When you occasionally fly for pleasure, the discomforts of travel can be justifiable. But when you’re traveling constantly for your business, sitting on airport floors, fighting for power outlets, waiting in line for a rental car and sleeping poorly can get old quickly – and leave you with less energy to run your company.
Fortunately, several business credit cards offer perks that help business owners stay comfortable in the air and on the road.
Note: We’re concentrating on business credit cards for this article. If you’d like to see some of the travel comforts provided on personal credit cards, check out this article.
Airline co-branded business credit cards
Some co-branded airline cards have business versions, including:
Delta Reserve for Business credit card ($450 annual fee): This is the business version of the Delta Reserve from American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner). You get complimentary Sky Club access (meaning snacks, drinks, Wi-Fi and private restrooms). You also get a 20 percent discount on in-flight refreshments and entertainment. Finally, just as with the personal version of the card, you can get bonus Medallion Qualification Miles if you spend at least $30,000 per year on the card, putting yourself that much closer to all the travel perks that come with elite status.
If you’re looking for a lower-cost Delta credit card for your business, consider the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business credit card. The Annual fee is $95 (waived the first year), so you won’t get all the benefits listed above, however.
United Airlines MileagePlus Club Business card ($450 annual fee): Access to United Club lounges is built in, as are priority check-in and screening (where available). You also get President’s Circle-level elite status with Hertz, which includes upgrades and expedited service.
This card also comes with Luxury Hotel & Resort privileges – if you stay at a hotel in Chase’s portfolio, you can enjoy complimentary breakfast, room upgrades (if available) and early check-in.
Hotel business credit cardsStarwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card ($95 annual fee, waived the first year): This card has all the perks of the personal version with one notable difference – this card grants you Sheraton Club access when you book a Starpoint-eligible rate. These lounges (which you’ll find at select Sheraton properties) are great for business travelers to relax or catch up on work, as they provide complimentary breakfast, snacks and beverages all day and free Wi-Fi. You can also use them as a place to meet with colleagues.
In addition, the card gives you complimentary in-room Internet.
Marriot Rewards Premier Business credit card ($99 annual fee): You automatically get Silver status with this card, meaning free Wi-Fi, access to the Elite Reservation Line, and late check-out. Plus, this card guarantees you 15 credits toward elite status annually and another credit for every $3,000 spent on the card. This helps you reach Gold status, which has even more perks business travelers will appreciate, including free local phone and fax, Hertz membership for a year, room upgrades and enhanced in-room Internet.
Premium travel cards
The following products aren’t affiliated with any airline or hotel. Instead, they provide a range of travel comforts for business travelers.
Business Platinum card from AmEx ($450 annual fee): Just like the personal version of this card, the Business Platinum was designed for road warriors. In fact, this is probably the most perk-heavy business plastic you’ll find.
Its many benefits include:
- $200 airline fee credit: You can pay for in-flight food and drinks, checked bags and other things that make trips go more smoothly and then reimburse yourself via this credit.
- Airport lounge access: Get into the Delta Sky Club, AmEx’s Centurion lounges, Priority Pass Select lounges and Airspace lounges.
- Reimbursement for TSA Precheck ($85) or Global Entry ($100): Pick one of these programs and pay the application fee with your card. American Express will reimburse you – and you’ll spend a lot less time waiting in lines when you travel.
- Complimentary Boingo and Gogo: You get free Boingo membership and 10 inflight passes for Gogo each cardmember year.
- Hotel and rental car company status: Gold Preferred Starwood Membership (which includes late checkout, upgrades when available and other perks) is built into this card, as is status with National Rental car, Avis and Hertz (which gets you vehicle upgrades and time-saving benefits such as skipping the line).
- Access to Fine Hotels and Resorts program: If you stay in a hotel in American Express’s portfolio, you get benefits like early check-in, late check-out, complimentary breakfast and other perks and experiences unique to the property.
Diners Club Carte Blanche ($300 annual fee): The Carte Blanche is Diners Club’s premium business product. With it, you get access to the 500+ lounges in the Diners Club network.
You also get a couple unique perks that make travel a little easier, including free international cellphone rental (with minutes charged to your card). If your “traveling in comfort” standards are really high, this card offers private jet access through Bombardier Skyjet.
You may have noticed that most of the cards featured in this article have rather high annual fees. After all, the travel comforts they offer come at a cost to the issuing bank. By utilizing the benefits fully, however, you can recoup at least some of the annual fee each year. If the fees on the above cards are still too steep and deluxe travel perks aren’t vital to you, check out our listing of business cards – some of them have low (or no) annual fees.