The Best Credit Card to Use at Every Airport in America

Yes, believe it or not, which airport you frequent can be a factor in choosing new plastic.

Whether you’re planning to hit the road for spring break or looking ahead to your summer travels, there’s a lot to think about when planning a vacation — especially if you’re flying to your destination. Not only do you have to add the airline ticket to your travel budget, but you have to think about other fees too, like checking your bag or choosing a window or aisle seat. But there may be an airline-branded credit card out there to help you cut back on some of those costs. (Want more budget-saving ideas? Consider these 28 ways to help you save for this year’s big adventure.)

You have a lot to consider when choosing one of these cards. Sure, you want to think about if you’re loyal to a certain airline, but you may also want to take it one step further and take note of your airport loyalty. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) collects passenger boarding cargo data for U.S. airports. Using its most recent data, we established this list of the 25 busiest airports in America … and then figured out which credit cards would be best to use at each of them.

Plus, before signing up for any new credit card, it’s important to know where your credit stands. Travel credit cards tend to require good scores, so knowing how you fare can help you see your odds of qualifying. (You can look at your two free credit scores on Credit.com.)

Now, without further ado, here’s list of the credit cards that could get you the most rewards at some of the busiest airports in the country.

25. Salt Lake City International Airport — Salt Lake City

Best Credit Card: Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

Why We Chose It: Salt Lake City is a Delta hub and there’s a great Delta Sky Club lounge between concourses C and D.

Baseline Rewards: Two miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, one mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. You can earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 during the first three months.

Great Perk: You check your first bag free on every flight along with priority boarding, which is like saving $50 on each round-trip flight (assuming you check a bag each way).

Annual Fee: $95, waived the first year

APR: Variable 16.24% to 25.24%

24. Chicago Midway International — Chicago

Best Credit Card: Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

Why We Chose It: CMI is a major hub for Southwest, so frequent fliers are bound to get good use of this card.

Baseline Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on Southwest Airlines and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases; one point per dollar on all other purchases. You can earn 50,000 points after spending $2,000 on the card in the first three months.

Great Perk: You get 3,000 anniversary gift points once you’ve had your card for a year.

Annual Fee: $69

APR: Variable 16.49% to 23.49%

23. Ronald Reagan Washington National — Arlington, Virginia

Best Credit Card: Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard

Why We Chose It: American Airlines is prominent at this airport and the list of perks with this card is great, whether you’re coming here for work or going on your own adventure. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)

Baseline Rewards: Two miles for every dollar spent on American Airlines purchases and one mile for every dollar spent elsewhere. You can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on the card in the first three months.

Great Perk: Free access to the Admirals Club.

Annual Fee: $450

APR: Variable 15.74%

22. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall — Baltimore

Best Credit Card: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card

Why We Chose It: Turns out, the majority (70.34%) of this airport’s traffic from December 2015 to November 2016 was tied to Southwest Airlines flights. So it makes sense to choose a Southwest card.

Baseline Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on Southwest Airlines and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases; one point per dollar on all other purchases. Earn 50,000 points after spending $2,000 on the card in the first three months. You’ll get 6,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary. (Fly Southwest, but not sure if the Premier or the Plus is a better fit? We’ve got a guide that compares the two right here.)

Great Perk: No cap on the number of points you can earn, as long as your card is open and active.

Annual Fee: $99

APR: Variable 16.49% to 23.49%

21. Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International — Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Best Credit Card: JetBlue Card

Why We Chose It: Fort Lauderdale is a focus city for the airline and has a strong presence in terminal 3.

Baseline Rewards: Three points per dollar on JetBlue purchases, two points per dollar at restaurants and grocery stores, and one point per dollar on all other purchases. You can earn 5,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days.

Great Perk: This card gets you 50% off your in-flight purchases.

Annual Fee: None

APR: Variable 12.49%, 20.49% or 25.49%

20. LaGuardia — Queens, New York

Best Credit Card: Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

Why We Chose It: Delta has a strong presence in this airport and it continues to grow, most recently with a 600-foot bridge linking its two main terminals, C and D.

Baseline Rewards: Two miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and one mile per dollar everywhere else. You can earn 35,000 bonus miles, 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $1,000 on the card in the first three months and $100 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase in the first three months of having the card.

Great Perk: You get a round-trip companion pass each year when you renew this card.

Annual Fee: $195

APR: Variable 16.24% to 25.24%

19. Philadelphia International — Philadelphia

Best Credit Card: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard

Why We Chose It: American Airlines flights went to the 10 most popular domestic destinations from this airport from December 2015 to November 2016, so this card could come in handy on your travels.

Baseline Rewards: Two miles for every dollar spent with American Airlines and one mile for every dollar spent everywhere else.

Great Perk: Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending only $1,000 in the first three months after getting the card.

Annual Fee: $95, waived the first year

APR: Variable 16.24% to 24.24%

18. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County — Detroit

Best Credit Card: Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

Why We Chose It: Delta is one of the main airlines coming and going from Detroit and several of Delta’s partners also fly to and from Detroit. There are also four Delta Sky Clubs throughout the airport.

Baseline Rewards: Two miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, one mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. You can earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 during the first three months.

Great Perk: You can redeem your points with Delta or with any of its more than 15 airline partners.

Annual Fee: $95, waived the first year

APR: Variable 16.24% to 25.24%

17. General Edward Lawrence Logan International — Boston

Best Credit Card: The JetBlue Plus Card from BarclayCard

Why We Chose It: Whether you’re headed to a seasonal destination, like St. Lucia or Martha’s Vineyard, or not, JetBlue has an extensive list of places they fly.

Baseline Rewards: Six points per dollar on JetBlue purchases, two points per dollar at restaurants and grocery stores, and one point per dollar on all other purchases. You can earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days and receive 5,000 bonus points on your cardholder anniversary.

Great Perk: You can earn a $100 statement credit when you use your card to purchase a Getaways vacation package.

Annual Fee: $99

APR: Variable 12.49%, 20.49% or 25.49%

16. Minneapolis-St. Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain — Minneapolis 

Best Credit Card: Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

Why We Chose It: If your heart can dream it, odds are Delta can fly you there from Minneapolis-St. Paul International. And why would you want to limit yourself? (For the card’s major terms and conditions, see above).

15. Newark Liberty International — Newark, New Jersey

Best Credit Card: United MileagePlus Club Card

Why We Chose It: Newark Liberty is a hub for United Airlines and this airline flies the majority of passengers from this airport.

Baseline Rewards: Two miles for every dollar spent with United Airlines and 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all other purchases. You can earn a $100 statement credit after making your first purchase on the card.

Great Perk: Free access to the United Club, an annual savings of up to $550. Even with the annual fee, that’s still a savings of $100 (assuming you use the card responsibly, of course).

Annual Fee: $450

APR: Variable 16.49% to 23.49%

14. Orlando International — Orlando, Florida

Best Credit Card: Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard

Why We Chose It: There is an Admirals Lounge coming later this year and this card can get you in to enjoy the fancy new digs. (For the card’s major terms and conditions, see above).

13. Seattle-Tacoma International — Seattle

Best Credit Card: Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card

Why We Chose It: Seattle is a hub for Alaska Airlines as well as several of its partners.

Baseline Rewards: Three miles for every dollar spent on Alaska Airlines purchases and one mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases. You can earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Great Perk: This card offers the flexibility of choosing which airline you redeem your points with, from American Airlines to Emirates.

Annual Fee: Depends on which version of the card you’re approved for (based on creditworthiness): $75 for Visa Signature card or $50 for Platinum Plus accounts. You can find an explainer on the difference between the two cards here.

APR: Variable 12.74% to 19.74%

12. George Bush Intercontinental/Houston — Houston

Best Credit Card: United MileagePlus Explorer card

Why We Chose It: There are some great renovations coming this year to terminal C that will help this card come in extra-handy.

Baseline Rewards: Two miles per dollar spent on United Airlines tickets and one mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Great Perk: You get 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable 16.49% to 23.49%

11. Miami International — Miami

Best Credit Card: Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard

Why We Chose It: There are two Admirals Club lounges in terminal D you can enjoy whenever you are at Miami International, whether you’re heading there on vacation or waiting for a flight home after a Caribbean cruise. (Again, for the card’s full terms and conditions, see above.)

10. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport — Phoenix

Best Credit Card: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card

Why We Chose It: Southwest recently announced plans to expand their presence at the Phoenix airport, including eight new gates and more flights, so this card just makes sense. (For the card’s full terms and conditions, see above.)

9. McCarran International Airport — Las Vegas

Best Credit Card: The Platinum Card From American Express

Why We Chose It: Nothing says Vegas like a little flash of luxury, and American Express’s premium credit card can get you into the airport’s swanky Centurion lounge.

Baseline Rewards: Right now, cardholders receive five times the points on airfare booked directly with a carrier or American Express travel and one times the points on everything else, but those rewards, along with the card’s annual fee, are set to go up, effective March 30.

Great Perk: You’ll get a $200 airline free credit, good for baggage fees and more at one airline.

Annual Fee: Currently $450; but that’ll go up to $550 once the new benefits come online

APR: The Platinum is a charge card, meaning you’re required to pay your balances off in full each month.

8. Charlotte/Douglas International Airport — Charlotte, North Carolina

Best Credit Card: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard

Why We Chose It: This civil-military public international airport is a major hub for American Airlines. (For the card’s full terms and conditions, see above.)

7. San Francisco International Airport — San Francisco

Best Credit Card: The Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Card

Why We Chose It: Take one look at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse and you’ll see why we couldn’t pass this one up.

Baseline Rewards: Eight points (five points for being an Elevate member and three for card usage) per dollar spent on Virgin America purchases and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. You can earn 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days.

Great Perk: This card is a member of the Visa Signature family. (You can see what additional perks you get with Visa Signature cards here).

Annual Fee: $149

APR: Variable 16.48%, 20.49% or 25.49%

6. Denver International Airport — Denver

Best Credit Card: Frontier MasterCard

Why We Chose It: Frontier is one of five airlines at the Denver airport that offers the convenience of curbside check in.

Baseline Rewards: Two miles per dollar on FlyFrontier.com purchases and one mile per dollar on any other purchases. You can earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on the card in the first 90 days.

Great Perk: You get a $100 voucher toward a flight after spending $2,500 during your first (anniversary) year.

Annual Fee: $69

APR: Variable 16.49% or 25.49%

5. John F. Kennedy International Airport — New York City

Best Credit Card: The JetBlue Plus Card from BarclayCard

Why We Chose It: There’s a lot to see and do in the recently-renovated terminal 5, including the exciting Airspace Lounge — and that’s all before you even board the plane. (For the card’s full terms and conditions, see above.)

4. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport — Forth Worth

Best Credit Card: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard

Why We Chose It: While there are some updates being made to the Admirals Club lounge in terminal A, there are others you can use, getting perks like free Wi-Fi and access to showers in case you come straight to the airport from the office. (For the card’s full terms and conditions, see above.)

3. Chicago O’Hare International Airport — Chicago

Best Credit Card: United MileagePlus Explorer credit card (full review here)

Why We Chose It: O’Hare is a major hub for United Airlines. (For the card’s full terms and conditions, see above.)

2. Los Angeles International Airport — Los Angeles

Best Credit Card: Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card

Why We Chose It: Alaska and several of its partners are a big presence at this airport and offer deals for passengers. (For the card’s full terms and conditions, see above.)

1. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport — Atlanta

Best Credit Card: Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

Why We Chose It: Atlanta is a major hub for Delta. Atlanta is also popular connection airport, so you’ll get more bang for your buck with this high-annual-fee card.

Baseline Rewards: Earn two miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, one mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. Earn 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles after your first purchase on the card.

Great Perk: Cardholders get complimentary first-class upgrades and Delta Sky Club access.

Annual Fee: $450

APR: Variable 16.24% to 25.24%

Got a question about credit cards? Leave it in the comments below and one of our experts will try to get back to you!

At publishing time, the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard, JetBlue Card, Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard, Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card,The JetBlue Plus Card from BarclayCard and the Platinum Card From American Express credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply 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).

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.

Image: MStudioImages

The post The Best Credit Card to Use at Every Airport in America appeared first on Credit.com.

Chase’s Hot New Credit Card Could Cost Them up to $300 Million

Chase's new credit card is so wildly popular, and offers such great perks, it's costing the bank money.

Back in September, Chase ran out of the metal versions of their new Sapphire Reserve credit card because of such high demand. And, while it seems the card is still drawing a lot of attention (and applicants), it’s costing Chase money — as much as $300 million, in fact.

At least that’s according to a recent Bloomberg report, which says the card is expected to hurt profits by $200 million to $300 million in the fourth quarter. (Don’t feel too bad, they’re still anticipating a $5 billion profit this quarter.) And, according to the report, the bank won’t break even on the investment they’ve made into this card for almost six years. Despite all this, the JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said “the card has been doing great” when he spoke at an investor conference in New York on Tuesday.

Wondering what all the fuss is about with this Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card? Well…

What Makes This Card So Popular

There’s a lot to be said about this credit card — to start, after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of having the card, you’ll get 100,000 bonus points. Yes, you read that right: 100,000 points, which is equal to $1,500 in travel redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform. And, if you have wanderlust, you’ll also like that this card gives you an annual statement credit of up to $300 to reimburse you for travel purchases. (Starting to understand why this card is so popular and costing Chase some money?)

All this from a credit card is pretty amazing, right? There’s more. While you’ve still got jet setting on the brain, it’s worth mentioning that this card will reimburse you up to $100 for your Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application, as well as give you access to airport lounges and special benefits at certain hotels and when renting cars.

And let’s talk about spending rewards: You get three points per dollar on travel and dining and one point per dollar for all other purchases. When you redeem through the Chase rewards platform, your points will go further, as you’ll get 50% more in travel redemption.

As many rewards credit cards do, the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with an annual fee, and it isn’t a subtle one: $450. You also have to pay the annual fee upfront. And if you can’t pay your statement in full (a best practice with rewards credit cards so you don’t lose your perks to interest fees), you’re looking at a variable APR of 16.24% to 23.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.

Adding Plastic to Your Wallet

Yes, these rewards are amazing and can be exceptionally tempting. But, not so fast: You want to think about if adding this card, or any other card, to your collection is really right for you before you hit “Submit” on that application. Are you going to be able to make that $450 annual fee worthwhile or would a credit card with a lower yearly fee (or not one at all) be better? And if it’s that signup bonus that sounds most appealing to you, is it an amount you’d be able to afford to spend? After all, added spending just to get a bonus (and ultimately ending up in debt) certainly isn’t worth it.

Part of considering which credit card may be right for you is also knowing what cards you’re likely to qualify for. Cards that offer rewards tend to require a good credit score, so it’s good to know if you’re even eligible before applying. After all, you don’t want that hard inquiry on your credit just to be rejected for the new card. (You can find out where your credit currently stands by viewing two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.) If you discover your scores aren’t at the level you’d like them to be, all is not lost: Consider paying down debts, repairing any report damage you may discover and limiting inquiries on your credit until your scores rebound.

Image: EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER

The post Chase’s Hot New Credit Card Could Cost Them up to $300 Million appeared first on Credit.com.

Chase’s Hot New Credit Card Could Cost Them up to $300 Million

Chase's new credit card is so wildly popular, and offers such great perks, it's costing the bank money.

Back in September, Chase ran out of the metal versions of their new Sapphire Reserve credit card because of such high demand. And, while it seems the card is still drawing a lot of attention (and applicants), it’s costing Chase money — as much as $300 million, in fact.

At least that’s according to a recent Bloomberg report, which says the card is expected to hurt profits by $200 million to $300 million in the fourth quarter. (Don’t feel too bad, they’re still anticipating a $5 billion profit this quarter.) And, according to the report, the bank won’t break even on the investment they’ve made into this card for almost six years. Despite all this, the JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said “the card has been doing great” when he spoke at an investor conference in New York on Tuesday.

Wondering what all the fuss is about with this Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card? Well…

What Makes This Card So Popular

There’s a lot to be said about this credit card — to start, after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of having the card, you’ll get 100,000 bonus points. Yes, you read that right: 100,000 points, which is equal to $1,500 in travel redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform. And, if you have wanderlust, you’ll also like that this card gives you an annual statement credit of up to $300 to reimburse you for travel purchases. (Starting to understand why this card is so popular and costing Chase some money?)

All this from a credit card is pretty amazing, right? There’s more. While you’ve still got jet setting on the brain, it’s worth mentioning that this card will reimburse you up to $100 for your Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application, as well as give you access to airport lounges and special benefits at certain hotels and when renting cars.

And let’s talk about spending rewards: You get three points per dollar on travel and dining and one point per dollar for all other purchases. When you redeem through the Chase rewards platform, your points will go further, as you’ll get 50% more in travel redemption.

As many rewards credit cards do, the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with an annual fee, and it isn’t a subtle one: $450. You also have to pay the annual fee upfront. And if you can’t pay your statement in full (a best practice with rewards credit cards so you don’t lose your perks to interest fees), you’re looking at a variable APR of 16.24% to 23.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.

Adding Plastic to Your Wallet

Yes, these rewards are amazing and can be exceptionally tempting. But, not so fast: You want to think about if adding this card, or any other card, to your collection is really right for you before you hit “Submit” on that application. Are you going to be able to make that $450 annual fee worthwhile or would a credit card with a lower yearly fee (or not one at all) be better? And if it’s that signup bonus that sounds most appealing to you, is it an amount you’d be able to afford to spend? After all, added spending just to get a bonus (and ultimately ending up in debt) certainly isn’t worth it.

Part of considering which credit card may be right for you is also knowing what cards you’re likely to qualify for. Cards that offer rewards tend to require a good credit score, so it’s good to know if you’re even eligible before applying. After all, you don’t want that hard inquiry on your credit just to be rejected for the new card. (You can find out where your credit currently stands by viewing two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.) If you discover your scores aren’t at the level you’d like them to be, all is not lost: Consider paying down debts, repairing any report damage you may discover and limiting inquiries on your credit until your scores rebound.

Image: EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER

The post Chase’s Hot New Credit Card Could Cost Them up to $300 Million appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Places You Can Fly With the Chase Sapphire Reserve Sign-Up Bonus

Chase-Sapphire-Reserve-sign-up-bonus

By now, you’ve probably heard about the gloriously appealing Chase Sapphire Rewards credit card and all the luxurious perks that come with it. But let’s talk simply about the sign-up bonus: $1,500.

That’s right, you’ll get 100,000 bonus points to start (amounting to $1,500 redeemable through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel portal — after you spend $4,000 in the first three months, of course). But if you’re planning to make a few large purchases in the coming months, it may be worth it to consider this card (but be prepared: It carries a hefty $450 annual fee).

There are so many things you could do with that lucrative sign-on bonus, but none so appealing as covering the cost of your next vacation.

“Travel credit cards are a terrific idea for anyone who is looking to make their vacations more affordable,” Kelsey Blodgett, senior editor at Oyster.com, a hotel comparison site, said. “I think many consumers will find that best travel credit cards are the ones that [are the] most flexible.”

“If you sign up for a new card and get a general travel bonus, take advantage,” Blodgett added. “Studies show that a yearly vacation can significantly reduce your risk of both heart attack and dementia, so not only will it reduce your stress, it can have important ramifications for your health.”

With that in mind, here are four dream destinations you could potentially visit simply using the sign-up bonus funds you’d land with the Chase Sapphire Rewards credit card. (Note: Prices from New York area airports to these destinations averaged less than $1,500 roundtrip, but your costs may vary depending on location of origination, time of year, airline and other factors.)

1. Copenhagen

While you’re here, be sure to check out the iconic colorful buildings in the Nyhavn harbor, Edvard Eriksen’s The Little Mermaid sculpture resting on a rock along the Langelinie promenade, and the exciting Tivoli amusement park. But the best part of being in Denmark, aside from the sights and exceptionally kind people, is the food. Whether you grab a Danish hot dog in the town square, an open faced sandwich (also known as a smørrebrød) at an outdoor café or traditional soft ice (ice cream), you can’t go wrong.

2. San Juan, Puerto Rico

If you’re looking to see the historic part of the city, head to Old San Juan and check out the forts and defensive walls that protected the city from attacks years ago. You can even explore the narrow walkways the led prisoners to hidden jail cells within the city. Aside from that, there are plenty of shops and restaurants you can venture to using the free tourist trolley that goes around the city. Pro tip: Try a plantain burrito; your taste buds will thank you.

3. Bali, Indonesia

Really, you can’t go wrong with most of the cities in Bali — it all depends on what you want to do and see while you’re visiting. Beautiful beaches and breathtaking sunsets are abounding in Seminyak, a resort town in Southern Bali. Ubud is known for its monkey forest (yes, that’s a thing) and yoga and meditation retreats (perfect if you’re hoping to channel Elizabeth Gilbert’s experiences in “Eat, Pray, Love.”)

4. Bordeaux, France

This is a wine-lovers dream destination — have a glorious glass of vino, take a stroll along the Garonne River, enjoy freshly shucked oysters and bask in the glory that is this beautiful city. But, back to the wine: You can hit up a chateau, taste some wine (or even do a food pairing) and venture to wine-centric museums. The Cité du Vin, shaped like the swirl of wine in a glass, is certainly a can’t-miss destination.

We know — these places sound amazing and we’d start packing right now if we could. But as luxurious and appealing as they all are, they probably won’t look so good if you’re paying for them for years to come. When considering the Chase Sapphire Reserve, or any other rewards credit cards, it’s important to remember that the goal is not to overspend just to get the perks (no matter how great they are). Doing so could easily land you in credit card debt, lessening or completely offsetting those bonuses.

No matter what card you ultimately decide is right for you, it’s important to know that premium credit cards that offer rewards (whether for travel or something else) tend to go to people with good or excellent credit scores. Because of this, it’s a good idea to find out where your credit stands before you apply so you don’t incur a hard inquiry just to get denied. You can get copies of your credit reports for free once every 12 months by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com and see two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.

At publishing time, Chase products are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for 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.

Image: scanrail

The post 4 Places You Can Fly With the Chase Sapphire Reserve Sign-Up Bonus appeared first on Credit.com.

Cheaper Hotel Stays for Capital One Credit Cardholders?

CapitalOne-hotel-discount

If you’re thinking about packing up and heading out of town for a vacation, you may like this news. Capital One announced a partnership with HotelTonight, a last-minute hotel deal app, on Thursday. This pairing gives Capital One Venture and Capital One VentureOne cardholders a 10% discount on hotels booked through the HotelTonight app.

To receive the discount, all cardholders have to do is enter the promo code VENTURE, which is applicable through January 2017. This is an unlimited usage discount until the promotion expires, but it’s still a good idea to comparison shop to be sure you’re getting the best deal out there for you.

This new perk comes alongside other travel perks that already accompany these credit cards. With the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card, cardholders receive unlimited double miles on every purchase, as well as 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on the card during the first three months. The Capital One VentureOne Rewards credit card offers customers 1.25 mile rewards on every purchase and a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles after making $1,000 worth of purchases on the card within the first three months.

Neither of these cards have foreign transaction fees or initial annual fees. However, the Venture card does have a $59 annual fee after the first year. The VentureOne rewards card has a 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR), but that changes to a 12.24% to 22.24% variable APR after the initial 12 months (based on creditworthiness). The Venture card has a 13.24% to  23.24% variable APR. (For more about these cards, you can read our in-depth review of both the Capital One Venture Rewards card and the Capital One VentureOne Rewards card here.)

Using Travel Reward Credit Cards

It’s important to remember that you don’t want to overspend on a trip just to get perks, whether they’re in the form of points, a discount or something else. And, before you sign up for any rewards credit card, there’s a lot to think about. For example, it’s important to make sure you’ll be able to cover any annual fees that may come with the card. You may also want to review your budget and decide if you’ll be able to pay the balance in full each month — doing so with rewards credit cards helps to prevent you from losing all those added benefits to interest fees.

Finally, you may want to take a look at your credit scores, as these types of credit cards are typically issued to people with good credit. You don’t want to go through the application process and get a hard inquiry on your credit report, simply to get denied for the card. You can see two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com. If your credit isn’t quite up to snuff, there are some steps you can take to polish it — pay down any debts, fix any errors appearing on your credit report and limit the number of credit inquiries until your score rebounds.

At publishing time, the Capital One Venture Rewards card and Capital One VentureOne Rewards 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.

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.

Image: stockvisual

The post Cheaper Hotel Stays for Capital One Credit Cardholders? appeared first on Credit.com.

The Golden Rules of a Travel Rewards Credit Card

travel-rewards-credit-card

If you feel like you have a job just so you can fund your travel addiction — whether you get your fix from loading a backpack with sturdy climbing shoes and gear or having your toes in the sand, sunglasses on, and a book in your hand — you may be happy to know that having a travel credit card could help you book your next getaway sooner.

But before you add a travel credit card to your wallet, there are some basics you must know. We’ll call them the six golden rules of travel plastic.

1. Make Sure You Have Good Credit

As is the case with most reward credit cards, travel credit cards typically require new cardholders to have good credit scores. So, before you apply, you’ll want to see where your credit currently stands so you know if now is the right time for you to get this product or not. (You can see two of your credit scores for free, updated each month, on Credit.com.) Having good credit certainly isn’t a guarantee you’ll get the card of your dreams, but it does increase your chances.

2. Consider How You Travel

There are a lot of different reward credit cards on the market, so you’ll need to do some comparison shopping. One of the biggest questions you should ask yourself is how you travel. Are you loyal to a particular airline? If so, you may want to get their branded airline credit card. If not, a generic card that offers rewards you can use for a variety of travel purchases may be the better route to take.

3. Understand How the Card Structures Rewards

The reward offerings on each card can be just a bit different, so make sure you review them carefully. Some cards offer a sign-up bonus after you spend a certain amount in the first few months of having the card. And there are often different reward tier percentages that denote how much you’ll earn depending on where you spend. For example, a card may give you double points at restaurants while nights at a particular hotel may earn triple points. Knowing where you’ll get the most for your money can really help you choose the right card for you as well as maximize the rewards you’ll earn. (You can read our roundup of the best credit cards for travel here.)

4. Take Note of the Annual Fee

While you’re comparison shopping, you may notice that a lot of these cards waive the annual fee for the first year. But just because you won’t have to pay that for the first 12 months doesn’t mean you should ignore it. You’ll want to think about if you’ll earn more in rewards than you’ll pay to use the card. Otherwise, the card becomes counterproductive and credit cards with no annual fee may be a better option for you.

5. Avoid Carrying a Balance

Getting rewarded with travel perks can be an incentive to spend more, especially when you are filled with wanderlust. But you have to be careful — travel credit cards often have high interest rates, and carrying a balance that causes you to have to pay them can almost null any rewards you’ll earn. You probably don’t want credit card debt to take away from your vacation savings.

6. Know What Your Card Can Do

Just like each card has its own reward system, each one has specific features you’ll want to make sure you understand. Does your card offer a free checked bag or access to the sky club lounge at the airport? What about if you take it overseas — are there foreign transaction fees? And what about travel insurance and chip-and-PIN compatibility? These are all things you want to ask about so you know what your card can do.

Image: amenic181

The post The Golden Rules of a Travel Rewards Credit Card appeared first on Credit.com.

Flight Delayed? The Weather’s to Blame Less Than 1% of the Time

Weather isn’t what’s delaying most of our flights. In fact, when a plane is more than 15 minutes late, it’s mostly due to system glitches. Weather only accounted for less than one percent (.68%) of airline delays, compared to other causes, such as aircraft arriving late (7.91%), air carrier delays (6.1%) and National Aviation System delays (5.85%), according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ June data.

Reasons for the top but very vague category of “aircraft arriving late,” are specified in the report as caused when “a previous flight with same aircraft arrived late, causing the present flight to depart late.”

It is often caused by antiquated air traffic control systems, according to Vaughn Jennings, a spokesperson for the Washington trade group Airlines for America, which represents most airlines.

“Right now, relying on antiquated air traffic control technology is costing passengers and airlines $30 billion annually in delays and cancellations,” Jennings said.

“The FAA is making significant progress modernizing the world’s most complex aviation system,” Tammy L. Jones, a spokesperson for the Federal Airline Administration (FAA), said. According to the FAA website, its NextGen modernization program is making upgrades, including shifting from radar to GPS, or satellite-tracking systems, for air traffic control.

Interestingly, the FAA is also offering $500 to help private planes upgrade, if they’re going to be flying in controlled airspace to meet a conversion mandate by 2020.

The good news is that most flights (80%) arrived on time, up 5% from last June, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. But it’s air carriers that are on the hook for the second largest reason for delays, meaning the delays are “due to circumstances within the airline’s control,” such as maintenance or crew problems, aircraft cleaning, baggage loading, fueling, etc.

The third biggest reason for those draggy wait times are due to the National Aviation System’s glitches stemming from non-extreme weather conditions, airport operations, heavy traffic volume and air traffic control.

Make it Better for Yourself

It’s usually no fun to wade through crowds, lugging your baggage like a ball and chain around the airport while waiting for your delayed flight. But you can make travel easier on yourself and your travel budget by flying on less popular days, such as Mondays and Thursdays, and picking less crowded fringe airports, like Long Island MacArthur instead of JFK. And you can make wait times much more interesting for yourself if you download books or movies, and bring magazines that you’ve been meaning to read.

Before booking travel, it’s also important to check travel alerts about the country you’re considering. When booking travel, you may consider using credit cards that offer travel perks, as these cards may offer you access to exclusive airline lounges that you can enjoy while waiting for your flight. The best travel credit cards generally require you have good credit to qualify, so it may be a good idea to review your credit before you apply for one of these credit cards to get an idea of whether you’re eligible. You can see an overview of your free credit report, updated monthly, on Credit.com.

Image: furtaev

The post Flight Delayed? The Weather’s to Blame Less Than 1% of the Time appeared first on Credit.com.

The Best Dates to Book Your Holiday Travel

best-dates-to-book-holiday-travel

It doesn’t feel like it should be time to book your holiday travel just yet — we haven’t even closed out the summer with Labor Day getaways — but many people think that the sooner you secure your tickets and hotel rooms, the better the deals you’ll get. Turns out, that may not be entirely true.

According to a recent study by Skyscanner, a global travel search engine, the time when you’ll truly get the most bang for your buck is no more than four weeks prior to each of the end-of-year holidays — Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. 

Skyscanner reviewed the U.S. roundtrip booking habits of its more than 50 million users and discovered that there are even possible savings if you book your flights the same week. However, if you aren’t up for that much risk with booking your trips, the site does suggest alternative time frames.

When Should I Book My Holiday Travel?

For Thanksgiving, the data crunchers suggest booking the week of October 31 to get the most savings (7.7%) or the week of October 17 (for savings of 5.1%). If you’re planning Christmas travels, you may want to do so the week of November 21 for the best deals (6.4% savings). If you don’t want to add one more thing to your list of things to do around Thanksgiving, the week of December 5 will reportedly get you a savings of almost 5%.

And if it’s New Year’s travel you’re planning, you could do so at the same time as your Christmas plans, as the week of December 5 will reportedly get you a 10.5% savings. These travel experts say waiting to make New Year’s travel plans until the last minute could pay off for you, with last-minute bookings (one week away) offering savings of 6.7% or two weeks out a 6.6% savings.

And what about when it comes to specific dates? Many experts recommend booking your travel to fly in or out of town on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Sunday. Travels on Friday and Sunday are typically considered the most expensive, so you’ll want to avoid those if possible.

Budgeting for Holiday Travel

If you aren’t new to traveling for the holidays, you know how expensive it can get. It’s a good idea to figure out how much of an expense your wallet can handle and take some time to search for deals that fall within your budget.

You may also want to look for additional ways to save, like using a travel credit card that offers perks like the opportunity to check your bag for free. Just keep in mind that these cards often require a good credit score to qualify, so if you’re thinking of applying for one, it’s a good idea to check your credit scores ahead of time so you have an idea of whether you’ll be eligible. (You can see two of your credit scores for free, updated each month, on Credit.com.)

Image: JackF

The post The Best Dates to Book Your Holiday Travel appeared first on Credit.com.

How We’re Hacking Our Summer Travel

summer_travel

We climbed out of $51,000 in credit card debt. We credit this achievement to one thing — discovering our why. (We learned from incomparable motivational speaker John Rohn that anything is achievable as long as we first know “why” we want to achieve it. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t get this memo until well after we paid off our credit card debt, but it’s still a great quote to fall back on.)

One of Our ‘Whys’ – Travel

We can’t travel enough. Travel expands our world and gives us with new experiences. We’ve traveled at length both nationally and internationally. Two years ago, to focus on growing the Debt Free Guys, we made the decision to limit ourselves to domestic travel only, mostly to visit family and for work. We can’t not visit mom for three years!

Our three-year international travel hiatus is almost up. That said, we’ve planned, documented and are financially preparing for our 2016 contiguous-48 travel. This year’s travel theme is “family milestones” — a 50th wedding anniversary and a 100th birthday.

First, we’re taking a much-needed vacation in May. This go-round, we’re visiting both Los Angeles and Palm Springs, Calif. As much as we’ve traveled California, John’s never been to LA and neither of us have been to Palm Springs. We both love the mid-century modern architecture and are excited about the latter leg of this trip.

Making Our Travel Cheaper

In June, we’re flying to Dickinson, N.D., to celebrate David’s grandmother’s 100th birthday! We visit Dickinson annually and it’s a nice change of pace from our normal and David’s grandmother has a lot to teach us about life and even money. She’s wise and sharp as a tack.

John hopes to someday beat David’s grandmother in pinochle, which he has yet to do. Despite being 100 years old, she can still count cards. For her 101st birthday, we may take her to Vegas.

When we visit David’s grandmother, our strategy for keeping costs down typically is staying with her. This visit will be different. David’s grandmother has nine children and countless grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Hers will be a full house (no pun intended — that’s a different game).

DFG Summar TravelTo avoid stress, contain costs and maximize our rewards, we’re using our hotel points in Dickinson rather than in bigger cities where hotel points won’t go as far. We can stay at a hotel in Dickinson for half the number of hotel points it costs to stay in Philadelphia. Such is the economics of supply and demand.

When we stay at hotels, we’re prone to use room service to satiate midnight hunger. Several years ago we learned to avoid the excessive room service costs with delivery from nearby restaurants. The same food costs half as much, even with a hefty tip. We search online for restaurants within one mile of our hotel.

In July, we’re flying to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to first visit John’s friends in the City of Brotherly Love, after which we’ll drive to Hershey, Penn., otherwise known as Chocolate Town USA, to visit John’s family. This trip is to celebrate John’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

The round-trip flight will be sponsored by airline miles acquired from travel hacking. We’ve mastered the art of using our credit cards and paying them off each month, so we don’t pay credit card interest. (High credit card balances can also hurt your credit score. You can see how your credit card balances are impacting your credit scores for free on Credit.com.) Paying our balances off in full has helped us accrue points and travel cheaply on our numerous trips. (You can see what some of the best travel credit cards in America offer here.)

Finally, in September, we’re flying to San Diego, Calif., for a personal finance conference. Since the trip is part of our work as the Debt Free Guys, we’ll be sure to deduct our flight as a travel expense when it comes time to do our taxes next year. And we’ll be sure to enjoy the city during our stay.

So, to recap, here are our Debt Free Guys’ travel saving tips.

  1. Use hotel points in smaller cities to stretch hotel points further.
  2. Use restaurant delivery rather than room service.
  3. Use credit cards to acquire airline miles, not credit card debt.
  4. Get a tax deduction on business travel expenses each year.

Try using some of our strategies for planning your summer travel. Every bit of savings helps and, for us, goes towards our investments for maximum return.

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: BeylaBalla; Inset Image Courtesy of David Auten and John Schneider

The post How We’re Hacking Our Summer Travel appeared first on Credit.com.