How your credit cards can save you time

The right credit card can save you money, whether it’s on interest (thanks to a 0 percent balance-transfer period) or on travel (thanks to rewards).

But some credit cards can help you save an even more valuable resource – your time. The following benefits will help busy people get more time back in their days.

Expedited-security benefits

Some cards waive application fees for TSA PreCheck ($85) and Global Entry ($100). Cards offering this benefit include the Platinum and Business Platinum cards from American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner), the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Citi Prestige and more (see a list here).

TSA PreCheck and Global Entry save travelers time by cutting out the lines. Because you’ve gone through a screening process to get into the program, the screening you undergo at the airport will be streamlined.

Why TSA PreCheck saves you time:

  • Dedicated security line: Instead of snaking your way through the regular security line, you’ll have a dedicated line for PreCheck passengers. According to the TSA, 96 percent of PreCheck members wait less than five minutes.
  • Fewer security hurdles: With PreCheck, you don’t have to remove your shoes, belts or jackets, and your laptop can remain inside its bag. That saves you the time it takes to perform this routine – and you’ll no longer have to wait behind hundreds of people doing the same thing.

Why Global Entry saves you time:

  • Expedited re-entry into the U.S. when traveling abroad: Instead of filling out paperwork and languishing in processing lines (when you just want to go home after a long trip), you get to go straight to the Global Entry kiosk.
  • TSA PreCheck included: Being approved for Global Entry approves you for PreCheck as well, so you get all the time-saving benefits above, too.

Concierge service

Plenty of cards offer concierge service, a perk that allows you to call a number and ask for help with various tasks, including making dinner reservations, booking travel and tracking down a hard-to-find product. How far your card’s concierge will go for you depends on your request and how high-end your card is. Read about our concierge-service experience here.

Rental-car company status

When you arrive at your destination for a business trip, the last thing you want to contend with is the line at the rental-car desk. If you have status with the rental company, though, you can skip the line and paperwork. You’ll just need to show your driver’s license at a dedicated check-in lane, grab your keys and get your car. Some companies will even have the keys waiting for you in your rental car. Some companies have a dedicated aisle for their customers with status, so you can pick any available car when you arrive.

The Platinum Card from American Express, for example, gives you:

  • National Emerald Club Executive status
  • Avis Preferred status
  • Hertz Gold Plus status

Expedited hotel check-in

It’s late, and you just want to get into your room so you can go to go to bed (or finish up your work). But you still have to check in, along with the 15 people who just got dropped off by the airport shuttle.

Some cards, though, grant you automatic elite status with their co-branded hotel chain, which, in turn, may give you access to expedited check-in lanes at certain properties.

The Hyatt Credit Card, for example, gives you automatic Globalist status, which includes an expedited check-in area for elite members only. The IHG Rewards Club Select card gives automatic Platinum Elite status, which gives access to a priority check-in counter at participating properties.

While many focus on the money credit cards can save you, if you’re a busy traveler, it pays to consider a card’s time-saving benefits as well.

 
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