Review: Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles (IAD)

capital one airport lounge at washington dulles review featured image

Capital One launched its airport lounge network in 2021 with three lounges: Washington-Dulles (IAD), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), and Denver (DEN). Since then, they have announced plans to expand their lounges to airports such as JFK in New York. 

I had the chance to go to Washington D.C. for a conference in May and specifically decided to fly out of IAD for a visit to the Capital One Lounge. The pictures and promotions online made the lounge look amazing, but I had to go see it for myself! 

After my visit, I have to say that the Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles ranks at the top of my airport lounge visits and is a worthy rival to the American Express Centurion Lounges and Chase Sapphire Lounges. Let’s take a look inside the Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport and see if it’s worth visiting the next time you are flying out of IAD!

Where is the Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles?

The Capital One Lounge is located just after the TSA Pre-Check security gates in the main terminal of Washington Dulles International Airport.

capital one lounge location map of washington dulles terminal

Unfortunately, finding the lounge is a bit of a struggle because there aren’t many signs right after you get past security. Look for elevators marked with “Capital One Lounge,” and take it up to Level C. Right after you get off the elevators, you’ll see the lounge and its glass doors. 

capital one airport lounge washington exterior entrance

Ironically, everywhere else in IAD is plastered with posters and promotional material of the Capital One Lounge, except for when you get “warmer” to the actual location!

capital one lounge promotion banner in terminal at iad

Accessing the Capital One Lounge at Washington Dulles

To access a Capital One Lounge, you will need to hold an eligible Capital One credit card which includes either the Capital One Venture X Rewards card, Venture X Business, Venture Rewards, or Spark Miles Business credit card. Each credit card has its own rules on the number of entries and guests:

Credit CardNumber of VisitsGuests
Capital One Venture X Rewards CardUnlimited complimentary access for the cardholder and their authorized users2 free guests ($45 USD for additional guests)
Capital One Venture X Business CardUnlimited complimentary access for the cardholder and their authorized users2 free guests ($45 USD for additional guests)
Capital One Venture Rewards Card2 free passes; $45 USD for each visit thereafter$45 USD for each guest
Capital One Spark Miles Business Card2 free passes; $45 USD for each visit thereafter$45 USD for each guest

The “best bang for your buck” credit cards for accessing Capital One Lounges are the Capital One Venture X Rewards card and Venture X Business card because they offer unlimited complimentary access for the cardholder and any authorized card users (which have no additional cost).

Capital One Venture X Rewards

The Capital One Venture X Rewards card earns Capital One Miles and offers unlimited airport lounge access for the cardholder and their authorized users. The card also offers an annual $300 USD travel credit to be used on the Capital One Travel Portal.

Click to learn how to obtain and optimize the Capital One Venture X Rewards card as a Canadian!

BONUS
75,000 Capital One Miles
MINSPEND
$4,000
NET VALUE
$993+
ANNUAL FEE
$395
FOREX FEES
No
EXPIRY

Unfortunately, other lounge programs and networks are not able to access Capital One Lounges. That means that even if you hold an American Express Platinum card for their Global Lounge network or memberships to programs like Priority Pass or DragonPass, you will not be able to enter Capital One Lounges. There are no indications that this rule will be going away any time soon, so you will need to add an eligible Capital One credit card to your wallet to enter.

If you do decide to visit Capital One airport lounges but aren’t a cardholder, you can buy access for $65 USD per guest at the door. Needless to say, no matter how great the lounge is, this is a bad deal and definitely not worth it.

Seating

Once you enter the lounge, you’ll find the first section of seating to your right. Here, you’ll have a few booths and some large tables for groups of travelers.

capital one airport lounge washington dulles seating 1

The majority of the seating is around the corner and you’ll find a good amount of booths, larger tables, couches, and seating at the bar.

If you prefer a more quiet or private place to do some work, there are first-come-first-serve workstation booths available.

There is also a pair of individual chairs in this area if you want to get comfy while keeping to yourself.

capital one airport lounge washington dulles individual chair seating

Although I didn’t get firm confirmation of this from the staff at the lounge, it seems to be pet-friendly as I did see a furry friend enjoying himself too!

capital one airport lounge washington dulles dog in lounge

Storage Lockers

A nice touch to the lounge was their locker system for luggage storage.

capital one airport lounge washington dulles storage lockers

If you find yourself traveling through IAD with a lot of luggage, you can securely store it in one of their PIN-locked luggage lockers.

Food & Beverage

capital one airport lounge washington dulles refuel sign for food

The food was the highlight for me during my visit to the Capital One Lounge. I was fortunate to stay for breakfast and lunch service during my visit. Breakfast is served from 5:30 am to 11:30 am and then the buffet options are changed to lunch afterward.

Food is served buffet style, however instead of large pots of food where you serve yourself, the food is already portioned and in their own containers. Simply grab a tray, put a few pre-portioned items on and you are on your way!

capital one airport lounge washington dulles food plated

My personal favorites during the breakfast service were thick and fluffy pancakes served in their own pan and the chia coconut pudding.

An ingenious addition to the food service of the Capital One Lounge is their to-go section. If you are in a rush, you can simply grab a few pre-packaged sandwiches, snacks, and drinks to take with you on your flight.

capital one airport lounge washington dulles grab and go prepackaged food

Additionally, in the baked goods section of the buffet, paper bags are provided for you to take some sweet treats with you to enjoy on the plane. I made sure to stock up on a few sandwiches, cookies, and pop before I left the lounge!

capital one airport lounge washington dulles grab and go pastries

In terms of drinks, the Capital One Lounge has a full-service bar for you to order alcoholic beverages. A neat addition is their “soda station” where you’ll find seasonal pops and lemonade options, as well as sparkling and still water, right on tap!

capital one airport lounge washington dulles on tap beverages

Coffee Bar

capital one airport lounge washington dulles coffee bar

One of the best parts of the lounge is its full-service coffee bar. The baristas at the Capital One Lounge will make any drink that you can expect at your local cafe. There is a menu signboard on the wall and a more extensive menu on the counter.

In addition, they have a wide assortment of teas and pastries. I took a few pastries and a latte to-go, right before I left to go to the gate to board my flight! The blueberry and peach “poptart” was my personal favorite!

capital one airport lounge washington dulles coffee bar pastries

If you’re a fan of cold brew nitro coffee, you’ll be pleased to know that they have 2 options available on tap for you to pour for yourself to enjoy at the lounge or to-go before your flight. Needless to say, the coffee choices are endless at the Capital One Lounge.

capital one airport lounge washington dulles cold brew coffee on tap

Bathroom

The bathrooms were clean and well-stocked. Unfortunately, there is no shower at the IAD lounge.

capital one airport lounge washington dulles bathroom

Nursing/Parent Room

For those traveling with young children, the Capital One Lounge offers a private nursing/parent room. These are first come first serve and you can access them by speaking with the check-in staff.

Conclusion

The Capital One Lounge at Dulles International Airport ranks as one of my favorite airport lounge experiences to date. The Capital One Lounge Collection rivals the American Express Centurion and Chase Sapphire Lounges. If you find yourself in an airport with one, I highly recommend you check it out! I can’t wait to see more Capital One Lounges pop up in airports soon! 

Check out our comprehensive guide on the Capital One Venture X Rewards card to learn about the best credit card to get you into Capital One Lounges and other lounges around the world for a net zero cost! 

Quentin Tsang

Quentin Tsang

Quentin dove into the world of travel credit cards in 2019 after being jealous of people going to airport lounges and wondering how he could do the same. Little did he know, this curiosity would lead him to become immersed in the world of points and miles. He loves to nerd out over all aspects of travel credit cards, loyalty programs and making the most of everyday spending, and can’t wait to share his journey with Frugal Flyer readers.

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