Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

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 3rd 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.

  • dougzz99 says:

    Would Dragonpass make it any more likely you could enter the lounges with constant capacity issues?

    • Rob says:

      Plaza Premium lounges virtually never have capacity issues. Heathrow T2 may be squeezed at the moment as some airlines are out of their usual home and are using it instead, but even that should be OK once T4 is back.

  • rams says:

    Wondered why the Liverpool section tickets went so quick 🙂

  • David Aames says:

    For anyone that has redeemed tickets via Emirates, where are they located in the stadium? Just want an idea of how decent they are so I know for next time. Thanks

  • Gareth says:

    Can you transfer Amex to emirates in another persons name?

    • Rob says:


      Historically only Radisson and Nectar allowed this (not sure if still can) plus Marriott and Hilton allow free points transfers and BA allows household accounts.

  • D says:

    Thanks for the ticket info, ended up getting tickets for man city end.

  • CramondBen says:

    rebooked and saved 60k pts, happy days, thanks Rob.

  • Kevin D says:

    I plan to switch from the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard to the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard. It looks like I would then lose Loungekey access. Is that correct?

    • Alan says:

      Correct. At present there are no Mastercard Elite benefits with Barclaycard.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.