Get Lounge Access with Visa Cards in India (2013 edition)

One of my intentions to be writing this blog is to help you guys travel well. Last year, I wrote about Lounge Access with MasterCard plastic in India, which has become one of the highest accessed posts on this blog. Some of the other tools I’ve created earlier this year is the list of the best mileage credit cards in India, and a calculator which helps you find the best mileage earning CC for your needs.

The Visa Lounge Access program has been in operation for a while now and is currently valid till September 2013. Under this program, all premium Visa cardholders (Visa Signature or Visa Infinite) from various banks get free access to lounges and airport restaurants in India on domestic as well as international flights. You will be asked to present your card at these premises, and a dummy transaction of Rs. 2 will be made to validate the card using a swipe terminal. If it goes through, you will be allowed access. However note, this program is valid only for 2 free visits per quarter for Visa Signature, and 4 free visits per quarter for Visa Infinite. Subsequently, you will be charged as per the rate card published here (PDF).

The offer is valid at the following lounges/airport restaurants across India:

  • Grid Bar (Restaurant) @ Delhi Terminal 3 Domestic Departures
  • Delhi Daredevils Sports Bar @ Delhi Terminal 3 International Departures
  • Carnations Lounge @ Mumbai Terminal 1C Domestic Departures
  • Celebrations Lounge @ Mumbai Terminal 2 International Departures
  • Pause Lounge @ Bangalore Domestic Departures
  • Kingfisher Sports Bar @ Bangalore International Departures
  • Flight of Fancy (Taj SATS) @ Chennai Domestic Departures
  • Maharaja Lounge @ Chennai International Departures

The following banks are participating as per my information: ICICI, Kotak, SBI, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank Debit, Citibank (Premiermiles & others), HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank. Debit and Credit Cards both, with the Visa Signature or Visa Infinite signage will be welcomed.

Citibank PremierMiles Visa offers 20 visits per quarter complimentary as compared to the 2 from others.

If there are other cards which you know of, please leave a note in the comments below and I will add them to the list.

You get access to the F&B, internet (complimentary) and all facilities available to the regular visit of the lounge. At the international lounges, this also includes access to the alcohol if that counts as a benefit for you.

Do share your experiences with the Visa lounge access program in the past or in the future in the comments section below.

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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. I have 4 visa signature credit cards, i want to know, while i travel domestic , can i still vist international departure lounge in bangalore or any other airport in india.. If no kindly specify the exact reason and if yes then how..

  2. i have axis bank VISA CLASSIC debit card….. will it work at chennai domestic terminal in lounge??? pls help me… i have to wait there for 3 hours

  3. Love from Clipper lounge.. It’s very much comfortable.. Nice drinks nice food and electric sockets for charging (that’s what I am doing apart from charging leaving this message.). I don’t take beverages but I am fortunate enough to get a cup of curd.
    Complaint from the visitors is they have no guidelines about the valid cards to get an entry pass. Simply trying one card art another. My card didn’t get me a pass even though my baker said it would, luckily, my colleague who has another card, gave me a pass and we both are in. It is a little too crowdy this time.

  4. I am having Citibank Indian oil Visa Platinum and Citibank MasterCard Titanium Cash back cards.

    Can i access the Lounges on airport with any of the above cards?

  5. ICICI VISA Coral Credit Card Lounge Access
    Valid up to Sep 2014

    New Delhi
    The Grid Bar (T3 – Domestic)
    Daredevil’s Sports Bar (T3 – International)

    Carnations Lounge (1C-Domestic)

    Flight of Fancy (Domestic)
    Maharaja Lounge (International)

    Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic)
    Plaza Premium Lounge (International)

    Kingfisher’s Sports Bar (International)


  6. In the new BLR International extension, I couldn’t find the Kingfisher Sports Bar. Has this been moved or taken over by a new entity?

    Also, is the Visa Signature offer applicable in the new lounge.

    • Bangalore. Yesterday I checked telephonically visa signature is accepted at plaza premium lounge in bangalore domestic area. It was not being accepted initially. Bangalore international I will check and let know.

  7. Hi,

    I will be in the USA next month and will pass through Olando (MCO), Cleaveland (CLE), Boston ( BOS) and Philadelphia (PHL) aiports.

    I have the following credit cards issues in India

    1. Citibank Premier miles Visa Signature
    2. Citibank Diners Club International
    3. HSBC Premier Master Card
    4. HDFC JP World Master Card

    Additionally my wife has-
    1. Citibank Premier miles World Master Card.

    Am I entitled for complimentary lounge access using any of these cards at these Airports? Last year, I used Diners Club card for Free Lounge access at Dubai and Hongkong airports but other cards were refused.

    Request your advise please.

  8. Quite surprised to find that Citibank Premiermiles does not have Priority pass complimentary membership.

    Can you list which cards in India have it? I saw HDFC Jet airways World card provides it.

  9. can anyone suggest whether still there is lounge access for the following cards: standard chartered visa infinity , icici coral visa credit card , axis my zone visa

    • Sir, I do not the exact card , you enquirer about. But , I had used icici bank coral visa debit card in January 2014 at plaza premium lounge, Hyderabad domestic terminal and then axis bank my wings credit card at clippers longe in Mumbai t2 new terminal in february 2014. They are honoring these cards.

  10. I have add-on Visa Signature Axis Bank. Is it entitled for lounge-access?
    I have planitum -visa elite Bank of Baroda- is it entitled for lounge-access?
    Second what are the special facilities/privileges bestowed to the qualifying card holders in this lounge access vis-a-vis those who do not have the qualifying cards? Anyways people have to pay for the F & B. Suppose no F&B is taken and one wants to just wait there in a more comfortable ambience- would that be OK and free.

  11. I have AXIS – My Zone Credit Card which was free for first year and have the facility to access airport lounges . I found it smooth to use so far just have to swipe for Rs.2 . I have visited lounges in Hyderabad and Bangalore , they are good but not so great . I am continuing this card even though I had to pay annual fee for the second year(2014) because the amount I have paid is already recovered if I access lounges twice. Almost all the visa credit cards have extended lounge access facility till September 2014 . Only drawback is limited access i.e 2 accesses per quarter.

    • I could use icici coral debit card- visa on 24th and 26th of January 2014 at plaza lounge, hyderabad domestic terminal and then axis bank my wings credit card- master card yesterday ( 13th February) at new terminal t2 at Mumbai inetrnation airport. It seems the validity of these cards for using lounges has been extended.

  12. Gentlemen,
    Earlier I mentioned about the non acceptance of ICICI BANK, CORAL DEBIT CARD, VISA PLATINUM for lounge access , at BOM airport , intl, but I could use this card on 24th and 26 th of January , 2013 at Plaza Premium Lounge, Domestic Terminal, Hyderabad.the card was accepted with a nominal charge of Rs. 2.

  13. This is just to share my experience. Yesterday I used the Pause lounge on Bangalore domestic terminal with my Citibank Premier Miles visa card. They swiped the card and I signed for a payment of Rs. 2. (The sign outside said that access to the loung with snacks/breakfast and drinks could be had for Rs. 414, which I suppose is the price without an appropriate card). It was around 11 a.m. on a Sunday. The lounge was about half full. All the computer terminals (about 6 of them) were free. The food in the buffet was breakfast items: water melon juice, cut fruits, cereals with cold milk, grilled tomatoes, roast potatoes, pongal, upma, idlis, croissants, muffins. Hot drinks, bottled drinks, tetrapak juices were available at the bar on request. I am not sure of alcoholic drinks, since I did not want to havey any. The seating was at bar stools, sofas, work tables, and swivel chairs at tables. Small water bottles were placed on each table. Apart from the general lounge there seemed to be also an alley with more private seats. There was no display of flight status, and once one of the assistants came and announced the departure of a flight.

    Quite a reasonable lounge, but I would have liked it if one could help oneself to the drinks rather than waiting for someone to come and attend to the bar.

  14. Last week I could use SBI Platinum Debit Card (Black) at the Grid Bar, T3 First Floor, Delhi Domestic Airport. But it was not accepted anywhere else there; not in Carnation Lounge Mumbai Domestic airport also.

  15. Hope, some of you may share with me your experiences. At the advice of icici bank, I surrendered my free platinum visa debit card and got issued coral platinum visa debit card in the month of August 2013 and paid Rs 561 as an annual fee plus taxes, just to have the airport lounge access. I had once accessed in september but denied when I approached in October, 2013 and when checked with the icici bank, they explained the facility of airport lounge access with coral platinum visa debit card has been till 30 th September only and is not extended beyond.
    Can anybody advise me over the stoppage of facility by visa for coral international debit card .
    The services was denied on 17 th October at celebration lounge, Mumbai international airport departure lounge.

  16. What about the international Credit/Debit card like MC TiTanium etc The domestic lounge do not accept these cards not the priority pass, Any comment

    • @Mali, each bank offers a subset of its customers these services and this depends on the card you sign up for. If the promotion is not available on your debit card then you won’t be able to access the lounge.

  17. I want access to airport lounge at diiferent domestic location ,pls suggest which card I should get and from which all banks.

    pls give suggestions/advice on this.

  18. I am a Visa infinity card holder under stanchart Priority Banking account.
    Please advise if the card can beaccessed to the lounges now,as I believe the expiry is Sept 2013.

  19. I checked the premier miles site of Citibank just now. It seems to say that the Visa access to lounges is extended to 30th September 2014, with a total of 10 lounges. The corresponding list for Master Card lounges seems to have diminished in size. For one, I do not see the loung in the Delhi international terminal.

  20. what is a status of airport lounge acess by visa credit card?
    as this offer was finished on 30th september according to banks website.



    • Sir, I have platinum card from icici but it is not qualifying for lounge access. When checked with icici, they advised me to go for coral credit card which has annual charge of Rs. 500. Finally I received icici coral credit card and now I am enjoying lounge access in India. In addition, I took wings credit card from axis bank. This also giving me access to another lounge in airport. Visa card for celebration lounge from coral card and my wings card from axis bank from MasterCard for calipers lounge.

  22. I am Chandrasekaran , just entered to check how the announced system works, I holdVISA SIGNATURE card. It is working , Food is OK. The rice they serve is horrible Not cooked. Thanks for the service.


  23. Thanks for sharing this information. However, I had different exepeience. On 20th May, 2013, when I presented my ICICI bank Platinum Debit card ( VISA) to Celebration Lounge, Mumbai, International Airport, After swiping the card on the machine the message appeared : The card bin( showing the first four digits of the card ) in not eligble . Hence the access was denied.
    I am thinking to contact ICICI Bank? ANy other opinion?
    Appreciate your views

    • @Rahul, there is no such card which allows you to access lounges across the world. Priority Pass is a paid service as well, and unless you have the highest end Priority Pass, you will be charged per visit to the lounges.

  24. this thing changes every single day

    which card as on today gets me this access and how can i go about getting it ?

    • @Rahul this won’t change every day but you need to check with your bank to see if they tied up for access. Also, credit card based access is usually only for major airports and not the smaller ones unfortunately.

  25. Hi

    I have a citi premier mastercard debit card which also entitles me for an access to all master card lounges. Can the add on that card for my wife will work in mastercard lounges.

  26. Hi

    Can anyone tell me whether the add-on card for citi premier miles card will be able to access this lounge. Actually generally i travel along with my wife & she has an add on card so just wanna whether both of us can have free access to lounge or not

  27. Thanks. This is informative. Anyone can give me details on SBI black visa platinum international debit card and ICICI visa black platinum card. Neither are Signature nor Infinite. Thanks in advance 🙂

  28. And the said access is for all Gold/Priority Visa(normal ones) cards. You do not even need to possess their Visa Signature/Infinite cards!

    • @Deo, Thanks, added Axis Bank, though it was very well on my list this afternoon when I typed the post. Thank you for pointing that out. As for non-high end cards, sometimes some banks may add those features by negotiating via Visa, so one needs to check T&C on a case to case basis.

  29. @ AJ : I have an Axis Bank Priority Visa Debit card and I get access to the same set of lounges as mentioned by you and even more in some cases.
    The only caveat being the number of free visits are twice a quarter.
    Haven’t checked the scene for their credit cards but should be the same.
    Here are the details:

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