Which travel cards have the most valuable benefits
Gasoline prices finally fell last week after a month of climbing, thanks to inflation. With the start of summer and the end of school, people already desperate to travel are filling up their tanks, fearful that numbers will pick up soon.
Meanwhile, gasoline isn’t the only travel expense to rise. New CDC rules no longer require air passengers traveling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or COVID-19 recovery documentation before boarding their flight. So now plane tickets, hotels and Airbnbs, food, parking and incidentals. It is not enough to find the best deals on flights, everything is becoming more expensive.
You need the best deals. Here are the cards that offer the best deals and perks.
Experts say luxury travel cards are the way to go
Travel blogger Sea Lau of LivingOutLau says that as a frequent traveler, those travel cards are like best friends.
“After going through many of them, I finally settled on the new Capital One Venture X Visa card,” Lau said. “This is one of the cheapest luxury-level travel credit cards out there, costing $395 USD annually.”
Lau says the benefits far outweigh the cost. With this particular card, he earns 75,000 miles for every $4,000 he spends within the first three months of account opening.
Beginning with their first anniversary, account holders earn 10,000 bonus miles (equivalent to $100 for travel) each year. Plus, you can receive up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® credit.
With the card, you can receive up to $300 in statement credits toward bookings through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get the best prices on thousands of options.
“Only with these two benefits, can you recoup the cost of the card,” Lau said.
The Capital One Venture X card also provides free access to Capital One lounges and Priority Pass network lounges.
“The best feature is that you can have up to 4 authorized users, which means you can have four other people who can take advantage of the lounge benefits and other benefits of the card,” Lau said.
The Venture X card is also a Visa Infinite card, which comes with many different types of insurance such as travel, theft, etc. The list of benefits of the Venture X card is long, but the main ones already cover the cost in monetary value. . The annual fee for the card is $395.
“The card not only offers me many benefits when I travel, but knowing that I can be protected while traveling is priceless,” said Lau.
Get a welcome bonus with these cards
Bank Of America Travel Rewards: Earn 25,000 online bonus points, a $250 dining or travel statement credit value, after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening .
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
US Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card: Introductory Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening. That’s $500 worth redeemable for travel, gift cards, cash back, merchandise and more.
Discover it Miles: Discover will match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
Hilton Honor American Express Card: Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $1,000 on card purchases in the first three months of card membership. Plus, you can earn up to $100 in statement credits on eligible card purchases at any of the Hilton Family hotels in your first 12 months of membership.
Travel guides have their favorites
Jordan Morgan, founder of On Arrival – Personalized Travel Guides, travels abroad with his wife KT Maviglia-Morgan and has been doing so for the past eight years. His company is a travel agency and travel tech startup that specializes in personalized travel recommendations.
“My travel card is my American Express Platinum card for a number of reasons,” Morgan said.
The first thing Morgan points out is that membership rewards points are worth 2.0 centers per point, twice the value of many travel points.
Morgan says they are flexible and can be used to book travel or transfer to a partner.
“If you book travel directly with American Express using their travel portal, you earn 5 points per dollar,” Morgan said.
Other card benefits include a $200 Uber credit. An annual $200 airline credit is awarded to the airline of your choice. There’s a $200 annual hotel credit for their Fine Hotels and Resorts program, plus on-site benefits like complimentary upgrades and $100 resort credits.
“If you’re smart, the card ends up paying for itself,” Morgan said.
Morgan adds that the point often overlooked by people with the card is that AMEX platinum cards come with travel protections like travel insurance and car rental when you use your card to book.
“I often travel abroad, and many places outside of the US don’t accept American Express, so my everyday overseas card is my Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless,” Morgan said.
With this card, you can quickly earn points at Marriott properties (up to 17 points per dollar). You can also earn 3x points for gas, groceries and meals. Plus, you get 2 points for every dollar you spend.
“As someone who loves a good Marriott property, these points add up very quickly,” Morgan said. “We recently wore them for a night out at the St. Regis Venice, and it was, in a word, amazing.”
The bottom line
Travel and everything else has become outrageously expensive. For the average family feeling the stress of inflation, it can be hard to justify spending what you don’t need.
If you’re itching to get away this summer, consider signing up for one or two travel rewards credit cards, depending on how far you plan to travel. Just be careful about the threshold of the welcome bonuses, so you don’t miss out on any benefits. With these considerations, he could be well on his way to making that journey this season that he’s been hoping to make for the past two years.
Check your credit score before applying for any new credit card, so you know where you stand, and be sure to check your budget along with your luggage before any trip.