I’ve Scored Free Flights and Travel Insurance—and Now I’m Sharing My Secrets

best travel credit cards

In an era where travel has become an integral part of our lives, credit cards with travel perks have emerged as powerful tools for globetrotters.

Yes, I am one of them.

These credit cards not only offer convenience and security but also provide a wide range of travel-related benefits and rewards — many of which most people aren’t aware of.

After years of trial and error, I’ve picked up a sixth sense for sniffing out a good credit card for my travel agenda. Instead of keeping it to myself, I’m here to share my knowledge with you because, let’s face it, life isn’t getting any cheaper, especially when it comes to travel, and nabbing a perk could mean the difference between an incredible holiday or a lousy one.

Ready to find out how you can get a free international flight or ravage the buffet in the Airport lounge before your flight? Here are the credit cards to get you there.

best travel credit cards

ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Card

Best for: Airline rewards
Annual fee: $425

I currently have this card and it’s the best, most reliable piece of plastic I’ve ever had in my wallet.

Apart from the alluring cityscape of Paris, New York, and Sydney etched into the card, the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Card is great for travellers who prioritise airline rewards.

This credit card is affiliated with the Qantas Frequent Flyer programme, so you can earn Qantas Points on everyday purchases. Just through grocery shopping and a few other purchases, I have acquired enough points to fly to London from Sydney for free.

Additionally, cardholders can benefit from features like extended warranty and purchase protection, which is vital for any traveller buying goods overseas.

If you’re looking at the annual fee price and shaking your head, here’s a tip. This credit card gives you $255 back, so you’re really only paying $170.

best travel credit cards

American Express Platinum Card

Best for: Luxury travel perks
Annual fee: $1,450

Do you like to travel in style? I do too. The American Express Platinum Card is known for its luxurious travel benefits and exceptional service.

With this card, you can access a vast network of airport lounges worldwide, including Priority Pass lounges. Cardholders also enjoy a complimentary elite status in various hotel loyalty programs, such as Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy, allowing for room upgrades and exclusive perks.

The Platinum Card also offers comprehensive travel insurance coverage, concierge services, and generous reward programs for earning points that can be redeemed for flights and hotel stays.

At the end of the day, the perks outweigh the annual fee, but it is a steep cost, so consider carefully. I used this as my business card, but when the pandemic shuttered travel, I had to give up my beloved card.

best travel credit cards

American Express Explorer Card

Best for: Travel credit
Annual fee: $395

If the Platinum is out of reach, the next best card I can recommend is the American Express Explorer.

This is currently my business card because every purchase I make goes toward flights, hotel stays and more.

The best part, there are no foreign transaction fees, which, if you don’t already know, is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I bring it with me on every international trip.

Expect a $400 annual travel credit, complimentary domestic and international travel insurance, and extensive American Express Global Lounge Collection access.

best travel credit cards

Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card

Best for: Virgin Frequent Flyers
Annual fee: $129

If you frequently fly with Virgin Australia, the Virgin Money Velocity High Flyer Card could perfectly fit you.

This card gives users an accelerated earning rate for Velocity Frequent Flyer points, allowing for quicker redemption of flights, upgrades, and other travel-related benefits.

Cardholders also enjoy complimentary travel insurance, airport lounge access, and a range of exclusive offers and discounts. Additionally, the card offers bonus perks, like a complimentary domestic return flight each year and no foreign transaction fees.

best travel credit cards

Qantas Premier Platinum Credit Card

Best for: Qantas Frequent Flyers
Annual fee: $299

I haven’t personally tried it, but I have friends and family who use this card and have nothing but good things to say.

Firstly, you get 90,000 Qantas points just for signing up and, for the first year, the annual fee is only $199. Every year after, it’s $299.

Cardholders also get complimentary travel insurance, airport lounge access, and exclusive discounts on flights and hotel bookings. With additional features like no foreign transaction fees, it’s an excellent choice for Qantas enthusiasts.

Related: Didi’s New Travel Feature Is Designed to Save You Money on Long Distance Fares

Related: These Tips Will Ensure You Squeeze Every Last Perk Out of Your Credit Card

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