The Best Travel Credit Card Perks Beyond Miles

By Jason Steele. Last updated 23 May 2017. 0 comments

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In the battle to win over new credit card applicants, banks have consistently escalated their sign up offers of points and miles. It's not unusual to see issuers give new cardholders 50,000, 75,000, and even 100,000 miles, just for meeting the minimum spending requirements.

But with airline and hotel rewards redemption charts constantly changing, travelers are looking for perks in addition to accumulating miles. Here are some of the top non-mileage travel rewards benefits that you should be looking for in your next travel rewards credit card.

Redemption Bonuses

Some airline-affiliated credit cards now offer a redemption bonus, so that cardmembers get a discount on their award tickets. For example, when you redeem 2,000 miles toward a flight, you might get a bonus of 500 miles deposited into your account.

Airport Lounge Access

When delays occur, or you just have a long layover, the only thing nicer than relaxing in an airport lounge is doing so without having to pay extra. Whenever there is a problem with my trip, I go to the staff at the airline's lounge to get superior service and skip the long line. Two other key features of these lounges are their workstations and free Wi-Fi access, which allow me to get some work done during a flight delay.

Delta, United, and American each offer premium credit cards that come with free admission to their lounges. Besides these airline credit cards, there are other premium credit cards that also offer discounted or free access to airport lounges.

Priority Services

Some of the most popular credit card perks now include the special privileges once reserved just for elite frequent flyers, such as priority service at check-in and security screening.

Companion Travel Certificates

If you often fly with a partner or family, consider cards that offer free or discounted companion passes

Statement Credits

Some credit cards allow you to save on incidentals by issuing statement credits for those expenses. The credits can apply to fees for checked bags, in-flight entertainment or refreshments, and in-flight Wi-Fi. Some cards even allow for fee reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

Hotel Perks

Although hotel-affiliated credit cards still lavish their applicants with points, some try to tempt you with perks as well. For example, you may be upgraded to higher status tiers after meeting spending requirements, which grant you perks like room upgrades and late checkouts. (See also: Best Hotel Credit Cards with Elite Status)

When you're choosing a travel rewards credit card, make sure to look beyond their miles offer and check for additional perks and benefits that will give you even more value for your purchase.

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