Most travelers are aware that you can earn air miles by using your credit card, and many travelers take advantage of this to rack up Airpoints which they can use to get free flights, accommodation and lots more. While this can be very rewarding, your credit card might come with other less known travel benefits that you could be missing out on.
1. Free concierge service
This is probably one of the most overlooked benefits of premium credit cards which is a shame because it could save you a lot of time. Your credit card concierge service is like a personal assistant on the phone ready to help you with tasks such as booking concert tickets, flights and finding places to eat out with the family.
This could be handy if you are short on time and need some help sorting out your travel plans. For example, if you are running out of time and need help planning your travel, you can ask your concierge service for ideas of fun things to do at your travel destination, and your concierge would do the research and call you back with some suggestions. Isn’t that cool?
2. Free Travel Insurance
Many credit cards now come with free complimentary travel insurance which tends to get overlooked as users focus more on how many points and miles they can get.
According to Credit Cards NZ, the largest credit card comparison website in New Zealand, credit card travel insurance offers a level of cover that is on par if not better than standalone annual multi-trip travel insurance.
A big advantage of Credit card travel insurance is that it can be used year-round for multiple trips to most countries which would cost you hundreds of dollars if were to buy this as a standalone annual multi-trip travel insurance. What’s more, credit card travel insurance often covers you both for international and domestic travels.
Note: In most cases, you need to pay for at least part of your travel expense such as your flights with your credit card to activate the travel insurance.
3. Rental car insurance and roadside assistance
When you get to your destination, you might need to rent a car to continue your exploration, but this comes with some risks such as car accidents or breakdowns. Once again, your credit card could come to your rescue with complimentary rental car insurance and roadside assistance.
This could save you a few hundred bucks on your insurance costs and thousands if something does go wrong. As with the complimentary travel insurance, you would have to pay for your car rental with your credit card to activate your rental car insurance or roadside assistance.
Note: As a general rule of thumb with credit card insurance, if you don’t pay for it with your credit card, you won’t be covered.
4. Airport Lounge Access
If you are a frequent traveler, then this is a benefit you cannot afford to overlook. Airport VIP lounges are not just nice fancy lounges for you to wait for your next flight. Depending on the lounge and program, VIP lounges commonly offer free food, free drinks, free movies, free internet, free printing of boarding pass and excellent customer service. Some lounges even have showers and sleeping pods.
If your credit card comes with Airport lounge access, it is probably worth popping in to see what you could be missing out on.
5. Global Entry and TSA PreCheck
Global Entry in the U.S. allows you to skip the annoying security checks at airports, so you no longer have to queue, take off your shoes and go through a body scanner. And on your way back into the U.S. you can also skip the Customs queue by using the self-service kiosk to scan your passport and head straight to baggage claims or the exit.
This is all possible thanks to the Global Entry trusted traveler program offered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the TSA PreCheck program offered by the Transport Security Administration (TSA).
You would need to be pre-approved to be eligible for both the Global Entry program and the TSA PreCheck program. All applicants go through rigorous background checks including an in-person interview before enrollment.
Many high-end credit cards in the U.S. now offer fee refunds for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollments, so check your credit card details to find out if you too can take advantage of this cool benefit and save yourself some time.
6. No foreign transaction fees
Foreign transaction fees are a bummer when you are traveling, and can add up to a lot. This often means you have to withdraw a whole bunch of cash which in itself poses a security risk for you.
No foreign transaction fees mean you can use your credit card for purchases just like you would at home and won’t have to worry about incurring any foreign transaction fees. This is just one less thing for you to worry about while you are on your holiday.
So, there you have it. Now you can rush to check your credit card details to find out if you are missing out on any of these less known credit card travel benefits.