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Travel Cards during COVID

Aim_High
Senior Contributor

Travel Cards during COVID

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, there were lots of comments from our members about how COVID-19 was affecting their decisions about opening and/or keeping travel cards, particularly those with annual fees.  Since then, we've had multiple vaccines and treatments introduced, but also experienced flare-ups of different variants of coronavirus.  However, from all appearances, air travel and domestic travel seems to have made a large recovery this summer.   I also realize that international travel is more complicated, especially depending on country restrictions and/or outbreaks.  I've continued to observe a mixture of comments indicating either a continued avoidance of those types of cards or a return to them, so it appears the consensus is still divided about whether it's time for travel.  In my own experience, I continued to dine out (as possible) as well as travel for work and even pleasure, so my feelings about those cards never changed.  

 

I just wanted to solicit some feedback on how the community feels about travel as-of the fall of 2021.  Did you cancel travel cards or delay applying for them during COVID?  How has your travel changed in the past 18 months?  What are your plans for additional travel cards?  



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ridgebackpilot
Established Contributor

Re: Travel Cards during COVID

Like many others, I've been traveling a lot less during the pandemic, especially overseas. My job ordinarily involves a lot of international travel, but that has completely dried up in the past year-and-a-half. 

 

That said, I've kept all my travel cards during the pandemic. First, I fully expect we'll resume international travel soon. And second, most of the travel cards offered promotions such as extra points for dining, grocery shopping, and gas purchases to make up for the points we all lost by not traveling extensively. Those promotions helped me justify keeping my travel cards.

 

The airlines, too, have offered promotions to make it easier for those of us to retain our elite status in their frequent flyer programs. As a result, I'm actually doing a "mileage run" this year to retain my United 1K Flyer status. When I start traveling overseas again, that status will be worth an estimated $10K per year to me, so it's worth spending money to fly enough this year to retain it.

 

Message 2 of 5
notmyrealname23
Established Contributor

Re: Travel Cards during COVID

AMEX has been very good to me- monthly credits, ways to convert airline misc fee reimbursements to actual miles without flying, enhancing and extending free nights, historically high signup bonuses. By my reckoning I've had multiple AMEX cards where the pandemic monthly credits + ongoing normal credits meant AMEX was paying me to hold the card that year- before I spent a single point of the SUB.


I don't regret not eking out 2-5% on cashback cards at all (though I've done some of that as well). Now that things are less crazy, flying business class to London has been a treat. Occasional luxury hotel rooms, a treat. Next year's six week Europe trip during a sabbatical where my family will join me, also a treat. Accruing points and delayed gratification has worked out.

 

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iced
Valued Contributor

Re: Travel Cards during COVID


@Aim_High wrote:

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, there were lots of comments from our members about how COVID-19 was affecting their decisions about opening and/or keeping travel cards, particularly those with annual fees.  Since then, we've had multiple vaccines and treatments introduced, but also experienced flare-ups of different variants of coronavirus.  However, from all appearances, air travel and domestic travel seems to have made a large recovery this summer.   I also realize that international travel is more complicated, especially depending on country restrictions and/or outbreaks.  I've continued to observe a mixture of comments indicating either a continued avoidance of those types of cards or a return to them, so it appears the consensus is still divided about whether it's time for travel.  In my own experience, I continued to dine out (as possible) as well as travel for work and even pleasure, so my feelings about those cards never changed.  

 

I just wanted to solicit some feedback on how the community feels about travel as-of the fall of 2021.  Did you cancel travel cards or delay applying for them during COVID?  How has your travel changed in the past 18 months?  What are your plans for additional travel cards?  


Did not cancel any cards. Did not delay applying (though I did not apply for any cards, either). Work travel is still gone, but personal has resumed. I have no plans for additional cards, as I can think of none that would give me more than I already have.

 

CSR + Amex Platinum (for flight purchases only) covers travel/dining for me pretty well.

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NoHardLimits
Regular Contributor

Re: Travel Cards during COVID

Travel has dried up for me during the past 18 months.  I only took a few day trips by car. 

 

As for travel credit cards, I closed an American Airlines card and plan to close a Delta card when the annual fee posts.  I also downgraded CSR to Freedom Unlimited.  I did apply for a Venture when the signup bonus was 100k points, but I don't envision keeping it after the next annual fee posts.  No other new cards currently on my radar.

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