Take Advantage of Enhanced Credit Card Perks While Planning Your Summer Travel

By: Ryan Kelly April 5, 2023

As coronavirus restrictions began to ease in 2022, pent-up travelers once again began filling up hotels, airports and cruise lines around the world. That trend has continued at the start of 2023. If you’re among the many Americans looking forward to a fantastic summer getaway, don’t forget to take advantage of the huge perks and benefits that credit cards can provide both before, during, and after your trip. Here are some of the best current travel card options, which provide both immediate benefits and ongoing perks and rewards.

The IHG Rewards Premium Credit Card has recently upped its game. The card now offers an all-time best sign-up bonus of a whopping 175,000 points if you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months after opening it. That alone makes the card interesting for summer travelers, as in short order you can amass a stash of points good enough for as many as 35 hotel nights. Granted, rooms that you can book for just 5,000 points are few and far between in the IHG portfolio, but you can still book at least four nights in rooms that require 40,000 points, which is a more standard option.

On top of this impressive sign-up bonus, this $99-annual-fee card offers a tremendous amount of perks, including the following:

  • Platinum Elite Status with IHG
  • Up to 26x points per dollar spent at IHG properties
  • 5x points at gas stations
  • 5x points on hotel and travel purchases
  • 5x points at restaurants
  • 3x points on all other purchases
  • Free anniversary stay credit
  • $100 fee credit for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck every five years
  • Up to $50 in United TravelBank Cash each year
  • Fourth night free when redeeming points for three consecutive nights

These headline perks are on top of additional protections the card offers, such as trip interruption/cancellation insurance and purchase protection. Suitable for a travel-oriented card, the card also has no foreign transaction fees.

Capital One Venture X Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X Credit Card offers premium-level perks for an annual fee that ends up being quite reasonable. Although the headline fee for the card is $395 per year, the Capital One Venture X Card also offers $300 per year in annual travel credits, effectively dropping the annual fee to just $95 for travelers. At that level, the perks offered by the credit card seem generous. On top of the 75,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card ownership, the Capital One Venture X Card provides the following primary benefits:

  • Unlimited complimentary access for cardholders and two of their guests to Capital One Lounges
  • Complimentary Priority Pass and Plaza Premium memberships, offering access to airport lounges across the globe for cardholders and two of their guests
  • Hertz President’s Circle status
  • 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles on all other purchases
  • 10,000 bonus anniversary miles every year the account remains open and in good standing
  • A $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit every four years

For those looking to travel, the Capital One Venture X Card ticks many of the boxes. Having free lounge access, Hertz President’s Circle status and essentially “free” Global Entry or TSA PreCheck all make traveling much more palatable. The miles bonuses can prove lucrative also, as you can redeem Capital One points for one cent each – making the 75,000-point sign-up bonus alone effectively worth $750.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

For business travelers, the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is a solid option. The card requires a steep $15,000 in spend in the first three months to earn the sign-up bonus – a much easier prospect for businesses than individuals – but the reward is a significant 100,000 points. The card is tied into Chase’s very successful Ultimate Rewards program, which allows transfer of those points to 13 different travel partners – or cash redemption at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. This means the sign-up bonus alone is worth at least $1,250. Points are worth an additional 25% when users redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

On an ongoing basis, the card offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent each year on shipping, internet, cable and phone services, travel, and advertising with social media sites and search engines.

As Chase Ultimate Reward points are quite valuable, given their flexibility and redemption options, the sign-up bonus alone – in addition to the 3x points kicker – are enough to make this $99-annual-fee card valuable for businesses. But the card also offers a variety of travel- and consumer-related protections as well, including the following:

  • Cellphone insurance
  • Trip interruption/cancellation insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Primary rental car coverage
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Extended warranty protection

The hefty initial spend requirement may be tough for some small businesses to achieve, but for those that can, this low-fee card offers a significant amount of benefits, especially in the travel arena.

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