This Is the Best Credit Card Perk of the Year, According to TPG Readers
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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.
This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.
- Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
- Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
- If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
- No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
- Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
- Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Low $95 annual fee