We DON’T receive commission from any of these cards. This is just sound advice on using generous credit card benefits to your advantage for savings on travel.

Sounds absurd doesn’t it? Paying $450 a year just to use a credit card which will take interest from you if you don’t pay in full every month? “I’m out” is the phrase most people would use here. If you travel, love to travel or want to travel more, it may however be just the thing you’re missing to travel more, save more and quite literally “upgrade” yourself…

Let’s Start With (Lots Of) Bonus Points…

This won’t be compelling enough to many, but it’s a great start. Speaking of starts, let’s start with an assumption that points are worth at least 1.5 cents a piece. If you’re getting 40,000 (hopefully more) points as a sign up for a card with a $450 annual fee such as the American Express Platinum, Citi Prestige or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’re more than break even with just the value of your points, especially if you know how to use them for higher value. For cards that come with a 100,000 point bonus (like Chase Sapphire Reserve), which many at this price point do, you’re really winning, without even considering the major benefits which justify the card on an ongoing basis…

About Those Major Benefits…

A $450 annual fee credit card is ENTIRELY wasted if you don’t travel. Don’t even look in that aisle. If you DO travel, the ongoing benefits are increasingly extraordinary. How about 4th night free on every hotel stay you book? Unlimited airport VIP lounge access for two (or more) in over 1000 airports? $300 credit for any travel purchases? Unlimited hotel upgrades, late check out, comp’d breakfast? Elite loyalty program status with major airlines or hotel chains that constantly get you upgrades and perks? There are more, that’s just the start…

Great Benefits Truly Save You Money Far Beyond The Cost Of The Annual Fee…

Let’s take the unlimited fourth night free on a $450 card. Forgetting the 50,000 point sign up bonus (worth at least $750), the complimentary lounge access at over 1,000 airports or the $250 you get back for any travel purchase, you can use the fourth night free over and over. Let’s say you book two four night stays in a year, each with a nightly cost of $250 (no limit to how expensive it can be). That fourth night free alone nets you $50 in savings for the year. Add in the points, the lounge access, concierge membership and the $250 back and you’re well, well ahead. 

In Conclusion, If You Travel A Couple Or More Times A Year, You Probably Need A $450 A Year Credit Card…

The most frequent of travelers who stick to one airline or hotel will get a few of these things through their patronage and loyalty with their airline and hotel, but a few of these benefits are exclusive to specific credit cards and are just so lucrative. If you’re ramping up your travel, could use some free breakfast when you’re on the move to curb some costs and wouldn’t mind booking your flights or hotel for free using your points, this is something you should really look into. Our favorites, which we currently have or have held are: Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige and Amex Platinum.