This Is the Best Credit Card Perk of the Year, According to TPG Readers

Dec 15, 2018

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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 $550 annual fee, but factoring in this annual travel credit, it’s effectively just $250.

Here’s how the other nominees for Best Credit Card Perk of the Year ranked, based on TPG reader votes from most to fewest:

  1. $300 travel credit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve
  2. Centurion Lounge access on the Platinum Card® from American Express
  3. Top-tier Hilton Diamond elite status on the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
  4. Companion fare on the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card
  5. 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.

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

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