Travel Credit Cards: What do you use? 💳

I recently took a fantastic trip to California to visit a few of my best friends. Since one of my friends has her birthday on the 4th of July, I decided the best time to go out and visit them would be for Independence Day :us:. This was definitely a fun time to travel, but I was concerned with how expensive the flights from Raleigh to Los Angeles would be so close to a holiday. Then I remembered, I had been building up my air miles with my Delta gold credit card for quite some time and had not used them yet. When I booked the trip, I had plenty of miles to get myself a free roundtrip flight that was direct both ways :sunglasses:

Booking this flight was the most excited I have been in a long time for an upcoming vacation - mainly due to the fact that I didn’t have to pay for it! I still have plenty of miles left over for another trip in a few months that I have planned. The process of booking this trip and taking advantage of the miles I had accrued got me thinking… what does everyone else prefer for their own travel rewards? Looking around at all of the travelers while in the LAX airport, I couldn’t help but wonder how many different travel credit cards were in the wallets around me.

With that I would love to pose a few questions:

  1. Do you have a travel credit card?
  2. If yes, which one do you have, and what about that credit card drew you in?
  3. If no, do you have a specific reason why?

I’ll kick us off!

  1. Do you have a travel credit card?

As I stated above, I sure do! :flight_departure:

  1. If yes, which one do you have, and what about that credit card drew you in?

I have the Delta gold credit card. Personally, I do not travel very often, but enough to know that having a credit card that would offer travel rewards was a good option for me. One of my closest friends travels for work, and always flies with Delta. I told her about a year ago to let me know if any referral bonuses popped up that would benefit both of us. One day, she got an email with a fantastic referral offer: 50,000 bonus miles for the new card holder (if they spent a small amount on the card within a few months), and 20,000 bonus miles for her just for referring. That felt like an amazing offer, so I signed up right away. I’m so glad I did!

  1. If no, do you have a reason why?

Although I now have a travel credit card, for a long time I was not keen on the idea of them. I felt that their were too many offers that were not actually as good as they made them sound, so I always avoided signing up for one. I just needed to find the one that fit my needs the best, and I was hooked!

So, what about you? I’m very curious to learn more about the many options there are today to get rewards for traveling. On the other side of that, I am also curious to hear from anyone who opposes the idea of having a travel credit card (or perhaps any credit card at all). Even if you have travel reward advice not specific to a credit card, please share your expertise :luggage:

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Bank of America travel rewards card - it gives statement credit for travel expenses charged to the card…this in my opinion is the best way to use any credit card incentives.
I also prefer the cards that offer cash back on ALL purchases.

Citibank had other travel related benefits on most of their cards but they have started scaling those back.

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Where do I begin…

I travel internationally about 3-4 times per year. All for fun! I go on solo trips, trips with friends, and trips with my large extended family (20+ people). I live for new experiences and I got into capitalizing on some solid travel rewards via Chase Sapphire Reserve about a year ago. I will never go back to a non-travel credit card again! 3x points on travel and dining? You are talking my language Chase!

Parameters: I pay my card off every single month without exception so this is money I would have spent anyway. There is no point in simply spending more money because you have a travel card! I am willing to buy tickets for close friends and family members and allow them to pay me back when they can (thanks venmo!) and I need to keep my spending in check.

  1. Do you have a travel credit card? – Yup!
  2. If yes, which one do you have, and what about that credit card drew you in? – Chase Sapphire Reserve. I missed the amazing 100k point sign-up when they first launched, I was still skeptical, but I was able to catch a 50k sign-up bonus.
  3. If no, do you have a specific reason why? – I love my travel card but I am always sure to use it responsibly!

I’m always on the hunt to see if there are other cards worth getting out there. I don’t believe in “churning” cards for the bonuses. Seems like too much hassle. It would take something special to have me pick up a new card since the customer service from Chase is pretty great. Not Republic great, but not too far off :slight_smile:

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I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card too, and it’s been great for me, but I think it’s important to include the fact that it costs $500 a year. For those who travel this is not really $500 a year because the first $300 of travel is paid for by the card, and they also provide payment for the global entry application which includes expedited lines (TSA pre-check) at the airport. If you travel a lot this is great, as is the fact that they cover travelers insurance. If you purchase your airline tickets online through them, each point is worth 1.5 points, meaning the 3 points are really 4.5 points. the site allows you to buy tickets from any airline and has very good prices. Additionally this card gives access to a significant number of airport lounges which may increase your comfort when traveling, but unless you’re doing a lot of traveling, especially international traveling, the $500 a year fee may not be worth it for you. If eating in restaurants is your big expense and you don’t travel a lot Savor is a card that gives 4 points for all restaurant and entertainment charges. I believe it only cost $200 a year.

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Great point on the annual cost! The cost to me is $450 which is steep! I had only used cards with no annual fee before. I rationalize the cost with the $300 annual travel credit, the roadside assistance (save me from paying $90 annually on AAA), the Global Entry fee (I think that was $100), travel insurance (I still get health insurance while abroad as this isn’t covered as far as I’m aware), the lounge access with Priority Pass, and then booking through Chase’s flight portal to use my points at 1.5 points a piece. I crunched the numbers and for me this card was an obvious win!

With the roadside assistance I did call into Chase to make sure that there was a good amount of availability in my area. Some more remote areas are not well serviced so this is certainly something to check out for people that are looking into it.

I am amazed by the perks that come with so many travel cards now! As long as people are using them responsibly by not carrying a balance I think that they are a win!

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I think you’re right it is $450. You may want to check to see how they explain the health benefits. Currently I am not buying travel insurance with health benefits because I believe this covers the same evacuation and health expenses. it really is crunching the numbers to figure out whether you’re better off paying a fee and getting the perks, which are only useful if you use them, or finding a free or less expensive card.

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I have the American Advantage Platinum card from Chase.
Airline credit cards come with perks for flyers: priority boarding and free checked bags.
The $99 annual fee is quickly repaid in baggage fee savings alone.
I don’t worry about amassing miles (or ‘points’) on a credit card since the cash back cards I have earn more than I’d probably save on free tickets with miles/points. I do travel a lot, especially internationally, so I’m earning FF miles faster than I can use them anyway.

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I have heard great things about that card! That’s a great way to balance the benefits of cash back versus air miles.

+1 on Delta Gold Amex. So far so good…

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Nice! Have you used any of your miles yet? I am looking forward to another trip I have coming up and not paying for the flight :airplane:

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I love to travel and prefer to use a credit card instead of a debit card for the added protection, yet all spending in budgeted for.

1.) I do have a travel card and I have a few.

2.) Hilton Honors is my go to as I prefer to earn free hotel nights with the points plus I love your benefits of the Amex card. I have the business version $95 and personal that is $450. I also have the Delta Gold for the free checked bags. The earnings the Delta card could be better but the checked bags is great! I also have the Costco credit card for it gives 3% on travel and eating out. Just have to way the pros and cons and what will benefit you.

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Welcome to our Community! These are all great recommendations. I like to hear the specific reasons that anyone has for choosing multiple cards for their individual travel benefits and why. I agree, there are some ways I wish the Delta Gold card could be improved, but those free checked bags are pretty great! I have always wanted to look into more hotel benefits, but when I travel I always end up in place where crashing on someone’s couch is an option, so I haven’t had to investigate that one too much yet. I’ll definitely be looking into Hilton Honors when needed!

Chase Sapphire is the best hands down. Some people say the AMEX Platinum is the best but they still dont accept AMEX worldwide, esp in Asia.

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Welcome to our Community @miller_time! Thanks for taking part in this discussion. I continue to hear more great things about the Chase Sapphire card, especially for those who tend to travel internationally often. It’s definitely a card I will be looking into more when it’s time to consider more travel reward options than my Delta Gold card.

Still collecting miles, and have not used any yet. I also have a limited time bonus miles thing they sent me for referring someone else, so if anyone here is considering a Delta Skymiles card, hit me up. If not, it’s cool. I am not a shill, lol.

  1. Yes.
  2. American Express Delta Skymiles. Have had it for decades, it was the card to have back in the day. It came with auto insurance coverage on rentals, purchase protections, which made it a good choice for large purchases. Disputes with vendors were easy to handle with AMEX.

What the special features are now, have no idea. Haven’t rented a car in ages or had a dispute with a vendor. Have made large purchases and like their new Plan it Pay it plans.

A Tip that works for me: I can easily double my miles on flights by purchasing my tickets through Travelocity and using AMEX to pay for them. Yes, I do get travel insurance and yes it has come in handy. When I wanted to use some of my Skymiles then I had to book through the airline. I found the Delta app to be handy too, up to the minute flight, gate and seating information and checking in happens automatically when you open the app within 24 hours of the flight. Boarding Pass is scanned from the app.

There probably are better travel cards and deals out there. In my personal life, I prefer to keep the number of cards to a minimum. Less to keep track of and worry about.

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These are all reasons why I also love the Delta AMEX card! Delta makes booking and keeping track of your flights and rewards super simple, all through the app. I have never run into an issue with using their interface for making changes or booking flights. Also, thanks for sharing that tip about Travelocity! That’s really good to know :slight_smile:

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Something else to consider if you haven’t done so already. Get vetted by TSA, lines are usually shorter or at least move quicker. I recommend Global Entry, they give you an ID card, so no need to pull out drivers license.

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