of the above. Generally speaking, airline lounges will offer the most amenities since they cater to their top customers. That said, pay-per-use lounges that are part of an airport lounge network will still offer decent amenities. If you plan on paying to enter a lounge, research them first.

Most lounges are open from 5am to 10pm. However, some premium lounges are also available 24 hours a day. When entering a lounge, you’re typically only allowed to stay three hours, but no one is going around checking. In other words, you could stay there as long as you like without being questioned. However, you’re only allowed to enter Maple Leaf Lounges three hours before your scheduled departure flight.

Types of airport lounge networks

One confusing thing about airport lounges is that there are different networks. Airline lounges are usually the best, but they’re only located in certain hubs. There are also some networks that give you access to hundreds of lounges, but since each type of lounge is different, you need to know the differences. How you like to travel could determine which network of lounges you can access.

Maple Leaf lounges and airlines specific lounges 

Most major international airlines have their own lounges at their hubs and most frequented destinations. Air Canada owns the Maple Leaf lounges that you can visit in 11 Canadian cities as well as New York, Paris, London, Frankfurt, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Note that if you’re flying business on a Star Alliance partner, you can access any of their lounges with your boarding pass.

American Express Global Lounge Collection

American Express has multiple airport lounge network agreements in place, so you’ll have access to a lounge at just about any airport in the world. In addition, American Express Platinum cardholders and Centurion members get access to Centurion Lounges. They’re considered some of the best lounges in the world since they include showers, upscale cuisine and family rooms. Generally speaking, if you have access to an American Express airport lounge, you should choose it as it’s almost guaranteed to be better than anything else.

Plaza Premium

Think of Plaza Premium as a brand of airport lounges. They have hundreds of lounges around the world and operate most of the lounges found in Canadian Airports. Plaza Premium lounges are also part of larger networks, such as Dragon Pass. If you don’t hold one of the best airport lounge access credit cards, you can usually buy access for about CA$50.

DragonPass

DragonPass is arguably the most popular airport lounge network in Canada. Most of the best credit cards with lounge access in Canada provide a DragonPass membership as part of the Visa Airport Companion Program. This is important since DragonPass is partnered with Plaza Premium, which operates most airport lounges in Canada. 

Priority Pass

Priority Pass is a club that gives its members access to airport lounges worldwide. Members pay an annual membership fee, and depending on membership level, they get several free passes or pay a reduced fee for each entrance. As mentioned earlier, Plaza Premium briefly split with Priority Pass. However, the agreement is now back in place. That effectively means that DragonPass and Priority Pass are very similar

Mastercard Airport Experience by LoungeKey 

Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey grants access to about 1,000 airport lounges. Since they’re partnered with Dragon Pass, you’ll have access to any of their lounges. Note that all World Elite Mastercards in Canada will give you access to Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey, but not all of them give you free passes

Visa Airport Companion

Visa Airport Companion is pretty much identical to Mastercard Airport Experience by LoungeKey, but it’s for Visa Infinite and Visa Infinite Privilege cardholders. Like LongeKey, you’ll need to purchase passes if you don’t have one of the best credit cards with lounge access. Visa Airport Companion is also partnered with DragonPass.

How to get airport lounge access

There are multiple ways to access airport lounges. Some ways will come with a fee, while others can be free. Keep in mind that some lounges have different entry requirements than others, so you need to check the details for any lounge you’re interested in.

Get a membership 

Many airport lounge networks allow you to purchase a membership. There will be a basic tier that gives you access to the lounges within their network for a fee for every visit. If you get a higher tier membership, you’ll get free or unlimited lounge visits.

Credit card lounge access 

Listed above are the best credit cards for airport lounge access. By presenting your card or app, you can use one of your available lounge passes. Note that if you have a card that gives you unlimited lounge access, you may still need to register for the airport lounge networks first.

Buy a day pass 

Some airport lounges allow you to buy a day pass, even if you don’t have a membership. The cost for entry is typically between US$32 – $50. While that may seem high, don’t forget you get a lot of amenities included, so it could be worth it

Fly business

If you have a business class ticket, lounge access is almost always included. The lounge you would get access to would be with the airline you’re flying or one of its partners. For example, if you’re flying with Air Canada, you would get access to their Maple Leaf Lounges in Canada. But let’s say you’re flying home from Germany on Air Canada; you’d get access to the Lufthansa lounge since they’re a Star Alliance partner.

Airline status

For those that are frequent flyers and have accumulated status, you’ll be entitled to airport lounge access with the airline. Generally speaking, lower-tier status holders will just get a few free passes a year. Once you get to the higher tiers of any loyalty programs, you’ll start getting better benefits such as unlimited airport lounge access.

Guest passes

If you don’t have any credit cards with lounge access, the only other way to get into one is with a guest pass. Guest passes are sometimes provided by airlines if there’s a delay. You can also be given an airport lounge access guest pass from someone that has status. What’s good about these passes is that they’re transferable, but can only be used once.

How to choose a credit card with lounge access

As you’ve seen above, there are a lot of credit cards with lounge access and many airport lounge networks to choose from. While this gives you more options, it may confuse some people as they won’t know which card to choose. If you’re struggling with your decision, consider the following:

Travel frequency

How often you travel should be your top consideration when debating between the best credit cards with airport lounge access in Canada. If you’re a frequent traveller, then getting a card that gives you unlimited lounge access is likely your best bet. That’s because you’ll constantly be using lounges. In addition, some of the premium cards also give you benefits such as priority services and free checked bags, which are also useful perks.

Type of traveller

Think about the way you travel. Do you travel with one specific airline? What are the airports you fly out of the most? Do you travel a lot? Based on these answers, you can choose a credit card and lounge network that’s best suited for you. For example, Maple Leaf Lounges are excellent, but they’re mainly available in Canadian airports. If you’re a frequent international traveller, you may be better off with a card that gives you access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection.

Value over the annual fee

So far I’ve been talking about frequent travellers, but casual travellers can take advantage of lounge access too. If the lounge passes you’re provided with your credit card are worth more than the annual fee you’re paying for your credit card, then you’re coming out ahead. For example, a Dragon Pass membership is usually US$99, with each individual pass costing US$32. Well, if a credit card gives you six annual passes, you’re getting a yearly value of US$291, which is more than the annual fee that many credit cards charge. Best of all, those passes can be shared with people travelling with you.

Overall benefits

The best credit cards with lounge access in Canada will come with additional benefits that you may find valuable. Some other perks you should look out for include no foreign exchange fees, travel insurance, mobile device insurance, free checked bags, and priority services. If the lounge access provided by two cards is similar, then look at the additional benefits to come to a decision.

Are guests allowed with an airport lounge access credit card?

The number of guests you’re allowed depends on the card you have. Generally, those with unlimited lounge access allow you to bring a guest. If you have a credit that only gives you a set number of passes, you’d have to use one pass for each person. In addition, the primary cardholder needs to be travelling with the group since they have the actual membership. Guests under the age of two are usually allowed in for free.

If you’re a family of four, you likely will want two credit cards that give you lounge access. This will allow each parent to use their +1 or passes on one of the children. My wife and I both have the American Express Platinum Card, so our daughter can always get into the lounges with no issues.

Are airport lounges worth it?

I personally think airport lounges are worth it. If you were to buy food and drinks at an airport, it can cost you quite a bit. With airport lounge access, you get it for free, and access to comfortable seats. I would argue that the private space is worth the price of admission alone. When in an airport lounge, there’s less of a worry of your stuff being stolen or left behind when you get up to get a snack. For those on a long layover, airport lounges can be a saving grace since they’ll allow you to rest for a bit.

More importantly, credit cards with lounge access allow you to access lounges for free. Yes, you have to pay an annual fee for the cards, but you’ll almost always get more value out of the lounge access than what you’re paying each year.

That said, note that if you have one of the best credit cards with lounge access in Canada, you get the lowest priority. During busy seasons, it’s not uncommon for lounges to not allow people in if they only have access with a credit card. They’ll always prioritize their business customers and those paying to enter.

How to use your airport lounge access credit card

If you’re new to airport lounge access credit cards in Canada, you would do the following:

  1. Sign up for one of the above credit cards.
  2. Download the Visa Airport Companion app, Mastercard Airport Experiences app, Priority Pass app etc.
  3. Enter your credit card details, and your lounge passes will appear in the app.
  4. At the airport, check your app to see if there’s a lounge where you can use your passes.
  5. When at the lounge, present your boarding pass and lounge pass. If you have an eligible American Express card, you may only need to show your physical credit card and boarding pass. Any guest with you must also have a valid boarding pass.
  6. Enter the lounge and take advantage of any amenities. Note that some amenities need to be booked when you arrive, such as the shower.

How to maximize credit cards with lounge access

Using credit cards with airport lounge access is easy, but there are a few tips you can use to maximize your return. This is especially important if you’re travelling with your family and friends.

Add a supplementary user

Adding a supplementary user to a credit card with lounge access will usually give that person access to lounges too. You’d essentially be able to share your lounge access without the primary cardholder being present. If your card gives you unlimited access to lounges, then the supplementary user would usually also get unlimited access. However, if your card gives you only six free passes, you’d be sharing it between both cardholders. 

Get multiple cards

Frequent travellers should consider getting multiple cards with lounge access. For example, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege card gives you unlimited access to Maple Leaf Lounges in North America and six DragonPass visits. If you also get the American Express Platinum Card, you’ll get access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection. If your home airport has a Maple Leaf Lounge, you could use that when departing. When you’re at any other airport, you can use what’s available from American Express. While this may sound like overkill, the comfort level is worth it.

Get a card for your spouse

Instead of getting a supplementary card for your spouse, have them apply for their own card. This would effectively double the amount of lounge visits you get access to. This strategy is mostly relevant when you’re travelling with kids. Six lounge passes might not last long, but 12 go a lot further. Even two cards with unlimited lounge access is reasonable since you would each get a +1. That’s ideal for families with two children that travel frequently. 

Lounge hop

If you have unlimited lounge access, and you’re in an airport with multiple lounges, there’s no reason you shouldn’t try to visit more than one lounge. While this may seem excessive, each lounge is different. One lounge may have better food than the other, while the other one may have a better area to rest. Some lounges may also have showers.

Use your restaurant credits

Some lounge networks (mainly Priority Pass) give you restaurant credits at select airports. You’d basically be exchanging one lounge pass for this perk. These credits can be great for those who have unlimited lounge access since they can get some food a la carte. Note that American Express Global Lounge Collection members do not get this perk. 

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

34 Comments

  1. […] Priority Pass Membership with unlimited free entries […]

  2. Ryan on February 26, 2019 at 1:20 AM

    Awesome info…. very useful. Thank you for taking the time to do this. I just made up my mind!

  3. Navi on March 18, 2019 at 9:21 AM

    Thanks for the info. Does the MBNA world Elite also offer this?

    • Barry Choi on March 18, 2019 at 9:29 AM

      Navi,

      No, the MBNA world Elite cards do not give you free lounge access.

  4. Zanne on April 13, 2019 at 12:35 PM

    BMO World Elite is down to 2 passes a year as of March 1, 2019. They keep whittling down the benefits.

    • Barry Choi on April 13, 2019 at 5:27 PM

      Zanne,

      You might be mixing up the two BMO World Elite cards. The BMO World Elite card comes with 4 annual lounge passes whereas the BMO Air Miles World Elite card has just 2 annual passes.

  5. Victor on April 27, 2019 at 11:02 AM

    Which one would you recommend? I currently have the BMO World Elite Mastercard and am happy with it till I heard of the Scotiabank Passport VISA. We are a party of three that travels twice a year. 6 passes versus 4 seems a no brainer but am anxious about value of the rewards. BMO is 3 points = $1 versus Scotiabank 1 point = $1 as we don’t usually use our credit cards abroad. If possible, we usually pay with cash except for things that needs extra protection like local tours, airline tickets etc.

    • Barry Choi on April 27, 2019 at 7:33 PM

      Victor,

      The BMO World elite Mastercard is decent but keep in mind that 3 ponts per $1 spent is only 2.4% return since it takes 140 BMO points to claim $1 in travel. I personally prefer the Scotiabank card because it comes with more passes and has no forex fees.

      Using the Scotiabank card abroad as opposed to cash would save you money on the exchange rate. The BMO card charges a 2.5% fee for anything charged in a foreign currency.

    • bgates on March 10, 2020 at 10:49 AM

      get the amex hilton @ 95 year, 10 free passes including guests.

      • Dyanne on April 29, 2022 at 10:38 AM

        I think you have to have an American address for the Hilton card?

        • Barry Choi on April 29, 2022 at 10:48 AM

          Dyanne,

          That’s right, the Hilton Card is an American Card so it’s not easy for Canadians to get.

  6. Victor on April 27, 2019 at 9:03 PM

    Thanks Barry!

  7. Manny on June 5, 2019 at 12:36 PM

    Hey Barry,

    When you mention things like “Priority Pass + 4 annual passes”.. What do you mean by 4 annual passes?
    Does that mean you are just allowed to enter a lounge worldwide 4 times a year? Lets say If I travel from Canada-London-Dubai & I gain access to the Lounge in Canada, and London. Does that mean I can only do that 1 more time during the entire year?

    Please clear this up, Thanks!

    • Barry Choi on June 5, 2019 at 12:40 PM

      Manny,

      That’s correct, each lounge visit would use up one of your passes.

  8. Will on June 26, 2019 at 4:03 PM

    You’re wrong about the Scotiabank Passport Infinite Visa being the only credit card that comes with no foreign exchange fees. The Home Trust Preferred Visa offers this, and it comes with no annual fee.

    • Barry Choi on June 26, 2019 at 4:06 PM

      Will,

      The Scotiabank Passport Infinite Visa card is the only credit card with no forex fees AND lounge access.

  9. Mako on June 28, 2019 at 4:42 AM

    Hey Barry I seriously appreciate all the info about each card. this is sooo great and soo useful to know and refer to. quick question. My Credit Card is with Vancity right now and I am almost done paying it. i was thinking of closing the account as soon as its paid off. what credit card would you recommend i go with? we’re a family of 3 and me and my wife also have a joint Credit card with RBC. we usually travel 1-2 times a year but next year were traveling 3 times. Thanks again.

    • Barry Choi on June 28, 2019 at 1:26 PM

      Hi Mako,

      Picking the right credit card has so many variables. You need to ask yourself the following first.

      Do you want a cash back or travel rewards credit card?
      How much do you charge to your credit card on average each month?
      Where do you do the majority of your spending? e.g. which grocery store?

      Once you’ve answered the above, I can try to help you narrow down your choices.

      With credit cards, you should never be holding a balance as the interest charges you pay will not be worth the rewards you get.
      When you travel, do you use one specific airline or hotel chain?

  10. Andrew on August 10, 2019 at 9:45 AM

    with the BMO World Elite, do you have to book your flight on the card to be able to use the lounge access? I have an AMEX Marriot Bonvoy that does not come with lounge access, leaving next month for my honeymoon and would really love to be able to access a lounge prior to departure.

    • Barry Choi on August 10, 2019 at 10:52 AM

      ANdrew,

      No, you don’t need to pay for your flights with the BMOWEMC to get access to the lounges.

  11. Amisha Patel on August 13, 2019 at 9:31 AM

    what is the difference between mastercard loungekey access / to the passes? I am looking for a new card- i already have the TD visa travel- and therefore looking for a mastercard now.

    • Barry Choi on August 13, 2019 at 4:56 PM

      Amisha,

      Mastercard loungekey access is your membership whereas the passes are when get you in for free. Mastercard loungekey access is similar to having a PriorityPass memberhsip as most of the lounges are the same.

      If you want a Mastercard with lounge access, take a look at the BMO World Elite Mastercard.

  12. Amisha Patel on August 14, 2019 at 12:26 PM

    the priority pass membership is a fee- and also comes with passes- or do we get a discounted rate to buy the passes as we have the membership?

    • Barry Choi on August 14, 2019 at 7:54 PM

      AMisha,

      The cards listed on this post give you a free PriorityPass Membership as well as as a few lounge passes (The Amex Platinum gives you unlimited access). Once you run out of lounge passes, you pay the “discounted” price of $32USD per visit.

  13. Dicky on September 8, 2019 at 6:38 AM

    Does TD Visa Infinite card give free access to any airport lounges, especially the airport lounges at European and Asian international airports?

    • Barry Choi on September 8, 2019 at 7:19 AM

      Dicky,

      That card doesn’t have any lounge access.

  14. Angela on October 6, 2019 at 9:35 PM

    Hi, thanks for all your research. I will be traveling with my husband and two children overseas with long layovers and want to know if we can each use one of the 6 priority passes from the Scotia Bank Passport Infinite Visa or if the passes are just for the cardholder?
    Thanks.

    • Barry Choi on October 9, 2019 at 7:46 AM

      Angela,

      You can use one pass per person but the primary cardholder with the PriotiyPass membership must be present.

  15. Adrien Faucher on January 5, 2020 at 8:39 AM

    Hi,

    Does the RBC Avion visa infinite provide any lounge access?

  16. smayer97 on February 24, 2020 at 4:47 PM

    You did not mention the Rogers Bank World Elite Mastercard. It includes a LoungeKey membership. No free visits included so have to pay $32/visit/person and allows one guest. Best feature is that there is NO annual fee.

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