Do your December holiday plans include a road trip to Grandma’s or a flight across the country for some time on the Colorado ski slopes or in the warm Florida sun? Whatever your destination, you can make your trip more economical—and maybe a little more enjoyable—when you use the right credit cards along the way.
Here are a few cards that offer some great fringe benefits for travelers:
It will cost you $89 a year, but if U.S. Airways is your airline of choice you could earn that annual fee back on your first trip using this credit card. You not only get your first checked bag free on domestic U.S. Airways flights—up to four of your companions will also enjoy that privilege.
Not sure if you can swing the cost of the trip for the whole family? This card offers a companion certificate, that’s good for up to two guests to travel with you on a US Airways operated flight at $99 each, plus taxes and fees. (You have to buy a ticket that costs at least $250.) You must use this companion certificate within nine months from the time you get your card.
Use this credit card to get priority boarding (Zone 2) and to check in at the First Class counter (where the lines are usually much shorter). You’ll also receive a one-time pass to hang out at the US Airways Club or Admirals Club.
Of course, you’ll earn miles on every purchase, too—two miles for every $1 you spend on US Airways and American Airlines flights (booked through US Airways) and one mile for every dollar you spend on everything else.
This card offers FlexPoints good for travel on over 150 airlines—and there are no blackout dates! You can start getting tickets after you’ve earned 20,000 points, but that’s not difficult. Spend $3,500 in purchases within the first four months you have the card and you get a bonus of 20,000 points. Make $24,000 in purchases on the card in a year and you earn 3,500 points.
You’ll get triple FlexPoints on contributions you make to charity (a good way to make your end-of-year donations) and double points on purchases of gas, grocery or airline purchases (whichever earns you the most in a billing cycle).
Although this card is free the first year, you’ll pay an annual fee of $49 after that.
This is the card for you if you travel frequently and use Priceline.com to book hotels, flights and car rentals. You get five times the points on any travel arrangements you make using this card at the Priceline website.
Earn 5,000 points after your first purchase with the card, and 5,000 more points if you spend a total of $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days you have the card.
The points you earn can be redeemed for statement credits, so you can apply them towards the cost of your hotel stays, gift cards, and airline travel— whatever you’d like. And unlike some other travel-related cards, you won’t have to pay an annual fee.