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Which credit cards with lounge access in Canada are the best? Our list breaks down the best rewards credit cards for your spending habits.

When you think of travel rewards credit cards, you probably think of their main benefit – earning rewards from daily spending and being able to redeem them for free travel, merchandise, and other perks. Credit cards with lounge access are less common. They offer a worthwhile perk, especially for those who value having a peaceful oasis in the midst of a busy airport.

You can take advantage of many perks offered by airport lounges, including:

  • Free WiFi
  • Washroom facilities that may include showers
  • Complimentary snacks and beverages
  • Phone and laptop charging stations
  • Comfortable chairs for lounging while waiting for your flight

You can access these lounges without a membership by paying a per-use fee, or by choosing a rewards credit card that offers free airport lounge access, like the ones listed below.

Comparison of the Best Credit Cards with Lounge Access in Canada

Credit CardBest ForLounge ProgramAirport Lounge AccessRead More
Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* CardBest Overall Credit Card with Lounge AccessPriority Pass6 free visits annuallyRead More
Scotiabank®* Platinum American Express® cardBest for Priority Pass Lounge AccessPriority Pass10 free visits annually, 4 visits for supplementaryRead More
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* CardBest for Priority Pass Lounge AccessPriority Pass6 free visits annually plus 6 for supplementary cardholdersRead More
BMO World Elite®* MastercardBest for Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKeyMastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey4 free visits annuallyRead More
The American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve CardBest for Maple Leaf LoungeTM accessMaple Leaf LoungeTM Unlimited access to lounges in Canada and the USRead More
The Platinum Card®Best For Unlimited Lounge Access WorldwideAmerican Express Global Lounge CollectionUnlimited passes worldwideRead More

Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card: Best Overall Credit Card with Lounge Access

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Voted the #1 travel points credit card in 2019 by Rewards Canada, the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card is our choice for the best overall credit card with lounge access in Canada. This card comes with a complimentary Priority Pass Lounge membership (worth $130 CAD) plus six free visits per year (approximately $254 CAD value).

Other perks include comprehensive travel insurance, Visa Infinite Benefits, and no foreign transaction fees on purchases made online or outside of Canada.

It also offers plenty of points-earning potential. When using this credit card, you’ll earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit purchases (including taxis, buses, and subway tokens), and 1 Scotia Rewards point per dollar spent on everything else.

As a welcome offer, you can earn up to 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $300 towards travel )‡. All things considered, the annual fee of $139 is entirely justified.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $139
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: Minimum annual income of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000 or a minimum assets under management of $250,000
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: Up to 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $300 towards travel )‡
  • Additional benefits: Priority Pass membership + 6 free visits, no foreign transaction fees, travel insurance
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
Learn more about the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

Scotiabank®* Platinum American Express® card: Best for Priority Pass Lounge Access

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The Scotiabank®* Platinum American Express® card is an excellent airport lounge access credit card. Yes, it has a steep $399 annual fee, but you’ll receive a complimentary Priority Pass membership (worth $130 CAD) plus 10 free visits per year (valued at approximately $420 CAD) to any Priority Pass lounge in the world.

Plus, any purchases charged the Scotiabank®* Platinum American Express® card will earn you points. You’ll earn 4 Scotia Rewards points per dollar spent at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment, and 1 Scotia Rewards point per dollar spent everywhere else.

On top of that, you’ll earn 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points after making your first purchase on this credit card within two months.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $399
  • Income eligibility requirement: $12,000 personal income
  • Credit score required: Good – Excellent
  • Earn Rate: 4 points per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores, dining, and entertainment; 1 point per dollar spent on everything else
  • Welcome offer: 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon first purchase
  • Additional benefits: Complimentary Priority Pass lounge access, 24/7 concierge, American Express Invites, Hertz #1 Club Gold Membership, travel insurance
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
Learn more about the Scotiabank®* Platinum American Express® card

BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card: Best for Priority Pass Lounge Access

Among the premium perks of the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card is a rock-solid Priority Pass package that includes a complimentary membership plus 12 free annual passes (6 for the primary cardholder and 6 for additional cardholders) to any Priority Pass lounge in the world. Between the free membership and the passes, this is a value of approximately $630 CAD, which more than balances out this card’s steep $499 annual fee. Plus, your airport visit will be even more seamless with priority security lane, and discounts on airport parking and valet.

The perks don’t end there, however. With this card, you’ll earn 5 BMO Rewards points for every dollar you spend on groceries, dining, drugstore, gas, and travel, and 1 BMO point per dollar on everything else. Redeem 140 points per dollar on travel or 200 points per dollar on any other redemptions, including gift cards, merchandise, credits towards your bill through the Pay with Points program, or even towards your BMO investments.

The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card includes other valuable perks like mobile device coverage, travel insurance, and an annual $200 “lifestyle credit”. Get yourself started with the welcome bonus of up to 50,000 BMO Rewards points (worth up to approximately $355).

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $499
  • Minimum income eligibility requirement: $150,000 personal income or $200,000 household
  • Credit score required: Excellent
  • Earn Rate: 5 points per $1 spent on groceries, dining, drugstore, gas, and travel; 1 point per dollar spent on everything else
  • Welcome offer: Up to 50,000 bonus BMO Rewards points
  • Additional benefits: Complimentary Priority Pass lounge access, up to $1,000 mobile device coverage, travel insurance, $200 annual “lifestyle credit”, Visa Infinite privileges
  • Purchase APR: 20.99% | Cash Advance APR: 23.99%

Learn more about the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card


BMO World Elite®* Mastercard®*: Best for Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey

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The BMO World Elite®* Mastercard®* has a high minimum income requirement of $80,000, but if you fall into that bracket, it’s a card worth considering.

For starters, this card offers a complimentary membership to Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey with four complimentary passes to over 1,000 lounges in 120 countries worldwide. That has a value of $140/year! It also comes with travel insurance, extended warranty, and purchase protection.

The BMO World Elite®* Mastercard®*also has a strong rewards program. You’ll earn 3 BMO Rewards points for every dollar spent on travel, dining and entertainment, and 2 points per dollar on everything else. At these rewards rates, it’s easy to rack up enough points to book your next flight free using points racked up with daily spending.

As a welcome bonus, you’ll earn 40,000 bonus points and get the annual fee waived for the first year – a $575 value.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $150 (waived for first year)
  • Income eligibility requirement: $80,000 per year individual or $150,000 per year household
  • Credit score required: Good to Excellent
  • Earn Rate: 3 points per dollar spent on travel, dining, and entertainment; 2 points per dollar spent on everything else
  • Welcome offer: 40,000 points and annual fee waived in the first year
  • Additional benefits: Membership to Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey, travel insurance, Cirque du Soleil discounts
  • Purchase APR: 19.99%| Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
Learn more about the BMO World Elite®* Mastercard®*

The American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card: Best for Maple Leaf LoungeTM Access

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The new American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card comes with all sorts of exciting perks to make flying that much more comfortable. Included with your card is access to Air Canada Maple Leaf LoungesTM across Canada and the US so that you can unwind before flights. Within each lounge, you can expect a quiet, phone-free zone, light snacks and beverages, business centres with PCs and printers, and, of course, free Wi-fi.

Beyond lounge access, the appealing selection of perks that comes with your card includes priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling; a free checked bag for yourself and up to eight travelling companions; and perks at Pearson International Airport such as complimentary valet parking, and 15% off parking and car care services.

The welcome bonus is quite generous as well—you can get up to 65,000 Aeroplan points and a $100 statement credit in your first six months (spend $3,000 in the first three months to earn 35,000 points plus the statement credit and $1,000 in each month for the first six months to earn up to 30,000 points). Furthermore, the included travel insurance covers everything from trip cancellation to emergency medical to baggage delay.

 The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $599
  • Minimum Income Eligibility Requirement: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: N/A
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 65,000 Aeroplan points and a $100 Statement Credit
  • Additional Benefits: Comprehensive insurance, access to select Air Canada lounges and Priority Airport services, Annual Worldwide Companion Pass, access to exclusive American Express benefits
  • Interest on Purchases: 19.99%| Interest on Cash Advances: 21.99%

Learn more about the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card


The Platinum Card®: Best For Unlimited Lounge Access Worldwide

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The Platinum Card® from American Express is the card to pick if you’re a frequent traveller who needs regular lounge access. This premium credit card offers unlimited access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection – meaning you can enjoy over 1,200 lounges across 130+ countries, including the Centurion Lounge network, Plaza Premium Lounges, Delta Sky Club Lounges, Priority Pass Lounges and more.

Beyond this hefty lounge access perk, The Platinum Card® is an outstanding travel rewards credit card, offering cardholders the following:

  • Earn up to 3 points for every $1 in eligible card purchases
  • Earn 1 additional Membership Rewards® point for every $1 you charge to your Platinum Card on eligible hotel or car rental bookings made with American Express Travel
  • Receive a $200 Annual Travel Credit that can be used towards any single travel booking of $200 or more charged to your Platinum Card through American Express Travel Online or through Platinum Card® Travel Service.
  • Includes comprehensive travel insurance

As if that’s not enough, new cardholders receive a welcome bonus of up to 60,000 Membership Rewards® points.

How it works: you receive 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months, and then an additional 10,000 points after six months of card membership. That’s enough to redeem for a $600 statement credit towards eligible travel purchases charged to the card! Adding up all these card perks, the $699 annual fee doesn’t seem quite as steep.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $699
  • Income eligibility requirement: N/A
  • Credit score required: Good to Excellent
  • Earn Rate: 3 points per dollar spent on dining, 2 points per dollar spent on travel, 1 point per dollar spent on everything else, $200 annual travel credit
  • Welcome Offer: Up to 60,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • Additional benefits: Access to American Express Global Lounge Collection, premium benefits at Pearson airport, access to hotel and rental car loyalty programs, access to special events
  • Purchase APR: 30% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
Learn more about the The Platinum Card®.

The Verdict: What is the Best Airport Lounge Credit Card?

Airport lounge access is one of the perks you might not think about when evaluating travel rewards credit cards. But for frequent flyers, it is a benefit that can turn an airport experience from stressful to enjoyable.

Also, lounge access can be a business essential if you need strong WiFi and a quiet, comfortable workspace for a few hours.

If you’re considering signing up for credit cards with airport lounge access in Canada, any of the credit cards outlined above are a good choice.

But our top choice is the award-winning Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card because it offers good value: an affordable annual fee with generous lounge access, a lucrative welcome bonus, and a slew of travel perks.

However, before you apply for any travel reward credit card, compare what they each offer carefully and consider how they might work with your spending habits. Still undecided?

Check out the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada and see what they have to offer before pulling the trigger.

This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

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