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There are 3 main “premium” travel credit cards out there that have similar (some might say overlapping) benefits.  They all have a (usually not waived) $450 annual fee and offer airline or travel credits.  There are 3 cards, one from Citibank, American Express and Chase.  Since we’re coming up to the end of the year, I thought I’d talk about the American Express Platinum airline travel credit, the Citi Prestige airline credit and the Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit.  There is a misconception that you have until the end of the year (December 31st) to redeem these airline credits and in 2 of the 3 cases that is NOT the case!

(SEE ALSO: Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Amex Platinum vs Citi Prestige)

Amex Platinum airline credit

amex-platinum-200-airline-credit-logoThe American Express Platinum airline credit is $200 each year, and the Amex Platinum airline credit DOES work on a calendar year basis.  I have written before about how to use (and maximize!) the Amex Platinum airline credit

You have until December 31st to use the credit, and the Amex $200 airline credit is typically only good for things like baggage fees, change fees, phone reservation fees (but you might not have to pay those!) and incidentals like food, beverage and wi-fi as long as it’s charged directly by the airline.

In practice, some people have reported getting the Amex Platinum airline credit reimbursement on gift cards or award ticket fees, as long as it’s for a smaller amount.  I actually used an airline credit to buy gift cards last year, only to find out that American Airlines does not take gift cards for the taxes and fees on award tickets!

Remember that with the Amex Platinum airline credit, you have to specify when you get the card (or at the beginning of each year) which airline you are using for your airline credit

Citi Prestige airline credit

citi-prestige-logoNext up is the Citi Prestige card, which offers a $250 airline credit each year.  There are 2 differences between the Citi Prestige airline credit and the Amex Platinum airline credit is that the $250 airline credit only goes

The $250 Citi Prestige airline credit works on airfares and as long as the gift cards are sold directly by the airline, it should count.

The second (BIG!) difference is that the Citi Prestige airline credit works off of the STATEMENT CLOSING DATE!  So whenever your December Citi Prestige statement closes, that’s your due date for making your $250 purchase.

This bit me last year – Don’t screw up your Citi Prestige airline credit (like I did)

Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit

chase-sapphire-reserve-logoNot to be outdone, Chase’s new Sapphire Reserve card has a travel credit of $300 each year.  The Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit can be used for airline incidentals, air fare and gift cards, but is much less restrictive.  Reports are that it will also qualify for things like bus fare, commuter transportation and anything else that is classified as “travel”

The Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit is ALSO AWARDED BY STATEMENT CLOSING DATE!  So check your Chase Sapphire Reserve statement date and make sure to make your $300 travel credit before then!

Hope this helps someone from getting burnt like I did!  If you’d like to compare the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Amex Platinum vs Citi Prestigecheck that out, and if you would like to support Points With a Crew by signing up for one of these cards, you can check them out here.

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