4 credit cards that get you free or discounted access to Delta Sky Club airport lounges

Delta Sky Club Sky Deck JFK

David Slotnick/Business Insider

The Delta Sky Club at JFK has an outdoor area called the Sky Deck.

Like the other major US airlines, Delta has its own network of airport lounges, called Delta Sky Clubs. These provide a place to relax before a flight, and Sky Club amenities include Wi-Fi, snacks, and drinks.

One of the benefits of Delta's two mainstream credit cards - the Gold Delta SkyMiles and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles cards from American Express - is the ability to purchase discounted access to Delta's Sky Club airport lounges. And two other credit cards can get you free Delta Sky Club access when you fly Delta.

How can you access Delta Sky Club airport lounges?

You have several options for accessing Delta's Sky Club lounges. If you're traveling in Delta One or in a premium cabin on one of Delta's SkyTeam alliance partners, you're entitled to Sky Club access, and you can also purchase a Delta Sky Club membership outright for $545. You can also get Sky Club access through Delta elite status.

Finally, having the right credit card can get you complimentary or reduced-price access to a Delta Sky Club. Note that you need to have a same-day Delta boarding pass in order to access one of these lounges.

Delta Sky Club access with select credit cards

Until recently, anyone could purchase one-time access to Sky Clubs for $59 at any lounge's front desk. However, these day passes were eliminated in November 2018.

Fortunately, single-visit passes are still available for Gold and Platinum Delta SkyMiles cardholders. If you have one of those cards, you can buy access to the Sky Club for just $29 - about half the price of what used to be available to anyone flying Delta.

Those discounted lounge passes are great for travelers who occasionally fly Delta, or would only use the lounge access a few times each year - for instance, in case of delays, long connections, or a tendency to arrive for flights a bit early.If you can see yourself using the Sky Club more often, you should instead consider Delta's premium card - the Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express - which gives the cardholder complimentary access to Sky Clubs whenever they're flying Delta. That helps offset the card's $450 annual fee.

The Delta Reserve card comes with a few other perks, including a domestic first-class companion certificate, and higher upgrade priority for Delta Medallion members.

An alternative, if you're looking for the widest lounge access you can get from a credit card, the best option is the (not Delta-branded) Platinum Card® from American Express. In addition to Sky Club access whenever flying Delta, that card offers access to Priority Pass lounges, AmEx's own Centurion and International Lounges, and more. That's a network of over 1,200 lounges around the world.

The Amex Platinum has a high $550 annual fee, but it's easy to get more value than that - in my first year with the card, I got over $2,000 in value. Right now, the card offers 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months.

Click here to learn more about the Gold Delta SkyMiles card from Business Insider's partner: The Points Guy.

Click here to learn more about the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card from Business Insider's partner: The Points Guy.

Click here to learn more about the Delta Reserve card from Business Insider's partner: The Points Guy.

Click here to learn more about the Amex Platinum card from Business Insider's partner: The Points Guy.

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