It’s no secret I’m a sucker for a credit card with amazing travel perks and rewards. Credit cards get a bad reputation, but if you use them responsibly, you can reap some pretty amazing travel benefits. A lot of credit cards offer awesome sign-up bonuses for new customers if you meet a certain spending threshold within a certain number of months. I have managed to accumulate over 140,000 miles since January 2016 between sign up bonuses and using my credit cards like a debit card.
American Airlines AAdvantage Card. This card is offered through Citi and it’s the credit card I use every day. Some of the perks of this card include a free checked bag for you and up to four people traveling on the same reservation, preferred boarding, no foreign transaction fees, 25% off in-flight purchases, two miles per dollar when booking directly with American Airlines, at restaurants, and gas stations, and one mile per dollar on all other purchases. After using this credit card daily for almost four years, I can honestly say I have no complaints. I have called Citi several times with various issues over the past four years and my concerns are always remedied and the people I have spoken to are friendly and happy to help.
American Airlines AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Card. This is another credit card that accumulates American Airline miles, but unlike the Citi version, this one is offered through Barclaycard. Most of the benefits are the same as the Citi version, except you only earn two miles per dollar when booking directly with American Airlines. All other purchases are one mile per dollar. If you already have the Citi version, you can sign-up for the Aviator card and still receive the bonus miles.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card. This card is offered through Chase and I got it just for the sign-up bonus. What I love about Southwest Airlines is the number of airline miles needed for a flight are based on the price of the ticket; instead of a set number of miles like most other airlines. For example, after receiving my card in the mail, I immediately started using it for all of my daily purchases so I could meet the spending limit threshold and be awarded the bonus miles. Once I met the spending threshold my 40,000 bonus miles were promptly credited to my Rapid Rewards account. Once the miles were in my account, I got on the phone with Southwest and booked three roundtrip tickets from Dallas to New York City. All I had to pay out of pocket were the taxes associated with each ticket. The best part? I still had miles left over.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card. I also have this card and really enjoy it. Cardmember benefits include one free night every year on your account anniversary (at any hotel with a redemption level up to 35,000 points), earn six points per dollar on purchases made at any Marriott Bonvoy properties and two points per dollar on all other purchases. There are also no foreign transaction fees. The annual fee on this card is $95.00.
ALL AROUND CARDS
Capital One Venture Card. If you don’t like to put all of your eggs in a particular airline or hotel basket, then the Venture card is probably for you. Your miles can be used with any airline, hotel, or car rental agency. You’ll also earn two miles for every dollar you spend. You’ll earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. As a cardmember, you’ll also receive up to a $100.00 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck when you use your Venture card. There are no foreign transaction fees when you make purchases outside the United States and the annual fee is waived the first year. After that, it’s $95.00 per year.
What are your favorite credit cards? Do you have any tips or tricks for maximizing your card benefits? Leave me a comment below with any of your suggestions.
**Reward information updated October 2018
**All information contained in this blog post is based on my personal opinion. Always remember to read all fine print before signing up for any credit card.