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Most of the conversations surrounding frequent flyer programs focus on the best ways to earn and burn points and miles. But racking up rewards is just one part of the award travel hobby.
If you want to maximize the value of your rewards and the credit cards that earn them, you need to learn about other aspects of award travel. Loyalty program rules, stopovers, airline routing rules, discovering the incredible value to be leveraged from credit card benefits, and learning how to use more advanced tools like ITA Matrix and ExpertFlyer all need to be a part of your strategy.
Travel rewards cards provide a host of perks. Everything from concierge services to the extensive insurance benefits and purchase protections, complimentary elite status, and high-value travel credits. Unfortunately, benefits are often buried deep in each card's terms and conditions, written in legalese only a Yale graduate can understand. So many perks remain a mystery to cardholders.
Quick Links to the “Best of” for Each Category
- Auto Rental CDW/LDW Coverage
- Trip Interruption & Trip Cancellation Protection
- Flight Delay Protection
- Air/Travel Incidentals
- Airport Lounge Access
- Purchase & Price Protection
- Extended Warranty Coverage
Guides to Benefits for Travel Rewards Credit Cards
Hidden away in the welcome pack of your credit card is typically a link to a Guide to Benefits. Every credit card provider orders and labels the guides differently, but the guides list benefits associated with each card, a brief description of the perk, specifics of what it covers, and information on how to claim the benefit.
The Guides to Benefits' don't typically cover big-ticket perks such as signup bonuses or lounge access. Instead, they include details of the insurance coverage and purchase protections offered by the card, providing details on trip delay and cancellation coverage, lost luggage insurance, and guarantees on items purchased with the card.
List of Guides to Benefits for Travel Rewards Credit Cards
There can be distinct differences between benefits offered with similar credit cards. Just because two cards are listed as Visa Platinum, Signature, or Infinite products, doesn’t mean they will provide the same benefits or coverage. It’s important to go over the guide to benefits for your specific credit card and check the conditions and coverage of each benefit.
Understanding the Guide to Benefits for your credit card can potentially save you thousands of dollars. The guides detail specifics on how to claim a benefit, what the benefit will cover, in addition to listing exclusions and exceptions, keeping you up to date with the coverage offered with your card.
Have a link to a Guide to Benefits we've missed? Let us know in the comments, and we'll get it added to the list.
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