January 1st is a day that most frequent travelers hate to see. It’s when all the airline miles and hotel night counters reset to zero and they have to start all over again to try to reach status for the next year. Since I don’t worry about status, the start of the new year means that my travel credits have reset and I have some money to spend. Or do I?
I’ve given thought to ditching all of my premium cards but didn’t do it. If you’re like me and have a premium travel credit card (or five), hopefully, you’re aware of the travel credits these cards offer. Travel credits, ranging anywhere from $100 to $325, help to offset the lofty annual fees these cards charge. The trick is that you have to use the credits or they expire. To make things more difficult, the charges that are eligible for reimbursement and the procedures to get the credits are different for every card. Another difference between these cards is if the credits go by your membership year or the calendar year.
Continue reading “Have You Used Your Credit Card Travel Credits? When Do They Reset?”
One of the big perks of having a premium travel credit card is the travel protections the card provides, like trip delay insurance. Travel delays or cancellations are a part of life but knowing the costs that you incur will be reimbursed makes one less thing to worry about. All you need to do is make alternate plans to get to/from where you were going and arrange to be comfortable until that happens.
Trip delay insurance is something you don’t think about until you need to use it. Say you show up to the airport for your plane and it’s delayed 30 minutes, then 60 minutes, then 2 hours and eventually you’re told that there’s no way to get you to where you were going until the next day. You’ll need to find somewhere to stay, somewhere to eat and a way to get to/from those locations. Most people will get on a very long line to see if the airline will give them a free hotel night or a meal voucher. If you used a card that provides trip delay insurance, you know that you’ll be reimbursed for the reasonable cost of a hotel, meals, taxi/Uber and travel essentials during your delay and can make your own plans without having to wait.
I used to use my Citi Prestige for travels where trip delay coverage was important. However, Citi eliminated all of the travel coverages from their cards and I had to find another card that provides coverage for delays. Continue reading “Which Credit Cards Provide Trip Delay Insurance”
Many credit cards offer access to a concierge. “So what?” you might ask (I know that’s what Sharon would say) (Note from Sharon: Yup!). Well, a concierge may be able to help with your vacation plans or get tickets for shows or concerts you couldn’t get yourself. Being an obsessive planner, I never found much value added by talking to a concierge. They’ve often just sent me cut and paste lists from Yelp! or TripAdvisor, and that’s something I can do myself. But if you’re the type that’s too busy to look up good restaurants in San Francisco near your hotel, this might be an excellent service for you.
Continue reading “Are Credit Card Concierge Services Worth Anything?”
Priority Pass is a program that provides access to airport lounges and business suites as well as gives credits you can use at airport restaurants. While you can buy a membership in the program, most people from the United States have a Priority Pass Select card by having a credit card that provides membership as a perk. That’s where things get interesting. While the access to the club may be limited due to capacity issues, the cardholder will get in by showing their Priority Pass card (or a digital card if available). If you want to bring in a guest, each card has rules that are worded slightly differently and those small differences may cost you an additional $32 for each extra guest.
Continue reading “How Many Guests Can You Bring Into A Lounge With Priority Pass Select? It’s Complicated. (Updated October 2019)”
Going on an international trip is very exciting but it can also be very expensive. Using a credit card to pay for purchases when traveling internationally is often the best way to get a good exchange rate and the rate your bank gets will be better than the one you’ll get on your own if you exchange cash. Using a card also means that you don’t have to carry around a bunch of cash with you. However, many cards will add on a “foreign transaction fee” to any transactions made with anything except your home currency. Here’s an easy way to keep from paying that extra 2-3 percent on all of your purchases while away.
Continue reading “How To Avoid Extra Credit Card Fees During International Travel”