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Are Mastercard World Elite credit cards swapping from Lounge Key to DragonPass?

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Certain Mastercard World Elite credit cards in the UK offer airport lounge access via the LoungeKey network. The two you are most likely to come across are Curve Metal – which charges £20 for every lounge visit – and the HSBC Premier World Elite credit card (review) where lounge access for the cardholder is free.

LoungeKey is owned by Priority Pass and the lounge networks are very similar, although not identical.

In some parts of the world, Mastercard World Elite has started to migrate to DragonPass.

It has just been announced that World Elite credit cards in Canada will be switching between now and mid May. It also appears to be live for cardholders in Qatar, Bahrain and Pakistan.

It isn’t clear if this is a global switch or not. It would be good news if Mastercard World Elite in the UK switched to DragonPass, however.

The key difference between DragonPass and Lounge Key / Priority Pass is that the former has access to Plaza Premium airport lounges. If Mastercard UK switches, you would gain access to the excellent Plaza Premium lounges at Heathrow Terminals 2, 3, 4 and 5 and at Gatwick’s North Terminal. Let’s see what happens.

PS. It isn’t yet clear if Barclaycard will be offering any lounge privileges with the new Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card, which is a World Elite product. I imagine it is unlikely, as nothing has been announced, but I have asked for more information on which World Elite benefits it intends to offer.


best travel rewards credit cards

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – June 2024 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 2nd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (33)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Sandgrounder says:

    I’ve managed to bag a brace of tickets, I hadn’t previously transferred, link was accepted in about a minute and after logging out and back in to Emirates the miles had arrived.

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Funny that both games are charged the same amount of miles.

    • Jeff77 says:

      Ticket prices are the same for both matches so it makes perfect sense

  • MattB says:

    That’s a decent deal for the standard tickets, shame we are away that weekend

  • NG says:

    Amex site/app down so cannot transfer points over! Great!

  • David says:

    NatWest has been using Dragon Pass for a few years on their Reward Black Account. The account also offers comprehensive travel insurance and no FX fees on the debit card or the black rewards Mastercard. Rewards earned on the account (1% at supermarkets, 0.5% everywhere else, plus £10 a month for having a couple of direct debits set up) can be redeemed for Avios at less than 1p per Avio. I’m surprised you never highlight this account, Rob. It offers many of the benefits of Amex Platinum at lower cost, if you meet the eligibility criteria.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      How good is the travel insurance? Do they cover existing conditions for additional cost? Can we get lounge passes for family members like Amex plat?

    • john says:

      Website says..

      “£9 a month back in Rewards on 2 Direct Debits – they need to be at least £4.50 each”

      Do they need to be monthly DD’s or are annual ones fine?

      • David says:

        Yes the need to be monthly. The payments are linked to two active DDs per month.

    • Lady London says:

      NatWest asked him not to IIRC

      • yorkieflyer says:

        The same would presumably be the case with HSBC products, however I doubt earning opportunities are equally matched

    • Gary says:

      I’ve been a NatWest Black customer for years even though I’ve never met the requirements, I was invited when I had a Gold account. The benefits are excellent and I too don’t know why it’s not featured more often on this site. For £21 a month net you get a Dragonpass, mobile phone insurance for the whole family, worldwide travel insurance, Green flag cover, discounted cinema tickets, 25% cash back on concert tickets, discount and upgrade to Meet & Greet airport parking… I’m about to cancel my Platinum card as it offers me very little more than what I already have at half the cost and when I did travel regularly to Europe for work, pre Brexit, I usually couldn’t use the hotel status anyway as the corporate rate I’d been booked in on didn’t allow it.

  • chelseafifi says:

    Can you purchase 2 tickets for other family members and not be attending yourself?

    • MattB says:

      T&cs for football tickets in the UK usually say non transferable but in reality I’ve never had to show ID for any of the 1000+ games I’ve been to from conference level to champions league finals.

      • MattB says:

        At Wembley you just need to scan the ticket in a reader, so no human checks

  • Jason says:

    Marriott phone lines seems to be down bee trying to transfer for last couple of days , anyone had any joy ?

  • Sussex bantam says:

    Nice tip on the Bonovoy redemptions changing – managed to save total of 50K miles on upcoming stays. Thanks !

    • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

      My 480,000 10-night stay went up overnight on D Day to 560,000. Cash price is £630pn so I am delighted I locked it in.

    • Gothbe says:

      I saved 35k on bookings for Sydney. My hotel in Santorini went from the 340k I paid for 5 nighs to 450k. So many hotels are going to be out of easy reach in future

    • Janicee says:

      I was a few thousand points short for my trip to Australia in December. Now I have 33,000 in the bank. Also currently staying at a Marriott so more to come. Lovely Jubbly!!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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