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How Your Credit Card Helps: Flight Delays & Holiday Travel


How Your Credit Card Helps: Flight Delays & Holiday Travel

It’s here – Thanksgiving week and the official start of the busiest travel time of the year. While new federal laws have kicked in regarding how an airline treats its passengers (including limitations on how long you’re forced to remain boarded on an unmoving flight), there haven’t been too many ways for you to recoup some of those losses.

Now, though, your credit card company just might be the saving grace. New offers have come around in the past couple of years that can make those delays a bit less frustrating – at least in terms of monetary considerations.

The trick is to find the right credit card offer that not only meets the needs of the traveler, but that understands time is money and when delays inevitably happen, that it shouldn’t be your hard earned money that covers them. This week, we take a look at a few of the better offers on the market that will offset some of the expenses, such as unexpected hotel stay reimbursements (yes, they do exist). Take a look –

Visa Black Card

First up, we take a look at this exclusive Black credit card from Visa. The perks are plentiful, despite the $450 annual fee. Once you’ve seen the many benefits, though, it may be that the annual fee is justified. The Priority Pass for the Travel Lounge is what many are first drawn to, and for good reason. Think of it as a comfort zone in an airport. The program is available in more than 600 airports throughout 100 countries.

There are no blackouts or restrictions on your travel, either. If you’ve ever had your flight cancelled, you know well the sense of helplessness being stuck in an airport can bring. If your flight is delayed for more than 12 hours in a covered event, you’ll be reimbursed up to $300 per ticket for any expenses such as hotels or meals. Also, there are reimbursement concessions made for lost luggage, delays and other travel assistance services, too.

British Airways Visa

This is another incredible offer with no shortage of perks for those international travelers. No worries about foreign transaction fees – you don’t have them when you use this co-branded credit card. British Airways is one of the best airlines in the world and its name on this Visa keeps that image alive and well. Earning “Travel Together Tickets” are a breeze and this bonus companion fare makes a great gift if you’re wanting to fly someone to you this year.

The bonus miles you’ll earn in the first year are more than impressive; indeed, it’s one of the strongest airlines rewards card offers available on the market today. It’s the commitment to customer service, however, that really sets this offer apart. Definitely worth a second look if you’re shopping for a co-branded airlines rewards card.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card

This is another credit card offer that won’t leave you stranded with all the fees associated with flight delays. First, your bags fly free, which can save hundreds of dollars a year easily. Also, if you have to change your flight, there are no change fees. You’ll earn 3,000 bonus points every year you’re a Card Member and you can use these points internationally, too. Alternatively, you can use those bonus points for a $50 Wanna Get Away fare. There are no blackout dates and your points never expire. Be sure to read the entire offer, including the terms and conditions, so that you understand all the compliance guidelines.

Business Cards

There are several impressive business credit card offers, too. Each is designed to keep the frustration to a minimum with the pesky delays. For instance, American Express announced last month its Corporate Platinum Card will now include a “Global Entry” program. AMEX worked with U.S. Customs to design a way for those “low-risk, pre-approved American consumers” to bypass the long passport lines and instead, hit a far better streamlined process that gets them in and out in a hurry. This has already proven to be quite the successful program and is a must-have for those who travel internationally for business.

These are but a few of the many ways your credit card can offset the holiday travel blues. Do your research and select the card that best fits your lifestyle.

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