TPG Readers Reveal Their Favorite Credit Card and Elite Status Perks

Oct 14, 2018

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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.

“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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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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.