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5 Credit Card Benefits Every Traveler Should Have

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Nearly free flights and hotel nights aren’t the only reason to get some travel rewards credit cards. In addition to credit card points and miles, you can also enjoy some nice perks from your credit cards that will make your travels less stressful, more enjoyable, and save you more money. Let’s go over 5 credit card benefits that every traveler should have.

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1. TSA PreCheck

Whenever I pass a long security line, I am always surprised that more people don’t have TSA PreCheck. Especially when some of these people might have a card in their wallet that will give them TSA PreCheck for free. This is one credit card benefit that every single traveler should have (although I’m glad they don’t because that means shorter lines for me)!

Why TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck allows you to get expedited security screening. You get to go through a shorter line, don’t have to remove shoes, and can leave your liquids and laptop in your bag.

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How it Works

Enroll in TSA PreCheck online and make your in-person appointment, where you’ll get fingerprints done and verify your identity. When it comes time to pay, use your credit card that includes a credit for TSA PreCheck. This benefit is typically available every 4 years.

Check out this link to see a list of all the cards that include a TSA PreCheck credit.

Shortly after paying for it, you should see a credit on your statement for the cost of TSA PreCheck ($78). TSA PreCheck is then valid for 5 years.

You’ll be given a Known Traveler Number, and you will want to add this to your reservation when you book your flight (you can also add it to flights you’ve already booked) or save it to your airline loyalty account.

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When using TSA PreCheck, children 12 and under are allowed to go through the line with you. Children 13-17 may join you when traveling on the same reservation and if the TSA PreCheck indicator appears on the child’s boarding pass.

Bonus Tip: These credit cards will cover Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. If you travel internationally, then get Global Entry. This will expedite the process of going through customs on your return to the United States. If you get Global Entry, it comes with TSA PreCheck!

2. Lost/Delayed Luggage Insurance

By paying your taxes and fees with the right credit card, you can protect yourself against lost/damaged luggage. My personal favorite card for this is the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

One time the airlines damaged my stroller. Strollers aren’t typically covered by the airline, but I still requested a claim from the airline so I could send it to Chase to prove my stroller was damaged. A few weeks later, a check arrived in the mail from the bank for the full price of my stroller that I had purchased 6 years prior!

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If you check your bags, then I can’t recommend making sure you have a card with lost/delayed baggage enough. Just make sure you use that card to pay the taxes and fees on your flight.

3. Airport Lounge Access

If you really want to take your airport experience up a notch, then you need a credit card that comes with airport lounge access. Having a comfy place to sit away from the crowds, a bite to eat, and a nice drink (all of which you don’t have to pay for) is so nice!

Our favorite credit card for airport lounge access is the Capital One Venture X. The American Express Platinum is also a fantastic card for airport lounge access, but it isn’t as generous with allowing guests and charges a much higher annual fee than the Venture X.

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Relax at the Capital One Lounge at DFW

4. CLEAR Membership

I got CLEAR this year, and let me tell you, I will never not have it!

CLEAR can sometimes get confused with TSA PreCheck, but they are two different things. TSA PreCheck gets you through the physical security process faster, whereas CLEAR lets you skip the part where you show your I.D. Instead, they use biometric scanners to verify your identity, and then they move you to the front of the TSA PreCheck line. Children under 18 can join you without needing a CLEAR membership of their own.

CLEAR with TSA PreCheck is amazing! I go through the whole security process in a matter of minutes thanks to this combo.

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With CLEAR, you get to bypass getting your I.D. checked and move to the front of the line at security.

You can get CLEAR for free with the American Express Platinum, Business Platinum, or the American Express Green card.

In addition to those credit card benefits, you can also save on membership as a member of Delta or United’s loyalty program, having one of their credit cards, or having status with either of those airlines. Students, government employees, and members of the military can also get discounts on CLEAR.

Check out this post to learn more about how you can save on your CLEAR membership.

5. Delayed/Canceled Flight Insurance

Having a delayed or canceled flight is no fun! Make it a little less painful by using a credit card that comes with delayed/canceled flight insurance to pay the taxes and fees on your ticket. Once again, our favorite for this is the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

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Bottom Line

Credit cards aren’t just about the points and miles. They can save you money, time, and make for a much more enjoyable airport experience. Check your credit cards and see if you have some of these great travel benefits already. These are the 5 benefits every traveler should have, but at the very minimum, get yourself a card with TSA PreCheck!

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