Travel Card Perks…. Food Included

There are many options when it comes to travel credit cards…  I’ve done a fair amount of due diligence and recently signed up for the Citi Prestige Card (Citi Prestige Website).  Although it carries a high annual fee (north of $400) the perks are well worth it.  I know some people out there will create an impressive algorithm to analyze the exact value of the card relative to the fee but I’m going to do more of a ‘back of the envelope approach.’  You get $250 in airfare credit (think baggage fees, flights, on-board drinks,etc…), $100 credit for Global Entry (If you’re thinking TSA Pre-Check do this instead.  You get TSA pre-check when you’re approved for Global Entry and if you do international travel you’ll save a lot of time going through customs.  Plus it lasts 5 years), free subscription to Priority Pass (airport lounges commonly found across the country.. yes drinks are free), Admirals Club Pass (when flying American Airlines [AA]), and the list goes on.. I think the upfront bonuses change but when I signed up it was 50,000 points for $3,000 of spending within 3 months.  The great thing is those points were reflected right when I hit $3k and I was able to book a flight to Asia on the cheap.  I’m a pretty time-sensitive traveler and prefer to get to the airport a couple hours early but even if your the type who gets to the gate as doors are about to close, the lounges can prove worthwhile.  As I sit here writing this, I am in the Las Vegas Club waiting for a flight to Dallas.  Apparently, the movie, Twister, has the potential to get real near our DAL airport so after a Southwest Airlines (SWA) flight cancellation I booked an AA flight, which is now 2 hours delayed… But in the meantime, I’m in a private lounge with an open bar and snacks.  Opposite to the delicious spread pictured above, this club is throwing it back with an assortment of ‘Cup Noodles.’  Point being, delays will happen as you travel and they can be much less painful with lounge access.  The credit cards which offer the access seem intimidating with high annual fees but if you do the math on annual perks and reimbursements, you usually will end up in the green.  For more of a professional’s outlook on this topic, check out thepointsguy.com.

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