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The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that more than 41.5 million Americans plan to travel 50+ miles over Memorial Day weekend this year — the largest volume of vacationers on the road since 2005.

“A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president at AAA.

Despite gasoline prices at highest over four years, the nation’s largest automotive advocacy group, travel by car is expected to increase for the fourth consecutive year, up by almost 5% compared to Memorial Day 2017. Gas, which averaged $2.72 in April 2018, has increased by $0.33 since the same month last year due to rising crude oil prices and increasing demand. (If you’re one of those drivers, check out our tips on the best cards for rising gas prices.)

Aviation travel will see the highest growth margin across all modes of transportation with an estimated 3.13 million travelers hitting the airports, an estimated 6.8% increase from 2017 volumes. The rise may be correlated to cheaper airfare, which averaged 7% lower than Memorial Day 2017 travel fares according to the AAA Travel Leisure index, hovering around a $168 round-trip average ticket price between the top 40 domestic routes.

This year, Memorial Day weekend begins Thursday, May 24, and ends Monday, May 28.

Featured photo courtesy of Getty Images. 

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
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