5 Credit Card Benefits Every Traveler Should Have

Alex

Nearly free flights and hotel nights aren’t the only reason to get some travel rewards credit cards. In addition to credit card points and miles, you can enjoy some nice perks from your credit cards that will make your travel less stressful and more enjoyable and save you more money. Let’s go over 5 credit card benefits that every traveler should have.

 

1. TSA PreCheck

Whenever I pass a long security line, I am always surprised that more people don’t have TSA PreCheck. Especially when some of these people might have a card in their wallet that will give them TSA PreCheck for free. This is one credit card benefit that every single traveler should have (although I’m glad they don’t because that means shorter lines for me)!

 

Why TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck allows you to get expedited security screening. You get to go through a shorter line, don’t have to remove shoes, and can leave your liquids and laptop in your bag.

 

How it Works

Enroll in TSA PreCheck online and make your in-person appointment. You’ll get fingerprints done and verify your identity. When it comes time to pay, use your credit card that includes a credit for TSA PreCheck. This benefit is typically available every four years.

Check out this link to see a list of all the cards that include a TSA PreCheck credit. Shortly after paying for it, you should see a credit on your statement for the cost of TSA PreCheck ($78). TSA PreCheck is then valid for 5 years.

You’ll be given a Known Traveler Number (KTN), which you should add to your reservation when you book your flight (you can also add it to flights you’ve already booked) or save to your airline loyalty account.

 

Screenshot TSA

Screenshot from the TSA site.

 

When using TSA PreCheck, children 12 and under can go through the line with you. Children 13-17 may join you when traveling on the same reservation and if the TSA PreCheck indicator appears on the child’s boarding pass.

Bonus Tip: If you travel internationally, get Global Entry. This will expedite the customs process for your return to the United States. It also comes with TSA PreCheck!

 

2. Lost/Delayed Luggage Insurance

By paying your taxes and fees with the right credit card, you can protect yourself against lost or damaged luggage. My personal favorite card for this is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

One time, the airlines damaged my stroller. Strollers aren’t typically covered by the airline, but I still requested a claim from the airline so I could send it to Chase to prove my stroller was damaged. A few weeks later, a check arrived in the mail from the bank for the total price of my stroller that I had purchased six years prior!

If you check your bags, I can’t recommend having a card with lost/delayed baggage enough. Just make sure you use that card to pay the taxes and fees on your flight.

 

3. Airport Lounge Access

If you really want to take your airport experience up a notch, you need a credit card that comes with airport lounge access. It’s so nice to have a comfy place to sit away from the crowds, a bite to eat, and a nice drink (all of which you don’t have to pay for)!

Our favorite credit card for airport lounge access is the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.  The Platinum Card® from American Express is also fantastic for airport lounge access. It doesn’t allow guests to come in for free, and it charges a much higher annual fee, but if you are a lounge geek like Pam is, you might enjoy it.

 

Capital One Lounge Lobby DFW

Relax at the Capital One Lounge at DFW

 

4. CLEAR Membership

I got CLEAR this year, and let me tell you, I will never not have it!

CLEAR can sometimes get confused with TSA PreCheck, but they are different. TSA PreCheck gets you through the physical security process faster, whereas CLEAR lets you skip the part where you show your I.D. Instead, they use biometric scanners to verify your identity, and then they move you to the front of the TSA PreCheck line. Children under 18 can join you without needing a CLEAR membership of their own.

CLEAR with TSA PreCheck is amazing! Thanks to this combo, I go through the whole security process in a matter of minutes.

 

With CLEAR, you can bypass having your I.D. checked and move to the front of the security line.

 

You can get CLEAR for free with The Platinum Card® from American Express,  The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, or the American Express® Green Card.

In addition to those credit card benefits, you can save on a CLEAR membership as a member of Delta or United’s loyalty program, having one of their credit cards, or having status with either of those airlines. Students, government employees, and members of the military can also get discounts on CLEAR.

Check out this post to learn more about how you can save on your CLEAR membership.

 

5. Delayed/Canceled Flight Insurance

Having a delayed or canceled flight is no fun! Make it a little less painful by using a credit card that comes with delayed/canceled flight insurance to pay the taxes and fees on your ticket. Once again, our favorite for this is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

 

Bottom Line

Credit cards aren’t just about the points and miles. They can save you money and time and make for a much more enjoyable airport experience. Check your credit cards and see if you already have some great travel benefits. These are the 5 benefits every traveler should have – how many of them do you have?

 

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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a Travel Mom Squad advertiser, but we always show the best public offer even when we don’t earn a commission. Terms Apply. 

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  1. Kite says:

    Thanks for these eye opening benefits.

  2. Monica says:

    Just to clarify. If you are purchasing a United flight with points, would you purchase the taxes and fees with your United card if you have one vs. the sapphire preferred? Or would you still pay your taxes and fees with the sapphire for the protection? Is it true you do not get the free United checked bags unless you purchase the fees with the United card?

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