Canadian Credit Cards With Free Airport Lounge Access

Getting free access to airport lounges is one of the best ways for Canadian travelers to enhance their travel experience. And the best part is that it is actually pretty easy to get by having one of the credit cards in Canada with airport lounge access (that also come with welcome bonuses worth hundreds of dollars in free travel).

You can read our post about what it’s like in airport lounges, but in short: lounges are pretty awesome. I’ve taken advantage of these over a hundred times in the past 4 years and as a frequent traveler, I could not do without them ever again.

So here are the credit cards in Canada that give you free access to these airport lounges.

 

Credit card airport lounge access basics

 

Canadian credit cards with airport lounge benefits give you either:

  • free airport lounge visits
  • discounted airport lounge visits

In this post, we will not cover the discounted access options: we love free access… and we think you will too. With the right credit card strategy, you should never have to pay for an airport lounge visit.

So Canadian credit cards with free airport lounge access will give you either:

  • a set amount of annual passes (most cards)
  • unlimited access (a few premium cards)

The airport lounge included are either those who belong to:

  • networks of independent airport lounges (most cards)
  • a specific airline (a few premium cards)

The 2 airport lounge networks are:

  • Priority Pass (the world’s biggest)
  • LoungeKey (also called Mastercard Airport Experiences)

Both are extremely similar and include almost all the same lounges.

For the cards that give you access to a specific airline’s own lounge network, there is only one:

  • Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges

 

Which credit cards in Canada have free airport lounge access

So here are all the cards in Canada that currently allow you to access airport lounges for free, and we’ll soon have a detailed guide about each one, an easy-to-read summary table, and a comparison of the different lounge access programs.

 

The Platinum Card by American Express

  • Lounge access: unlimited for the cardholder and 1 guest
  • Lounge network: Priority Pass & Amex Global Lounge Collection
  • Free travel: ≈ –$94 (normally +$250)
  • Minimum income required: $0
  • More details coming soon

This is by far the #1 card for airport lounge access in Canada, and we both have it. It’s the only one with unlimited access to Priority Pass lounges and the Amex Global Lounge Collection, including for one guest.

It is also (usually) effectively free and has no minimum income requirement. But “usually” is the key word. Due to the pandemic, the welcome bonus has been slashed in half so we definitely do not recommend getting this card now, even though we love it and normally strongly recommend it if you travel a lot.

If you are interested in getting it for the unlimited lounge access (and many many other benefits), subscribe to our free travel rewards points newsletter so we can let you know as soon as the welcome bonus of 50,000 points (that makes lounge access effectively free the first year) is back.

 

Scotia Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

  • Annual airport lounge passes: 6
  • Lounge network: Priority Pass
  • Free travel: $171
  • Minimum income required: $60,000
  • More details coming soon
  • Apply through secure Scotia link

The Scotia Passport Visa Infinite is the best card for those who don’t want unlimited access, as it has 6 lounge passes and a welcome bonus worth $171 in free travel.

It is also one of the very few cards in Canada that does not charge the 2.5% foreign transaction fee.

 

BMO World Elite™* MasterCard®*

Priority Pass

  • Annual airport lounge passes: 4
  • Lounge network: LoungeKey
  • Free travel: $327
  • Minimum income required: $80,000
  • More details coming soon
  • Apply through secure BMO link

The BMO World Elite MasterCard gives you only 4 airport lounge passes but a nice welcome bonus worth $327 in free travel. So it is a good option if 4 passes are enough for you (instead of 6) and the $156 more you get compensates for the 2 lounge passes you lose and the 2.5% fee you’ll pay on all your transactions in foreign currencies.

The income requirement is slightly higher on the Mastercard side though.

 

BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* MasterCard®*

BMO Air Miles

  • Annual airport lounge passes: 2
  • Lounge network: LoungeKey
  • Free travel: ≈ $276
  • Minimum income required: $80,000
  • More details coming soon
  • Apply through secure BMO link

The BMO AIR MILES World Elite gives you just 2 airport lounge passes but a nice welcome bonus worth ≈$276 in free travel if you use your AIR MILES well, which means for travel redemptions. Again, the income requirement is slightly higher on the Mastercard side though.

 

American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card

The premium-level Aeroplan card gives unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges in North America for the cardholder and 1 guest. However, you must be flying on Air Canada or its Star Alliance partners (in any seat class). Supplementary cards also give the same benefit, for $199 which would still give you an overall value of ≈ $97 if you have a loved one who often travels without you.

The card has many luxury benefits for those who fly Air Canada often. But unless you travel often to airports where the only lounge options are Maple Leaf Lounges, the Platinum Card from American Express mentioned earlier is probably the best premium card (once its welcome bonus returns to normal) for its larger selection of lounges and the fact you can fly any airline.

 

CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card

  • Annual airport lounge passes: 4
  • Lounge network: Priority Pass
  • Free travel: ≈ $165
  • Minimum income required: $60,000
  • More details coming soon
  • Apply through secure CIBC link***

The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card also gives you 4 airport lounge passes and a welcome bonus worth ≈$165 in free travel, but only if you are a new CIBC client.

***But I would be hesitant to apply for this one now as it might preclude you from getting a much better Aeroplan offer expected in January.

 

CIBC Aventura® Gold Visa* Card

  • Annual airport lounge passes: 4
  • Lounge network: Priority Pass
  • Free travel: ≈ $165
  • Minimum income required: $15,000
  • More details coming soon
  • Apply through secure CIBC link***

Apart from the Platinum Card by American Express above and the Scotiabank Platinum below, the CIBC Aventura Gold is the only credit card in Canada with free airport lounge access for those who earn under $60,000. It gives you 4 airport lounge passes and a welcome bonus worth ≈$165 in free travel if you are a new CIBC client.

***But again, I would be hesitant to apply for this one now as it might preclude you from getting a much better Aeroplan offer expected in January.

 

BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card

  • Annual airport lounge passes: 6
  • Lounge network: Priority Pass
  • Free travel: $327
  • Minimum income required: $150,000
  • More details coming soon
  • Apply through secure BMO link

The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card gives you 6 airport lounge passes and a nice welcome bonus worth $327 in free travel. It has many other benefits, including a great earn rate, but this premium card comes with a very high minimum income requirement.

 

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card

  • Airport lounge access: unlimited in N. America for cardholder (no guest)
  • Lounge network: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges
  • Free travel: ≈ $296
  • Minimum income required: $200,000 (household)
  • More details coming soon
  • Apply through secure TD link

This is the TD version of the Aeroplan premium-level card. The main difference essentially is that it is a lot more restricted, as instead of being available to all, only those with a household income of $200,000 are eligible. And unlike the Amex version, no guesting privilege is included.

 

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card

  • Airport lounge access: unlimited in N. America for cardholder (no guest) & 6 passes
  • Lounge network: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges & Priority Pass
  • Free travel: ≈ $113
  • Minimum income required: $150,000
  • More details coming soon
  • Apply through secure CIBC link

This is the CIBC version of the Aeroplan premium-level card. In addition to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge benefit, it is the only one of the 3 that comes with 6 passes for the Priority Pass lounge program. For this one, only those with an income of $150,000 are eligible and the welcome bonus is much lower.

 

American Express® AIR MILES® Reserve Credit Card

  • Annual airport lounge passes: 4
  • Lounge network: Priority Pass
  • Free travel: ≈ $13
  • Minimum income required: $0
  • More details coming soon
  • Apply through secure Amex link

The premium-level AIR MILES card has 4 airport lounge passes and other AIR MILES travel benefits, but the current welcome bonus should be a deal-breaker. We’ll have more details soon and we’ll let you know whenever the welcome bonus increases.

 

Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card

  • Annual airport lounge passes: 10
  • Lounge network: Priority Pass
  • Free travel: ≈ –$99
  • Minimum income: $12,000
  • More details coming soon
  • Apply through secure Scotia link

The premium-level Scotiabank Platinum Card has a whopping 10 airport lounge passes and other travel benefits, but the current welcome bonus is also very underwhelming, with it being negative and all.

But if your income is under $60,000 and you already had the Platinum Card by American Express’ once-in-a-lifetime welcome bonus, this is your best option for many lounge passes. We’ll have more details soon.

 

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Summary

These are the credit cards in Canada with airport lounge access.

What do you want to know about airport lounges? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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Featured image: Priority Pass lounge in Turkey (photo credit: Andrew, Flytrippers co-founder)

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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 62/193 Countries, 46/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

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