One of the usual tips for traveling in style within a budget is staying at airport lounges. It is certainly true especially on longer connecting flights. For a person who always fly economy, this is luxury. I’ve only recently discovered the comfort of having lounge access in many parts of the world thanks to my Security Bank Diner’s Club card. It gets me access for free to most airline lounges in the world. Diner’s Club even has a website to help you look for one wherever you may be. The link is here. Unfortunately, Security Bank has changed their policy with access to airline lounges as of March 1, 2016. They make it a bit harder now to access it so I am cancelling mine. I am in the lookout for a good Philippine credit card with airport lounge access. I travel maybe 4-5 times each year so for me, it’s really worth it.
In the Philippines, credit cards are not as common as in other countries. Cash is still king in this country. Although credit card companies have been making a huge presence in recent years and more establishments are including credit card payments in their businesses. Applying for a credit card can be a daunting task. They require a lot. Once you have a good credit rating from using your credit card and paying your bills on time, it makes things a bit easier. Admittedly, most Philippine credit cards with airport lounge access are platinum level cards. This makes it a bit more inaccessible for the common folk. Security Bank’s Diner’s Club card was a really good card because it didn’t require much and the perk of having airport lounge access was amazing. I’m really sad they changed their policy. That’s why we’re here to shop for a new card.
PHILIPPINE CREDIT CARDS WITH AIRPORT LOUNGE ACCESS
Citi PremierMiles Card has access to the MIASCOR lounge in NAIA Terminal 1 & 3. It also has access to PLAZA PREMIUM LOUNGE (select locations abroad). These are the locations of the lounges abroad. They are a bit limited in my opinion but I guess it really depends on the places you intend to go or frequent.
Citi Prestige Card has access to over 800 airport lounges worldwide through PRIORITY PASS. This is good! But I’m probably not qualified. :D. The annual membership fee for Citi Prestige Membership is Php 12,000, billed up front on your first statement and on your card’s anniversary each year thereafter. That’s a bit too much for me. 🙂
BDO (BANCO DE ORO)
BDO VISA PLATINUM – enrolls you to a Priority Pass membership if you qualify and you are limited to 6 lounge visits in a year.
BDO World Elite gives you access to a complimentary membership and 2 lounge visits per year. Source.
American Express Platinum Credit Card gives you access to the MIASCOR Lounge at NAIA Terminal 1, Skyview Lounge at NAIA Terminal 3 and MIASCOR Davao Lounge at Davao International Airport.
DIAMOND REWARDS CARD (pictured as the third photo above)
The BDO Diamond Rewards card allows you and your companion to enjoy all amenities and privileges in their partner airport lounges.
NAIA Terminal 1:
- Club Manila
NAIA Terminal 3:
- Skyview Lounge
- The Wings Transit Lounge
• Companion/s of Diamond member on top of the 1 Free guest will have to pay the existing rates of the corresponding lounge/s.
• Member is subject and shall be guided by the corresponding lounge’s terms and conditions.
I actually applied for a BDO visa Platinum and I only found out that the Priority Pass doesn’t automatically come with the card. You have to apply for the priority pass once you get your card. There’s a form for it in there. Those 6 passes are not really free. Only the Priority pass membership is free. In order to get a lounge pass for free, you need to spend a minimum of Php 50,000 single or accumulated hotel and/or ticket transactions to avail of up to six (6) Free Lounge Access per year. Click here for more details. Minimum amount per charge slip must be PHP 20,000. Your annual membership fee is waived for the first year. Succeeding annual memberships will also be automatically waived when you spend at least Php420,000 per year.
BPI (BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS)
BPI SKYMILES PLATINUM is the only one listed on the BPI website with access to only a local lounge which is the Pacific Club at NAIA Terminal 3. Also, no international lounge access listed.
All of RCBC credit cards can access the Miascor Airport Lounges, located at NAIA Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 for a fee of US$12. The fee can be waived if you charge at least US$200 abroad (single or accumulated spend) then call 888-1888, to request for the waiver. Principal cardholders of the following premium cards plus one (1) travel companion** are entitled to FREE access to MIASCOR LOUNGE. They don’t have access to international lounges or at least not specified on their website.
- Citrus-RCBC Bankard MasterCard Platinum
- RCBC Bankard China UnionPay Diamond
- RCBC Bankard Diamond Card Platinum MasterCard
- RCBC Bankard Black Card Platinum Peso
- RCBC Bankard Black Card Platinum Dollar
- RCBC Bankard Visa Infinite
- RCBC Bankard World MasterCard
** In excess of the plus one (1) travel companion, principal cardholders are allowed to bring a maximum of 2 guests and their lounge access will be charged on their RCBC Bankard at USD $12/ per guest. Children two (2) years old and below are allowed to enter for FREE.
aThis card has the access to following local airport lounges:
- Skyview Lounge at NAIA Terminal 3
- Club Manila Lounge at NAIA Terminal 1
- MIASCOR Lounges at NAIA Terminal 1 and Davao International Airport
Again, no international lounge access specified.
DINER’S CLUB INTERNATIONAL – airport lounge access for all Diners Club cardholders will be subject to available lounge credits which can be earned whenever you use your Diners Club credit card. Every Php60,000.00 spend (single or accumulated) you make on your credit card will earn you one (1) lounge credit.
One (1) lounge credit is equivalent to one free entry to over 500 airport lounges around the world.
Airport lounge access will be subject to a fee of USD20 per entry for local lounges and USD30 per entry for international lounges if there are insufficient lounge credits to support the entry to the airport lounge.
Security Bank Platinum Master card offers free access to MIASCOR lounges in NAIA Terminal 1 and Davao airports
Out of all the cards that are available at the moment, I really want the Citi Prestige card but like what I said earlier, I probably would not be approved for it. Haha. The next best one is the BDO Visa Platinum card with 6 free passes a year. I already have one of the cards above so I will at least enjoy local lounge access.
I am really tempted to apply for this one. It has FREE LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP so no annual fees at all. I think that in itself is a very good deal. It also gives you a FREE PRIORITY PASS MEMBERSHIP. You can have access to lounges for a fee of $27 which can be free and credited back to your account for every PHP100,000 worth of accumulated spending from travel ticket purchases and international transactions during your travel period. Compared to the BDO Platinum, it only requires PHP50,000 but it’s limited to travel tickets or hotel accommodations. This one is for all purchases abroad and travel tickets. Also the BDO Platinum has a minimum spend requirement of PHP20,000, this card doesn’t seem to have a minimum spend requirement which is very good.
HERE ARE JUST SOME OF THE AIRPORT LOUNGES I HAVE ACCESSED AROUND THE WORLD
Miascor Skyview Lounge at NAIA Terminal 1 (Manila)
Al Dhabi Lounge (Dubai)
Horizon Swissport Lounge (Geneva)
Pacific Club Lounge at NAIA Terminal 3 (Manila)