The card_name is one of my favorite travel cards, which offers a flexible rewards system.

I share my thoughts on how I like to use it, as well as information about its awesome travel perks and how to earn more miles on this flexible travel card.

My husband and I used miles collected on this card to book 2 free flights in Delta Comfort+ Class to Paris and have also used it to get Airbnb and hotels stays for free.

Thanks for using our affiliate links within this post to help support our ad-free content if you decide to apply for any travel cards.

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Hey everybody, welcome back to the Families Fly Free podcast. I’m Lyn Mettler, ready to talk about all things saving on travel. So today we are going to talk about one of my favorite newer travel credit cards, the card_name. So I’m going to you why I like this card, how I like to use this card, and just we’re going to go through all the different benefits and perks to help you think about if this may or may not be a fit for you.

The card_name is a card that came on the scene recently. It’s relatively new and emerged in November 2021. So about a year from when I am recording this podcast is when we first saw this card and it really did change some of the way that we teach flying and traveling free inside of my Families Fly Free membership.

And that’s the thing with travel rewards: things are always shifting and changing around like Southwest just made it so that beginning in 2023, you’ll have to earn 135,000 points to qualify for Companion Pass. But the way we teach it, it doesn’t affect it at all, but that’s a discussion for another episode. But things like that are always changing and shifting.

The banks, the airlines, the hotel programs are always changing what things are worth, how much you have to get to qualify for something and they’re bringing new cards onto the scene. And so you really do need a trustworthy source. Someone who has your best interest in mind to follow, to be able to determine what shifts that you need to make. And you don’t need to hear everything out there in the world: all of the noise about every card and every airline and every point system and all of that. I really focus on providing a process, a step-by-step approach. And then you only need to learn and stay on top of the things that are related to that process.

So Capital One was definitely something that me and my team took into consideration when it came along. It has some really, really nice features and again, it did shift some of the things that we teach inside of Families Fly Free.

So the way this card is structured, it’s similar to Chase Ultimate Rewards cards in that it’s a flexible point system. They earn miles, so that we’ll talk about mile when discussing Capital One, whereas with Southwest and Chase, we’re talking about points, but it’s all the same thing.

The current bonus is 75,000 miles after a $4,000 minimum spend in 3 months.

Now this card comes with a $395 annual fee, but we’re going to talk about how it comes with a lot of perks to help offset this. And so that might strike you as a higher annual fee. Most of the cards that we recommend as part of my system are usually around $95 per year. So this one is a little bit higher than that, but the features and perks that it offers do make up for that fee. So let me show you that first and then we’ll delve into some of the other perks and how I like to use this card.

The way you make up that $395 annual fee is every year with this card, you get a $300 travel credit for when you book travel inside of their portal. If you’re familiar with the Chase travel portal and the Chase Ultimate reward system, it’s very, very similar to that. It’s really just like using Expedia, and the Capital One Travel portal is operated by Hopper. If you’re familiar with that site, it’s the same, it’s just a third party booking site.

So you can book travel from within their portal and when you do that, you get $300 on your card anniversary every single year. The first $300 through their portal that you charge to this card is just going to be magically “erased,” I like to say. But basically what they’re doing is they’re just crediting that back to you, so you don’t have to pay them for it.

Right there, that brings the annual fee down to $95 and then they give you 10,000 miles on your year anniversary of holding this card every year. And with their miles system, $1 equals a hundred miles. So every anniversary you get 10,000 miles, which is a value of $100. So every year you’re getting basically $400 in travel credits to offset that annual fee, which is a heck of a deal.

Now the way that I like to use this card is for things that you can’t use points to book.You can can use points to book Southwest flights and please do that. This is not a card you would want to put your Southwest flights on. I don’t like anyone to book Southwest in dollars, because it’s not nearly as flexible and you can’t play many of the tricks and hacks that we teach as well as if you book in points. And so to book Southwest in points, you need to be booking on Southwest.

I like it for things like vacation rentals, for theme park tickets and also Europe flights. So now you could book flights to Europe in points, so that’s a little bit outside the scope of that qualification. But the reason I really like this card is it gives you complete and utter flexibility, because, the way this card works, you can use their miles at that value of a hundred miles equal to a dollar to basically pay for any travel charge that you put on your card. Anything where
the merchant category is travel.

You can take however many miles you’ve accrued — so if you get that initial bonus of 75,000 miles, when you meet a $4,000 minimum spend, you’ve got $750 that you can erase — basically you can take your 75,000 miles, which are worth $750 and you can basically pay for $750 worth of travel charges on your card with those miles. It can be any travel charge.

That’s why I like to use this card. It’s great for other travel expenses that you can’t use points to book. But talking about Europe flights, it allows you to book any airline on any flight to any city at any time. You can book nonstop or connecting. You can book a higher class of service rather than economy class. You can do whatever you want as long as you have enough miles to pay for it.
You just charge it to the card and then you use your miles to pay for it. And that is so much easier than trying to move points between airline alliances and trying to sit and look for award seats and refresh your browser and check every single day and see if an award seat has come available. It’s just simple, and it’s completely flexible. And so that’s how I’m using this card right now.

My husband added the card earlier this year and so I am just working to accumulate enough miles on this card so that we can fly the two of us to Europe at some point in the future in sort of a comfort class, like a Delta comfort class. That’s my goal for this card, but I often recommend it to people who prefer to stay in vacation rentals as well because you can’t use points to book vacation rentals.

Now with Capital One, what we have found so far is only Airbnb seems to have the merchant category of travel. Lisa on our team has been successful with Vrbo, but we’ve heard of others who have not, so try that at your own risk. So if you like Airbnb and you like to stay in vacation rentals, that would be a good use of this card. It would allow you to get some free vacation rental stays, which is really, really hard to do.

Theme park tickets is another one. So if you can buy Disney theme park tickets or Universal or wherever it is, you’re going through a company whose merchant category is travel, which usually has to be a travel agency. For whatever reason, Disney’s theme park tickets don’t code as travel, but you can buy them through a site like Undercover Tourist, which are basically travel agencies. It is a reputable site where you can book theme park tickets that will code as travel and you could erase the charge that way.

You can also use them to book hotels and you can use them to book other flights as well if that’s important to you. But I generally like to use Chase Ultimate Rewards more for hotels and save these miles again for things that you can’t book with points.

Let’s talk a little bit about how you earn miles on this card. They again have their own travel portal operated by Hopper that you can book travel through. So if you book hotels and car rentals through the Capital One travel portal, you get 10 miles per dollar that you spend. You could also pay for your hotel charge or your airfare charge with the company directly.

Like I could book a Hyatt directly and I could use my Capital One card and pay for it and I would earn a flat 2 miles per dollar on everything else. So I would just earn 2 miles per dollar if I did that. But I could still use my miles to pay for that charge to erase that charge. But if I book through the Capital One Travel portal, I’m going to get 10 miles per dollar instead of 2 miles per dollar. And again, I can use my miles to erase that charge or to pay for that charge. You get 5 miles per dollar for any flights that you book in their travel portal.

Now a big reason why we love this card is because of all of the perks that it offers. So I really prefer this card over Chase Sapphire Reserve, but not Preferred. I love card_name, so don’t hear that wrong, but Chase Sapphire Reserve is the Big Brother card to Chase Sapphire Preferred. That was the one that offered all the travel perks. So if you were traveling a lot, as my members do, that was used to be a great card to have to get you some perks to make your travels more comfortable. That card has a $550 annual fee and you really get the same perks on this card for $395.

And I’ve shown you how you can erase that credit completely with the $300 travel credit and then the 10,000 miles you get every year. So some of the perks that you get on this card, which again are about the same as Chase Sapphire Reserve are a priority pass membership, which I love, which gets you into participating airport lounges around the world.

There’s a very easy app that you can use. You can check any airport that you’re going to be flying through. Don’t forget if you have a connection, you can see if there’s a lounge there or the airport you’re going to be departing from to see if they have a participating lounge. You can see where it is if and it’s going to be at your gate. And if you want to go hang out there, which is really nice when you start traveling a lot to be able to just get out of the chaos of the airport for a minute and charge your devices. Some of them have some light snacks, most of them have some refreshments. You can grab a bottle of water before you get on your flight.

So card_name allows you to bring 2 people into the Priority Pass lounge with you. I think I originally, when I was talking about this card, said it was unlimited, but it’s very, very difficult to find this restriction. They don’t mention it anywhere on the card application page, but we’ve dived in really deeply and it seems they allow you to bring 2 people, which is the same as Reserve, but if you have a family of 4 or bigger and you need to bring more than that in with you, you have 2 options on this card. One, you can add your spouse or traveling Companion as an authorized user and there’s no charge to do that. Same with Reserve except they charge you $75 a year to have an authorized user. But an authorized user gets their own Priority Pass and then they can go and bring 2 people in with them. So that allows 6 people to be able to go in.

But we really think that it’s better instead of adding them as an authorized user, which does count as one of the five of Chase’s 5/24 rule, which just means Chase won’t approve you for any of their cards if you’ve opened five cards of any type in the last 24 months. Now Chase business cards, Citi Business Cards, AMEX business cards are not included in that, but this Capital One card would count as one of the five. So you being an authorized user counts as one of the five. So we really recommend you don’t add anyone as an authorized user unless they really physically need to have that card in hand to pay for things because it’s going to count toward your 5/24 total.

So rather than making them an authorized user, we really think it’s better to just get them their own version of this card and get the full bonus. Why not? And then they’ll still get their own Priority Pass and they’ll get another $300 credit and all of those perks.

If you decide this card is a good fit for you, we would love it if you would use our affiliate links included in this transcript. You never have to use our links, but it definitely helps support free content like this.

That’s one of the great perks of this card, the Priority Pass lounge access. Capital One also has their own airport lounges, and one of our members gives a high recommendation for the one in Denver. There’s not very many of them yet, but more are coming online. And then there’s another lounge system that you have access to called Plaza Premium. And those are more international with 100+ lounges around the world.

It also gives you a TSA Precheck or Global Entry credit. So up to whatever the amount of that fee is. And TSA Precheck just recently came down a little bit to $78, which is great. So that is just expedited security and global entry is expedited customs coming back into the country. So if you travel internationally a lot, you might want to opt for Global Entry, because you get expedited customs and you get TSA Pre-check with that one.

It’s a little bit more expensive, but that’s really a money maker if you take advantage of that. Not only is your annual fee wiped out, but now you’ve saved $78-$100 on your TSA Precheck or Global Entry.

And then I really like that it gives you Hertz President’s Circle status through December 2024. So if you do prefer traditional car rentals instead of Turo, you get an elevated status with Hertz automatically just by holding this card, which helps you bypass car rental lines and it gives you better opportunity to get an upgraded car if they have one available.

Now another thing that I really like about this card is their travel portal. It’s a really good system and it’s really better than many of the other ones that I’ve seen out there. So some nice features when you’re looking for flights in their portal, and again, if you book flights through their portal, you get 5 miles per dollar.

They have a price tracker. So if you’re looking for flights, it will tell you if it thinks you should book them now, because this is a really good price you’re seeing, or if you should wait and it’ll give you an approximate date of when, historically, it thinks that the price will go down. And it will also track the flight for you. So you can have it set to send you alerts so when the price goes down, you can hop back on and decide if you want to book or not.

It also gives you the option to freeze the fare for around $20 for a day. You can freeze the fare and if the price goes up during that time period, they will cover the difference up to $1,000 per person. If the price goes down when you have frozen it, you’ll still pay the lower price, and they say if the flight fills up, they will just give you a full refund.

I have used it also to book hotels, just comparing booking the hotel direct versus booking it in Chase travel portal versus booking in their portal. And when I have looked, and it’s been different experiences for other people, but for example, I found a lower price in Capital One for a hotel than booking direct. And in the Capital One portal I was able to get cancellation up to the day before for free whereas booking direct, I was going to have to pay like another $15 a night in order to be able to cancel up to 24 hours ahead.

And I just feel like being able to cancel is just critical right now. I just had a member who had their hotel cancel on them and they had a car rental booked, they had flights booked and they didn’t set the car rental so that it was easily cancelable. You need to make sure that your car rental is cancelable right before and you know if you can get your hotel cancelable right before and then when you’re booking Southwest in points, it’s not a problem if you need to change or cancel, there’s no fees, no penalty points, go right back in your account.

We do have some really good tricks that we teach using this card inside of Families Fly Free to help you maximize the miles you’re earning and your ability to erase charges and some really creative ways that you can use this to cover travel expenses that you would never think that you would be able to get for free.

And in terms of if you should or should not get this card, I just want to say that this is a great card, but timing your credit cards is crucially important. This is where I see so many people mess up. So this might be a great card for you, but it might not be the right time to get it. You might need to get some other cards lined up first.

You do need to be aware of that Chase 5/24 rule and you do need to think about what are your other travel goals and are there some other cards you need to line up first before you do this one. And this is where Families Fly Free is so helpful and this is one of many reasons why I created it, because I see so many people and have seen it for years, get so messed up in travel rewards, overwhelmed, confused in a big mess with points and cards that they don’t know what to do with or they can’t use. You’ve got to have a strategy and you’ve got to have a process and I have mapped that out for you so you don’t even have to think about it. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and create your own process.

We take my process and we make it fit your specific situation. And we can’t look at everyone who emails me every card that they have and what order they should get and which ones they should close and what their next steps should be. But we can do that for our families who invest in traveling with their family by joining Families Fly Free.

That’s one of many benefits you get is we take a look at your travel goals to see if this card is a fit for you. We look at things like what cards do you already have? What else do you need to get in place? Like all of the rules that go with these different travel cards, like just like the Chase 5/24 and when you can open and close cards and get bonuses again, all this comes into play. You’ve got to do things in the right order if you want it to be simple.

It can be complicated and confusing if you do it chaotically or without a strategy, but the key to making it simple is having the right strategy in place and then just putting that on rinse and repeat. If you want to know for sure if this card is right for you and when it’s right for you, come join us inside of Families Fly Free.

This is a really good time to join because we can set you up for this year’s travels and beyond so that you can make amazing memories with your family by investing in your family’s travels if that is important to you. You will never regret doing that. You will never regret being able to take five times the number of trips with your kids or your grandkids before they are out of the house.

And it all comes down to making an investment, getting a simple strategy in place and then just executing.

I do love card_name. We have it in our wallet. It has so many great perks. I can’t wait to use the miles that I’ve been saving up for a comfort class trip to Europe. And I hope that at some point you find a place for this card in your wallet, too.

Want to learn the EASY way to fly for free by collecting and redeeming travel rewards? Join us in Families Fly Free, the premier online travel club where you can learn our SIMPLE, step-by-step system and save thousands of dollars in the process, while enjoying 1-on-1 support, a vibrant community and timely travel webinars and alerts. It's helped hundreds of families and thousands of people be able to travel MORE while spending less -- all while making priceless memories with their families.

 

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