Welcome back to another episode of me trying to share something technical without going in-depth. Haha! (*/ω\) This time, it’s all about the amazing airport lounges! If you think you need to pay to use these lounges and this post will be irrelevant to you, hold your horses! You can actually get complimentary lounge access with the right credit cards! Curious yet? Come along for the ride as I share my experience of how these lounges can make your trip so much better! ⸜(*ˊᗜˋ*)⸝

My First Airport Lounge Experience

The first time we got lounge access was so aeons ago, during our first trip to Bali. Back then, when we didn’t make our bookings and reservations, hubs and I always tried to look for the best deals through travel agencies. While planning a trip to Alila Villas Uluwatu, we got a package with Qatar Airways Business Class, which naturally gave us lounge access! We couldn’t be happier with the whole experience, feeling like we were some VIPs in the airport (self-imagined). LOL. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

That was how I got my first airport lounge experience. I don’t remember much of it, but I am sure we were in awe, considering it was our first time flying Business Class and enjoying such a luxurious experience. Putting aside the Business Class, you can enjoy the luxurious airport lounge if you get the right credit cards!

Since we have checked off “Travelling by Business Class” on our bucket list, we were hoping that we would be able to fly First Class one day. A girl can only dream, eh? So, with this goal in mind, hubs started to do some research and eventually got himself a card so that we could earn miles with it. And that card came with a Priority Pass, which gives him complimentary lounge access worldwide. NICE! (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ Since then, we have been privileged to visit several lounges around Asia. (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

When I Started having a Card that Offers Complimentary Lounge Access

You are not wrong if you think all my experiences are from our leisure trips. But I, too, got myself a card that offers lounge access to have a better travel experience when I have to travel for work alone. Initially, I didn’t think I needed it, especially when flying from Singapore’s Changi Airport. There is never a lack of cafes, restaurants or even seats in the transit area, so I could always find a spot to chill before the flight. As such, having lounge access has never crossed my mind.

But the real issue came when I was coming back to Singapore. I always struggled to find a nice place to chill before the flight. Even if I found a spot for a quick meal before the flight, I always worried about my belongings while grabbing a bite. It just seemed like I could never have a moment when I didn’t need to worry. The stress and anxiety were getting to me, making every trip all the more tiring as I travelled more. ٩(× ×)۶ That was when hubs suggested I also get a card with lounge access. And since then, travelling alone has been much more stress-free.

Immediately after clearing immigration, I could go directly to the airport lounge, sit in a quiet corner, and plop myself down. Then, I could grab complimentary snacks and drinks while enjoying the complimentary Wi-Fi to catch up on some work or chill. I hesitated to leave my belongings around. But after realising that everyone in the lounge was doing the same thing, I followed suit, and it was so liberating. Haha! ( ´ ω ` )

Why You Should Have a Card with Lounge Access

You’re mistaken if you think lounge access is only good for solo travellers. I have seen people with families accessing it, and they couldn’t be happier about it. Imagine travelling with your kids and navigating the big and crowded airport to find a space to grab a bite or chill before your flight. Been there, done that! But it was with my parents instead of kids, so in comparison, they were more patient with us. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Since it was a short flight, we didn’t use our complimentary lounge access. After some scrambling around, we sat in the waiting area, as we couldn’t find anywhere nice to chill before our flight. (´-ω-`) Luckily, my parents were understanding. But it wasn’t the most comfortable experience I wanted to give my parents. So, for our Bangkok trip together, we decided to take this chance to bring them to the airport lounge before our flight. Not only did they enjoy the food there, but they had a great time just chilling before we headed to our gate for boarding. (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

Since I have the card, I won’t be as anxious before flying home on a solo trip. I could chill until it was almost time for boarding before going to the gate. To me, it was a life-changing experience. And for times when we travel with our parents, we no longer need to worry about where to go before our flight; we head straight to the lounge to chill and eat! If my experiences apply to you, I recommend you get a card with complimentary lounge access! It would totally change your whole travel experience, be it travelling alone or with your family. (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

Credit Cards and Lounge Access

Okay, we have come to the part where I share about the cards that come with complimentary lounge access. Yay! I will share the three cards that hubs and I use: Citi PremierMiles, Citi Prestige and the DBS Altitude Visa Signature cards.

Many cards offer complimentary lounge access, but we have applied these cards based on our income and preferred banks. I wouldn’t be touching on other cards as so many websites out there have a ton of such information if you want to compare them. So, I will leave it to you to read about them if you want to learn more. ( ´ ω ` )

Number of Complimentary Lounge Visits

Both the DBS Altitude Visa Signature and Citi PremierMiles cards come with a complimentary Priority Pass membership that includes two lounge visits per year. On the other hand, the Citi Prestige card comes with unlimited Priority Pass visits. Since the Citi Prestige card offers unlimited visits, as long as the airport has a lounge that partners with Priority Pass, we can visit it. Because of this, I hardly used my DBS Altitude Visa Signature card, except when we travel with our parents. You will know why later.

When Does the Complimentary Lounge Access Get Refreshed?

Before sharing how we used our lounge access, let me briefly explain how the number of complimentary visits works. If you have a card that gives you two lounge visits per year, you can use it twice yearly. If you are a solo traveller, you can use one lounge visit per trip. But if you intend to bring someone to the lounge, that person will use the second lounge access. This also means that two lounge visits would be used up in one trip if you are a couple with only one card. It’s as simple as that.

Then, you would be wondering when the complimentary lounge access gets refreshed so that you can plan around your visits. Most cards get refreshed on your membership date, with some refreshed every calendar year. For example, I got my Priority Pass on 8 August. That means my lounge access gets refreshed every year on 8 August. And if I don’t use up the previous year’s lounge access, those get forfeited.

So, if you hold a card with a limited number of visits, you might want to strategise how to use the lounge access when you travel. If the above is too complicated, I will use my experience as the case study to better understand how the complimentary lounge access works. (>ᴗ•)

How We Used Our Complimentary Lounge Access as a Couple

Before hubs got the Citi Prestige card, we each got one card with two complimentary lounge visits on our Priority Pass. This meant that we had four complimentary visits to use for the year. If we fly twice a year, we could each use our Priority Pass for lounge access. Alternatively, hubs could use his to bring me in on the first trip while I used mine to bring him in on the second. Either way, we would use up the two lounge visits on each Priority Pass in this manner.

Singapore’s Changi Airport has so many amazing facilities that using the lounge access would be such a waste for us. So, considering our limited number of visits, we chose to use the complimentary visits only on our return flight. But now that hubs have the Citi Prestige card with unlimited access, we never hesitate to use it, even in Singapore. Haha! (*/ω\)

We could walk into one lounge, and if it sucks, we leave right away. Interestingly, this only happened once, and it happened in Singapore! You would have thought Singapore’s airport lounge would be amazing. But for some reason, this specific lounge sucks, and the Plaza Premium lounge was full. So, we ended up chilling at Burger King instead. Oh, what a day. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Things Worth Mentioning

Lounge Programme Offered by Each Card

I am sharing my experience based on the three cards we have. Coincidentally, these three cards offer access to Priority Pass lounges. Since there are many lounges under the Priority Pass, you will never fail to find one that suits you if you get a card that has a membership with them. However, note that not all cards offer a membership under Priority Pass. So before you apply for a card, remember to check which lounge programme they partner with and what lounges they offer access to in the programme. ( ´ ω ` )

Annual Fee Waiver and Miles

It is worth noting that I have never failed to waive my annual fee for my DBS Altitude Visa Signature card. The same goes for hubs for his cards as well. What they do is that every renewal year, they will give you a certain amount of miles. If you decide to do a card waiver, they usually use the miles to “pay off” the annual fee. But if you intend to keep the miles, you must decide whether paying the annual fee for the miles they give you is worth it. There are no two ways to this, at least to our knowledge. (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

What You Should Take Note of When Travelling as a Family

As mentioned, I brought my parents to the airport lounge when we visited Bangkok in November 2023. I used up the two lounge visits on my card when I got my mum in with me, while hubs used his unlimited access to bring my dad. Then, in January 2024, we brought my in-laws to Taiwan. But by then, my complimentary lounge visits had not yet been refreshed on my Priority Pass. As such, we couldn’t bring them to the lounge.

So, if you are travelling as a family and want to use the lounge, you and your partner should each have a Priority Pass. That way, each of you can bring a guest in with you, using up the four complimentary visits in one trip. But that also means you can’t use it for another trip until it refreshes! So, keep that in mind if you plan to visit the lounge every time you fly!

Do Your Homework Before Going to the Lounge

Always do your homework to decide which lounge to visit before you are there. Unless you have unlimited access as we do, you never want to waste your visit to a lounge that sucks. The one we visited in Singapore looked quite alright in the Priority Pass website photos. But in actuality, the whole experience sucks so much that we stepped out after about 5 minutes in there. There was hardly any air-conditioning and any food on the table! It was definitely not a place we wanted to be to wait for our flight.

So, ideally, look for real reviews to find out what the lounge looks like and what you can expect from the place. Some important things to us are the lounge setup and food quality. Those with seats in a quiet corner are the best so we can chill in peace before our flight. ( ´ ω ` ) I will start writing about some of the lounges we have visited in the future! So make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter to keep yourself updated with my latest posts!

Quick Look at What Each Credit Card Offers

Now that I have covered most of what I wanted to share, I will include a quick summary of each card’s offerings and the minimum annual income required before you can apply for it.

Final Thoughts on Lounge Access

So, there you have it, my friend! You are now armed with the knowledge to unlock those sweet, sweet, complimentary visits to the airport lounges. Remember, whether you are flying solo or with your crew, a credit card with lounge access can transform your airport experience from “ugh” to “ahhh~.”

Now, ditch the airport stress and anxiety! Gear up, research, and find the card that best suits your travel needs. Remember, comfort, good eats, and a peaceful pre-flight haven await! Stay tuned for future posts where I’ll be spilling the tea on some of the lounges we’ve visited in Asia! ⸜(*ˊᗜˋ*)⸝

What Credit Cards to Apply

Since I have shared about the Citi PremierMiles and DBS Altitude Visa Signature cards in my post, let me share with you the available promotions and how you can sign up for these cards below! (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

Citi PremierMiles Card – SingSaver Promotion (click to expand)

WHO IS ELIGIBLE
  • Minimum Annual Income: S$30,000
  • Minimum Age: 21
PROMOTION DETAILS & CRITERIA
  1. Promotion Period: Until 9 June 2024
  2. Promotion Rewards (Choose ONE):
    • Dyson Supersonic (worth S$699)
    • Dyson Micro 1.5kg Vacuum (worth S$599)
    • Apple iPad 10th Gen 10.9 wifi 64GB (worth S$529)
    • S$450 eCapitaVoucher
  3. The promotion is only valid for new Citibank card members.
  4. Click HERE for the full Terms and Conditions.
IMPORTANT NOTES

I have extracted some important pointers from the Terms and Conditions that you MUST do to ensure that you can get the promotion rewards without a hitch:

  1. Start and submit the card application during the Promotion Period
  2. You MUST complete and submit the SingSaver Rewards Redemption Form (which will be sent to the email address you used to create the SingSaver account) within 14 days of card application. Failing to do so will disqualify you from receiving your reward. So make sure to check your spam folder as well!
  3. All cardholders must activate and spend a minimum of S$500 within 30 days of card approval.
  4. Successful applicants must ensure that their credit card is valid and in good standing (not cancelled or blocked) at the point of gift fulfilment and must retain and not cancel it for a period of 12 months from the date of approval.
  5. The reward may be retracted or cancelled if the card is cancelled before this 12-month period.
  6. The redemption process for the rewards may take at least four months from the end of the Promotion Period, depending on the actual situation regarding approval for Eligible Products, transaction status, or other factors that may affect eligibility for the Promotion Reward and are outside of SingSaver’s control.

DBS Altitude Visa Signature – DBS Promotion (click to expand)

WHO IS ELIGIBLE
  • Minimum Annual Income: S$30,000
  • Minimum Age: 21
DBS PROMOTION DETAILS & CRITERIA
  1. Promotion Period: Until 15 July 2024
  2. Promotion Reward Options:
    • Option 1: Get up to 53,000 miles with promo code ALTV53
    • Option 2: Get up to 43,000 miles with promo code ALTVW43
    • Bonus Miles with S$3,000 minimum spend: 36,400 miles
    • Annual Fee Bonus miles (for option 1): 10,000 miles
  3. The promotion is only valid for new DBS credit card members.
  4. Click HERE for the full Terms and Conditions.
IMPORTANT NOTES

Anyway, I have extracted some important pointers from DBS’ Terms and Conditions that you MUST do to ensure that you can get the promotion rewards without a hitch:

  1. Start and submit the card application during the Promotion Period.
  2. Complete and submit the SingSaver Rewards Redemption Form (which will be sent to the email address you used to create the SingSaver account) within 14 days of card application. Make sure to check your spam folder as well!
  3. To earn the bonus miles, you must spend a minimum of S$3,000 within 60 days of card approval
  4. For Promotion Reward Option 1 (up to 53,000 miles), you must pay your first-year card annual fee for the Annual Fee Bonus
  5. Bonus miles will be credited to your card’s account within 3-5 months from meeting the minimum S$3,000 qualifying spend, provided you have fulfilled all the criteria.

Spread the Love!

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Useful Travel Resources

Pack your wanderlust, and let’s set sail! I have prepared the following travel resources that you might find helpful to fuel your next adventure. This section will be ever-growing, and if you think there is anything that you want me to add to this list, drop me a message to let me know! ⸜( *ˊᵕˋ* )⸝

BEST Cards to Use for Your Overseas Spending
Want to enjoy seamless spending overseas without the pesky fees? Check out my post on the best cards to bring overseas—the Trust Bank and YouTrip cards!

A Guide to Using Your Multicurrency Cards for Overseas Cash Withdrawal
Feeling stressed about using foreign ATMs? Let me help you navigate overseas ATMs with ease as I share my experience using my Trust Bank and YouTrip cards for overseas cash withdrawals—examples included!

Tips on Packing for 10 – 20 Degrees Celsius Weather
Winter packing woes got you stressed? My guide will turn your “Gaaaah!” into a smooth vacay in 10 to 20 degrees Celsius weather!



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