5 Popular Travel Perks You Can Get with Your Credit Card

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In order to justify their sometimes sky-high annual fees, today's travel-rewards cards come bundled with all manner of perks, ranging from waived bag fees and priority boarding (offered by many mid-priced airline cards) to free hotel nights, airport lounge memberships, and hefty travel credits.

Here are some examples of the most valuable perks, together with the credit cards that offer them.

Airport Lounge Membership

An annual airport lounge membership can easily cost more than $500, making it one of the most expensive credit-card perks, offered by just a few of the highest-priced cards. One example:

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Welcome offer: 50,000 points after spending $5,000 within the first three months of account opening.

Earn 2 miles per $1 for American Airlines purchases.

Earn 1 miles per $1 for other spending.

Annual fee: $450.

Variable Annual percentage rate (APR): 17.24% - 25.24% variable, depending on credit.

Benefits: The signature benefit of this card is an annual Admirals Club membership.

*Citi is an Airfarewatchdog partner

Travel Credit

 Included among the many perks linked to this popular card is a $300 annual travel credit:

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

Welcome offer: 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening (worth $750 when redeemed for travel via the Ultimate Rewards portal).

Earn 3 points per $1 for travel and dining.

Earn 1 point per $1 for other spending.

Annual fee: $450.

Annual percentage rate (APR): 17.24% - 24.24%, depending on credit.

Benefits: no foreign transaction fees, $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass airport lounge membership, fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

Complimentary Companion Pass

One of the most valuable perks offered by any loyalty program is the Companion Pass from Southwest Rapid Rewards: a year's worth of free flying for a travel companion. While the Companion Pass itself doesn't come bundled with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card, the 50,000-point sign-up bonus gets you almost halfway to the 110,000 points necessary to earn the reward.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

Welcome offer: 40,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Earn 2 points per $1 on Southwest purchases.

Earn 1 point per $1 for other purchases.

Annual fee: $99.

Annual percentage rate (APR): 17.24% - 24.24% variable, depending on credit.

Benefits: There's also a 6,000-point bonus every year, on the cardholder's account anniversary.

Complimentary Hotel Night

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card

Welcome offer: 75,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Earn 5 points per $1 at Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels.

Earn 2 points per $1 for airline tickets when booked directly with airlines, and dining.

Earn 1 point per $1 for other purchases.

Annual fee: $85, waived the first year.

Annual percentage rate (APR): 17.24% - 24.24% variable, depending on credit.

Benefits: Cardholders get a free night at a Category 1 - 5 hotel after the first year.

Uber Rides

With its $550 annual fee, this card boasts many of the perks bundled with other premium cards, plus up to $200 annually in Uber rides.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Welcome offer: 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Earn 5 points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines and eligible hotels booked on Amextravel.com.

Earn 1 point per $1 for other spending.

Annual fee: $550.

Annual percentage rate (APR): N/A

Benefits: While the card's annual fee is among the very highest, it also comes bundled with a robust set of travel perks, including lounge access, $200 statement credit for bag fees, and a $200 credit for Uber rides.

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