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Apple wants to make sure you never lose track of your luggage again

April 24, 2021
4 min read
Apple wants to make sure you never lose track of your luggage again
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Move over, iPhone: Apple's hottest new gadget is ... a tracking device.

Called AirTag, Apple unveiled the predictably sleek accessory during its first product launch event of the year on Tuesday. The coin-size tracker leverages the company's Find My network so you can locate any lost item from your computer, phone or tablet.

The travel implications are obvious, of course — especially because of Apple's collaboration with Hermès on a series of high-end leather luggage tags, bag charms and key rings. But you don't need to drop $450 on a designer accessory to use an AirTag to keep track of your belongings the next time you hit the road.

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For travelers familiar with Bluetooth tracking devices such as Tile or Samsung's new SmartTag, many of AirTag's capabilities will be familiar. And for travelers who are already invested in Apple's ecosystem, the AirTag will probably feel like a seamless (and surprisingly affordable) way to make sure you never lose track of your valuables on your next trip.

You can attach an AirTag to a suitcase or backpack. You can loop it onto your keys or secure it to your passport holder. Basically, if you can lose it, you can track it using AirTag.

If you're in Bluetooth range — say, you're trying to find your passport around your house — you could use the Find My app to navigate directly there with sounds, haptic cues and specific directions.

Once you're out of Bluetooth range, any one of the billion Apple devices in the Find My network can pick up a signal from the lost AirTag and privately relay the information back to you.

I'll be the first to admit, I have a habit of misplacing things. And the problem definitely worsened after spending so much time inside during the pandemic. After all, it's hard to lose your wallet or keys when, well, you don't leave the house.

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But on one of my first trips after sheltering in place for months, my wallet immediately evaporated (seriously — poof!) the moment I walked out of my apartment on the way to the airport. I had no way of knowing if I'd forgotten it at home, left it in the Lyft or dropped it on the sidewalk.

If I'd had an AirTag attached to my wallet tucked inside, I could have leveraged the Find My network to, at least, determine its location. And I could have quickly assessed whether the wallet was misplaced or stolen.

It's easy to imagine tucking one of these little devices into your suitcase and never again having to wait with bated breath to see if your suitcase emerges on the carousel at baggage claim. All you'd have to do is open your Find My app and see whether your suitcase was just on the other side of the conveyer belt or if it was stranded at the airport where you made a quick connection.

Image courtesy of Apple.

There are other features that make AirTag appealing to Apple users, too. Put an AirTag in Lost Mode, and you can be notified when it's detected or in range. And when you order an AirTag from Apple, you can get it engraved for free with text or an emoji (note to Apple: add travel-themed emojis).

So, should you add an AirTag to your lineup of travel accessories? You'll need to have an Apple device already to pair and set up the AirTag. But the competitively priced tracker ($29 for one, $99 for a pack of four) could be a smart way to keep tabs on your belongings the next time you travel.

AirTags are now available on preorder and will become available on Friday, April 30. Even though a single AirTag will only set you back about $30, you should still check if the item is eligible for bonus miles through a shopping portal before making your purchase. Last month, a few major airlines were offering 4x on purchases made through Apple.com.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

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  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more