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Best credit card perks

Get benefits — like travel insurance — simply by owning a card.

Updated

Fact checked

Most credit cards come with perks that may not be openly advertised. For example, you can use a concierge service to get restaurant or event bookings in the US and abroad, you can get travel insurance or you can purchase event tickets before the general public.

Considering these features cost nothing extra to use, they can be valuable.

What are the best credit card perks?

TravelShoppingEntertainment
  • Travel rewards
  • Concierge
  • Car rental insurance
  • Lost or delayed baggage insurance
  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Free checked bags
  • Priority boarding
  • Airport lounge access
  • Travel credit and TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
  • Elite status
  • Fraud protection
  • Price protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Return protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Cell phone protection
  • Special offers
  • Ticket presale
  • Preferred tickets
  • VIP packages

Best credit card perks for travel

If you travel often, getting a travel card is a no-brainer. Most of these cards come with perks that’ll reward you for your travel purchases or help you save money.

Travel rewards

  • Earn rewards points or miles on travel purchases
  • Redeem rewards toward travel purchases or other redemption options
  • Transfer points or miles to partner reward programs

Who is this perk best for? Frequent travelers

Concierge service

  • Depending on your card, get dedicated or standard concierge service.
  • Concierge can make travel bookings and restaurant reservations for you.
  • Help find lost items and baggage during your travels
  • Provides research and assistance

Who is this perk best for? Busy individuals

Rental car insurance

Who is this perk best for? Anyone renting cars on their travels

Lost or delayed baggage insurance

  • Get reimbursed for everyday necessities until your bags arrive
  • Get coverage for up to $100 per day for up to three days for delayed bags
  • Lost bags can be covered for up to $3,000 per person

Who is this perk best for? All travelers

Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance

  • Get coverage for canceled or interrupted trips for up to $10,000 per person
  • Get coverage that often includes sickness and severe weather
  • Get reimbursement for pre-paid non-refundable purchases like fares, hotels and tours

Who is this perk best for? All travelers

Trip delay reimbursement

  • Get up to $500 trip reimbursement per person if your common carrier is delayed for more than six hours

Who is this perk best for? All travelers

Travel accident insurance

  • Get this perk with typically premium credit cards
  • Get coverage in the event of an accident on a common carrier
  • Get coverage up to $500,000 or more

Who is this perk best for? All travelers

Free checked bags

  • Free checked bags is a common feature of airline credit cards
  • Depending on the card, get either first checked bag free or first and second bag free
  • Depending on the card, get free checked bags for up to nine passengers on your reservation

Who is this perk best for? Frequent travelers

Priority boarding

  • Priority boarding is a common feature for airline credit cards
  • Board sooner by being a cardmember
  • Depending on the card, get priority boarding for up to nine passengers on your reservation

Who is this perk best for? Frequent travelers

Airport lounge access

  • Airport lounge access is a common feature for premium travel and airline credit cards
  • Get access to airport lounges worldwide
  • Some cards let you take up to two guests for free, while others give you discounted access

Who is this perk best for? Frequent travelers

Travel credit

  • Get between $200 and $300 in travel credit using a premium travel credit card
  • Get up to $100 application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry with most travel credit cards

Who is this perk best for? Occasional and frequent travelers

Elite status

  • Get this perk using cobranded hotel and airline credit cards
  • Expect to pay an annual fee for a card with this perk
  • Reach elite status by simply being a cardholder
  • Get included perks such as accelerated points at the hotel or airline brand, early check-in, late check-out, complimentary breakfast, complimentary Wi-Fi and more

Who is this perk best for? Travelers loyal to one brand of hotels or airlines

If you think this type of card might be right for you, check out our full guide on travel credit cards.

Best credit card perks for shopping

Shopping with a credit card comes with useful perks, such as:

Fraud protection

  • Get zero liability on unauthorized purchases that you report to your card provider
  • Get notifications from your card provider every time they find suspicious transactions
  • Some card providers let you lock/unlock your card at will

Who is this perk best for? Everyone

Price protection

  • Get price protection, a perk offered by some credit cards
  • Get reimbursed the price difference if you bought an item and then found the same item at a lower price
  • Get coverage up to $500 per occurrence and up to $2,500 annually

Who is this perk best for? Everyone

Purchase protection

  • Get purchase protection, which is offered by most credit card providers
  • Get coverage for your newly-bought items against theft and damage
  • Get coverage up to $1,000 per item and up to $50,000 annually or per cardholder
  • Depending on the card provider, coverage can be either 90 days or 120 days

Who is this perk best for? Everyone

Return protection

  • Get return protection, a perk offered by more premium credit cards
  • Return an item you bought and get reimbursed even if the merchant won’t take it back
  • Get coverage up to $500 per item and up to $1,000 annually
  • Get coverage up to 90 days

Who is this perk best for? Everyone

Extended warranty

  • Get extended warranty, which is offered by most card providers
  • Generally, get an extend warranty on eligible purchases for up to 24 months

Who is this perk best for? Everyone

Cell phone protection

  • Get cell phone protection, a perk offered by a handful of credit cards
  • Get coverage for your cell phone against theft and damage
  • In most cases, coverage is up to $600 per claim and up to $1,200 in 12 months

Who is this perk best for? Anyone who wants peace of mind over their smartphone

Special offers

  • Some card providers offer special deals where for a limited time at select stores, you can earn cash back
  • In most cases, you need to download the provider’s mobile app and take the deals that occasionally pop up

Who is this perk best for? Anyone who often shops online

Best credit card perks for entertainment

Some card providers offer entertainment perks to their cardholders. But if you want to earn the highest rewards and get even more benefits on entertainment purchases, you need a credit card designed for entertainment.

Ticket presale

  • Get access to event tickets before they go on sale for the general public
  • You must use your eligible card to get this perk

Who is this perk best for? Anyone who often goes to sporting events, concerts or theater

Preferred tickets

  • Some card providers have preferred tickets set aside that you can access if all other tickets are sold
  • You must use your eligible card to get this perk

Who is this perk best for? Anyone who often goes to sporting events, concerts or theater

VIP packages

  • Access special VIP packages that come with premium seats, merchandise and sometimes even meeting the artist
  • You must use your eligible card to get this perk

Who is this perk best for? Anyone who often goes to sporting events, concerts or theater

If you think this type of card might be right for you, check out our full guide on entertainment credit cards.

Compare credit cards

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$0
Get 3% cash back on groceries on up to $6,000 annually (then 1%) with no annual fee. This is a simple and effective rewards card. Rates & fees
Chase Freedom Flex℠
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
$0
Get up to 5% cashback in rotating and newly added everyday categories. The refreshed Freedom Flex card has lots of earning potential.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
$95
Earn a huge signup bonus worth $$1,000 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
N/A
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
An impressive 18 months intro APR on balance transfers and purchases, as well as no annual fee make this one of the top 0% APR cards available.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$95
Perfect for families: Get up to 6% on everyday purchases and a welcome offer worth $250. This heavy-hitter rewards card has uncontested value. Rates & fees
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Credit cards often come with many useful perks that may not be obvious right away. Some of these perks include rewards, travel insurance, fraud protection, access to VIP packages for select entertainment events and more.

To find the right card with the best combination of these perks, compare your credit card options.

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