Plaza Premium is a contract lounge operator that has more than 140 lounges across 35 airports in 16 countries. The quality of contract lounges can vary greatly, but Plaza Premium is generally one of the better ones- their new lounge in Hong Kong, for example, wouldn’t look out of place for a top tier airline.
Plaza Premium has partnered with Arrture to start its own free-to-join loyalty program where you earn points every time you visit a Plaza Premium lounge. Note that although there are 140+ Plaza Premium lounges, not all are currently participating in this loyalty program. 37 currently are (including, importantly, the one in Singapore) and you can see the full list here.
The program is still in its infancy, but right now the deal is that you earn 100 points every time you visit a Plaza Premium Lounge, and once you hit 2,000 points you can redeem a free Plaza Premium Lounge coupon. As per their website, they plan to offer other redemption options in the future. At the very worst you could gift that coupon to someone else. You can’t sign up for Arrture online, unfortunately, as you need to pick up a physical form from a participating Plaza Premium lounge.
Why is this interesting? Because Plaza Premium lounges can be accessed through the Priority Pass program, and a lot of miles earning credit cards in Singapore will offer a handful of free visits a year.
Not too long ago I did an article on credit card lounge access. Here’s a recap of who gives you what
|Card||No of Free Visits||Subsequent Visit||Guest Visit|
|Citibank Premiermiles||2 per annum||US$27||US$27, however 2 free visits can be shared between guest and cardholder|
|DBS Altitude (Visa only)||2 per 12 month membership period||US$27||US$27, however the 2 free visits can be shared between guest and cardholder|
|CIMB Visa Infinite||3 per year||US$27||US$27|
|ANZ Travel Card||2 per quarter with S$10,000 spend||N/A||N/A|
|ANZ Signature Priority Banking Visa Infinite||2 lounge passes with min S$5,000 spend in a month||N/A||N/A|
|Standard Chartered Visa Infinite||6 per year
(Unlimited if you have the Priority Banking version of the SCB VI)
(US$27 if you have the Priority Banking version of the SCB VI)
|HSBC Visa Infinite||Unlimited||N/A||S$35|
|OCBC Voyage||2 per 12 month membership period, unlimited visits to Plaza Premium Lounges till 30 Sept 16 (Thanks Jey for pointing this out!)||US$27||US$27|
|OCBC Elite World||2 per 12 month membership period||US$27||US$27|
|Diners Cards||1 free visit to Diners Club partnered airport lounges from Apr-March||Fees apply||Guest fees apply|
|Krisflyer Ascend||4 vouchers for selected SATS and Plaza Prem. Lounges per membership year||N/A||Voucher can be used for a guest as well|
|UOB JCB Card||Unlimited access to JCB-partnered airport lounges till 31 Mar 17 except in Singapore||N/A||Guest fees chargeable|
|Maybank Horizon Platinum Visa||1x Access available with min S$400 spend on airtickets within 3 months of charge. Lounges in SG, JB, KL and HK||S$42||Guest fees chargeable @ 20% discount to S$42|
I think you know where I’m going with this.
If you hold a HSBC Visa Infinite or Citibank Prestige card, you get unlimited visits to Priority Pass lounges. Therefore, even if you already have lounge access elsewhere, it might be worth the 5 minutes dropping by the Plaza Premium lounge in T1 every time you depart SIN just to register a visit (as per the T&C, both paid visits and complimentary visits via your credit card issuer count towards points earning).
I personally don’t think the current reward (20 visits= 1 free visit) is that exciting, but I’m keen to see what additional rewards they add to this program. So I would start building my points balance regardless, if I had a card with unlimited lounge access. Obviously, if your credit card only comes with limited visits per year you might be wiser to save those visits for when you really need them.
I see what Plaza Premium is doing here and it’s really quite clever. They know that credit cards which come with unlimited lounge access tend to be top tier ones, owned by people who probably have lounge access of their own already (through flying premium cabins or airline loyalty programs). Since Plaza Premium earns a fee every time someone Priority Passes their way into the lounge, it would make sense for them to encourage such individuals to start utilizing the visits they would otherwise not bother to make.
Too bad I can’t justify paying the annual fees for either the Citibank Prestige or HSBC VI, or I’d be making a lot of trips to Terminal 1…
(HT: Head for Points)