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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.
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NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 points! With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 60,000 point sign up bonus worth up to $1,200 in value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards