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Link: Lounge Club Directory
The Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Ink Classic offer free membership to The Lounge Club and 2 free visits a year.
After that, you pay $27 per visit for you or a guest, which is automatically billed to the card with which you enrolled.
This isn’t a particularly great benefit in the US, because there are very few lounges which participate in the US and most of them are in the international terminal of airports.
You’re much better of using the American Express Executive Privilege Club which will get you 12 lounge visits within the US for ~$40 instead.
But it doesn’t hurt to sign-up for the benefit, which is free, since you’ll get 2 free lounge visits a year which could be useful if you’re traveling outside the US in coach and won’t get access to lounges otherwise.
And you need the Lounge Club membership card, which you only get after signing up, to get access to the lounge – just showing your Chase Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Ink Classic won’t get you access to the lounge.
The Lounge Club website indicates that membership is otherwise $99 (but you get it for free with the Ink cards), which isn’t a good value for the benefits you get in the US.
My Experience Signing up for the Lounge Club
August 9, 2012. I went to the Lounge Club activation website for the Chase Ink Bold, Ink Plus, and Ink Classic and entered the code “CHASEINK” and hit the “Activate” button.
I then clicked on the green “Enroll Now” button (towards the middle right of the webpage) and entered my personal information.
I tried to enter a British Airways credit card number to see if the system would allow it, and I got an error message asking me to enter a valid Ink card number.
So I entered my Chase Ink Bold number and submitted the application.
I then got an email with my membership number, and a reminder that I couldn’t get lounge access without showing the actual membership card at the lounge.
August 17, 2012. I received my membership card (postmarked August 14) along with a list of the 350 lounges around the world.
How it Works
Your first two visits (either 2 visits for you, or 1 visit for you and 1 for a guest) – each year – to a lounge are free. After that your Ink Bold or Plus card is automatically charged $27 per visit.
View from the Wing suggests that you could sign-up authorized users as well and get additional passes and membership. But I haven’t added any authorized users, so I don’t have any personal experience with this.
Don’t Wear Shorts!
I was reading the terms and conditions and I found Term 13 to be laugh-out-loud funny:
Admittance to lounges is subject to members and any guests (including children) behaving and dressing (no shorts allowed outside of the USA) in an orderly and correct manner. Any infants or children causing upset to other users’ comfort may be asked to vacate the lounge facilities. LOUNGE CLUB™ or any entity associated with LOUNGE CLUB™ shall not be liable for any loss suffered by the member and any guests where a lounge operator has refused admission because the member and/or guests have not complied with these conditions.
So there you have it. 2 free lounge passes, but don’t wear shorts in the lounges outside the US! I doubt most of the 350 lounges have such a policy, but perhaps there are a couple which do.
Bottom Line: The 2 free passes with the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Classic aren’t particularly valuable for travel within the US, but they could be valuable when you travel outside the US.
But you need the actual Lounge Club membership card to get access to the lounge, so it doesn’t hurt to sign-up for free!