Are you looking to cut your travel costs? One way is to save money on fees by packing less and suffer in whatever seat you are assigned. On the other hand, the right travel credit card can offer you benefits ranging from free checked bags, to statement credits against a variety of airline fees. Furthermore, the best credit cards offer valuable rewards that can result in an award trip at little or no cost.
So when you want to save money without sacrificing your comfort or convenience, consider these essential travel credit cards:
Best Card Domestic Business Travel: American Airlines AAdvantage Executive from Citi
When you travel domestically, the airlines are trying to squeeze every last penny out of you. But when you are a business traveler, each fee you pay means another item that needs to be added to your expense report. The Citi AAdvantage Executive solves problems by offering cardholder's first bag checked free for themselves, as well as up to eight others traveling on the same reservation. Business travelers can also save time with priority check-in, airport screening (where available), and early boarding when departing on domestic flights operated by American Airlines or US Airways. Citi will even reimburse you for the $100 application fee to the Global Entry program, which offers expedited processing at the border. Yet its key benefit is a membership to the Admiral's Club lounge network, which is valid for up to two guests or the cardholder's entire immediate family. Finally, you can earn 10,000 AAdvantage® elite qualifying miles each calendar year when you spend at least $40,000, so you can reach the next level of elite status more quickly. It has a $450 annual fee, but no foreign transaction fees.
Best Credit Card For International Trips: Citi Prestige
If you take at least one international trip each year, then you need benefits that apply to international flights and destinations. For example, most international flights offer everyone at least one free checked bag, so that isn't much of a consideration, yet having access to business lounges in exotic locations is important. The Citi Prestige card offers access to both the American Airline's Admiral's Club and the Priority Pass network, which is very strong overseas. In addition, cardholders receive a $250 annual airline fee credit, and $100 Global Entry application fee credit, and the fourth night free when booking a three night hotel stay. You also earn three ThankYou Points per Dollar spent on air travel and hotels, two points per Dollar spent on entertainment and dining and one point per Dollar spent elsewhere. Points can be redeemed for 1.6 cents each towards travel on American and US Airways, 1.33 cents for other airline flights, or transferred to miles among 10 different airlines, or as points with Hilton hotels. There is a $450 annual fee, but no foreign transaction fees.
Best Credit Card For Leisure Travel: Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Leisure travelers need to earn rewards that they can use when they have time off of work and school, which can mean spring break, major holidays, and other peak travel times. Unfortunately, traditional airline miles are no longer very valuable at these high demand periods, and leisure travelers need to focus more flexible rewards. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus offers double miles on all purchases, and your Miles are worth one cent each as statement credits towards any travel expenses. In addition, cardholders also receive a 10% rebate on miles redeemed, so rewards are worth a total of 2.22% of spending. Finally, it is equipped with Chip and PIN compatibility and it has no foreign transaction fees. There is an $89 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year.
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