My husband and I own a combined 3 credit cards that offer credits on travel expenses. These travel credits help offset the annual fees on each card. Since we travel a lot each year, it makes sense for us to keep these cards.
All of the credits cycled in November/December, and I’ve already made a huge dent in spending them!
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has the easiest travel credit to use. It’s a $300 credit for any purchase on your card that codes as travel. This credit coincides with the calendar year, and it was available after the December statement closed towards the end of the month.
Picking a travel expense for this credit was a no-brainer for my family. I have a Southern Caribbean cruise coming up this spring, so I simply made a $300 payment through my travel agent for the cruise. The travel credit showed up the same day that my charge showed up. Done!
Capital One Venture X (X2)
My husband and I both own Capital One Venture X cards. The $300 annual credit coincides with our card anniversary date (see this recent post by Leana about the quirks with this credit). With this travel credit, you must book travel with the Capital One travel portal to get the credit.
For my card’s credit, I went through the Capital One travel portal to book a hotel in Galveston for a pre-cruise stay later this year. It was a boutique hotel I’ve had my eye on that was unavailable to book through hotel brand points.
For my husband’s travel credit, I booked a hotel in Rome this summer for the night after our cruise. He still has $40 in credit left to spend. We will likely use that credit on a hotel night moving my son into college this summer.
Both credits posted to our accounts 3 days later.
We like the benefits of both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Capital One Venture X cards. But to really make the annual fee pay for itself, we have to use up the travel credits.
How does my family travel so much? We use miles and points from credit card bonuses. See my Travel Hacking 101 post as well as current credit card offers here.