Let’s face the facts: airport lounges make the travel experience much more palatable. Personally, I’d much rather be sitting in an airport lounge with free food and alcohol right up to boarding time as opposed to sitting elsewhere in the terminal.
While there are a few cards that provide unlimited lounge visits (I am partial to my Amex Business Platinum card with Amex Global Lounge Collection access), I recognize that they are not for everyone due to the higher annual fees or high spending requirements for the welcome bonuses. With that in mind, the DragonPass program presents a good opportunity for those who are looking to gain access to airport lounges with a variety of premium and non-premium credit cards.
Let’s dive into the DragonPass lounge program and learn how you can take advantage during your travels.
What is the DragonPass Lounge Program?
DragonPass is an airport lounge program that provides access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide. Their goal is to make the airport experience more enjoyable and while they offer a few other services such as meet & greet services, the focus is on airport lounges.
Interestingly, whereas the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge network requires you to be flying on an Air Canada or Star Alliance flight, there are no airline requirements with the DragonPass lounge program. This presents some strong options for airport lounge access if you are flying with a different carrier, such as WestJet, and do not have access to a premium credit card that grants unlimited lounge access.
What Lounges are Part of the DragonPass Program?
The DragonPass list of eligible lounges is extensive, with over 1,300 lounges at 755 airports worldwide. It is more than likely that you will be able to find an eligible lounge at the airport of your choice, whether you find yourself at domestic Canadian airports or an international airport. These lounges can include Plaza Premium lounges, airline-branded lounges, and more.
The comprehensive list of lounges in the DragonPass program can be found here. Ensure you check this list before your vacation to understand what lounges are available, where they are located, and the operating hours to avoid disappointment.
The DragonPass airport lounge membership program offers a tiered membership system in which members pay annually to receive benefits within the program.
DragonPass members are able to access airport lounges for a set number of visits depending on the tier. For example, those with the Preferential membership tier will receive eight free lounge visits, while those with the Prestige membership tier will receive unlimited lounge access for themselves. Those with DragonPass memberships are also able to take advantage of dining discounts, access to meet & greet services, and more.
Frankly, I would advise against ever paying for this membership since if you were interested in unlimited visits, you would be better off paying the annual fee on a premium credit card since you would get a welcome bonus and additional perks as opposed to solely lounge access.
The real value of DragonPass lies in taking advantage of the perks that are offered by quite a few credit cards in Canada to avoid paying the membership fee entirely.
How to Get Free DragonPass Lounge Membership & Access
If you are interested in joining the DragonPass lounge membership program but don’t want to pay for entry into lounges, you are in luck. Many Canadian credit cards have started to add DragonPass membership with a set number of free visits as one of the perks they offer to cardholders.
Simply by holding an active eligible credit card, you may be eligible for four or six complimentary DragonPass airport lounge visits to be used by yourself and your guests. Depending on if you have an eligible Visa or Mastercard, you can enroll at the following links:
- Visa DragonPass Sign-up or download the Visa Airport Companion app to sign up.
- Mastercard DragonPass Sign-up or download the Mastercard Travel Pass app to sign up.
If you enroll in the program with an eligible credit card it is important to note that the complimentary visits are per membership year and not per calendar year. If you do not use all of your visits in a membership year, they do not carry over. Additionally, if you close the eligible credit card you may lose access to your remaining free lounge visits.
Once you have enrolled, you will need to present your valid boarding pass and QR code for your DragonPass membership with the remaining free visits.
Credit Cards with Free DragonPass Lounge Access
Now that we know how to get free access to DragonPass, let’s review which credit cards offer this perk in Canada to determine which might be the best fit for your wallet.
This list does not include those cards which offer DragonPass membership but zero complimentary lounge visits, such as the HSBC World Elite Mastercard. While some cards do offer a complimentary DragonPass membership, each lounge visit or additional visits will cost $32 USD so it truly cannot be called a benefit.
RBC Credit Cards with DragonPass Membership
Only one RBC credit card offers a complimentary DragonPass membership and six free airport lounge visits: the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege card.
Scotiabank Credit Cards with DragonPass Membership
Scotiabank has two Visa cards that grant complimentary membership and six free airport lounge visits: the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card and the business version of the card.
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card earns Scene+ Rewards points and offers cardholders benefits such as no foreign transaction fees and six complimentary airport lounge access passes annually.
BMO Credit Cards with DragonPass Membership
BMO has one Visa card that grants complimentary membership and six free airport lounge visits: the BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege card.
The BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege card earns BMO Rewards points and offers cardholders benefits including an annual $200 lifestyle credit and six complimentary airport lounge passes annually.
90,000 BMO Rewards
Additionally, BMO has two Mastercard credit cards on offer that also are involved in the DragonPass program: the BMO Ascend World Elite card and the BMO World Elite Business card.
|Credit Card||Welcome Bonus||Net Value|
|BMO Ascend World Elite||60,000 BMO Rewards||$402||Apply|
|BMO World Elite Business||50,000 BMO Rewards||$335||Apply|
The Ascend World Elite card offers four complimentary visits, while the World Elite Business card offers two complimentary visits.
CIBC Credit Cards with DragonPass Membership
CIBC has the most credit cards that offer DragonPass membership and complimentary airport lounge visits. These cards include the CIBC Aventura Gold card, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege card, and the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege card.
|Credit Card||Welcome Bonus||Net Value|
|CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege||90,000 Aeroplan||$1,291||Apply|
|CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege||80,000 Aventura||$1,261||Apply|
|CIBC Aventura Gold||40,000 Aventura||$880||Apply|
|CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite||40,000 Aventura||$880||Apply|
The CIBC Aventura Gold and Aventura Infinite both offer complimentary membership and four free visits. On the other hand, the more premium cards of the bunch, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege and Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege, both offer free membership and six free visits.
TD Credit Cards with DragonPass Membership
Only one TD credit card offers a complimentary DragonPass membership and six free airport lounge visits: the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege card.
The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege card earns Aeroplan points and offers cardholders a variety of Air Canada benefits including priority boarding, free checked baggage, and Maple Leaf lounge access.
It never hurts to have multiple ways to gain lounge access on a complimentary basis, and DragonPass is one of the best options. While the cards listed above come with a limited number of visits, they should tide you over for at least a trip or two if you don’t have access to a card with unlimited access to airport lounges.
If you have any of the cards that offer complimentary DragonPass lounge visits, you should definitely sign up and take advantage of them during your next vacation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is DragonPass?
DragonPass is an airport lounge program that provides access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide.
Can I pre-book airport lounge access with DragonPass?
No, you cannot pre-book airport lounge access. You simply have to show up to the lounge and hope that there is space available; this may include waiting or being turned away if the lounge is at capacity.
How can I sign-up for a DragonPass membership for free?
Many credit cards in Canada offer benefits that include a free DragonPass membership that come with a set amount of free visits.
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