Credit Cards With Great Airport Lounge Access

airport lounge access

Travelling is great; waiting in the airport is not. Which is why having access to the lounge is one of the most important benefits for frequent travellers.

Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to get access to the promised land. All you need is the right credit card.

Things to consider when selecting a credit card with lounge access

Credit cards can have wildly varying levels of features with regards to airport lounge access. For Malaysians, if you are just looking to get into KLIA’s (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) premium lounge before your outward journey, then you will likely have plenty of options to choose from. 

If you are looking to have broad access to a variety of airport lounges across the world, then your card options will be a little more limited.

As such, here are a few questions you should ask yourself before picking a card:

  • Does the card offer lounge access in Malaysia only or in other countries and regions too?
  • How many times can you access the airport lounge a year, and how many guests can you bring?
  • Does the card allow you into a selection of lounge brands or is Plaza Premium your primary option?
  • Is there a minimum spend requirement to qualify for lounge access?
  • What perks do guests get after their free access allowance is finished?

With this in mind, here are some credit cards with fantastic airport lounge access offerings:

CIMB Travel Platinum

CIMB Travel Platinum

CIMB Travel Platinum

4x entry to select Plaza Premium Lounges

Travel sooner than you think with your CIMB TRAVEL PLATINUM and earn up to 2x Grab Airport transfer.
  • Minimum annual income of RM24,000
  • No annual fees
  • 4x entry to select Plaza Premium lounges, subject to minimum quarterly spend requirements (RM3,000 per quarter = 1x access)
  • 1% foreign transaction fee on overseas spend

CIMB has a range of travel credit card options with higher tier cards offering more benefits and services. However, for those who are looking to travel overseas once or twice a year, the CIMB Travel Platinum is a good option with great benefits. With 4x entry to select Plaza Premium lounges worldwide, infrequent travellers will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the exclusive club. All they need to do to qualify for entry is to spend RM3,000 per quarter.

In addition to this, cardholders can expect more bonuses, including up to 5X bonus points and in-flight WiFi with up to RM30 cashback. You can also get up to 2x Grab rides with a minimum quarterly spend of RM3,000 which entitles the cardholder 1x Grab Ride code worth RM65. Up to two codes can be redeemed per year.

Maybank Visa Infinite

Maybank Visa Infinite

Maybank Visa Infinite

5x access to Plaza Premium Lounges at select airports

Up to 5 TreatsPoints from overseas spending, with exclusive dining, and golf privileges.
  • Minimum annual income of RM100,00
  • RM800 annual fee, waived for the first year
  • 5x access to Plaza Premium lounges at select airports (Melbourne Airport, Changi Airport, KLIA, and much more)
  • 2.25% foreign transaction fees

Maybank’s Visa Infinite credit card is more tailored towards higher income customers with its RM100,000 annual income requirement. It also comes with some pricey annual fees. However, its range of lifestyle benefits and airport lounge access is hard to beat. Apart from airport lounge access, this card comes with golf offers, an airport speed pass, and discounts on dining. Apart from the aforementioned benefits, cardholders can also expect world wide recognition, 24-hour customer service, and up to two million worth in travel insurance coverage.

Alliance Bank Visa Infinite

Alliance Bank Visa Infinite

Alliance Bank Visa Infinite

2x Plaza Premium Lounges and 1x Travel Club Lounge access

Redeem 8x Timeless Bonus Points and enjoy no expiry date.
  • Minimum annual income of RM60,000
  • RM438 annual fee, waived for first year
  • 2x Plaza Premium lounge and 1x Travel Club lounge access. Principal cardholder can use Plaza Premium lounge 2x, and Travel Club lounge 1x
  • 1% foreign transaction fees

Want a little more than just KLIA lounge access but don’t want to break the bank? Then Alliance Bank Visa Infinite might be the travel card you are looking for. The card lets holders accumulate Timeless Bonus Points (TBP) which never expire while also granting access to any Plaza Premium Lounge or Travel Club Lounge worldwide.

As mentioned above, TBPs do not have an expiry date and can be earned at varying rates. Typically, the rates will vary depending on the category of purchase: 8x rewards on some online spending, 5x on categories including overseas spend and dining, and 1x on most other retail transactions. With no expiry date, you can save up your points and eventually pick out the gift of your choice.

RHB World Mastercard Credit Card/-i

RHB World Mastercard Credit Card/-i

RHB World Mastercard Credit Card/-i

6x access to selected Plaza Premium Lounges in Malaysia

Earn up to 6% cashback for local spending.
  • Minimum annual income of RM80,000
  • No annual fees
  • 6x access to selected Plaza Premium Lounge in Malaysia if you meet minimum spend requirements of RM500 and above in the past calendar month (25% discount for guests. 20% discount for overseas Plaza Premium Lounge access)
  • 1% foreign transaction fees

If you want to bring friends and family along with you to the airport lounge, RHB World Mastercard offers discounts for additional guests. It is also a great all-rounder card with cashback opportunities in many categories such as travel, petrol, and dining.

The RHB World Mastercard really shines when it comes to opportunities to earn cashback. For petrol, travel, and dining, there is a monthly cashback cap of RM30, but you can earn up to 6% cashback depending on your monthly spending. For overseas spending, you can get up to 2% cashback, up to a cap of RM100 per month. For other purchases you only get a 0.20% cashback, but there is no limit on how much you can earn.

HSBC TravelOne

HSBC TravelOne

HSBC TravelOne

6x access to selected Plaza Premium Lounges

Instant reward redemption with an extensive selection of airline and hotel partners.
  • Minimum annual income of RM60,000
  • RM300 annual fee
  • 6x access to selected Plaza Premium Lounge for cardholder and supplementary cardholder
  • 1% foreign transaction fees

If you have been paying attention, the HSBC TravelOne card is something that the bank has been really pushing in recent times, and with good reason. One of the biggest perks of the TravelOne card is the ability to redeem points rewards instantly, which gives cardholders a whole new level of flexibility while also offering good annual access to airport lounges.

Apart from the perks mentioned above, the TravelOne also offers cardholders 8× reward points on all foreign currency spend, 5× reward points on local travel spend (hotels, airlines and travel agencies), 5× reward points on local dining spend, and 1× reward points on all other eligible spend. They can also enjoy cashback offers and discounts from both in-store and online merchants across over 25 countries.

CIMB Travel World Elite

CIMB Travel World Elite

CIMB Travel World Elite

12x access to selected Plaza Premium Lounges

Voted Best Credit Card for Affluent Clients by Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2023.
  • Minimum annual income of RM240,000
  • RM1,215 annual fee
  • 12x access to selected Plaza Premium Lounge worldwide
  • Foreign transaction fees waived

As mentioned in the first entry, CIMB offers different tiers of travel cards with different perks and benefits. If the CIMB Travel Platinum was the entry level card, the CIMB Travel World Elite is the cream of the crop! It offers massive perks and bonuses for avid travellers who want to make the most of their overseas trips. It does however come at a price.

The Travel World Elite card is certainly meant for only the most affluent of customers. But for those who can afford it, it focuses on travel and lifestyle benefits, offering high reward earning opportunities on international and travel spend, and lots of ways to redeem bonus points for trips abroad. Local spending nabs you 2x the points while overseas spending is worth a whopping 10x times the points. As you can see, the reward points can really ramp up with this card, truly making it an icon of quality over quantity.

Standard Chartered Journey

  • Minimum annual income of RM36,000
  • RM600 annual fee, waived for first year
  • Unlimited access to Plaza Premium lounges in KLIA/KLIA2
  • 1% foreign transaction fees

For a more affordable option, Standard Chartered is offering a decent option with its Journey travel credit card. The Journey card offers holders to claim cashback in exchange for points, as well as offering unlimited access to Plaza Premium Lounge in KLIA and KLIA2. This makes it excellent for outbound travellers who are looking for a relatively low entry point.

Cardholders can also get free supplementary cards with this package. Additionally they can earn up to 5x more miles with on dining, travel and overseas spending. Other perks include cashback on transfers from any airport in Malaysia via Grab when spending a minimum of RM2,500 on Travel2 (capped at RM65). It also comes with up to US$100,000 in travel medical coverage, including Covid-19 coverage.

UOB World

  • Minimum annual income of RM60,000
  • RM600 annual fee
  • 6x access to Plaza Premium lounges in KLIA/KLIA2 per year. Exclusive private lounge access
  • 1% foreign transaction fees

UOB World Card is another great travel card with decent eligibility requirements. This card has weaker offerings when it comes to lounge access, with the cardholder only having access to Plaza Premium Lounge at KLIA and KLIA2 (though they get access to the exclusive private lounge access at KLIA). However, it offers massive bonuses to points earnings on overseas spending and e-commerce spending.

As mentioned above, the UOB World travel card may not have a very flashy lounge access offering, but it is sufficient enough for those who do not travel by air too frequently. The biggest perk that the card offers is its points earning potential. Cardholders can get 12X UNIRM points on selected e-commerce spends & e-wallet reloads. They can also earn 5x UNIRM on overseas spending and selected departmental stores & supermarkets/hypermarkets.


As we can see, the right card not only serves as a key to financial transactions but also as a passport to exclusive travel experiences, especially those that offer the highly coveted airport lounge access.

The travel credit card market is a highly competitive one and there are many more cards that are not listed that have their own perks and offerings to meet the needs of diverse travellers who are seeking different things. While looking for the right travel card, it is imperative to weigh the perks against the costs. As seen above, some cards are more suited to frequent flyers, while others offer some lounge access with limited commitments.

Plan for what you want or need and apply for the appropriate card accordingly.

If you want to look for more travel credit card offerings, you can try using iMoney’s Smart Search Tool to find the best option for you.

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