J here are some surprising benefits of using your credit card travel rewards: you probably already know you can get savings on airfare and car insurance for auto travel, as well as higher rates on hotel stays, free nights and dining benefits. But there are a few perks you're probably collecting but not using.
To that end, we've rounded up some lesser-known credit card travel rewards you should enjoy now if you haven't already.
To get the most rewards, first choose a travel-oriented credit card
Before we get to travel rewards credit cards, it's important to point out what to look for in a travel credit card in the first place. "There are a variety of travel-oriented credit cards that can be used to earn points that can be redeemed when booking travel," says phil denglertravel specialist and co-owner of the vacationer, a useful resource for all travel topics. Two special attention deserve the capital one ventureone rewards credit card and the american airlines aadvantage mileup card as they have no annual membership fee.
But you shouldn't turn down a travel card just because of the annual service fee. "Some of the best travel credit cards have an annual fee, but many cards, like the united explorer card waive your fees for the first year," says john li, co-founder and CTO of the credit company, abb. Loan. "You can often convince companies to waive the subsequent annual fee if they'll otherwise lose you as a customer."
And in fact, paying a small annual fee for a credit card can often lead to bigger rewards. For example, both the favorite chase sapphire ($95 annual fee) and the american express platinum card ($695 annual fee) offer new cardholders some serious benefits. "Both cards earn welcome bonus points upon meeting certain conversion requirements, which can be transferred to a variety of partner airlines and hotels where you can save a lot of money over the normal conversion rate," dengler says. .
These cards not only offer welcome bonuses, but also earn points at a higher rate for purchases of certain bonus categories. "For example, the chase sapphire preferred earns two points per dollar spent on travel, as opposed to the standard rate of one point per dollar spent," dengler adds.
5 credit card travel rewards to keep in mind
1. Some waive foreign transaction fees
"If you're looking for one, I recommend looking at the capital one venture card or the chase sapphire preferred card, which can save you 1-3% on every transaction you make abroad," says VR expert abhishek, travel and founder of passivebook.Com.
2. You get free access to the airport lounge
"This allows cardholders to relax in a comfortable environment, enjoy free food and drinks, and use wi-fi," says VR.
3. Free travel insurance
Many cards from chase, american express and capital one usually offer excellent free travel perks. "Travel insurance can cover things like airline insurance and hotel cancellation insurance, and those add-ons can have a big impact on your travel budget, so credit cards have a big impact on saving travel money," she tells kami schuster, travel specialist and blogger. Check with your credit card provider to see if they offer this benefit, and to understand what they cover if they do.
4. As well as rental car insurance
Rental car insurance is a type of travel insurance that can be free if you use a credit card regularly. "A credit card automatically saves you from spending unnecessary money on rental car insurance," shoemaker says. Reconfirm with your specific card if it is offered as a travel rewards program.
5. Reimbursement of TSA precheck or global entry processing fees
TSA precheck is a program that allows you to find your way through airport security by going through a pre-screening process and becoming a "known traveler" with the TSA. Meanwhile, global entry is a program that offers expedited security and U.S. Customs processing, which can be helpful if you frequently travel internationally. "Many credit cards offer a free application fee refund, up to $100 for global entry and $85 for TSA precheck," explains dengler. Two examples are the capital one venture rewards credit card and the chase sapphire reserve.
"To activate the benefit, use your credit card when applying for global entry or precheck and you will receive a cashback credit every 4 to 4.5 years, depending on your card," adds dengler.
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