When choosing a travel credit card, it is important to consider the features that matter most to you. For example, you may be looking for a sign-up bonus or transferable rewards that can be redeemed for specific categories of purchases. Or you may be interested in achieving elite status with a certain hotel brand. In either case, you should ask yourself a few questions to ensure that you’re getting the best card for your travel needs.
A credit card sign-up bonus can mean free airfare and free travel purchases if you spend a certain amount of money on the card each year. A good sign-up bonus will pay for the annual fee, and the higher the sign-up bonus, the better. Be sure you can meet the spending requirements for the credit card before signing up for one. The best American express platinum card offers the best sign-up bonuses, so make sure you take advantage of these offers.
Most airline and hotel brands offer their own loyalty programs. Most are free to join, and you can belong to as many as you like. However, they do not offer the same travel rewards as the airline or hotel brands. The rewards on these cards are usually worth a minimum of $1,600, but you may qualify for even more. So choose carefully.
You can earn double miles, get free airline tickets, and other rewards on most airlines by paying an annual fee for travel benefits with your credit card. Often, the welcome offer will be equivalent to one or more nights of hotel or airline travel. This bonus will be valid for the first three to six months. Annual fee travel benefits with a credit card offer a welcome bonus of 500 to 900 miles, depending on how much you spend.
Travel benefit credit cards tend to have high annual fees, but these are more than offset by the benefits they offer. Some travel cards include free airport lounge access, travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, concierge service, and other perks. Some cards have portal functionality for other travel benefits, such as a reward program for dining and shopping. For travel credit cards, the annual fee may be worth it if you use the points to get free airline tickets, hotel stays, or merchandise.
Statement credit option
If you’re looking for travel benefits with your credit card, statement credits could be the answer. These credit credits can offset a portion of your bill or even cover the entire trip. You should plan to use all of your statement credits so that you can make the most of them. You can also transfer points to airline and hotel partners to get better value. Many travel credit cards have lower redemption values than statement credits, but they may be more flexible in booking award travel.
You can choose to get a check or a statement credit when you redeem your points for travel. However, statement credit is not income and cannot be used to make other purchases. The same is true for the other travel benefits programs. For example, the Discover it Miles credit card offers both statement credit and direct deposit options. The difference in the two ways is that statement credit is easier to use than cash. Using statement credits as a form of compensation can save you time and money.