Imagine this: you’re about to take a 17 hour flight across the world… on an economy class seat.
You’d better hope you’re not sat in front of a fidgety kid kicking the back of your seat every 5 minutes, or beside the loudest snorer you’ve met in your life.
Not to fret, there’s still a way to experience a life of luxury before the flight. We’re talking hours of relaxation with Wi-Fi access, refreshments, shower facilities, even a fish spa!
And believe it or not, it won’t cost you anything extra. All you need is to have one of these credit cards.
Here are the best credit cards to get you into the best airport lounges in Singapore and across the globe.
1. Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature
Citibanks’s best air-miles card gets you a complimentary Priority Pass membership worth US$99, along with 2 complimentary passes every 12 months worth US$54.
As a Priority Pass member, you get access to over 700 VIP lounges in hundreds of cities worldwide. These include 11 lounges in Changi Airport alone, including The Haven by JetQuay and the SATS Premier Lounges in all three terminals. However, only two of those visits will be free each year. Your guest can use one of those two passes. All subsequent visits and guests will be charged at US$27 per guest, per visit.
2. DBS Altitude Visa Signature
Like the Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature, gets you a complimentary Priority Pass membership worth US$99, along with 2 complimentary passes every 12 months worth US$54.
As a Priority Pass member, you get access to over 700 VIP lounges in hundreds of cities worldwide. These include 11 lounges in Changi Airport, including the Airport Wellness Oasis in Terminal 1 and the Ambassador Transit Lounges in T2 and T3. However, only two of those visits will be free each year. All subsequent visits will be charged at US$27 per visit.
Like the Citibank card, you can share one complimentary passes with a guest, but only if you’re present too.
3. HSBC Visa Infinite
Like the Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature, the HSBC Visa Infinite also gets you a complimentary Priority Pass membership. Unlike the Citibank card, this membership is the Prestige Membership worth US$399. It gives you unlimited free access to all the 700 VIP lounges under Priority Pass. Not only that, but all your supplementary cardholders get Priority Pass’ Prestige Membership too. That’s an insane amount of luxury.
Of course, it needs to be said that the HSBC Visa Infinite card is targeted at high rollers and thus is by invitation only. Unlike other exclusive credit cards in Singapore though, the relatively low annual fee of $488 means it’s actually worth your time, especially if you already do private banking with HSBC.
4. American Express KrisFlyer Ascend
Amex’s flagship air-miles credit card surprisingly isn’t on the Priority Pass programme. However, they do give you complimentary access to the very cushy SATS Premier Lounge, located in all three terminals at Changi Airport, as well as 11 Plaza Premium Lounges all over the world including China, India, Canada, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Of course, it must be said that you only get 4 complimentary passes each year. That’s twice the number of complimentary passes as Citibank or DBS’s card, but considering the limited number of lounges, it seems like an unbalanced trade-off. Still, you will get to enjoy 30% off the walk-in entrance fee rates for selected lounges in Singapore, and 20% off the entrance fee rates for selected loungers overseas.
To be eligible for the Amex Krisflyer Ascend, you have to be earning $50,000 a year and the annual fee is $337.05.
5. ANZ Travel Visa Signature
Last but definitely not least, the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card gives you unlimited lounge access to all Style & Concierge – Veloce Lounges. There’s none of that complimentary pass nonsense. Just flash your ANZ Travel Visa Signature to enjoy the facilities.
In Singapore, you get access to the Airport Wellness Oasis in Terminal 1. That’s the one with the complimentary fish spa as well as other facilities to help you relax before and after a long haul flight. You also get access to the Ambassador Transit Lounge in Terminal 3, which provides bedrooms, a gym and a free-flow bar – if you’re willing to pay a little extra, of course.
By Peter Lin, MoneySmart, 25 May 2016