6 Best Free Airport Lounge Access Credit Cards In Malaysia
Best Plaza Premium Lounge Access Credit Cards In Malaysia
Airport lounges are restricted waiting areas in an airport with comfortable seats, business facilities, and perhaps most importantly, complimentary food and an open bar.
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 access as a benefit.
Credit cards with 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 into the airport lounges.
We’ve shortlisted a range of the best credit cards that offer free 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 credit cards for your needs.
Entry-Level Airport Lounge Credit Cards
To disprove the myth that credit cards with free airport lounge access are only for the extreme elite, here are some recommendations for credit cards offering this benefit with a minimum income requirement as low as RM3,000 a month.
AEON BiG Visa Gold
Airport lounge access: 3x access to Plaza Premium lounges in Malaysia
Minimum income requirement: RM36,000/year
Annual fee: RM95 (first year free, waived with a minimum of 12 transactions per year)
With a low minimum income requirement and annual fee, this card is pretty straightforward in its benefits.
The AEON BiG Visa Gold Card gives you 3 free visits to Plaza Premium Lounges at international airports in Malaysia and doesn’t have any air miles privileges.
Supplementary cardholders and primary cardholders who have exceeded their 3 free visits are offered a slightly lower price.
It is rare for a card of this level to offer free lounge access, which is why this card makes it into our list. It is a great complement to its most attractive perk: the cashback 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 in AEON BiG.
The AEON Gold Mastercard and Visa credit cards also offer 3x access to Plaza Premium lounges in Malaysia with the same minimum income requirement and annual fee as the AEON BiG Visa.
Plaza Premium Lounge Credit Cards For Mid-To-High Earners
Meanwhile, those who earn between RM5,000 - 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 counterparts mentioned above, but with 6x entries into Plaza Premium lounges in Malaysia instead of three.
It comes with a higher minimum income requirement of RM60,000 a year.
The HSBC Visa Signature also falls within this income range and even offers access to airport lounges outside of Malaysia.
HSBC Visa Signature
Airport lounge access: 6x Plaza Premium Lounge access in Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong
Minimum income requirement: RM72,000/year
Annual fee: RM600 (waived if swipe once a month for 12 months)
Overseas spend required for 1,000 air miles: RM2,250
The HSBC Visa Signature is a good match for moderately frequent fliers who want access to lounges in three countries: Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
The annual fee is quite high for only 6 lounge visits, but you can get this waived if you swipe your card at least once a month throughout the year.
Moreover, the minimum income requirement isn’t too bad compared to some of the more elite cards out there.
Although this card doesn’t offer worldwide access, it isn’t just limited to one country.
Supplementary cardholders and accompanying guests get 25% off lounge access fees.
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 Airline’s KrisFlyer programme, you would need to spend RM3,125.
Airport Lounge Access Credit Cards For High Earners
AmBank Visa Signature
Access: 5x access to Plaza Premium Lounges worldwide with RM500 minimum spend before each visit
Annual fee: Waived for life
Minimum income requirement: RM80,000
Overseas spend required for 1,000 air miles: RM2,500
Some users find credit cards with requirement-based privileges cumbersome, but we thought that this one was worth the extra stipulation.
The AmBank Visa Signature gives you access to Plaza Premium Lounges in and outside of Malaysia.
However, you need to spend RM500, 30 days before or after your said lounge visit to be eligible for a free visit. 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 one free lounge access per RM500 spent and you can get up to 5x access per calendar year. After that, cardholders get 25% discount off Plaza Premium Lounges in Malaysia and 20% off internationally.
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.
When it comes to its air miles conversion rate, this is where the AmBank Visa Signature falls short.
All the same, its slightly more mid-range minimum income requirement and lifelong annual fee waiver do help make up for it here.
Standard Chartered WorldMiles World MasterCard
Airport lounge access: Unlimited Plaza Premium lounge access in KLIA1 and KLIA2
Minimum income requirement: RM90,000/year
Annual fee: RM600 (first year free, waived with RM60,000 in a year)
Overseas spend for 1,000 air miles: RM1,333
The Standard Chartered WorldMiles World MasterCard is useful for anyone who has to make very frequent flights departing from these two local airports in KL.
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.
Any guests accompanying the primary cardholder will get a 20% discount off the walk-in rates.
While its air miles conversion rate for local spend isn’t that great, the air miles rate for overseas spend is rewarding at RM1.33/Enrich mile.
The Standard Chartered WorldMiles World MasterCard’s other main privilege is that you can get up RM80 worth of rebate on your airport limousine or KLIA Express rides once a month if you make a minimum of three retail transactions overseas.
Maybank Visa Infinite
Airport lounge access: 5x access to Plaza Premium lounges worldwide
Minimum income requirement: RM100,000/year
Annual fee: RM800 (first year free, waived with minimum RM80,000 spending)
Overseas spend required for 1,000 air miles: RM1,000
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 entries into Plaza Premium lounges in 16 countries.
There’s an annual fee of RM800 that is waived if you spend a minimum of RM80,000 a year.
The Maybank Visa Infinite offers 20% discount on Plaza Premium Lounge’s walk-in rates for accompanying guests and for cardholders who exceed the five free entries.
The Maybank Visa Infinite also comes with 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 globally, which you would probably appreciate if you’ve ever been stuck in a queue at customs for over an hour.
Finally, Maybank has a different conversion rate for its highest-end cards, which is far better than its usual cards.
Not only do you earn 5 TreatsPoints for every RM1 spent overseas, the special conversion rate gives you 1,000 air miles with every RM1,000 you spend. This is a lot higher than that of the other cards by Maybank and one of the best in the country.
Premium Members & Invitation-Only Airport Lounge Credit Cards
HSBC Premier Travel Credit Card
Airport lounge access: 12x access to 850 Loungekey lounges worldwide
Minimum income requirement: RM36,000/year for HSBC Premier account holders
Annual fee: RM600 (first year free, waived with minimum RM45,000 spending)
Overseas spend required for 1,000 air miles: RM910
With an annual fee of RM600, the HSBC Premier Travel Credit Card gives you twelve times access into 850 airport lounges all over the world.
Like most of the credit cards you’ll see on this list, supplementary credit cardholders are not eligible for the lounge access privileges.
This card also boasts a fantastic air miles conversion rate – you earn 1.1 Enrich Mile for every RM1 you spend overseas, the highest conversion rate you will find in this list.
You also get free use of over 1 million WiFi hotspots around the world.
Sounds too good to be true? This credit card is an example of an exclusive credit card that have 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 World MasterCard
Airport lounge access: Unlimited access to Plaza Premium lounges worldwide
Minimum income requirement: RM120,000/year with qualified AmBank Signature Priority Banking
Annual fee: Free for life
Overseas spend required for 1,000 air miles: RM1,400
If you are an AmBank World Mastercard or AmBank Visa Infinite cardholder, you get the most coveted level of airport lounge access: unlimited entries to Plaza Premium lounges worldwide.
However, to enjoy this unlimited access, you must also be an AmBank Signature Priority Banking customer.
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 World Mastercard.
You would think that a credit card like this would come with a hefty annual fee, but here’s a pleasant surprise – the AmBank World Mastercard is free for life.
Another attractive feature of this card is its very generous air miles conversion rate – you can get 1 Enrich Mile for every RM1.40 spent overseas.
Travel With Style Without Breaking The Bank
Hopefully, you’ll be able to see that there is definitely an airport lounge credit card for everyone.
Whether you’re a domestic or international traveller, a frequent flier or occasional tourist, you would be able to find a credit card with airport lounge access that suits you – within the spectrum of relatively accessible minimum income requirements and annual fees.
Don’t forget as well, when you apply for a credit card through RinggitPlus, you’ll be eligible for some pretty awesome gifts upon approval!
Do check out our travel credit card comparison tool for more info on these cards and more.