One airport lounge program that has been on our radar recently is the Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey.
If you have never heard of Mastercard Airport Experiences it’s probably because there are not many Canadian credit cards that offer access to this lounge program.
With over 1,000 locations worldwide, Canadians can register to access these lounges simply by having the right Mastercard in their wallet.
Curious to know more?
We may have the answer to your questions here.
4 questions about Mastercard Airport Experiences
1. What is Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey?
Like most airport lounges, Mastercard Airport Experiences lounges allow you to get away from the craziness of airport travel.
You’ll get access to perks like:
- complimentary drinks and refreshments,
- secure Wi-Fi,
- space for you to stretch out, have some privacy, and get comfortable,
- plus, some lounges even have showers,
- fully stocked bars, and
- conference rooms.
Airport lounges like this one give you a little extra comfort and space to enjoy some “you time,” making the journey just as enjoyable as the destination.
Mastercard Airport Experience is a lounge network with over 1,000 lounges worldwide in over 400 airports and in 120+ countries.
This airport lounge program allows cardholders to use their Mastercard to gain access to the lounge, allowing them to skip the annoyance of carrying one more card in their wallet.
Mastercard Airport Experiences will also give members deals at select airport restaurants, spas and retail outlets.
Aside from giving you access to a comfortable lounge, the airport “experience” program allows members to look up an airport they are traveling to and look for any exclusive offers in that location. They may not have a lounge where you are heading, but how about a coupon for a meal while you’re there? Or a discount for some of the shops?
These offers change and vary depending on where you’re traveling to and the codes you recieve do expire within a few hours. But if you’re lucky, you could score some pretty great deals.
2. Which Canadian credit cards are eligible for Mastercard Airport Experiences?
As mentioned above, there are not many Canadian credit cards that come with access to this exclusive lounge.
However, BMO recently announced 5 different credit cards that come with this great benefit (starting August 8, 2018):
While all 5 of these BMO cards will grant you basic membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences, only the BMO World Elite Mastercard and the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard will give you complimentary passes to the lounge – 4 annual passes and 2 annual passes respectively.
Aside from that, the
If you’re one of our Alberta readers, you could also get access to this program and 2 complimentary annual passes through the ATB World Elite Mastercard.
3. How much does a membership or a visit cost?
Some lounge programs will allow you to purchase a membership by paying an annual fee. However, as far as we can tell from our research, there is no way to gain access to one of these lounges through LoungeKey unless you have an eligible Mastercard.
And if you don’t have any complimentary passes, each visit to a Mastercard Airport Experience lounge is going to cost you US$27 for you and any guests you might have, and this charge will be directly applied to your Mastercard credit card.
Please note: Different locations have different rules about the number of guests you can bring and whether or not children are allowed. Be sure to check out the policies of the location you will be visiting before you arrive.
4. Is Mastercard Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey better than Priority Pass?
As with anything, there are pros and cons.
Priority Pass lets anyone become a member, as long as they are willing to pay for it, which is nice if you’re not really looking to add another credit card to your wallet.
However, from our research, it seems that in other areas of the world all World Elite card holders have access to Mastercard Airport Experiences.
Whether or not it will be moving that way for Canadians, we’re not sure. But the more people who are allowed in, the less exclusive it becomes, so that is something to keep in mind if exclusivity is important to you.
What is clear is that more and more Mastercards are beginning to become part of this program and our expectation is that we will see more announcements like the recent one from BMO in the near future.
One clear advantage Mastercard Airport Experiences has though is that you don’t need to carry around a membership card and you get to enjoy offers and deals on top of access to a lounge.
What it really comes down to is:
- What airports do you frequent?
- Would you have access to more Priority Pass lounges or Mastercard Airport Experiences lounges? Keep in mind many of these lounges might be shared between the two programs.
- Do you have a credit card that already offers access to either of these lounge programs?
We would love to hear from you
Have you ever used Mastercard Airport Experiences lounge?
Did you enjoy your experience? Or would you prefer Priority Pass?
Please let us know in the comments below.