LoungeKey: A Yore Oyster Review

October 29, 2020
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LoungeKey is an airport lounge program that gives you access to more than 1,000 airport lounges in 400 airports across 120+ countries. However, compared to other existing airport lounge programs such as Priority Pass, LoungeKey is not the most pleasant option out there, considering that LoungeKey still requires you to pay an access fee despite having a membership.

Taking all of this into consideration, we recommend you instead take a look at offers like the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card, which grants you a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES®, or the American Express Gold Rewards Card, which grants you four annual visits to Plaza Premium Lounges.

What Is The LoungeKey Program?

LoungeKey is an airport lounge program that gives you access to more than 1,000 airport lounges in 400 airports across 120+ countries. However, before you decide the LoungeKey program is for you, you should check if your airport is part of the program.

Let's get into the details of LoungeKey:

LoungeKey Program Benefits

Lounge Key
Global Airport Coverage >1,000 lounges
Canadian Airport Coverage 21 lounges:
• Calgary International Airport: 3
• Edmonton International Airport: 2
• Montreal International Airport: 1
• Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport: 1 
• Toronto Pearson International Airport: 8
• Vancouver International Airport: 5
• Winnipeg Richardson International Airport: 1
Lounge Amenities • WiFi.
• Television.
• Reading material (newspaper/magazines).
• Showers.
• ‘No Smoking’ zone.
• Flight monitors.
Food & Drink  • Alcoholic drinks available — a few lounges offer complimentary up to beer and wine only. Otherwise, alcohol is subject to payment. 
• Complimentary snacks.
Membership Not available for membership or daily passes
Only available as complimentary access to eligible Mastercard product holders from BMO, RBC, HSBC, or Rogers
LoungeKey App? Yes

Keep in mind that if you are a LoungeKey program member, changes to any program benefits, terms, and conditions will be notified to you 30 days in advance. This prevents any unexpected surprises from happening should you choose to exercise your membership rights. 

LoungeKey Accessibility

Generally, you are granted accessibility to LoungeKey lounges through credit card benefits. Therefore, you need to be eligible to own a credit card that has LoungeKey benefits.

Compared to many other airport lounge programs, LoungeKey doesn't have a daily pass or annual membership that you can just purchase online or via an app.

How do I gain access to the LoungeKey program? 

You can only gain access by being a cardholder to eligible Mastercard or Visa products. For Mastercard, this would be a partnership program between LoungeKey and Mastercard called ‘Mastercard Airport Experiences’.

For Visa, there's LoungeKey program access with any Visa Platinum, Visa Signature, and Visa Infinite cards. 

Once you own an eligible Mastercard or Visa card, you could be awarded a complimentary pass for a few visits (depending on your card issuer). For subsequent visits once your complimentary pass finishes, you will need to pay a fee of approximately $27 USD per visit.

Guest entries are only allowed if the eligible Mastercard holder is accompanying the guests. The only free entry to LoungeKey program lounges is for children up to 4 years old.

Your LoungeKey program access does not expire unless you cancel the credit card or if the card expires. Your LoungeKey access gets reactivated once you receive your new card after its expiry. 

Below is a checklist of items you'll need to access a LoungeKey program lounge:

  1. Your eligible MasterCard or Visa 
  2. Your boarding pass is to be presented to enter the lounge. It has to be the same name as your Mastercard. Also, it has to be for a flight departing on the very same day.

Certain lounges may request additional documentation such as your passport, national identity card, or driving license. Therefore, it’s best to check what you need with the lounge you intend to visit before you arrive. 

Cards That Qualify For LoungeKey Membership

access airport lounges

All World Mastercards and all World Elite Mastercards have the Mastercard Airport Experience privilege as part of their card. Here are the cards that are part of the Mastercard Airport Experience program:

World Mastercards

  • BMO Cashback World Mastercard
  • BMO Air Miles World Mastercard
  • BMO AIR MILES World Mastercard

World Elite Mastercards

  • BMO® AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard
  • BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard
  • World Westjet RBC World Elite card
  • HSBC Premier World Elite
  • HSBC World Elite Mastercard
  • ATB World Elite Mastercard

What are the eligible Visa products that offer lounge access?

Any credit card with the following Visa status is eligible for LoungeKey program access:

  • Visa Platinum cards
  • Visa Signature cards
  • Visa Infinite cards

Here are the most important Visa cards in Canada that will grant you access to the LoungeKey program:

  • Visa Platinum cards
  • Visa Signature cards
  • Visa Infinite cards

In Summary

The LoungeKey program has a good range of airport lounges to access, especially in Canadian airports where 21 lounges are available across 7 airports.

However, compared to other existing airport lounge programs such as Priority Pass, LoungeKey is not the most pleasant option out there. After all, LoungeKey still requires you to pay an access fee despite having a membership.

What's more, LoungeKey airport lounges are a subset of Priority Pass. As such, it may be more worthwhile to look into Priority Pass as an option.

Taking all of this into consideration, we recommend you instead take a look at offers like the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Card, which grants you a Welcome Bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES® points.

Alternatively, you could also get complimentary access as a Priority Pass member with credit cards such as American Express Gold Rewards Card.

If you prefer to not take up a credit card just for airport lounge access, then you can consider DragonPass which has almost the same airport lounge access as Priority Pass but at a cheaper rate.

You can get more details on the different airport lounge programs available in our review of major airport lounge programs.

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