3 Credit Cards That Reward Your Streaming Subscriptions

real estate tv shows

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

Streaming entertainment services offer subscribers a virtually bottomless well of entertainment—whether you love movies, TV shows, or music. And while they’re cheap compared to the movie theater and record store, subscription services do add on to your entertainment budget. Some credit cards can negate these costs by specifically rewarding streaming subscriptions.

Here are three credit cards that reward streaming entertainment services.

1. Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment; one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR.
Why We Picked It: All streaming services earn points toward valuable rewards.
For Your Streaming Content: All entertainment purchases, including streaming services like Netflix or Spotify, earn two points on the dollar. Dining purchases earn double points as well, so you’re covered for a night of pizza and a movie. Points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more.
Drawbacks: If you don’t dine out a lot, you won’t earn points as quickly.

2. Sony Card from Capital One

Rewards: Five points per dollar spent on Sony purchases at participating retailers; three points per dollar spent on music and video downloads, theater purchases, movie rentals, and digital streaming and subscription services; one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: 5,000 bonus points if you make your first purchase within 90 days.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% intro APR until March 2018 on purchases, then variable 14.99% to 24.99% APR; variable 14.99% to 24.99% APR on balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: This card is tailored for entertainment, including streaming services.
For Your Streaming Content: You’ll earn three points per dollar spent on streaming and subscription services. Points can be redeemed for Sony merch, music, games, and more.
Drawbacks: This card’s redemption options are limited to Sony’s rewards platform.

3. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Rewards: 5% back in points at Amazon.com; 2% back in points at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; and 1% back in points on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
$70 Amazon.com gift card upon approval.
Annual Fee:
$0 with a paid Amazon Prime membership.
APR: 
Variable 15.24% to 23.24% APR.
Why We Picked It: 
Amazon Prime members can earn points on their membership and stream select music and movies.
For Your Streaming Content: This card earns special rewards rates on Amazon.com purchases, including the Amazon Prime membership. That means you get rewarded for the annual Prime membership fee while accessing Prime’s free TV shows, movies, and music. And the rewards you earn can be redeemed for future Amazon.com purchases.
Drawbacks: 
To access Amazon’s entire music catalog, you’ll still have to pay extra for Amazon Music Unlimited, as the free version for Prime members isn’t comprehensive.

How to Choose a Credit Card for Streaming Services

If you have quite a few streaming subscriptions, try to find a card that offers rewards for your favorite streaming platforms. Carefully review reward redemption options to ensure you’ll actually use the provided rewards.

If streaming services make up only a small part of your monthly budget, you may want to choose a card that rewards you for bigger expenses or a card that offers equal rewards for all purchases.

What Credit Is Required for a Streaming Subscription Credit Card?

Solid rewards cards generally require good to excellent credit. You should check your credit before you submit an application, and move forward only if you’re likely to get approved. You can check your credit for free at Credit.com.

Image: istock

At publishing time, the Citi Thank You Preferred Card and the Sony Card from Capital One are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly. 

The post 3 Credit Cards That Reward Your Streaming Subscriptions appeared first on Credit.com.

How the Discover it Miles Card Can Help You Afford Next Year’s Vacation

Tricks-for-vacation-moped

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

If you’re already daydreaming about next year’s vacation, take notice: the Discover it Miles credit card could help you make it happen. Discover’s flexible rewards program and impressive sign-up bonus can take a big bite out of your travel expenses.

Here’s how you can use the Discover it Miles card to splurge on an epic vacation next year.

All Purchases Earn Miles

To save on your trip, you’ll need to earn miles, which can be redeemed for travel expenses.

All purchases automatically earn 1.5 miles per dollar, with no confusing restrictions or spending categories to keep tabs on. You also have the opportunity to earn additional miles when shopping at more than 100 merchants on the Discover Deals platform.

Miles are unlimited and don’t expire as long as your account stays open. You can even earn miles using mobile wallets, as the card is compatible with Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay.

If you begin earning miles now, you’ll have a head start saving up for your vacation.

The First-Year Matching Bonus

Here’s how Discover can really make a big difference on your next trip.

After the first 12 consecutive billing periods, Discover will match all the miles you’ve accrued, posting them to your account within a month or two. This automatically doubles the miles you earn. Essentially, you’ll be earning three miles per dollar (rather than 1.5) for a full year.

After you make a year’s worth of purchases and receive your first-year matching bonus, you should have a sizeable stockpile of miles to redeem for your trip.

Redeeming Miles for Your Vacation

Redeeming miles is simple and flexible. You won’t have to deal with special travel booking platforms, and you aren’t limited to certain travel providers.

You can redeem miles at any time for travel purchases made on your card within the past 180 days. Simply select the desired purchase(s) you wish to redeem for, and your miles will be posted in the form of a statement credit.

Qualifying travel purchases include airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, cruises, local and public transportation, and more. There are no blackout dates.

One mile has a cash value of one cent, so every 100 miles is worth $1 in travel redemption.

The Costs

The card has no annual fee. There’s an introductory 0% annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases for 14 months, and then a variable 11.99% to 23.99% APR applies. Balance transfers get an introductory 10.99% APR for 14 months for transfers that post to the account by January 10 in 2018, after which the standard purchase APR applies.

Balance transfer fees are 3% of the transfer amount, and there are no foreign transaction fees.

How to Use the Card to Your Advantage

The quickest way to earn miles is to use your card for all your everyday purchases. That way, you’ll earn miles as you spend and get rewarded with a big sign-up bonus after a year.

Of course, you should always try to pay down your balance in full each month. Miles are great, but they aren’t much help if you can’t afford to make timely payments. And even though you won’t incur interest on purchases for 14 months, you don’t want your balance to become unmanageable.

When booking your next vacation, timing is important. You don’t want to make travel purchases too early, as your miles can only be redeemed for purchases made in the last 180 days. If you plan on making travel purchases ahead of time and redeeming miles later, make sure to check your calendar first. Keep in mind that the first-year matching bonus may take a month or two to show up.

Discover also provides up to $500,000 in flight accident insurance and up to $25,000 in auto rental insurance. So feel free to decline the extra insurance offered at the car rental agency.

If the Discover it Miles card isn’t right for you, review our other featured travel rewards credit cards. But before you apply for any credit card, you should be reasonably confident that you will be approved, as hard inquiries can lower your credit score. Review your credit report for free on Credit.com for the best chance of successful approvals.

Image: istock

At publishing time, the Discover it Miles card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

The post How the Discover it Miles Card Can Help You Afford Next Year’s Vacation appeared first on Credit.com.

5 Credit Cards for Frequent Travelers

airplane

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

Airport security can be a big source of frustration, subjecting fliers to time-consuming lines and checkpoints. Now, programs like Global Entry and TSA PreCheck offer expedited security lines with fewer requirements to eligible travelers. Unfortunately, you’ll need to come up with an application fee of up to $100 and a renewal fee every few years.

Some travel credit cards can help get you to your gate by reimbursing you for these costs or offering expedited security through membership programs.

Here are five cards that can help you get through airport security faster.

1. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: Five points per dollar spent at participating hotels; two points per dollar spent on dining, car rentals, and flights purchased from the airline; and one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: Two free nights at eligible tier 1–4 Ritz-Carlton hotels if you spend $4,000 in the first three months, and 10,000 bonus points after your first purchase and the addition of an authorized user within the first three months.
Annual Fee:
$450
Annual Percentage Rate (APR):
Variable 16.99% to 23.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: Ritz-Carlton lovers can earn elite travel benefits and receive a Global Entry application credit.
For Airport Security: This card earns rewards points for all purchases and offers perks including an annual $300 travel credit and elite benefits at Ritz-Carlton properties. On top of that, there’s a $100 credit for your Global Entry application every four years.
Drawbacks:
If you don’t frequent Ritz-Carlton hotels, this card’s specific rewards may not be best for you. 

2. JetBlue Plus Card

Rewards: Six points per dollar spent on JetBlue purchases; two points per dollar spent at restaurants and grocery stores; and one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
30,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.
Annual Fee: $99
APR:
Variable 12.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99% APR on purchases; 0% intro APR on balance transfers made within 45 days for 12 months, then variable 12.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: Big spenders can earn their way into a membership program with security benefits.
For Airport Security: 
Frequent JetBlue fliers can use this card to earn rewards points and many JetBlue perks. On top of that, spending $50,000 in a calendar year gets you into the TrueBlue Mosaic Program, which includes access to expedited security lines and complimentary alcohol on flights.
Drawbacks: 
If you don’t fly JetBlue, this card may not get you the reward points you want.

3. Chase Sapphire Reserve 

Rewards: Three points per dollar spent on travel and dining; one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee:
$450
APR:
Variable 16.99% to 23.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: 
This card earns valuable travel points and offers a credit for your security application.
For Airport Security: 
Travelers can use this card to earn rewards points with competitive redemption rates, receive an annual $300 travel credit, access airport lounges, and more. Plus, you’ll get up to a $100 credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application every four years.
Drawbacks: 
There’s a steep $450 annual fee.

4. Citi Prestige Card 

Rewards: Three points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels; two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment; and one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
75,000 bonus points if you spend $7,500 in the first three months.
Annual Fee:
$450
APR: 
Variable 16.74% to 24.74% APR on purchases; and balance transfers. Balance transfer must be made in the first two months from the date the card is opened.
Why We Picked It: 
Many spending categories earn double or triple rewards points, and you get a credit for your security application.
For Airport Security: 
Along with travel rewards points, an annual $250 travel credit, airport lounge access, and complimentary hotel nights, you’ll receive a $100 credit toward your Global Entry application every five years.
Drawbacks: 
At $250, the annual travel credit is slightly lower than some competitors.

5. The Platinum Card from American Express

Rewards: Five points per dollar spent on flights booked with the airline, flights booked with American Express Travel, and eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com; one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
60,000 bonus points if you spend $5,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee:
$550
APR: 
There is no APR, as it’s a charge card that requires your balance to be paid in full every month. Late fees may apply to late payments.
Why We Picked It: 
American Express offers a security application credit for you and every authorized user.
For Airport Security: 
The Platinum Card boasts a seriously impressive list of travel benefits, including VIP hotel perks and Uber, hotel, and airline credits. Both primary cardholders and authorized users with their own cards get up to $100 in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credits every four years.
Drawbacks: If you prefer to carry a balance month to month, this card isn’t right for you. 

How to Choose a Card for Airport Security Perks

Many credit cards can help you get through airport security, usually by offering a credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application. Most premium travel credit cards that offer this feature charge steep annual fees, so make sure the offered benefits are worth the cost of admission.

Look for a card that rewards the types of purchases you tend to make, or it won’t be a good fit. For instance, if you prefer to fly Southwest, a competing airline’s credit card won’t land you the best value.

If you can’t take full advantage of a travel card’s benefits and rewards, you may want to consider more cost-effective cards and put the money you’ll save in annual fees toward your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application.

What Credit Is Required for a Travel Credit Card?

Premium travel credit cards usually require excellent credit. You’ll want to be confident in your credit before you apply and trigger a hard inquiry into your credit report. You can check your credit report free at Credit.com.

Image: istock

At publishing time, the JetBlue Plus Card and the Platinum Card from American Express are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

 Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

The post 5 Credit Cards for Frequent Travelers appeared first on Credit.com.

5 Hotel Credit Cards for Travelers Who Love Luxury

Rearview shot of a businessman looking through a hotel room window and talking on a cellphone

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

Luxury hotels are perfect for those who desire special treatment when they travel. Large hotel chains can offer pristine grounds, exciting experiences, and loads of amenities at thousands of properties around the world.

Many luxury hotel chains have their own branded credit cards that let customers earn rewards, special benefits, or VIP status. These cards can take a stay at your favorite property to the next level.

Here are five hotel-branded credit cards for loyal guests who crave luxury.

1. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

Rewards: Up to five points per dollar spent at participating Starwood hotels; two points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Rewards hotels; and one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
25,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee:
$0 the first year, then $95.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR):
Variable 16.24% to 20.24% APR on purchases, as well as on balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account.
Why We Picked It:
Loyal Starwood and Marriott guests earn rewards for hotel stays and get many special perks.
Benefits:
All eligible purchases earn points, with eligible Marriott purchases earning two points per dollar and eligible Starwood purchases earning up to five points on the dollar. Points are redeemable for flights, experiences, and more, including free nights at luxury Starwood properties such as St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, and W Hotels. Your eligible stays go toward earning Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) elite status, which may grant point bonuses, late checkouts, room upgrades, and other perks. You’ll also enjoy free internet access at participating hotels, and the card has foreign transaction fees.
Drawbacks: Although Starwood and Marriott have merged, their rewards programs are still separate. You can transfer points between them, but you’ll have to maintain two accounts to earn full membership rewards at both hotels.

2. Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: Five points per dollar spent at participating Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG hotels; two points per dollar spent on dining, car rentals, and flights purchased directly from the airline; and one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
Two free nights at any eligible tier 1–4 Ritz-Carlton property if you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee:
$450
APR:
Variable 16.99% to 23.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It:
Cardholders can earn points in many ways and receive an annual travel credit.
Benefits:
All qualifying purchases earn points, with extra points for eligible hotel stays, flights, car rentals, and dining. Points can be redeemed for travel expenses including Ritz-Carlton stays. An annual $300 travel credit can be used for baggage fees, flight upgrades, airport lounge access, and more. The card also offers $100 in savings on eligible airline tickets, a $100 credit toward Global Entry applications, and access to over 900 worldwide airport lounges. At Ritz-Carlton hotels, cardholders can enjoy Gold Elite status for the first year, a $100 hotel credit for stays of two nights or more, and three annual Ritz-Carlton Club Level upgrades for stays of seven nights or more. Additionally, there are no foreign transaction fees, making it easy to take your card abroad on your next vacation.
Drawbacks: There’s a steep $450 annual fee.

3. Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card

Rewards: Five points per dollar spent at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels; two points per dollar spent on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, car rentals, and dining; and one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
80,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months.
Annual Fee:
$85
APR:
Variable 16.99% to 23.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: 
A free night’s stay every year, a big sign-up bonus, and a variety of ways to earn points make this card valuable for Marriott loyalists.
Benefits:
All purchases earn rewards, but eligible hotel stays, airline tickets, car rentals, and dining can earn you extra. Points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more. You’ll get an annual free night’s stay in a participating category 1–5 hotel after your account anniversary, and your card is guaranteed to earn you Silver Elite status every year. There are also no foreign transaction fees.
Drawbacks: 
The greatest value is reserved for frequent Marriott guests.

4. Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express

Rewards: 12 points per dollar spent at participating Hilton properties; six points per dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations in the US; and three points per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
100,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee:
$75
APR:
Variable 16.24% to 20.24% APR on purchases, as well as on balance transfers requested within the first 60 days of opening your account.
Why We Picked It: 
Hilton’s credit card boasts a moderate annual fee and an impressive points program.  
Benefits:
Like other hotel cards, Hilton’s card earns extra points for eligible hotel stays and select purchase categories. What’s unique is that even everyday purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants earn triple points on the dollar. Using your card to book online and pay for a Hilton stay will land you a 500-point bonus. You’ll automatically earn Hilton Honors Gold status, and you’ll be bumped up to Diamond status if you spend $40,000 in a calendar year.
Drawbacks: 
All foreign transactions are charged 2.7% of the purchase amount.

5. The Hyatt Credit Card

Rewards: Three points per dollar spent at participating Hyatt hotels; two points per dollar spent on dining, car rentals, and flights purchased directly with the airline; and one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
40,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee:
$75
APR:
Variable 16.99% to 23.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It:
Cardholders earn points for a wide range of purchases and get an annual free night after their cardmember anniversary.
Benefits:
You’ll get triple points at Hyatt, double points on select purchase types, and one point elsewhere. Points can be redeemed for free stays and upgrades, room service, spa treatments, and other rewards. Plus, you’ll receive an annual free night at any category 1–4 hotel or resort after your first account anniversary. There are no foreign transaction fees.
Drawbacks:
The card’s best value is limited to frequent Hyatt guests.

How to Choose a Hotel Rewards Credit Card

If you’re fiercely loyal to one hotel chain, start by finding out if that chain offers a credit card. Hotel cards will likely offer perks like room upgrades, point rewards, and special benefits that you can use anytime you travel to an eligible property.

Don’t jump on your favorite hotel’s credit card without evaluating the competition, though. Hotel-branded credit cards reserve their best value for those who spend a lot of time at eligible properties. And with point-transfer programs, you might even have the ability to transfer points from other cards at a one-to-one value to your hotel or airline of choice.

If you’re an agnostic traveler who stays at many different hotel chains, a general travel credit card may be a better choice. These cards offer a variety of ways to redeem points for travel and aren’t tied down to any specific company.

Make sure to also check the fees and APR. Travel rewards are great, but fees and interest can cut into the value, so try to pick a card that makes good financial sense. 

What Credit Is Required for a Hotel Rewards Credit Card?

Cards that offer epic hotel rewards often require excellent credit. You should be confident in your chances of approval before you apply, because a hard credit inquiry from a credit card application can lower your credit score a few points. You can check two of your credit reports for free at Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and Hilton Honors Surpass Credit Card from American Express are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Image: kupicoo

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

The post 5 Hotel Credit Cards for Travelers Who Love Luxury appeared first on Credit.com.

I Have a World Elite MasterCard: What Does That Get Me?

Make sure you take advantage of all the benefits this card has to offer. Here are the perks you may not be aware of.

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

When you are searching for a new credit card, you tend to be drawn into the information the credit card companies want you to see. They highlight the signup bonus, the ability to earn rewards on purchases, and the annual fees. But your card might have other benefits that you didn’t even know about. (Wondering what all the hype is about regarding credit cards with lavish perks but that come paired with high annual fees? We break it down here.)

MasterCard is one of the largest payment processors of credit cards in the world. If your card happens to be a MasterCard, then you likely have one of three different types: A standard card, a World card, or a World Elite card. Let’s take a deeper look into all the different benefits that you will receive if you have a World Elite MasterCard. (Considering adding plastic to your wallet? Keep in mind that getting a credit card with amazing perks, typically requires you have excellent credit. If you don’t know where your credit stands, you should find out before you apply, which you can do for free right here on Credit.com.)

Priceless Cities

The idea that life experiences offer priceless amounts of value is something that MasterCard stresses within their marketing campaigns, and that idea extends to their Priceless Cities benefit. As a MasterCard World Elite cardholder, you will have access to packages that include everything great that cities may have to offer. A couple of the current packages available are a trip for two to New York City to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July at One World Observatory or a chance to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway and then meet the cast.

Luxury Travel Benefits

Your MasterCard World Elite card will also allow you to travel in style with their luxury travel benefits. If you need to book a hotel, you can use the Luxury Hotels and Resorts portfolio to find a room. You will receive a bunch of different credit card perks, including complimentary breakfast, and potential room upgrades. Speaking of upgrades, your card might also get you upgraded to business class on your next flight. Luxury Travel benefits will also give you elite status at many different car rental companies and an onboard credit with Royal Caribbean cruises.

24/7 Concierge

Another perk of being a MasterCard World Elite cardholder is that you will have a personal concierge available 24/7. Maybe you need help booking a dinner reservation or you need to find the perfect gift for your spouse. No matter what it is, this card means you have someone who can help at all times.

MasterCard Airport Concierge

If you want to get through the airport a little quicker, then you can call on your MasterCard airport concierge. With this service, you’ll be met at the curb and escorted to the gate when you get to the airport and picked up at the aircraft gate upon arrival and escorted to your connecting flight or curbside. This takes out a lot of the hassles and stresses of getting around airports you’re unfamiliar with. (If you’re a frequent traveler, you may want to check out these credit cards that are ideal for each of the major airports in America.)

Trip Cancellation Insurance

Whether it’s a tropical storm or a major winter storm along the Eastern Seaboard, the weather can cancel flights affecting travelers all over the country. That means if you have non-refundable travel plans, you could end up scrambling. Luckily, as a MasterCard World Elite cardholder, you will have trip cancellation insurance. This will help by reimbursing you for any nonrefundable fees that you might have when your flight is cancelled or delayed because of a covered reason.

Price Protection

Your card might already come with the price protection benefits, but if not it’s included with all MasterCard World Elite cards. If you purchase an item and the price drops within the first 120 days of purchase, MasterCard could refund you the difference.

Extended Warranty

Some stores and products don’t exactly have warranties that last long enough. With your MasterCard World Elite card, the time frame will be doubled on any warranty of 24 months or less.

Priceless Golf

MasterCard put together a bunch of different golf packages for the avid golfer. You could have the opportunity to play one of many Tournament Players Club (TPC) courses across the country. For example, you could book a package through MasterCard for the TPC Scottsdale. This package includes four nights at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, three rounds of golf, complimentary breakfast each morning, a one-hour golf lesson, complimentary rental clubs and practice balls, plus a commemorative bag tag. Plus, because you have a World Elite MasterCard, you will also receive a complimentary two-day Avis car rental.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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The post I Have a World Elite MasterCard: What Does That Get Me? appeared first on Credit.com.

7 Hacks for Using American Express’ Membership Rewards Program

Here's how to make the most of your Membership Rewards.

[Disclosure: Our partners are mentioned below.]

There are a few different transferable points programs available, but over the years one of the most popular has always been American Express’ Membership Rewards program. The reason is because of the ample ways points can be used and the wide selection of credit cards that can help you earn points quickly. Let’s take a deeper look into how you can earn Membership Rewards points and the different ways you can receive ultimate value.

1. Transfer Points to Loyalty Partners

One of the best ways to receive maximum value for your Membership Rewards points is to transfer them to one of the many loyalty partners. There is a large selection of both hotels and airlines and each of the following partners will transfer 1-to-1 unless noted.

  • Aeromexico — 1-to-1.6
  • Air Canada (Aeroplan)
  • Air France/KLM (Flying Blue)
  • Alitalia
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways — 250-to-200
  • Delta Air Lines
  • El Al Israel Airlines — 1,000-to-20
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia Plus — 250-to-200
  • JetBlue Airways — 250-to-200
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin America — 200-to-100
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways
  • Choice Hotels
  • Hilton Hotels — 1-to-1.5
  • Starwood Hotels — 1,000-to-333

To get the most value out of each point, you could use them for one of the following redemptions.

All Nippon Airways From the United States to Japan

Until recently, the All Nippon Airways award chart was based on distances. That used to provide many sweet spots for award travel. Even though they have changed to a region based award chart, there are still some great deals. One of them is round-trip flights from the United States to Japan. You can fly round-trip in coach for just 40,000 miles during low season and business class for 75,000 miles, also in the low season.

All Nippon Airways From the United States to Asia Zone 2

You could use All Nippon Airways miles to fly round-trip from the United States to Asia Zone 2 for just 55,000 in coach or 100,000 in business class. Asia Zone 2 is classified as Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Flying Blue From the Continental United States to Hawaii

A great use of Flying Blue miles is to fly round-trip from anywhere in the continental United States to Hawaii for just 30,000 miles.

Aeroplan From the United States to Oceania

Transferring Membership Award points to Aeroplan will allow you to use 90,000 miles to fly round-trip from the United States to Australia, New Zealand or anywhere in the South Pacific. You could make this trip for 80,000 United miles, but what makes using Aeroplan miles worth it is that they will allow you to make two stopovers before reaching your destination. That means you could fly to Tahiti and make stops in both Australia and New Zealand on the way.

British Airways From Miami to Lima, Peru

If hiking to Machu Picchu is on your bucket list, you might want to consider flying British Airways from Miami to Lima, Peru. Because British Airways has a distance-based award chart, the flight in coach is just 12,500 miles each way.

2. Buy Gift Cards

Another way to use your Membership Rewards is to receive gift cards from different restaurants, retailers and for travel. The value you receive will be anywhere from a half-cent to one cent per point.

3. Go Shopping

You could also use your points to shop online with certain retailers. Amazon.com, Bestbuy.com and Newegg.com offer 0.7 cents per point. Other partner retailers give you a half-cent per point in value.

4. Use American Express Travel or Airbnb

There are a few different ways you can use your points on travel beyond transferring them to partners. You can book airfare on American Express Travel for one cent per point. You could also book with Airbnb for 0.7 cents per point.

5. Enjoy Entertainment

If you want to redeem your points for concert tickets or for a Broadway show you can do so through Ticketmaster.com, AXS and Telecharge.com. The value is a half-cent per point.

6. Ride With Uber

You could also use your Membership Reward points to pay for Uber rides. You will receive one cent value per point used.

7. Get a Statement Credit

Finally, you could choose to use your points to receive a statement credit. However, by doing this, you will only receive 0.6 cents value per point.

Cards That Earn Membership Rewards Points

There are quite a few different credit cards that give you the opportunity to earn Membership Rewards points. Below you will find a few of our favorite cards.

Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express has been one of the elite cards available for a few years. When you sign up you will receive 60,000 Membership Reward points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. You can then receive five points per dollar spent on flights and hotels when booked through the airline and by using American Express Travel. All other purchases will receive one point per dollar.

Earlier this year, the annual fee on the Platinum card increased from $450 to $550. This will put the card out of reach for many people. But before you discard the idea of adding it to your wallet, you should consider the travel benefits. Not only will you receive a $200 airline fee credit, which will pay for things like change fees or baggage fees, you also receive a $200 Uber credit. You will receive up to a $100 statement credit to cover the cost of either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. In addition, you will receive Starwood Preferred Guest and Hilton Honors Gold status. Plus, the next time you travel, it will be in comfort. You will have access to the Delta Sky Club, Centurion Lounges, Airspace Lounges and a Priority Pass Select membership.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Another of the elite cards from American Express is the Premier Rewards Gold Card. When you sign up for this card, you receive 25,000 Membership Reward points after spending $2,000 in the first three months. You receive three points per dollar spent on any airfare purchased directly with airlines. You also receive two points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets. All other purchases will earn one point per dollar. There is a $195 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year. Other than the earnings potential, the other benefits can make the annual fee worthwhile to travelers. Each year you receive a $100 airline fee credit. You also receive two points per dollar when you book a hotel through the Hotel Collection. Plus, you receive a $75 hotel credit for qualifying charges.

Amex EveryDay Preferred

When you sign up for the Amex EveryDay Preferred card you receive 10,000 Membership Reward points after spending $1,000 in the first three months. When you use the card at U.S. supermarkets, you receive two points per dollar, on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, and one point per dollar on everything else. Also, if you use your card 20 or more times on purchases in a single billing period you’ll earn 20% extra points on those purchases minus returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.

At the time of this writing, the EveryDay Preferred also offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. After that, your APR will be a variable 13.74% to 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors. This card has an annual fee of $95.

If you don’t already have one of these cards keep in mind you’ll need excellent credit to qualify. You can see where your credit stands by getting your two free credit scores right here on Credit.com.

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At publishing time, the Platinum Card from American Express, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and Amex EveryDay Preferred card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

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4 Credit Cards That Will Make You Feel Like a Millionaire

credit-cards-like-a-millionaire

When most people think about how the rich and famous travel, they probably picture first-class flights and penthouse suites. While this is usually true, that lifestyle doesn’t have to be strictly reserved for the one-percenters. By having the right piece of plastic in your wallet, you, too, could feel like a millionaire on your next vacation.

Keep in mind, a lot of these premium credit cards do come with a price — in the form of a high annual fee. That fee could be recouped via rewards and other benefits, depending on how you spend, but it’s important to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine if a particular credit card is right for you. It’s also important to note that rewards credit cards are best-served to those who don’t carry a balance, since your points can easily be lost to interest. Finally, anyone considering a new credit card should probably check their credit before applying since your credit scores will determine what kind of offers you will qualify for. (You can view two of your credit scores, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.)

Here are four different cards for you to consider that could leave you feeling like a millionaire.

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve

Released earlier this year, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card has quickly become the “cool” credit card to have in your wallet. The card offers a signup bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Reward points (the equivalent of $1,500 when you redeem them through the bank’s travel portal) once you spend $4,000 in the first three months. That’s enough points to put you near the front of the plane on many different airlines.

In addition to a mega-signup bonus, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card has a very generous reward program. You’ll earn 3x the Chase Ultimate Reward points on restaurant and travel purchases and 1x on all other purchases.

If you want to really feel like a millionaire when you are traveling, then you will love that this card will also give you access to over 900 different airport lounges with a complimentary Priority Pass membership. Forgot about spending your layover sitting in cramped airport seats, now you can drink a cocktail while relaxing in a comfortable seating.

This card does come with $450 annual fee, but you will receive a $300 annual travel credit. Unlike some elite credit cards, this benefit can be used with more than just airlines. It can also be used on any purchases that Chase codes as a travel expense. The card carries an annual percentage rate (APR) between 16.24% and 23.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.

2. Platinum Card From American Express

Earning a lot of credit card points is nice, but what really makes someone feel exclusive, are the luxury benefits that come with the card. The Platinum card from American Express (see full review here) offers a concierge service, which will serve as your very own personal assistant. Looking to grab a reservation at a highly sought after restaurant? Want to experience private, invitation-only events, like the Kentucky Derby or a movie premier in an exotic location? You can do that as a Platinum cardholder.

In addition to these elite perks, you will be able to earn 40,000 American Express Membership Rewards points once you sign up and spend $3,000 within the first three months. When you use your card for travel purchases, you will earn 5x the Membership Rewards points. For all other purchases, you will earn 1x the points. Cardholders will receive a complimentary upgrade to Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status, as well as Hilton HHonors Gold. You will also have access to the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts. When you book your hotel through this program, you can receive some great perks, including room upgrades, late checkout, daily breakfast for two, and a unique gift at each property that could be a $100 dining credit or a complimentary massage for two.

The annual fee is $450, but you will receive a $100 credit for either Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check and each calendar year you will receive a $200 airline credit. As a charge card, you’re expected to pay your balance off in full each month, so there’s no purchase APR.

3. American Express Delta Reserve Credit Card

If you travel frequently and want to improve your chances at being an airline elite, then the Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express will give you a leg up. After you make your first purchase with the card, you will receive 10,000 Delta SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM). Then each calendar year you will receive an additional 15,000 Delta SkyMiles and 15,000 MQM for each $30,000 you spend on your card.

When you become a Delta Medallion member, you will receive some great benefits, like complimentary upgrades to first class and upgrades for your travel companions when they are flying on a revenue ticket. In addition to Medallion benefits, the card will also provide you with priority boarding, your first checked bag free, Delta Sky Club access, and no foreign transaction fees. There is a $450 annual fee. The card carries a variable APR between 15.99% to 24.99%.

4. Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card

For a long time, Ritz-Carlton hotels have been known to be some of the more elegant places to stay around the world. When you sign up for the Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card, you will have the opportunity to experience that elegance first-hand. You will receive three complimentary nights at any category 1-4 Ritz-Carlton after spending $5,000 in the first three months of being a cardholder. In addition, you will receive 10,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the same three-month period.

As a cardholder, you will be able to upgrade to Club level three times per year when you are staying for seven or more nights. Anytime you stay for two or more nights, you will receive a $100 hotel credit. This can be used on dining, spa treatments, or any activity through the hotel. Cardholders will receive Ritz-Carlton Gold Elite status and if you spend $75,000 or more per year, you will be upgraded to Platinum Elite status. The card carries a variable APR between 16.24% and 23.24%.

There is a $450 annual fee, but you will receive a $300 annual travel credit, $100 credit towards Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check, and because this is a Visa Infinite card, you will also receive a $100 airfare discount when you purchase two or more airline tickets.

At publishing time, the Platinum Card from American Express is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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Ever Dreamed of Flying Private? This Credit Card Can Get You There

Racking up frequent flier miles and rewards points to fly first-class is so yesterday. Your travel credit card may now be able to make it just little bit easier to score a ride on a private jet.

American Express announced recently that it’s partnering with Delta Private Jets to provide Platinum credit cardholders who purchase a Delta Private Jets Card Membership with reduced rates and exclusive travel benefits.

Delta Private Jets is a private aircraft service aimed at business travelers. Its card offers members the ability to lock-in hourly rates on charters and flights and avoid paying fuel surcharges and interchange fees, among other perks (more on those in a minute).

Of course, living the high life won’t exactly come easy.

For starters, American Express’ Platinum Card (see full review here) touts a $450 annual fee in exchange for all its perks and benefits. And that fee is really chump change when you compare it to the cost of a Delta Private Jets Card Membership, which requires frequent private fliers to pre-fund their plastic with $100,000, $250,000 or $500,000.

Hourly rates on the jets vary depending on membership tier or type, a spokesperson for Delta Private Jets said, while price points and rate reductions resulting from its Premium Private Jet Program with American Express will also be specific to each cardholder. (American Express did not immediately respond to Credit.com’s request for comment.)

The benefits will also vary by membership and individual, the spokesperson said, but to give you an idea of what type of services you can expect when you utilize a private jet service, they can include on-board catering, transportation to and from your flight, access to super-sized aircraft or same-day charters, help with making all your hotel accommodations and more.

Traveling in Style

Securing a private jet membership may be a ways off for most folks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ever travel in style. Various travel rewards credit cards offer their cardholders lucrative travel perks, like complimentary upgrades, lounge access, concierge services or, at the very least, a free checked bag. (You can check out our roundup of some of the best travel credit cards in America here.)

Of course, you generally need good credit to qualify, so you should go ahead and check your standing before applying for any premium plastic. (You can view two of your credit scores for free each month on Credit.com.) Remember, too, these cards are really best-suited to people who don’t carry a balance. Otherwise, all those perks will just be lost to interest. And be sure to read the fine print of any credit card you’re considering carefully so you’re sure that it — and any high annual fee it may carry — is the right fit for you.

At publishing time, the American Express Platinum credit card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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4 Airline Credit Cards With Big Sign-Up Bonuses Right Now

airplane

Would you like a bunch of frequent flyer miles to book an award ticket? If you are into earning frequent flyer miles, then you can get a head start on your next big award trip by signing up for the right credit card and earning a sign-up bonus.

How Sign-Up Bonuses Work

The credit card industry is intensely competitive, and credit card issuers are willing to go to great lengths to attract new customers. What banks have learned over the years is that there are few incentives that are as attractive as large sums of frequent flyer miles that can be redeemed for award travel.

To receive one of these large sign-up bonuses, you have to apply for a new credit card and be approved. Then, most credit cards require you to complete a minimum spending requirement within a specified period of time, often three months. In most cases, once you’ve completed the minimum spending requirements, and your next statement is generated, then you should receive your sign-up bonus within a day or two.

Many people worry that applying for a new credit card and receiving a sign-up bonus will hurt their credit score. Although there are many factors that make up your credit score, including new applications, applying for a single credit card should have a negligible effect on your credit score and it may even improve it slightly as your credit history is extended.

Here are four airline credit cards that are currently offering big sign-up bonuses. 

1. American Airlines AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard from Citi

This card is currently offering 50,000 bonus miles after new applicants make $5,000 in purchases within three months of account opening, which is enough for two round-trip domestic award tickets in economy class, or a single first class ticket. (Full Disclosure: Citibank as well as Chase and American Express advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.) Other benefits include membership in the American Airlines Admiral’s Club airport lounge program for yourself and all authorized cardholders. You also receive priority service at check-in, airport screening and boarding. In addition, you receive your first bag checked free and a $100 statement credit towards the Global Entry application fee. There is a $450 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.

2. British Airways Visa Signature Card from Chase

This card is offering new applicants 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases within three months of account opening, plus an additional 25,000 miles after spending a total of $15,000 within a calendar year. Other benefits include 3x miles for British Airways purchases, and one mile per dollar spent elsewhere. Finally, those who spend $30,000 in a calendar year can earn a Travel Together Ticket good for a companion ticket on a British Airways award flight, although you do have to pay any tax, fees and carrier charges imposed by British Airways. There is a $95 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.

3. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase

This card is offering new applicants 30,000 bonus miles after spending just $1,000 within three months of account opening. In addition, you can also receive an additional 5,000 bonus miles after you add an authorized user who makes a purchase within three months of account opening. Finally, you can earn 10,000 bonus miles every calendar year you spend at least $25,000 in net purchases on your card. Other benefits include a free checked bag for yourself and a companion when you purchase tickets on United using this card. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

4. The Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express

This card (you can see a full review here) is offering new applicants a $50 statement credit after their first purchase and 30,000 bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases within three months of account opening. Other benefits include priority boarding, a 20% discount on in-flight purchases, and a free checked bag for up to four people traveling on the same reservation. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

All of these cards require applicants to have excellent credit. If you’re not sure of your credit standing, you may want to check your credit before you apply. You can view two of your scores for free, updated each month, on Credit.com.

If your credit standing doesn’t yet meet the card issuer’s requirements, there are steps you can take to improve your credit score, and apply once you do.

At publishing time, the United MileagePlus Explorer Card from ChaseAAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard from Citi, and the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

More on Credit Cards:

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AmEx Just Boosted the Sign-Up Bonus for Its Major Hotel Credit Card

declined-hotel

Late last year, we rated the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express as the credit card with the best hotel rewards program, and AmEx just changed one of the perks to make it an even more attractive product.

New cardholders who apply before March 30 will get 35,000 bonus Starpoints if they charge $3,000 within the first three months of opening the card — that’s 10,000 Starpoints more than the typical sign-up bonus.

Those extra points could score you a couple free nights at a hotel. Cardholders can redeem Starpoints for award nights starting at 3,000 points a night at more than 1,200 hotels in more than 100 countries. Starwood properties include hotel chains Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Four Points and others.

Beyond the supercharged sign-up bonus — which, again, is temporary — the card offers a variety of perks for frequent travelers, which you can read about in the review. Keep in mind this card has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year.

To get this and most rewards credit cards, applicants generally need to have a good or great credit score, though there are other things that go into a credit card application. The good news is the average credit score in the U.S. was up three points last year, from 666 in 2014 to 669 in 2015, according to Experian’s annual State of Credit report. That’s on the VantageScore 3.0 scale (300 to 850), and the majority of consumers with credit scores have good (661 to 780) or great credit (781 to 850). According to Experian’s 2015 data, 36% of people with VantageScores have good credit, and 22% fall into that great credit category.

Before applying for a credit card, you should know where you stand to make sure you don’t apply for cards you’re unlikely to qualify for. To see where you stand, you can get two free credit scores every month on Credit.com, including the VantageScore 3.0.

At publishing time, the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

More on Credit Cards:

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