As a frequent traveller, lounge access can help ease a long plane journey, especially if I’m stuck with multiple connections. Last summer, I was travelling to Toronto from Hong Kong, and after a 10-hour flight to Vancouver, it was nice to have access to food and drink, a quiet place to rest, entertainment options, a business centre and—my favourite part—a shower, before continuing my journey.
Generally speaking, you can purchase one-time access to a lounge for a bit less than half the price of a yearly unlimited access subscription through a provider such as Priority Pass. A variety of Canadian credit cards also offer appealing lounge privileges included with the annual fee, but there are differences around how access is granted and which spaces you can enter. Some cards offer unlimited access to select airport lounges, while others offer limited visits per year, so the estimated number of passes you’ll need each year may dictate which card you choose.
In Canada, the three ways you’ll typically access airport lounges through your credit card are Priority Pass, American Express Centurion and traditional airline-specific lounges, such as Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge and the Mastercard Experience Lounges. Browse the picks below to learn about some of your top options as you consider the annual fee alongside the value of lounge benefits.