Credit cards

6 Little-Known and Seldom-Used Benefits of Travel Credit Cards

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A good travel credit card can do more than just reward you for your travel purchases.


Key points

  • Travel cards can be invaluable for frequent travelers, but it’s important to use all of your card’s benefits.
  • Some little-known benefits, such as purchase protection, premium hotel benefits, and statement credits, aren’t used.
  • Find out what other travel credit card benefits you might be missing.

For frequent travelers, a travel rewards credit card can be beneficial. These cards offer rewards when you use your card to book travel expenses, and they often include other benefits. Even travel cards with affordable annual fees can offer enough benefits to be worth the cost.

You may be familiar with some of the more common benefits of certain travel cards, such as trip delay and cancellation insurance, airport lounge access, and no foreign transaction fees, but you may be missing out on lesser-known benefits. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

1. Mobile phone protection

Some rewards credit cards and travel credit cards include cell phone protection. If something happens to your phone while traveling, this benefit can help you save money. After all, phones aren’t cheap, and they’re easy to break when you’re on the go.

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It should be noted that most cards require you to pay your cell phone service bill with your card in order to make a claim. This is the perfect time to make sure you do.

2. Reporting Credits

Some travel credit cards include valuable statement credits. You could get statement credit for purchases of planes, hotels, and restaurants.

Statement credits work by reducing your credit card balance when you make a qualifying purchase – so it’s like free money.

This benefit could help stretch your vacation budget further. Be sure to check if your travel card offers this type of benefit so you don’t lose it.

3. The ability to transfer rewards to travel partners

Some travel credit cards allow you to transfer your points or miles to travel partners. This gives you more flexibility in how you use your rewards.

Transferring your miles or credit card points to an airline or hotel partner could help maximize the value of your rewards. A more common redemption option, such as redeeming for cash back, is generally not the best way to maximize your rewards.

4. Purchase Protection

Your travel card may include purchase protection benefits. When you use your card to make eligible purchases, you could be protected if your item breaks, is lost or stolen. You will be covered up to a certain amount for several days after making a new purchase. This could be a valuable perk if you plan on buying some new travel gear before your next trip.

5. Upscale Hotel Benefits

Some premium travel rewards cards include premium hotel benefits. You may be able to get a free upgrade, enjoy free daily breakfast, or other perks when booking with a participating hotel chain. Something to make your next trip more memorable!

6. Travel and emergency assistance

Many credit cards also include travel and emergency assistance benefits. If you qualify for this benefit, your card issuer will provide you with a phone number to call if you need help with medical referrals or other emergency assistance during your trip. Although this service is free, you are responsible for paying all costs associated with your care.

A travel rewards credit card can be a great tool to have in your wallet. You can earn rewards on your travel spend and access available perks that make your trip easier and better.

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