Cheapest way to get Lounge Access ($2/INR 125 only!)

One of the questions I get often is about Lounge Access. After all, I go Live From A Lounge ever so often. A long while ago, the cheapest way to access lounges used to be via the Diners Club card which you could get free of cost if you had a relationship with the HDFC Bank, or at a low price otherwise.

Unfortunately, that route closed a while back when HDFC Bank rationalized the product. From what I think I know, they are not even issuing the base variant anymore.

Cheapest Way to get lounge access

However, there has been another route to get lounge access for a while. It is via the RuPay Platinum Debit Cards. RuPay offers their Platinum Debit Cardholders access to the following 47 lounges:

  • Port Lounge Ahmedabad, International
  • Plaza Premium Bangalore, Domestic & International
  • Above Ground Level Bangalore, Domestic & International
  • Mayfair Lounge Bhubaneswar
  • TFS Travel Club Chennai, Domestic & International
  • Earth Lounge Cochin, Domestic & International
  • Plaza Premium Delhi, Domestic T1/T2/T3 & International T3
  • ITC Green Lounge Delhi, International T3
  • Port Lounge Goa, Domestic & International
  • Plaza Premium Hyderabad, Domestic & International
  • TFS Travel Club Kolkata, Domestic & International
  • Mumbai Airport Lounge Terminal 1
  • Good Times Bar Mumbai Terminal 1
  • TFS Travel Club  Mumbai Terminal 2
  • Loyalty Lounge Mumbai Terminal 2
  • MIC NAC Lounge Pune Terminal 1
  • Zesto Lounge Raipur
  • Zesto Lounge Varanasi
  • Zesto Lounge Lucknow
  • Club One Lounge Jaipur
  • Rube Arena, Trivandrum
  • Privé Lounge Guwahati Airport
  • Alhind Calicut
  • Shaurya Executive Lounge Dehradun
  • Club One Class Lounge Udaipur
  • CIP Lounge Visakhapatnam
  • Chanakya Lounge Patna
  • CITCO Lounge Chandigarh
  • TFS Lounge Nagpur
  • Amravathi Lounge Vijayawada
  • Club One Vadodara

I find the lounge access to be very extensive indeed and beats Visa India a punch, who are happy at 38 lounges right now. Priority Pass gets you in lesser lounges than RuPay for the moment in India.

TFS Lounge Terminal 2 Mumbai

TFS Lounge Mumbai Terminal 2, accessible with the RuPay card.

For RuPay Platinum Card holders, they get two visits free per calendar quarter (8 per annum), through March 2019 for the moment. The card needs to be authorized for Rs. 2 everytime you make the trip.

Coming to the cost, almost all banks in India are now issuing RuPay debit cards. If you go for the Platinum variants, you can, of course, get free lounge access as well for the year. I ordered a PayTM RuPay Card recently. It will only cost me INR 125 for the issuance. The best place to apply for the RuPay cards is to apply via the RuPay portal, and they get you sorted pretty quickly after that.


If you are looking for a cheap way to access airport lounges in India, get yourself a RuPay Debit Card, and you are sorted to visit eight times a year. It is an easy and very cheap way to get inside a lounge for traveling four times a year. If you have not applied yet, go and get your card from the RuPay website.

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Is there any debit or credit card issued from any bank in India (apart from Amex)that allows access to lounge at International airports free of costs?

  2. Do I need to register for lounge services? It’s declined at HK intl airport although it’s under the RuPay international list of lounges.

  3. Guys,

    Please do not rely on Rupay platinum card (issued by any bank) to use it in lounges outside India. If you use them outside India for lounge access, your card will be declined. I just recently tried using it at multiple airports in multiple countries and on all occasions, it was declined. Rupay claims that their cards will be accepted at Diners Club POS Terminals but that is not true. Your card will be declined at this POS.

    • If you are accessing bar then you need to pay extra otherwise everything is free after the swipe of your card. In some lounges everything is free .

  4. Does this work international ? I am visiting Singapore and i want to use it. Please suggest.

  5. Thanks for the info, I have a platinum rupay card but never knew about the lounge access!
    And as already mentioned earlier HDFC Bank has restricted the number of lounge visits even for the highest tier (i believe it’s now 2 visits per quarter?) so the rupay card is a good option

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