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There are several credit card perks that TPG readers, and TPG staff, can’t live without. At the inaugural TPG Awards, five such benefits were up for the honor of Best Card Perk, defined as a unique benefit not shared by other cards. Most, but not all, of the nominees were perks available on a premium card, and the winner. comes from the card that won Best Premium Card of the Year.
Yes, we’re talking about the $300 travel credit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The CSR isn’t alone in offering an annual statement credit toward travel purchases, but it stands out for offering one with particularly generous terms. Not only is it one of the higher amounts (other premium cards offer credits in the $200-$250 range), but it also applies to virtually any travel purchase, from Uber rides to airfare to hotel bookings. With Amex cards, meanwhile, your credit can only be used toward certain incidental airline fees (and, in some cases, gift cards), and you need to select one airline with which you can use your credit. The Sapphire Reserve has a $450 annual fee, but factoring in this annual travel credit, it’s effectively just $150.
Here’s how the other nominees for Best Credit Card Perk of the Year ranked, based on TPG reader votes from most to fewest:
- $300 travel credit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Centurion Lounge access on the Platinum Card® from American Express
- Top-tier Hilton Diamond elite status on the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Companion fare on the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card
- 4th Night Free perk on the Citi Prestige
All of these perks have huge potential value, and it could be worth carrying multiple cards on this list to enjoy their respective benefits. Access to the network of American Express Centurion Lounges can greatly improve your travel experience, while the 4th Night Free perk on the Citi Prestige can save you hundreds or even thousands on hotel stays (even if it’s being devalued in 2019).
It’s important to look at your own travel habits and preferences when determining which benefits align best with your needs — and we’re guessing the Sapphire Reserve’s $300 annual credit won top honors because it’s one of the most flexible perks out there.
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 amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- 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 amextravel.com.
- 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.
- See Rates & Fees