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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard

TPG reader Tom wrote in to ask about using a partner’s lounge access even when traveling alone:

“Are there any credit cards that allow a secondary cardholder to access lounges for no charge when the primary cardholder is not present?”

The short answer? No — at least none that do it for free.

Credit card companies pay the airlines a lot of money for that lounge access, so in order to give access to secondary cardholders as well, there’s going to be some sort of fee.

One of the best deals out there for additional cardholder lounge access is the Platinum Card from American Express. For $175 total you can get three additional cards, each of which comes with full lounge access (including Delta Sky Clubs, Centurion Lounges and Priority Pass Select) and the $100 Global Entry rebate. At roughly $58 per each additional card (if you get three), that’s a pretty good value for all of those perks.

Amex Platinum authorized users get individual access to Centurion Lounges and more.

There are other options, such as the Delta Reserve Card, which charges $175 for an additional card that gains access to SkyClub lounges. For a $50 fee, Citi Prestige authorized users can get Priority Pass, but not Admirals Club access.

I think the key takeaway here is that you should get your own card. You’ll have to shell out a bit up front, but these options are still cheaper than paying outright for lounge access. With the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard, for example, you can earn a sign-up bonus of 75,000 AAdvantage miles (after spending $7,500 in the first three months), along with lounge access and other perks. All that can help offset the $450 annual fee.

For more info, check out TPG Contributor Richard Kerr’s post on cards that offer airport lounge access.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year for baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply.
  • Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status with your Platinum Card.®
  • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.