I do a lot of traveling for work these days. I’m on a plane at least 5 times a month and have long stay overs at least once a month. I’m not complaining because this allows me to rack up those airline miles and other points as I work.
I have to use my credit card because I don’t have an expense account, so I make sure to use the best credit cards for me to get airline miles and hotel points. I wanted to share with you two credit cards that I use mainly for work.
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Best Airline Rewards Credit Card
I fly out of Newark 99% of the time so I fly United Airlines just about everywhere. Because of this, I have the United Explorer Card. I use this bad boy to book all my flights and I get double miles for doing so. When I have to stay somewhere for more than a night I have to pack a piece of luggage. I typically travel light so I don’t have to check my luggage but when I do, this card gives me a free ‘first bag’ check. That’s nice because I really hate paying $30 per bag to check a piece of luggage.
On top of that, I get to board as part of Group 2. So I can get into the plane and put all my stuff in the overhead bins. Of course, this card costs me $95 per year to have, but this is a small price to pay for all the miles I get.
Why do I do this? Simple, I was able to pay for the entire round trip (excluding taxes) for my wife’s yearly trip to Hong Kong. That’s a savings of around $800 for just doing my job.
Best Hotel Rewards Credit Card
When I have to stay overnight or several days at a location, I usually book a Hilton hotel or one of their subsidiaries. The reason why is that I get the best service and they usually have the most comfortable beds out there. This is all a matter of personal preference but ever since I started doing a lot of traveling, Hilton has become a second home to me. It’s well worth it for me to be Hilton Honors member.
One time my family and I got ‘stranded’ for an extra day near Disney in Florida and we needed to get a room. The Hilton nearby looked up my Honor status and got us a room right away. They saved the day.
This is the reason why I remain a Hilton Honors member. I book all my Uber trips, dinner excursions, hotel rooms, breakfasts, etc on my Hilton Honors American Express card.
This card has some great ways to earn points. Book a room with Hilton using this card and you get 7 times the points. Use this card at a Restaurant and get 5 times the points. There’s no foreign transaction fee and you get treated well.
There’s no annual fee for the card BUT there are a few things to know about. You automatically get Silver status when you get the card but you have to spend a certain number of nights at Hilton properties to keep that Silver status. If you want to get Gold status, you have to spend over $20,000 a year to ‘level up.’
This isn’t hard to do if you travel for work but might a lot harder for the general population. So check to see if this one works best for you.
Go For It!
I’m not so much a fan of the cashback cards but my wife is. One of these days I’ll have to write about the ones she uses because she’s the CFO of our household. She leverages the hell out of them! Still, I like both of these cards and use them a lot because it allows me to travel in style when I’m not on the clock. Just the airline miles alone are worth it to me for quick getaways with the missus.
No matter what, if you travel a lot like me then you SHOULD be using some kind of credit card that gives you either: cashback, airline miles, or some other points. The United Explorer Card and Hiltons card are the ones that work best for me. You should figure out what works best for you and just go for it. Of course, spend wisely and don’t get into debt. After all, you can enjoy your travels thinking about when your bills are due!