Are your thoughts on Spring break and vacation travel? Many people are booking their flights and hotels right now to get the best deals for an April getaway. Which credit card should you use when you book your trip?
Editor’s Note: For our current recommendations of the best travel rewards credit cards, please see this Guide.
Many credit cards offer rental car insurance, travel insurance, and other benefits that help you when you’re on the road. But which card offers the best travel benefits?
Book your spring vacation with one of these top travel benefit cards and you’ll get something money can’t buy — peace of mind to relax and enjoy your trip.
The American Express Platinum card, with its concierge service and an abundance of travel insurance, worldwide assistance, and more, tops our list. But you can’t go wrong traveling with any one of these four cards.
American Express Platinum Card
The most noteworthy feature of this card is the stellar customer service.
American Express treats their CardMembers as preferred customers, rather than simply numbers. Amex’ world-renowned concierge service goes hand-in-hand with the company’s customer service philosophy. This concierge service can help you make travel plans, buy gifts or make reservations at top restaurants and tourist attractions at your destination city.
The American Express Platinum also offers free entry into airport lounges across the world, a benefit few other travel cards outside the Amex family provide.
As with most cards in the American Express family, you get access to 24/7 travel services at more than 2,200 locations worldwide, 24/7 Global Assist hotline, 24/7 Roadside assistance, and rental car insurance. American Express travel insurance includes trip cancellation coverage, travel accident coverage, baggage coverage and trip delay coverage.
Don’t forget exclusive access to shows, events, and more, including discounts on tickets when you purchase them with the card.
If you want a card that will feel like a true travel partner on your trip, the American Express Platinum is the way to go.
Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Card
Like many travel cards, the Starwood Preferred Guest card provides car rental loss and damage insurance; there’s no need to pay more for the car rental company’s collision damage waiver.
As an American Express rewards card the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card offers many travel benefits found with other Amex cards, including 2,200 Travel Services locations worldwide. The Global Assist 24/7 hotline offers medical, legal, financial, or other emergency assistance when you travel more than 100 miles from home, even overseas.
Note that there may be a charge for services offered, but the Global Assist hotline will set you up with the professional services you need away from home.
You can get foreign currency or Travelers Checques delivered direct to your door — even delivered overnight for an additional charge.
You’ll also get $100,000 coverage in travel insurance.
When you’re planning your vacation, you’ll know you’ll have plenty to do, if you take advantage of the card’s exclusive access to shows, sporting events and more–often at discount prices.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase’s premier travel rewards card, Chase Sapphire Preferred, offers unlimited travel rewards that never expire and benefits that nearly rival the American Express Platinum.
We say “nearly” because you won’t get concierge service or preferred seating at Broadway shows. But Chase offers its own program with access to unique travel opportunities and experiences. Some of the events listed on the website include the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and the Daytona 500.
You’ll also get peace of mind knowing you’re protected on the road or in the air, with:
- Trip Cancellation Insurance for deaths in the immediate family, emergencies and illness ($1,500 for airline tickets only)
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver up to the cash value of the rental car
- Travel accident insurance ($500,000)
- Trip delay coverage ($1,500)
- Lost luggage coverage (up to $3,000)
- Baggage delay coverage (get reimbursed for the purchase of emergency items if your bags are delayed more than 18 hours) (values starting at $300)
- Travel and emergency services (free assistance coordinating legal, medical and travel services away from home)
- 24/7 Roadside Assistance
A note about Chase customer service: The amounts for travel insurance were not published and when I called the number to apply for the card, the representative did not have the information.
She connected me to customer service where I was promptly disconnected after choosing the correct menu option. I called back the first number apply and the representative shared the amounts for the World class Sapphire MasterCard, the credit card listed on Chase’s website.
Escape by Discover
The Escape by Discover® travel rewards card offers 2X miles and what the company advertises as “enhanced travel benefits.” This combination makes this card a winner for frequent fliers. Benefits include:
- Travel Delay Insurance
- Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Primary Car Rental Insurance
- Lost or Damaged Luggage Insurance