Tips & Guides

The Top 3 Cards That Will Upgrade Your Summer Vacation for Less6 min read

When it comes to summer vacation, everyone wants to have their travel upgraded. Fancy first class seats, delicious food, and huge hotel suites would make any vacation better.

Although many people will never have a chance to see this luxury side of travel, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case for you.



You work hard, you need a break, and you deserve that upgrade, right? Well, we’re going to show you how to get it using miles, points, and the best travel credit cards.

Although we can give you a quick overview of the 3 cards below, we can’t come close to describing all of the features and benefits available for each.

Once you’ve realized that using miles and points is the way to go, head over to Upgraded Points where you can learn how to earn and redeem them — as well as find out more details about these 3 cards mentioned below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Double-Suite-Cabin(Transfer your Ultimate Rewards points over to Singapore Airline’s KrisFlyer program and you may be able to book this double suite for your next flight to Asia. Looks pretty comfortable, doesn’t it?  Photo courtesy of Singapore Airlines.)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has long been the most valuable and highly recommended entry level card in the world of miles and points. It has a low annual fee of $95 that is waived the first year and a long list of benefits. Most importantly, it earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be redeemed directly for travel or transferred to 13 airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Top card features include:

  • Double points on travel and dining – earn more points faster on categories you normally use.
  • Primary rental car insurance – pays out before your personal policy when your rental car is damaged or stolen.
  • Valuable Ultimate Rewards points – redeem for travel at 1.25 cents per point or transfer to 13 partner airlines and hotels for redemption values that can reach up to ten times that amount.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

A bit newer than its little brother discussed above, the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card is arguably the premier high-end travel credit card available today. With an annual fee of $450, you want to be sure that you can maximize the benefits before you apply, but we believe those benefits can be worth far more than that annual fee costs you.

Top card features include:

  • $300 Annual Travel Credit – automatically credits your account for the first $300 in travel purchases each year.
  • Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check Fee Credit – when you apply for one of these expedited security and border control programs using your card, the application fee will be refunded.
  • Triple points on travel and dining – earn even more points for your purchases.
  • Priority Pass Select Membership – access for you and your traveling companions to over 1000 airport lounges all over the world.
  • Valuable Ultimate Rewards points – redeem for travel at an even higher 1.5 cents per point or transfer to partner airlines and hotel for a much greater value.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

rsz_westin-princeville-kauai(The complimentary Starwood Gold status you receive with The Platinum Card from American Express may get you an upgrade here at the Westin Princeville Kauai on your next trip to Hawaii. Photo courtesy of

The Platinum Card® from American Express has been an excellent option in the high-end travel credit card market for many years. Although they recently raised the annual fee to a lofty $550, they also added more benefits to make up for the increase. If used properly, you can easily surpass the value of the annual fee with benefits you get from this card.

Top card features include:

  • 5x earning on airfare and hotels – when booking your travel, maximize the points you get by booking with this card.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit – automatic credits for things like baggage fees, seat charges, and in-flight purchases.
  • $200 Uber Credit – you will get $15 a month and an additional $20 in December, just by connecting your card to your Uber account.
  • Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check Fee Credit – speed through airport security and customs with Global Entry. Your application fee will be credited back to your card.
  • Hilton and Starwood Elite Status – complimentary Gold Elite status is available simply by registering your card. Benefits include late checkout, free wifi, and potential room upgrades.
  • Valuable Membership Rewards points – use your points to book travel directly or transfer to one of 20 different airline and hotel loyalty programs for maximum value.

Final Thoughts

If you’re ready to enjoy a glass of champagne at the airport lounge or cuddle up in a lie-flat bed on your next overnight flight, why wait any longer. Picking up a new Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card, or Platinum Card® from American Express can be the first step towards upgrading your summer vacation.

The sooner you start with miles, points, and travel credit cards, the quicker your travel will improve. See you in the sky!

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