7 fun credit card benefits you’ve never heard of – Forbes Advisor

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Smart consumers are well aware of the benefits of credit cards. Almost all cards come with a benefit, whether it’s extended warranty, roadside assistance, or supplemental insurance. Each benefit adds value, which can be helpful in assessing whether it is worth paying annual credit card fees.

While all of these extras are valuable, they all come under financial responsibility. The rewards add a touch of frivolity, but there are a few perks that are 100% just for fun. These unique credit card benefits are lurking in plain sight and just might be your motivation to add some more fun to your life.

Buy One, Get One Wine Tastings in Sonoma, CA

Wine tasting is best with a friend, and when you can buy a tasting, get a free tasting of equal or lesser value at wineries in the Sonoma region, you can also invite a tagalong. Each participating winery—there are nearly 50-defines their exact offers which may also include discounts on food pairings and take-home bottles.

All Visa Signature and Visa Infinite credit cards offer this benefit and there’s a good chance you have one in your wallet. Favorites like the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® are eligible, but the quickest way to verify is to look for the word “Signature” or “Infinite” under the Visa logo on the back of your card. physical.

Some wineries require reservations for tastings, so be sure to call ahead.

Free entry to over 225 museums and cultural institutions across the United States

Here is your excuse to visit the local museum where you keep saying you will stop “someday”. Bank of America and Merrill Lynch credit and debit card holders receive free admission to participating museums and cultural institutions nationwide on the first weekend of each month. It’s a great way to break the monotony at home or for a day trip to a nearby town.

With 225 participating branches, there is probably something a short drive away from you. Alternatively, plan your next vacation to overlap the free admission dates to save on top attractions like New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art or Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. Don’t worry if museums aren’t your thing – you’ll also find planetariums, botanical gardens, and other activities here.

When you arrive at the museum, simply present a Bank of America card such as the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card* and a photo ID to prove that you are the card holder and you will get free general admission. It couldn’t be easier than that.

Exclusive access to the event

Card issuers know that customers love unique experiences and they’re ready to give. Many cards offer special events only for cardholders or exclusive extras at public events.

Citi Entertainment is one of the more open programs, anyone with a Citi credit or debit card has access to the program. In addition to Citi Virtual Events, cardholders also have access to pre-sale tickets and / or preferred seats at select concerts and other touring events.

Priceless Cities, a Mastercard benefit regardless of the card issuer, also provides access to distinctive experiences anywhere in the world, including virtual activities. You can do anything from cooking classes with top chef contestants to touring Brooklyn street art.

Chase United cardholders also have access to specialty events through United Card Events by Chase. While these events are not free, they are definitely exclusive. You will join small groups to have fun or interact with some of your favorite celebrities. Experiences can be charged to your United credit card or you can pay with MileagePlus miles.

American Express is partnering with Ticketmaster to offer exclusive benefits, including early access to ticket sales and preferred seating opportunities.

Access (and discounts) to private golf clubs

It’s time to change the swing. Citibank Mastercard holders, such as those with the Citi® Double Cash card or the Citi Premier® card, have access to 1,000 golf courses across the country, including many that normally require memberships. Although you will have to pay a greens and cart fee, you will get a 10% discount and there will be no additional booking fees.

Take it up a notch if you have a World Elite Mastercard with Citi like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®* or Citi Prestige® Card* cards. These premium cards also provide annual access to elite private golf clubs through the “hidden network course” benefit.

Bonus statement credits for good grades

College students who have Discover it® Student or Discover it® Student chrome cash back now have more motivation to get good grades. Discover will reward students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher with $ 20 in statement credits each year for up to five years. As most students know, every little bit counts, especially when it only takes a minute to download a copy of your grades.

Free breakfast, cocktails or spa treatments at hotels

Everyone loves bonuses on vacation and with premium credit cards – you can definitely get more than what you paid for. Programs like American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts and the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection reward you with on-site amenities at no additional cost.

American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts

Of the two programs, Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts is generally the more valuable. When you book a hotel through their online platform, you will be entitled to guaranteed amenities such as free breakfast and free Wi-Fi. Other benefits, such as early check-in or suite upgrades, are offered but are subject to hotel availability.

However, the biggest advantage of the Amex program is that hotels include a $ 100 mortgage with your stay. These on-site credits vary by property, but are generally valid for food and beverages at on-site restaurants or intended for use at the spa. Either way, customers get a significant extra without paying a premium over booking through other channels.

The American Express Platinum Card® cardholders have access to this program, which includes co-branded personal Platinum cards (plus the Business Platinum Card® from American Express).

Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection

The Chase version of elite hotel reservations is similar. You will need to book directly through the Chase website and pay for the reservation with an eligible card, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Then, guests will enjoy on-site perks including free breakfast, available space upgrades, and free Wi-Fi throughout their stay.

The Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection also advertises experience credits and freebies, although there is more variability here than with Amex. The selection of hotels is generally wider with the Chase program than with the Amex program, with some hotels being four rather than five stars.

Extras are advertised as “up to a value of $ 100” and some properties may choose to offer only a $ 50 credit or a specific offer, such as a free 30-minute massage for two. Inclusions are clearly specified on the booking site, so there should be no surprises upon check-in.

Many, but not all, of Chase’s premium cards (some with annual fees of less than $ 100) provide access to these hotel benefits, making them available to more cardholders than the Amex program. If your card charges an annual fee, it’s worth checking your membership guide to confirm if this booking platform is available to you.

Statement credits for meals, take out and delivery

American Express has offered restore credits on a handful of credit cards for a while, but they have significantly expanded the program. Now even more customers can take advantage of even more credits. And who doesn’t love free food, especially when it’s not done for cooking, cleaning, or dirty dishes?

The American Express® Gold card is the most restaurant-centric credit card, offering 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent in restaurants. The card also comes with a $ 10 statement credit each month for purchases when you pay with your card at participating restaurants like Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and Shake Shack participating (see rates and fees).

Once again added is the addition of $ 10 in monthly Uber Cash when users add their Gold card to their Uber account. It can be used for qualifying races or Eats purchases in the United States. Likewise, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers $ 15 in monthly Uber Cash with the same restrictions ($ 35 in December) see rates and fees.

As a temporary measure in 2021, American Express has added monthly meal credits of $ 5-20 to multiple eligible travel cardholders. These credits are ultra flexible, since the people targeted by the offer can use them in any restaurant of their choice. This offer requires registration through Amex Offers and is not available to all cardholders. Personal cards co-branded with Delta, Hilton and Marriott can be targeted and the promotion is only valid until December 31, 2021.

If you live in the Chase Ecosphere, the Chase Sapphire Preserve offers a $ 60 credit with DoorDash for 2021 when you use your qualifying card and a three to twelve month DashPass is offered on a number of cards in the Chase Wallet though. you add your eligible Chase. on your DoorDash account and register before 12/31/2021.

Final result

Credit cards offer all kinds of benefits, some of which are overlooked and underutilized. These extra perks can add extra value to your total card package and give you an excuse to try something new without spending a bundle.

To consult the rates and costs of American Express® Gold Card, please visit this page.

To consult the rates and costs of The American Express Platinum Card®, please visit this page.

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