We know that travel credit cards hold value with their points and miles, but most cardholders are not taking advantage of the many other included perks. Take a better look at the benefits of your credit card, because you could be leaving bonuses on the table every year.
We all know that post 9/11, getting through airport security, is a huge hassle and can really delay travel. We are forced to take off our shoes, coats, take out electronic devices, go through a body scanner, and even deal with the full pat-down from a TSA Agent…absolutely not fun! There are two great programs offered to frequent fliers to bypass these security measures; TSA PreCheck and Global Entry.
Check with your local airport. You’ll have to contact an international U.S. airport to apply and make your appointment.
Global Entry is the “fast track” program by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It’s customer is the frequent international traveler. With Global Entry you’ll have to submit to a background check and interview to be awarded Global Entry…BUT, once completed, you’ll re-enter the United States at a kiosk instead of those dreaded long re-entry lines.
TSA PreCheck is very similar and the route we have taken. TSA PreCheck allows background checked travelers to access faster lines at U.S. airports. Once approved, TSA PreCheck passengers who are cleared ahead of their flight go to a special line where they only go through a metal detector and can leave their shoes on. Love this perk!
TSA PreCheck is included with Global Entry, but Global Entry is not included in TSA PreCheck. Both programs have an application fee ranging from $85 to $100 and last for five years. Depending on your travel credit card, this fee will be credited back to you, essentially earning you free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
Our favorite credit cards that offer TSA PreCheck & Global Entry? Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum, City Prestige and American Express Gold.
Photo courtesy of plaza-network
While airline credit card holders offer lounges at their hub airports, many airports also offer independent lounges. Airport lounges are definitely a perk! Luxury snacks, cocktails, coffees, comfortable furniture to lounge in, access to charge your phones are just some of the benefits offered in airport lounges.
With the right travel credit cards, travelers can take advantage of lounge access either completely complementary or for a small price. Most priority passes include you + a guest.
Which credit cards offer lounge access? The Priority Pass through Priority Pass Select is offered for Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum card holders. In addition, American Express Platinum offers additional lounges, including their luxury, Centurion Lounge.
Airline credit cards offer lounge memberships as part of the benefit of the high annual fees. Our favorites: United Mileage Plus Club, AAdvantage and American Express Delta Reserve.
We all crave the finest accommodations, free upgrades, beautiful destinations with of course, the very best customer service. Luxury hotel programs through certain credit cards can help make this dream travel a reality. These programs are offered both by travel agents via phone as well as their online booking portals. Many of these card-holding travelers can earn bonus gifts, check-in benefits, room upgrades, spa credits, restaurant certificates and more, not available to non-elite guests.
Which cards offer luxury hotel programs? Chase Sapphire Reserve offers The Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection. American Express Platinum offers Fine Hotels and Resorts Collection. Finally, the Amercian Express Gold offers The Hotel Collection.
Photo courtesey of The St. Regis
Did you know if you sign up for a hotel loyalty program and stay more than 10 nights at their hotel properties, it can earn you an elite status? Elite statuses may earn you hotel upgrades, gifts, property credits, etc.
However, some guests don’t need to stay the ten required nights every year to achieve elite status. Many hotel credit cards like Marriott Bonvoy immediately promote you to elite status upon their credit card application and approval. Marriott status benefits can include; complimentary room upgrades, free breakfast, free wifi, spa credits, bonus points, and free hotel stays.
Which cards offer the best statuses, according to me? American Express Platinum offers Hilton gold status after spending $20,000 in a calendar year, while Marriott Bonvoy credit card promotes you to gold status after spending $35,000 in a calendar year.
Holding a high-end, high annual fee credit card is not the only way to get status from a credit card. Many low-fee and no-fee credit cards offer complimentary status with their respective hotel chains. The IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card offers Platinum Select status at InterContinental Hotel Group hotels, while the Choice Privileges Visa and the American Express Hilton Honors Surpass Card both offer gold status at their hotel properties.
Whether you are renting a car to road trip to your next destination or renting a car when you are on your next vacation, you’ll want renter’s insurance. In the event, something goes wrong, your credit card may come to the rescue, when you pay for you car rental with that specific credit card.
Which cards offer car rental insurance? The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers one of the best car insurance protection available. It acts as primary insurance coverage when travelers use their card to pay for a rental car, the card insurance policy will provide reimbursement up to actual cash value in the event of a rental vehicle theft or collision.
For emergency roadside assistance, many cards can offer some benefit for travelers. Visa cardholders can receive tow service, a tire change, jumpstart, access to locked-out cars, or gas delivery for a flat fee, while MasterCard holders can receive services at pre-negotiated rates. Those who hold The Platinum Card from American Express or the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express receive Premium Roadside Assistance as a benefit of holding their card. With one call, they get free services up to four times per year, including tire change, towing, or a battery jumpstart. Check out your car protection perks through your own credit cards, you don’t know what you’ve been missing!
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Tiffany is truly a credit card point guru. She was very patient and helped my husband and I navigate our credit card point game.
WE’VE SAT ON THOUSANDS OF POINTS FOR YEARS WITH NO CLUE HOW TO REALLY USE THEM. TIFFANY COACHED US HOW TO COMBINE OUR POINTS, TRANSFER POINTS AND ADD MORE POINTS THROUGH CREDIT CARD SIGN-ON BONUSES. AWESOME SERVICE.
WE OWN A SMALL BUSINESS AND HAVE ALWAYS WRITTEN CHECKS OR USED OUR DEBIT CARD EARNING ZERO TRAVEL REWARDS. WE’VE CHANGED OUR WHOLE WAY OF MANAGING MONEY AND ARE ON OUR WAY TO A FREE LUXURY VACATION THANKS TO TIFFANY.
TIFFANY HELPED MY HUSBAND AND I EARN A VACATION TO CROATIA BY USING SPECIFIC TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS ON OUR DAUGHTER’S WEDDING. WE HAD PLANNED TO WRITE CHECKS TO ALL OF THE VENDORS, SO GLAD WE MADE A 1:1 COACHING CALL.
WITH TIFFANY’S GUIDANCE, we EARNED 400,000 CREDIT CARD POINTS BUT WE DIDN’T KNOW HOW BEST TO USE THEM. WE HIRED HER TO PLAN OUR TRIP USING A COMBINATION OF POINTS, MILES AND CASH (CREDIT CARD). HIRING HER WAS THE BEST MONEY I’VE EVER SPENT. SHE WENT WAY ABOVE AND BEYOND. PARIS HERE WE COME.