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TPG Readers Reveal Their Favorite Credit Card and Elite Status Perks

Oct. 14, 2018
7 min read
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We recently asked our TPG Lounge readers to share the credit card or elite status perks they've used the most so far this year. Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).

Perks Related to Airport Lounges and Flying

Whether it's lounge access at the airport or in-flight freebies like free drinks and complimentary checked bags, our TPG Lounge members had plenty to talk about in terms of airline-related perks.

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"The Southwest Companion Pass!" — Carmela P.

"Free Admirals Club membership with the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard." — Malcolm S.

"Free Delta Sky Club access with the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express and free checked bags I get as a Medallion member and Delta Amex cardholder." — Regina P.

"With The Platinum Card® from American Express, Delta lounge access and before the SPG/Marriott merger, I appreciated the Marriott Gold Elite benefit of club access. Now you have to be a Platinum to get access." — Whitney W.S.

"Alaska Airlines' free checked bag and the $99 companion fare." — Austin P.

"Free alcohol drinks for Mosaic members on JetBlue." — Annmarie B.

"The Amex Platinum's 5x points on airfare benefit." — David C.

"$200 airline credit. 35% Amex Membership Rewards bonus points back when you book using points on business class and select airlines. I have milked almost every benefit!" — Joseph S.

"United Platinum status' complimentary upgrades to first class." — Matthew R.

"Priority Pass via my Amex Platinum card. Our home airport, PDX, has great options, plus we've had some extended layovers on family trips where lounge access was incredibly helpful. Also have used Uber credits with the same card, usually for Uber Eats. With Alaska Airlines, the waived change fees [is a great perk]. I'm not sure how many changes I've made in the last week, but at least three as work schedules evolve." — Sara L.T.

"Same-day standby on American Airlines. It really helps you get somewhere more quickly, especially on flights where the connection wouldn't normally be allowed." — David O.

"Alaska Airlines MVP Gold. Moved my flight from yesterday to tomorrow with no change fees. Will be at 75,000 after Sunday’s flight." — Derek S.

"Priority Pass membership with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and free Economy Plus upgrades on United." — Colton B.

"United Club Card. Being able to stop in the lounge before every flight is awesome, especially after having the annual fee waived the first year. You're basically getting a free year of club membership." — David T.

"Priority Pass lounges and restaurants for departure and arrival on all our flights. Terrific perk!" — Trang N.

"United's Presidential Plus card. Paid for itself a few times this year with free luggage and club access." — Lyn G.

"Centurion Lounge access. I estimate that I have saved over $500 in food and beverage expenses between IAH and SEA." — Paul N.

Many TPG Lounge members listed the American Express Centurion Lounge as one of their favorite credit card perks. (Photo by Staff / The Points Guy)
Many TPG Lounge members said the Centurion Lounge was one of their favorite credit card perks.

Hotel-Related Perks

As far as hotels are concerned, most TPG Lounge readers revealed it was the little things — like complimentary breakfasts, upgrades and instant hotel status — that made their stays all the more memorable.

"Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card's (1) unlimited Priority Pass access, (2) $250 airline incidentals credit (UA), and (3) automatic Hilton Honors Diamond status." — Keith M.

"Marriott Platinum (now Platinum Premier). Breakfasts, upgrades and United Silver status have been great." — Brad H.

"Amex Platinum: Marriott Gold status and 4:00 p.m. late checkout." — MG C.L.C.

"Free breakfast and food and beverage credits at Hilton." — Nathan P.H.

"Hilton Diamond status. Moved across the country and decided to drive, staying at Hilton properties every night burning points. Man, those free breakfasts, parking, even laundry services paid off! It depends on what Hilton [brand] you stay at — Hilton Garden Inn has Diamond Elite parking, while Homewood Suites and Home2Suites have complimentary access to laundry services. I imagine it also depends where you stay. I don’t think this would even be possible in New York City, but fine in Mentor, Ohio." — Neil M.

"Amex Platinum’s Fine Hotels & Resorts." — Alex L.

"Hilton Diamond status through the Hilton Amex Aspire. Got $250 in airline and resort credits, plus free breakfast and parking." — Shaun M.

"I’ll probably be the odd man out and say the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card. Priority Pass access is amazing. The upgrade to the queen ocean view room with terrace from a mountain view room at The St. Regis Princeville Resort in Kauai was the best value return with Marriott Gold status. And the $300 statement credit was triggered by it." — Jay Z.

Upgrades at the St. Regis Princeville Resort in Kauai were one TPG Lounge reader's favorite hotel-related perk. (Photo by Staff / TPG)
An upgrade at The St. Regis Princeville Resort in Kauai was one TPG Lounge reader's favorite hotel-related perk.

Additional Perks TPG Lounge Readers Love

For some TPG Lounge members, the most valuable perks came through not at hotels or in the air, but with car rentals and overall savings thanks to certain travel credit cards.

"Our family has used Delta lounges this year as authorized users with my Amex Platinum. My daughter regularly used the Uber credits. We've also used National Car Rental's Executive Choice and Hertz's Gold Plus Rewards." — Doug M.

"Hilton Aspire Diamond membership and Amex Platinum's Centurion Lounge and Uber benefits. It's a tie." — BeFresh E.

"Chase Sapphire Reserve: lounge access, primary insurance, Silvercar and of course, my $300 travel credit." — Soroya G.G.

"The $300 travel credit and Priority Pass membership with the CSR. Upgrading my CSP to the CSR was such a smart idea that I'm kicking myself for not having done it sooner. I didn't receive any extra perks for switching, but it was still worth it to me to upgrade. That one extra point on dining and travel has already made a difference in my points earnings, not to mention the other benefits I've already gotten from it. It would have been years for me to qualify for the sign-up bonus on it so I decided upgrading was pretty much my only option." — Becky B.

"Priority Pass and the Silvercar discount from using my CSR. It also gives you elite status with National Car Rental and Enterprise, but that value doesn’t come close to what Silvercar offers for the same price. I highly recommend the CSR [as it's the] best, well-rounded card for me at least. I use a variety of airlines and mostly stay in Airbnbs instead of hotels so it fits my needs well." — Andrew B.

All photos by TPG staff.

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Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
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.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees