Some people travel for business; others travel for fun. Regardless of the reason, it can really pay off to use a good travel credit card to make the experience better. As a side benefit, most travel credit cards will offer the ability to earn frequent flyer miles or flexible points that you can use to offset some of the cost of traveling. Here are a few:
Chase Sapphire Reserve
If you’re looking to travel in style, few cards will come with more benefits than the Sapphire Reserve from Chase. The card comes with a hefty $450 annual fee, but it’s pretty easy to offset this cost with a $300 annual travel credit that’s applied automatically. Additionally, the card comes with Priority Pass lounge access so that you can refresh before a flight or during a layover.
Another benefit that comes with the Sapphire Reserve is the $100 TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee rebate. Finally, those who get approved for this card can earn a bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months after approval. These points can be redeemed at a rate of 1.5 cents per point, or you could transfer them to a number of travel partners like United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Hyatt and Marriott.
American Express Platinum Card
This card also comes with some pretty impressive benefits. The signup bonus varies throughout the year, but usually sits around 50,000 Membership Rewards points that can be transferred to Delta, Air France/KLM, Korean Air, and Hilton (among others). The card has a $550 annual fee, but comes with more extensive lounge access to Priority Pass, Delta and American Express Centurion lounges.
There is also a $100 fee credit for services like Global Entry that allow you to skip much of the security line. There is a $200 rebate on airline fees such as checked baggage fees and meals. Finally, it’s possible to save $200 a year on rides from Uber. Needless to say, those who are looking for a better travel experience can benefit from this card.
Premium Airline Cards
Each of the three major legacy airlines in the US offers a credit card with a $450 annual fee that provides the ability to earn miles and access lounges. For example, the United MileagePlus Club card offer two free checked bags and 1.5 Mileage Plus miles per dollar spent on everyday purchases in addition to access to United Club lounges around the world.
Getting a premium credit card can cost quite a bit in terms of an annual fee, but they can also provide some great benefits. For actual travel, these cards can offer lounge access so that you can relax before taking off. There are also usually some enhanced earning options and rebates for some travel expenses that can go a long way to offsetting the annual fees.