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How to get free airport lounge access via credit & debit cards

Updated: Jan 2

There are no doubts that airport lounges 🛋️ are helpful for frequent travelers. This is especially true for those that are traveling abroad because check-ins to flights abroad

must be done more than 3 hrs in advance and in addition to that these flights are usually scheduled late nights and early morning, making it imperative for the traveler to check-in early and then find a place to relax before boarding the flight. Domestic travelers too can choose to relax a bit prior to boarding post check-in which us usually recommended to be early.


Almost all major airports in India now have lounge facilities. Some of these lounges are run by Airlines and are exclusively meant for frequent fliers of large international airlines. Others allow holders of specific brands of Credit & Debit Cards to access lounge facilities without any charge or for a negligible fee. One also has the option of buying lounge memberships directly through their websites by paying an annual fee.


In India there are 2 major card types that allow Airport Lounge access free of cost. One of them is WORLD MASTERCARD and the other one is through PRIORITY PASS memberships via some exclusive VISA cards.


WORLD MASTERCARD is a specific debit card type. These are usually issued by Banks to their preferred clientele. Examples are ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, CitiBank etc. It must be noted that WORLD MASTERCARD is different from other regular debit cards on the MASTERCARD network. One has to specifically look for the work “WORLD” on their debit cards to be sure. See below:

WORLD MASTERCARD holders must swipe their cards at the Domestic lounges that allow them. Upon swiping, a fee of Rs.25/- is usually deducted from the card but is refunded back by the bank in a few days. This can be verified by the user in their bank statements or through SMSes. Usually these cards have no limits in the number of times they can be used at airports per year but do check and verify the terms and conditions to confirm. And needless to say, that lounges that allow WORLD MASTERCARD holders at domestic airports are usually super crowded. In addition, users of these cards do not have access to lounges in international airports outside India.

Another free of cost method to gain access to airport lounges is by means of free PRIORITY PASS memberships provided to some exclusive VISA card members of Indian Banks. Examples of such cards are HDFC Regalia or Axis Select credit cards. Holders of these credit cards get free membership to PRIORITY PASS lounges at both domestic airports and international airports outside India. There are limits on the maximum no. of times these cards can be used at both domestic and international lounges annually. Usual limits are around 6 to 8 lounge visits per year. Guests are allowed with primary card holders, but charged a fee of USD 27. Here is an example of how a PRIORITY PASS card looks:

Note that the card holder must specifically request the credit card issuer for this pass and then carry it with them in order to avail lounge facilities. Simply holding the primary VISA card that provides free PRIORITY PASS access is unlikely to work because the lounge swipes the PRIORITY PASS card to register the free access.

Even though one may have these facilities on their credit or debit cards, it is usually a difficult task to keep track of limits, the list of airports with lounges that allow these cards and most importantly to remember to carry these cards during travel!


That’s exactly where RUSSH comes in. It is an app available free for download on both iOS and Android platforms. It allows you to find out which airports have lounge facilities that allow accesses through your credit cards once you have registered your card type with the app. Note that card details are not required to be registered with the app. And with more sophisticated capabilities just around the corner, this app may just be your visa (pun intended) to get you that corner to relax before you board your flight! So download RUSSH and try it out.



How to use RUSSH:When at the airport, open the app and go to the “others” category. This category will display airport lounges at the airport that allow WORLD MASTERCARD or PRIORITY PASS access. Register your card type with RUSSH (NO CARD DETAILS REQUIRED) and find out whether it allows airport lounge access right at your fingertips. This is in addition to the instore deals that RUSSH app shows on all credit and debit cards at your finger tips.

Dear RUSSH Fans, Thanks for liking the feature 🌟 , we got your feedback and we will make the access to airport more evident in our upcoming release in Dec… Download RUSSH: http:\\www.onelink.to\nfw5e3


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