The best credit card benefits are airport lounge access, statement credits for certain types of purchases, concierge services, hotel perks, initial rewards bonuses, and price/purchase protection. Not all of the best credit card benefits are available on every card, however. The higher your credit card’s annual fee, the more likely it is to contain these top-tier benefits.
Large complimentary benefits packages used to come standard with many credit cards. But card issuers have been cutting out these perks in recent years, citing low usage. When shopping for a credit card, it’s a good idea to check the card’s latest benefits guide before applying. Below, we’ll cover the top perks to be on the lookout for in a bit more detail.
6 Best Credit Card Benefits:
Airport lounge access. A handful of travel credit cards have this benefit, which is well worth an annual fee – if you actually use it. Cards with lounge access will grant you free entry into various airport lounges. And depending on the lounge, that could mean free food, drinks (including alcohol), Wi-Fi, charging stations, and even showers.
Statement credits for specific purchases. Some credit cards reimburse cardholders for certain expenses, such as TSA PreCheck application fees, airport incidentals, restaurant purchases, subscription streaming services, and more. There’s nothing better than free money. That said, credit cards that offer statement credits for these things usually charge annual fees. So if you’re paying an annual fee on your credit card, don’t forget to check the benefits guide to see what purchases you might get reimbursed for.
Concierge services. Though concierge service is among the lesser-used credit card benefits, many cards come with it. Depending on the concierge, they can help you make reservations at elite restaurants (even abroad), send you detailed maps of cities you plan on visiting, suggest places in a destination to store your luggage, or reserve presale tickets to events. Higher-end credit card concierges can do more, like help you find a sold-out gift for your spouse, or send a limousine to pick up your kids from school. No kidding.
Hotel perks. If you’re a brand-loyal person who loves climbing the ladders of hotel loyalty programs, consider a branded hotel credit card. Some of these credit cards come with complimentary “elite” status, which can give benefits like free hotel nights and room upgrades.
Initial bonuses. Some credit cards offer a rewards bonus for spending a certain amount in the first few months after opening an account. The average bonus amount is about 23,405 points or miles, or $198.78 in cash back. Spending thresholds for these bonuses usually range from $500 to $3,000. If you’re going to spend that much money on the card anyway, why not earn some extra rewards for it?
Price and purchase protection. Though price protection and purchase protection benefits are becoming rarer these days, they’re still great perks to have on a credit card. Purchase protection basically insures certain purchased items in case of theft or damage for a number of days after you buy them, as long as you make the purchase with the covered card. Price protection, on the other hand, does the job of price-matching after you make a purchase. In other words, if you find an item advertised for a lesser price than what you paid for it within 60-120 days of your purchase, the card issuer will refund you the difference.
Those are just a handful of the many benefits that credit cards provide. Be sure to research and compare credit card benefits before sending in an application.
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