Everything you need to know about the Air Canada card’s 50K flight certificates






Everything you need to know about the Air Canada card’s 50K flight certificates – The Points Guy




















Advertiser Disclosure



Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



Source link

Fake vaccine cards, will travel: People confess to using counterfeit cards to their travel advisers


Raoul Fokke, an Amsterdam-based travel adviser for Act of Travel, was meeting with a prospective client in-person to get a better sense of his interests and travel style. The Dutch traveler, who wanted to take a trip either to Dubai, Portugal or Italy, told Fokke that while he didn’t want to get vaccinated, he had someone who could arrange documents to bypass travel restrictions.





Source link

Latest dollar exchange rate and how tipping, contactless payments and credit cards work


From figuring out how much to tip to paying for almost everything in cash, travelling in the US can be a minefield of money questions.

If you want to avoid blowing too many bucks on card fees and poor exchange rates it can pay to do your research before you travel.

A lot has changed in the 20 months since UK visitors were last spending dollar bills stateside, so read on to make cents of what’s new.

How’s the exchange rate right now?

Unfortunately for holidaymakers, news of the US opening to tourists from the UK and Europe had the effect of boosting the value of the dollar against the pound.

You’ll spend 2p more for every dollar you buy now than on 28 October. The rate as of Monday 15 November was 74 pence to the dollar.

Contactless payments

In the 400-plus days that British tourists have been away, the US has slowly caught up with the rest of the developed world when it comes to contactless payments.

Originally slow to the wireless payments game, Apple Pay and Google Pay helped accelerate the uptake of contactless payments stateside.

The best change in the past 20 months? You can finally use Apple or Google Pay on the entire New York Subway and bus system – just like the London Underground and other local transport networks back home.

Bank credit cards

There are lots of bank credit cards on the market that work for travelling with, but Halifax’s Clarity Credit Card regularly tops expert charts.

Anecdotally, the Mastercard is favoured by some of the world’s most frequent and frugal travellers. I took a quick poll of travel writers on a recent trip to New York, and it was the most popular card by far.

You don’t pay any charges on transactions or to take money out of ATMs while overseas and the currency rate is pegged to Mastercard’s official rate.

Digital bank cards

Digital banks are more popular than ever, with many customers choosing to leave brick and mortar banks in favour of online-only brands like Revolut, Starling and Monzo.

Currensea is a great pick for travel. The UK’s first direct debit travel card, it offers a great exchange – you’ll pay no more than 0.5 on the FX travel rate. Simply link it to your current account by direct debit and it takes the money out of your main account after you’ve spent it, providing an extra level of security and peace of mind while travelling. A Mastercard, this plastic is contactless, and chip and pin.

Tipping and cash

In big cities in the US, tipping in bars and restaurants is now expected at 20 per cent, according to every local I asked while reporting from New York last week.

Evelyn Jack, 35, a bartender at Pendry Manhattan West in Manhattan admits what many of us suspect – that service industry workers sometimes give locals preferential service because they know they’ll tip at the local standard rate of 20 per cent.

She said: “It’s not just Europeans who think that 15 per cent is what they should be tipping, some tourists from the Midwest don’t think to pay 20 per cent when they visit New York. The cost of living in the city is so high, wait staff really rely on people paying tips at that higher rate to survive.”

Ms Jack also says that even if you think your main server has not been up to scratch, it is important to tip anyway, as the money is usually split among the entire front-of-house team.

And on the question of cash or card, she says that servers prefer it if you can pay your tips in cash, as in some bars this can mean they will avoid paying tax on the cash.

Currency exchange shops

The golden rule here is to never exchange your money at the airport, where the rates are always poor.

An investigation by FairFX found that Travelex currency exchange desks at Heathrow Airport are offering rates that are 17 per cent less than the market rate, meaning you could lose out on £211 for every £1,000 exchanged.

A safe alternative is always the Post Office who will give you a much fairer rate.



Source link

Maximize Priority Pass benefits by labeling your cards







© Provided by The Points Guy


MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

Although we cover loyalty programs and credit cards in-depth on TPG every day, sometimes you just want a snippet of useful information that you can put into action on the fly. That’s why we launched the series Quick Points. Every week, we’ll highlight a new or easily forgotten tip that can help you travel more for less.

These days, many premium travel rewards credit cards come with a Priority Pass membership that gives cardmembers access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide.

What’s sometimes forgotten, though, is that not all Priority Pass memberships have the same benefits. Some provide unlimited visits, while others do not include access to non-lounge airport venues and perks, such as statement credits at restaurants. Plus, guesting privileges can vary from one membership type to the next. All this said, if you have Priority Pass membership from more than one credit card, it’s important to keep track of your Priority Pass cards so you don’t incur any unexpected charges.

Since all Priority Pass cards look the same, there’s no easy way to tell them apart and distinguish which one came with which of your credit cards. Luckily, there’s a simple solution: label them!

Get the latest points, miles and travel news by signing up for TPG’s free daily newsletter.

Label your Priority Pass cards

Sometimes the biggest challenges have the simplest solutions. In the case of telling Priority Pass membership cards apart, the easiest option is to label them.

Since the card is black, your best option is to either make a note on the signature box on the back of the card or add a small sticker. If you prefer to use the digital card, you can take a screenshot of the QR code and add a note to it, or add the issuing bank’s name to your Priority Pass username (i.e. BenjiAmex).

Related: There is such a thing as a free airport lunch — here’s how to get one



(Photo by Daniel Ross/The Points Guy)


© The Points Guy
(Photo by Daniel Ross/The Points Guy)

If you’ve already confused your cards, you should be able to find your Priority Pass membership number via your online credit card account or by calling your bank.



(Screenshot courtesy of americanexpress.com)


© The Points Guy
(Screenshot courtesy of americanexpress.com)

Priority Pass membership rules vary from one credit card to the next so you’ll want to review your card’s benefits guide for full details. However, as a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to note that no American Express-issued Priority Pass memberships include the restaurant benefit.

Most cards offer up to two free guests per visit, though Citi-issued cards, for instance, allow you to bring your entire immediate family. If you accidentally use the wrong card, you might be charged $32 per guest. And remember, stacking multiple Priority Pass memberships at one lounge to bring in extra guests typically isn’t allowed.

If you don’t already have a card that offers a Priority Pass membership in your wallet, see this guide.

Featured photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy.

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Continue Reading



Source link

Why to label your Priority Pass cards — The Points Guy






Why to label your Priority Pass cards — The Points Guy




























Advertiser Disclosure



Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



Source link

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance: Credit cards offer travel insurance | Business News








kiplinger-spending-20211008

Your card may provide some coverage if your trip is canceled or disrupted.




Just when many people thought the pandemic was over, the COVID-19 delta variant has threatened fall and winter travel plans. But if you booked a trip with a credit card that offers travel insurance, you may be able to recoup some of your costs.

For example, your card may provide some coverage if your trip is canceled or disrupted, and it may cover the cost of delayed or lost luggage.

In general, premium rewards cards — which typically charge an annual fee — provide better coverage.

Protections usually kick in when events that affect your trip are out of your control, said Nick Ewen, travel rewards expert at The Points Guy, a consumer travel website.

For example, suppose a flight delay caused you to miss a night in a hotel room that you reserved with an advance, nonrefundable payment. If you paid for the room with a credit card that includes travel insurance, the card would more than likely cover your loss. But if you decided you no longer wanted to go on the trip — perhaps because of concerns about COVID-19 — your card’s travel insurance probably wouldn’t cover your losses.

All cards are not created equal.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card (annual fee $550) offers cancellation/interruption coverage of up to $10,000 per person, for example, while the American Express Platinum card (annual fee $695 for new cardholders) provides up to $10,000 per trip.



Source link

MyBankTracker shares tips to choose the best credit cards for summer travel


FOSTER CITY, Calif., May 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Vaccinations are still rolling out and with travel restrictions being lifted, many Americans are planning that long-awaited summer getaway. Whether it’s a road trip, cruise or hotel stay, consumers may turn to credit cards to help foot the bill and MyBankTracker.com is releasing guidance on how to pick the perfect card for their lifestyle. Simon Zhen, senior research analyst for the financial comparison site, suggests:

1. Review Your Previous Travel Spending: Look at prior trips and identify any patterns in travel spend. 

  • Consumers may find they frequent specific airlines or hotels and could benefit from opening a branded card geared toward extra benefits like free checked bags or hotel upgrades
  • Cardholders might recognize they’re not brand loyal so a non-branded card with flexible programs is a better choice 
  • Credit card users who don’t travel frequently enough to make a travel card worthwhile might want to consider a cash back credit card
  • Pro tip: International travelers could benefit from a rewards card with no foreign transaction fees that also covers Global Entry fees 

2. Think About Future Travel Plans: Consider any planned trips over the next two years. Check flight, cruise and lodging prices now to gain a better understanding of costs; then think about how to maximize the rewards that may be earned. It’s helpful to see if a card offers extra perks to make the trip a bit more luxe, such as airport lounge passes, free checked bags or priority boarding.

3. Compare the Annual Fee to Quantifiable Perks: Many of the lucrative travel rewards credit cards have high annual fees around $500 or more. Consumers shouldn’t rule these out just because of the fee – smart spending can enable a cardholder to earn enough rewards to more than offset the annual fee. Think about it this way: if someone eats out often, a card with a dining out bonus category can easily turn those points into travel rewards.

4. Maximize Travel Rewards Redemption: Cardholders should be aware of the actual value of the earned rewards. Many premium travel cards offer various methods to redeem points and miles–some can yield more value. For example, the points could be worth more if redeemed through the issuer’s booking portal.

“Figuring out which credit card is the right fit is not as straightforward as you may think,” cautions Zhen. “Instead of simply choosing a card because of its welcome bonus or rewards rate, find a match that fits your unique spending habits. What types of purchases make up the most of your spending? You’ll likely discover a pattern that could help you maximize your rewards if you choose the card that matches your financial habits.”

View all the in-depth tips here, How to Choose a Travel Rewards Credit Card

Zhen is available to comment on MyBankTracker’s picks for the best travel credit cards of the season, the methodology used to pick them, and the overall landscape of the credit card industry.

About MyBankTracker
MyBankTracker is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (Nasdaq: QNST), a leader in providing performance marketplace technologies and services to the financial services and home services industries. QuinStreet is a pioneer in delivering online marketplace solutions to match searchers with brands in digital media. The company is committed to providing consumers with the information and tools they need to research, find and select the products and brands that meet their needs. MyBankTracker is a member of QuinStreet’s expert research and publishing division.

MyBankTracker is an independent comparison website helping consumers make smart banking and financial decisions. The mission is to match consumers to their perfect bank by providing and tracking in-depth information on more than 5,000 banks, credit unions and financial products. Using a combination of technology and money management expertise, MyBankTracker provides personal finance comparison tools and educates consumers to optimize their relationships with banks and lenders.

Twitter: @mybanktracker
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mybanktracker 

Media contact
Amy Eury
Public Relations Manager
412-532-9352
[email protected]
LinkedIn

SOURCE MyBankTracker.com





Source link

As Travel Rebounds, Credit Cards Can Unlock Perks From Bygone Golden Age | Business


As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available, travel appears poised to bounce back in a big way. According to a 2021 NerdWallet study, more than half of Americans (56%) plan to take their next vacation involving air travel and/or hotel/resort stays in 2021.

This demand harks back to the so-called Golden Age of Travel of the mid-20th century, when a surge of Americans took to the skies. The introduction of jets heralded higher levels of speed, comfort and efficiency than had ever existed before, and travelers eagerly climbed aboard.

Today’s travel reality, though, conjures up few images of roomy seating, elaborate meal service and fashionable passengers dressed to the nines. Instead, Americans may be rushing right back to long lines, cramped quarters and precious few amenities — unless they have a travel credit card that can unlock a few “Golden Age”-esque perks and create a more luxurious experience.

Here’s what the right credit card lets you do as you travel.

Skip the security line

Even infrequent travelers have likely encountered daunting, snaking airport security or customs lines. Federal programs like TSA Precheck or Global Entry can speed you through those lines more quickly — if you’re willing to apply and pay for them.

But first, check your travel credit card’s terms. Many will reimburse you for the application fees for those programs, a perk that can help defray a travel card’s annual fee:

  • TSA Precheck membership costs $85 and lasts for five years. It speeds up security screenings domestically.
  • Global Entry costs $100 for a five-year membership. It helps expedite the customs line when you return home, weary from an international flight. Bonus: Global Entry includes TSA Precheck and its benefits.

Clear offers a similar “velvet rope” experience at select domestic airports, and even at some sporting and concert venues. It uses biometrics to verify your identity. Unlike the above programs, though, it’s administered by a private company, and it’s a good bit more expensive at $179 per year. But American Express has a credit card that offers an annual statement credit toward Clear membership.

Enjoy creature comforts

A “Golden Age” travel experience doesn’t have to stop once you’re through security. The right credit cards can provide extra perks on the other side of that line, even for those who aren’t frequent travelers.

  • Free checked bag(s): Many airline credit cards offer this perk, and its value alone can more than justify the annual fees found on such cards — even if you fly only once a year. If a checked bag costs you $30 one way, then you’ll save $60 round trip. If you’re flying with a companion, that could be a total of $120 in savings. And from a comfort perspective? You can avoid lugging heavy bags all around the airport or fighting for cramped overhead bin space.
  • Lounge access: Don’t want to wait in a hard, plastic seat at a noisy, crowded gate? If you hold certain credit cards, you may have complimentary access to an airport lounge — where you can enjoy a plush seat and nosh on snacks that aren’t just of the tiny pretzel variety.
  • Priority boarding: Even if you don’t have status with the airline, certain airline credit cards let you head to the front of the line — or close to it — for early boarding. So if you like to get settled in your seat before the rest of the plane gets packed, or you want a head start on finding overhead bin space, this perk can help.

Sit in style

Even if you’re not a seasoned jet-setter, scoring better seats on the plane could be more accessible than you think, especially if — in the wake of a pandemic — you’re sitting on a large pile of unused travel rewards points. NerdWallet’s 2021 travel study indicates Americans with travel rewards cards have close to 65,000 rewards points or miles, on average, saved up.

If you’re among those with such a rewards stockpile, consider using them to splurge for that business class seat during the impending, crowded travel boom.

If you don’t have enough points to book premium seats outright, some credit card points programs, like American Express, offer the option to use your points to upgrade your economy ticket.

Get the red-carpet hotel treatment

Elite hotel status — and the perks that come with it — may once have been reserved for true road warriors. But many co-branded hotel credit cards now offer automatic elite status to cardholders, conferring benefits like special check-in lines, early check-in, late checkout, free breakfast and even occasional room upgrades.

Do the math for the travel you have in mind: Even if you don’t travel all that regularly, having a credit card that gives you these perks could be well worth paying an annual fee.

For example, a midtier hotel credit card tends to charge a yearly fee of about $95. But if that card also grants you automatic status with the hotel, and you and your family stay with that chain even a couple of times a year, then the money you save with a breakfast perk could outweigh that fee.



Source link

Chase entices spending on some United cards with bonuses of up to $240 in travel credit






Chase entices spending on some United cards with bonuses of up to $240 in travel credit





















Advertiser Disclosure



Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



Source link

The future of non-travel redemption options on travel cards






The future of non-travel redemption options on travel cards – The Points Guy






















Advertiser Disclosure



Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



Source link