Best Credit Cards With Airport Lounge Access In Malaysia
An airport lounge is a restricted waiting area with comfortable seats, business facilities and perhaps most importantly, complimentary food and an open bar and Wi-Fi access.
You gain access to these lounges through a membership programme, paying an entrance fee per visit, or by getting a credit card that offers free airport lounge access as a benefit.
Credit cards with airport lounge access are not just for high-powered business executives and elite cardholders with the highest annual incomes.
While it is true that a number of cards cater to these high-flyers, there are also accessible credit cards that offer these benefits — you might just get a lower level of range or access to the airport lounges.
We’ve shortlisted a range of the best credit cards with airport lounge access with the aim of providing a recommendation for everyone.
So whether you’re looking for a high-level credit card that gives you unlimited access, one that covers international airports as well, or just a lower-level card with a limited number of visits, hopefully, you’ll find the best airport lounge access credit cards based on your preferences.
Entry-level credit cards with lounge access
To disprove the myth that credit cards with complimentary airport lounge access are only for the extreme elite, here is a recommendation for a credit card offering this benefit with a minimum income requirement of as low as RM3,000 a month.
AEON BiG Visa Gold
Airport lounge access: 3X free access to participating Plaza Premium Lounges in Malaysia (subject to spending criteria)
Minimum income requirement: RM3,000 per month
Annual fee: RM95 (first year free, waived when you swipe at least 12 times a year for the subsequent years)
With a considerably low minimum income requirement and annual fee, this card is pretty straightforward in its benefits; although you cannot get the air miles privileges with this card.
The AEON BiG Visa Gold credit card gives you 3X free passes to participating Plaza Premium Lounges in Malaysia but with a catch! You will need to spend at least RM500 in a single or cumulative transaction(s) within 30 days before and/or 30 days after the lounge visit date to enjoy this privilege.
Should you as the primary cardholder or your supplementary cardholder(s) have exceeded the 3X free access, you still can get access to the selected Plaza Premium Lounge at a slightly lower price than the actual entrance fee with a 20% discount. You can check out the full details in the T&C here.
It is quite rare for a credit card of this level to offer free lounge access, which is why this card makes it into our list.
Plus, it is a great complement to its most attractive perks: the cashback and reward point benefits, which we explained in detail in our review.
Combined, this is a very competitive credit card to own, provided you aren’t too frequent a flyer, and you shop regularly at AEON BiG.
If you need other options, the AEON Gold Mastercard and Visa credit cards also offer 3X access to selected Plaza Premium Lounges in Malaysia with the same minimum income requirement and annual fee as the AEON BiG Visa.
Credit cards with lounge access for mid-to-high earners
Meanwhile, those who earn between RM5,000 to RM6,000 a month will be able to apply for credit cards with higher levels of free airport lounge access benefits.
For example, the AEON Platinum Visa has similar benefits to its other AEON credit card counterparts mentioned above, but with 6X free entries into selected Plaza Premium Lounges in Malaysia instead of three, and it comes with a higher minimum income requirement of RM60,000 a year or RM5,000 monthly.
The HSBC Visa Signature also falls within this income range and even offers access to selected airport lounges outside of Malaysia.
HSBC Visa Signature
Airport lounge access: 6X Plaza Premium Lounge access in selected airports (for primary/principal cardholders only)
Minimum income requirement: RM6,000 per month
Annual fee: RM600 (waived when you do 1X swipe once a month for 12 consecutive months, and meet annual spending of RM2,000)
The HSBC Visa Signature is a good match for moderately frequent fliers who want free access to selected Plaza Premium Lounge in three countries: Malaysia (KLIA), Singapore (Changi Airport), and Hong Kong (HK International Airport). Check out the T&C and the list of participating Plaza Premium Lounge here.
The annual fee, on the other hand, is considerably high for only 6X free Plaza Premium Lounge visits, but you can get this waived if you swipe your card at least once a month throughout the year and meet annual spending of RM2,000 or above.
Moreover, the minimum income requirement isn’t too bad compared to some of the more elite cards out there.
To top it off, your accompanying guest(s) aged 12 years and above could also get 25% off lounge access fees, whereas your guest(s) between 3 to 12 years old could get a 30% discount on the applicable charges.
The HSBC Visa Signature used to be one of the best air miles credit cards on the market, but sadly no longer has that distinction after a recent devaluation of its rewards points.
To get 1,000 Enrich Miles for Malaysia Airlines, you would need to spend about RM2,250 overseas and to reach 1,000 air miles on Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer programme, you would need to spend RM3,125.
AmBank Visa Signature
Airport lounge access: 5X access to participating airport lounges in Malaysia and overseas (subject to minimum spend criteria)
Minimum income requirement: RM6,666.67 per month
Annual fee: Free for life
Some users find credit cards with requirement-based privileges cumbersome, but we thought that this one was worth the extra stipulation.
This is because the AmBank Visa Signature credit card gives you access to participating Plaza Premium Lounge and other airport lounges in and outside of Malaysia such as Indonesia, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the list goes on. To check out the full list of participating airport lounges, click here.
But there is a catch though! You need to spend at least RM500 within 30 days before or after your said airport lounge visit to be eligible for free access, in reference to the T&C. This isn’t too difficult to reach if you use this card to purchase duty-free products or pay your bills, for example.
Put simply, you get 1X free lounge access per RM500 spent and you can get up to 5X access per calendar year. After all of the complimentary access is used up, cardholders may get a lower entry fee.
Another differing factor is that with the AmBank Visa Signature, supplementary cardholders are also eligible for this free airport lounge access—the only card on this list to extend this privilege.
Airport lounge access credit cards for high earners
Standard Chartered Journey Credit Card
Airport lounge access: Unlimited access to participating Plaza Premium Lounge in KLIA and KLIA2 (subject to a valid international boarding pass)
Minimum income requirement: RM7,500 per month
Annual fee: RM600 (first year free, waived when you spend at least RM60,000 in a year on the subsequent years)
The brand-new Standard Chartered Journey Credit Card is useful for the principal/primary cardholder(s) who has to make very frequent flights departing from these two local airports in Malaysia; KLIA and KLIA2.
We say "very frequent" because, at a relatively high minimum income requirement and hefty annual fee, you would have to make the most of the "unlimited" aspect of this card’s lounge access to make it worth it.
As for the air mile conversion, this card offers one of the fastest reward redemption for flight tickets at the lowest cost - 2 Miles Points get you 1 Air Mile of your preferred frequent flyer programs. Unfortunately, we're not able to list the participating frequent flyer program as the bank has yet to disclose this information. But you may check out how to redeem your Air Mile in this guide and you might just be able to view the list.
The Standard Chartered Journey Credit Card’s other main travel privilege is that you can get up to RM65 worth of rebate on your airport transfers to/from any airport in Malaysia via Grab rides once a month if you spend a minimum of RM2,500 on selected travel expenses within 90 days before the Grab ride transaction.
On top of that, you will get to enjoy peace of mind when travelling as you'll be covered with up to USD100,000 travel medical coverage which includes COVID-19 coverage. Just make sure you charge the full fare of your flight ticket(s) with this travel credit card to enjoy this privilege.
Maybank Visa Infinite
Airport lounge access: 5X access to participating Plaza Premium Lounges in Malaysia and overseas (for principal/primary cardholders only)
Minimum income requirement: RM8,333.33 per month
Annual fee: RM800 (first year free, waived when you spend at least RM80,000 for the subsequent years)
The Maybank Visa Infinite is also on the upper end of the spectrum with a high minimum income requirement of RM100,000 a year, offering you five complimentary entries into selected Plaza Premium lounges at local airports, including in 15 countries internationally.
Although this privilege is limited to the principal cardholders, your accompanying guest(s) will get a 20% discount on the applicable walk-in rates. If you, the principal cardholder, have exceeded the 5X free passes, you will also get the same discount to enter the airport lounge.
Another airport travel benefit that comes with this credit card is the skip-the-queue privileges in the form of the Visa Airport Speed Pass.
The speed pass fast-tracks you at immigration counters at over 280 international airports which you would probably appreciate if you’ve ever been stuck in a queue at customs for over an hour.
Lastly, Maybank has a different conversion rate for its highest-end cards which is far better than its usual cards.
Not only do you earn 5X TreatsPoints for every RM1 spent overseas, but the special conversion rate also gives you 1,000 air miles with every 7,000 TreatsPoints. This is a lot higher than that of the other cards by Maybank and also arguably, one of the best in the country.
Premium members and invitation-only airport lounge access credit cards
HSBC Premier Travel Credit Card
Airport lounge access: 12X access to participating Plaza Premium Lounges in Malaysia and overseas (for primary/principal cardholders only)
Minimum income requirement: RM3,000 per month (for HSBC Premier account holders)
Annual fee: RM600 (first year free, waived when you spend more than RM45,000 annually for the subsequent years)
With an annual fee of RM600, the HSBC Premier Travel Credit Card gives you twelve times access to participating Plaza Premium Lounges such as in KLIA, Dubai International Airport, Brisbane Airport and many more.
Like most of the credit cards you see on this list, supplementary credit cardholders are, unfortunately, not eligible for lounge access privileges.
Moreover, this premium credit card boasts a fantastic air miles conversion rate—you earn 1.1 Air Miles for every RM1 you spend overseas which is still considered easy to collect.
Sounds too good to be true? This credit card is an example of an exclusive credit card that has additional eligibility criteria attached.
In this case, the HSBC Premier Travel Credit Card is only available for HSBC Premier account holders with a minimum of RM200,000 in total relationship balance with HSBC.
AmBank Signature Priority Banking Visa Infinite
Airport lounge access: Unlimited access to participating Plaza Premium Lounge in Malaysia and overseas (subject to Asset Under Management and minimum spend criteria)
Minimum income requirement: RM10,000 per month with qualified AmBank Signature Priority Banking
Annual fee: Free for life
If you are an AmBank Visa Infinite cardholder, you get the most coveted level of airport lounge access: unlimited entries to Plaza Premium lounges at local airports and overseas.
However, to enjoy this unlimited access, you must also be an AmBank Signature Priority Banking customer and have a certain amount of Asset Under Management (AUM).
For instance, being a Priority Banking customer requires you to have deposits or investments of RM200,000 or more with AmBank, or investments only worth RM150,000.
If you are not an AmBank Signature Priority Banking Customer at the date of access, then you will be subject to a minimum spend of RM500 within 30 days before and after each entry up to five times a year just like with the AmBank Visa Signature above.
This unlimited access for Signature Priority Banking cardholders applies to both principal and supplementary cardholders.
Besides being a priority banking customer, you will also have to earn at least RM120,000 a year in order to be eligible for the AmBank Signature Priority Banking Visa Infinite.
You would think that a credit card like this would come with a hefty annual fee, but here’s a pleasant surprise—the AmBank Signature Priority Banking Visa Infinite is free for life!
Another attractive feature of this card is its very generous air miles conversion rate—you can get 5 AmBonus Points for every RM1 spent overseas.
Travel with style without breaking the bank
Hopefully, you’ll be able to see that there is definitely an airport lounge access credit card for everyone.
Whether you’re a domestic or international traveller, a frequent flier or an occasional tourist, you would be able to find a credit card with free airport lounge access that suits you — within the spectrum of relatively accessible minimum income requirements and annual fees.
Don’t forget as well, that when you apply for a credit card through RinggitPlus, you’ll be eligible for some pretty awesome sign-up gifts upon approval!
Do check out our credit card recommendation service as well if you can't decide which credit card to sign up for. It's totally free of charge and won't take much of your time!