Credit Cards

6 travel card benefits to consider

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If you sign up for a travel credit card, these are benefits you won’t want to pass up.

Key points

  • There are many different credit cards available that cater to travelers.
  • Different travel cards provide different benefits to the cardholder, such as companion passes and airline lounge access.
  • If you’re selecting a card, you may want to look for one that offers these and other key features.

Travel credit cards are designed for the jet set that is always on the go. They are a specific type of rewards credit card that appeals to people who tend to spend a lot of money on travel.

Travel cards often offer additional rewards for booking vacations. These can be general purpose travel credit cards that you can use to earn extra rewards for booking with a variety of different hotels or airlines. Or they could be branded cards that reward you specifically for your loyalty to a particular airline or hotel chain.

If you tend to travel frequently and want to find a great card, you may want to look beyond those that simply offer additional rewards for travel-related spending. In fact, here are six benefits that could make your vacation more enjoyable. You may want to think about looking for these benefits when choosing the right credit card for you.

1. Insurance coverage

Many travel cards offer various types of insurance coverage that can help protect you if things go wrong on your trip. This could include:

  • Trip cancellation or interruption insurance that pays if things happen that prevent you from going on, or continuing, a planned vacation
  • Lost or delayed baggage insurance, which can help you purchase necessities if your baggage is delayed or replace lost items if it never shows up
  • Rental car insurance, which can pay for various types of losses you incur while driving a rental vehicle

The specific types of insurance coverage to consider may vary depending on whether you fly or drive more frequently. Ideally, though, you’ll want to find a card that offers comprehensive coverage no matter what method of transportation you prefer.

2. No foreign transaction fees

If you travel abroad often, you’ll want to make sure you find a card that doesn’t charge you foreign transaction fees. These fees can make every purchase abroad more expensive. There is no reason to pay them when the best travel cards do not impose this additional cost.

3. Airline lounge access

If you’re a frequent flyer who spends a lot of time in airports, you know that sitting at the gate waiting for your plane is rarely fun. But if he gets a card that offers airline lounge access, he can have a much better experience. You’ll be able to sit comfortably, enjoy complimentary food and beverages, and have access to other great amenities that will make you want to get to the airport early.

4. Free baggage

Some travel cards, especially those branded by specific airlines, may allow you to take free bags with you when you go on a trip. Since many airlines charge a hefty fee for checked baggage, this can be a valuable perk. In fact, it’s often worth paying an annual fee for a card that offers this feature, especially if you fly frequently.

5. Companion Passes

Some airline cards give you the opportunity to earn a free complimentary airline ticket after meeting certain requirements. Being able to bring a guest at no cost can be a very valuable benefit if you can consistently qualify for this benefit each year.

6. Free early check-in or late check-out

If you opt for a hotel brand card, you could have the opportunity to spend more time in a hotel room without incurring additional costs. This can be a big plus so you don’t have to rush to leave or lug your luggage around for hours until you can get into a room.

Most cards offer some, but not all, of these benefits, but it’s worth looking for a card that offers as many as possible. A full-featured travel card with generous benefits can make every trip cheaper and more fun.

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