Best credit cards for airport lounge access 2020

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The Platinum Card comes at a steep $699 annual fee, but along with it comes a suite of benefits, including hotel status, enhanced lounge options, premium insurance coverage and a $200 annual travel credit—which really brings the annual fee down to $499. If you know you’ll leverage the benefits, this is a worthwhile option.

  • Annual fee: $699
  • Income requirement: N/A
  • Sign-up bonus: Get 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 on the card within the first 3 months
  • Rewards: 3 points per $1 on dining; 2 points per $1 on travel; 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • Other perks: $200 annual travel credit; Priority Pass and American Express Centurion Lounge access; Toronto Pearson Airport priority lane; hotel status at select brands; premium medical, flight delay/cancellation and baggage insurance

BMO eclipse Visa Infinite PrivilegeBMO got back into this game, launching the BMO eclipse Visa cards in November 2020. Alongside the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege card amps up the bank’s rewards credit card game.

Cardholders have access to Visa Infinite Privilege benefits—including a Priority Pass membership with six airport lounge passes a year (a total value of US$300 annually), access to the Visa Infinite Dining Series, expansive travel insurance, mobile device protection, and purchase protection and warranty. While travel may take some time to rebound for many, this card offers a great incentive to earn while building in excellent flexibility on redemptions in the meantime. 

However, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege annual fee rings in at a hefty $499, along with a minimum annual income requirements of $150,000 (individual) or $200,000 (household). But the credit card packs some competitive earn rates, impressive airport lounge access perks and a whopping $200 “lifestyle credit” every January. That last one is free money on your card that effectively brings the annual fee down to $299.

BMO pushes past similar cards in the category with an extremely competitive earn rate, offering five times the BMO Rewards Points on purchase categories from grocery and drugstore purchases, gas, restaurants and takeout and travel and 1 point per $1 on everything else. For those who add a secondary cardholder ($99 a year per card), they increase their points earn rate by 25% for both users—another great way to earn back the $499 annual fee and then some.

  • Annual fee: $499 (additional cardholder $99)
  • Welcome bonus: 50,000 points (35,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, plus 15,000 points on your first anniversary)
  • Earn rate: 5 points per $1 on groceries, gas, restaurants and takeout, drugstore purchases, and travel; 1 point per $1 everywhere else
  • Our favourite features: $200 annual lifestyle credit to be applied on one purchase of $200 or greater every January, provided the account is open and in good standing at the time of payout; 25% points accelerator for those who add a secondary cardholder
  • Additional benefits: Extensive travel insurance, purchase protection and warranty, mobile device insurance, Priority Pass with 6 visits a year, Visa Infinite Privilege priority airport access, and Visa Infinite Dining Series once enrolled through VisaInfinite.ca/privilege

Get more details about the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege*


The BMO World Elite Mastercard is a great credit card that offers a competitive welcome bonus (35,000 BMO Rewards Points, or a $250 value, after you spend a minimum of $3,000 in first three months of membership), no annual fee for the first year and participation in the Mastercard Airport Experiences program. Mastercard’s Airport Experiences program and lounges are run by LoungeKey and offer World Elite users access to 1,000 lounges around the globe. 

With BMO World Elite Mastercard, cardholders receive four passes to use themselves or to share with their travel companions, which is a great option if you’re not a frequent flyer but still want the flexibility of using a lounge a few times a year. The card has a $150 annual fee, and can be a great way to try out LoungeKey, and if you need more access, the cost for additional visits is US$32 per person.