New travel credit cards add to the mix
It may feel as if Christmas was only a couple of days ago, but summer is already here. And, with the vacation season in high gear, now is a good time to revisit the travel, hotel and airline credit cards in your wallet. Are they performing as well as you thought they would when you chose them? Could you be doing better? If you can't answer yes to both those questions, here are some alternatives.
Three new travel rewards cards launched
First up, Bank of America, which unveiled on May 8 three (count 'em) new travel rewards cards:
- BankAmericard Travel Rewards
- BankAmericard Privileges with Travel Rewards
- WorldPoints Travel Rewards for Business
All three of these address some of the biggest gripes that users of travel and airline credit cards report by eliminating:
- Foreign transaction fees
- Rewards earning caps
- Rewards that expire
- Blackout dates on travel redemption
The bank also says that these new travel credit cards improve customers' abilities both to earn rewards quickly, and to redeem points flexibly.
Chase rewards that help you travel well
Also in May, Chase quoted a news item in Travel Market Report that suggested that "Summer 2012 is shaping up to be a strong season for travel agents." And the credit card company went on to link its own extensive portfolio of airline, travel and hotel credit cards to consumers' chances of getting the best overall vacation experiences. It claims:
- 10 of its credit cards have no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad-- including the British Airways Visa Signature Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold Business Charge Card and United MileagePlus Club Visa.
- No restrictions or blackout dates apply on flights or hotel rooms booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site, which is available to all holders of Chase Freedom, Ink from Chase, and Chase Sapphire products.
- Easier card processing overseas in the 130 countries that have already adopted EMV technologies (where transactions are often processed using a card's embedded microprocessor chip, rather than the magnetic stripe). Four Chase cards that carry an embedded chip are already available to U.S. customers: the J.P. Morgan Select Visa Signature Card, British Airways Visa Signature Card, Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase and the J.P. Morgan Palladium Card.
Small business credit cards offering better travel rewards
Meanwhile, Citi announced on May 15 that it's teamed up with American Airlines to launch the new CitiBusiness®/AAdvantage® World MasterCard®. This, the company claims, boosts the travel rewards that can be earned by those with small business credit cards, as well as enhancing their travel experiences with perks for the primary cardholder, including the first eligible checked bag travels free for you and up to 4 traveling companions* and Group 1 boarding. And, let's face it, if you're running your own small business, you're very likely to need a vacation this summer.
Published 08/08/12 (Modified 08/14/14)