Credit cards with the coolest perks: Wine tastings, museum admission, free hotels

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Your first credit card probably lured you in with a free beach towel and a promise of 1% cash back. Is that still the card you’re carrying in your pocket? If so, you’re missing out on one of the best parts of the modern economy: credit card perks.

Credit card perks and rewards can be worth literally thousands of dollars every year, and you don’t have to be a big spender to enjoy these big rewards. In some cases, simply being a cardholder is enough to give you valuable perks and discounts. 

Whether you’re looking to fund your retirement, pay off your debt, travel in style, or take advantage of freebies and discounts, we’ve got the credit card with the coolest perks and rewards for you.

Image: chase

The Good

2 points on all travel and dining • 1 point on all other spending • 25% redemption bonus through Chase Ultimate Rewards • Primary Auto Collison Damage Waiver • Baggage Delay Insurance ($100 per day after just 6 hours) • Trip interruption and cancellation insurance • 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months

The Bad

$95 annual fee • Interest rates as high as 25.24%

The Bottom Line

With a sign up bonus worth $750, and the best rental coverage on the market, Chase Sapphire preferred is the perfect card for booking a rental vehicle. Just be sure to pay off the credit card in full each month.

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred®

With a sign up bonus worth $750, and the best rental coverage on the market, this is the perfect card for booking a rental vehicle.

  • Pricing: Annual fee $95, 18.24%-25.24% interest rate, balance transfer fee is either $5 or 5% (whichever is greater), no foreign transaction fees

When renting a car, it’s not uncommon to pay $20 or more every single day for the privilege of insuring the car. But with certain credit cards, you no longer have to pay for that ridiculous expense. The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card offers Primary Auto Collision Damage Waivers on all rental vehicles in the United States. That means if the rental car gets damaged, Chase will pay for the damages. Of course, you need to file an insurance claim through the Eclaims Line within 60 days of the incident, or Chase won’t pay for the damages. Nonetheless, this perk can save you some significant coin.
Is this perk too good to be true? Not according to the Luxe Strategist. During a vacation, her rental car was somehow dented. The repair costs (according to the rental company) exceeded $6000. The Luxe Strategist explained, “I doubted that a small dent could cost over $6,000. But that was besides the point. What was more pressing was that the charges landed smack dab on my credit card statement and would accrue 20% interest if I didn’t pay the bills in full.”
While she made some mistakes in failing to file the claim (thankfully, the rental company filed the claim within the 60 day window), Chase ultimately refunded the full $6,000 repair bill.
With a sign up bonus worth $750, and the best rental coverage on the market, Chase Sapphire Preferred is the perfect card for booking a rental vehicle. Just be sure to pay off the credit card in full each month. Interest rates are as high as  25% and with interest rates that high, the money you’re saving on insurance costs are not going to be worth it if you’re not paying your bill.

Image: wells fargo

The Good

Cell phone coverage up to $600 • $200 cash bonus when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months • 1.5% cash back on everything • No annual fee • Secondary auto collision damage waivers

The Bad

Interest rates up 28.24% after 12 months • No baggage delay or trip cancellation insurance

The Bottom Line

The Cash Wise card makes paying for phone insurance completely unnecessary (unless you’re carrying around a $1000 phone). For people who can’t seem to keep their phone in one piece, the card could be a wallet-saver.

2. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

The Cash Wise card makes paying for phone insurance completely unnecessary.

  • Pricing: No annual fee, 0% APR for 12 months, 16.24%-28.24% APR after 12 months, 3% Foreign Currency Conversion Fees

Are you the friend who has dropped your cell phone in the toilet? Does your phone seem to attract especially strong patches of gravity?
If so, you’re probably shelling out at least a few bucks per month to pay for cell phone insurance. However, paying your cell phone bill with the right credit card can help you avoid this annoying little bill. The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card gives you 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, and it comes with cell phone coverage.
That means if your phone is damaged or stolen, Wells Fargo will cover up to $600 to repair or replace the phone. You’re just on the hook for a $25 deductible. For people who can’t seem to keep their phone in one piece, the card could be a wallet-saver.

Image: fidelity

The Good

2% cash back on every purchase • Cash back rewards can be deposited to retirement accounts • No annual fees • BOGO wine tastings at select Sonoma Wineries • Lost luggage reimbursement • Secondary auto rental collision damage waivers

The Bad

16.24% APR when you don’t pay off your credit card in full • Must contribute rewards to a Fidelity account

The Bottom Line

Using the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card to boost your retirement savings may be the fuel to help you gain more control of your finances. Just be sure to pay off this credit card in full each month.

3. Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Use the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card to boost your retirement savings.

  • Pricing: No annual fee. 16.24% APR. 1% foreign transaction fee.

Your future self is calling and wants to know what the hell you’re doing with your money. Yes, rent is expensive. And, of course, #YOLO. But if you want to eat something other than cat food during retirement, it’s time to start saving now. As all the bad grannies are saying: Save now, party later.
How can you ensure that your senior self is rolling in the Werther’s Originals? Start by putting your regular spending on the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card. This card offers 2% back on every purchase, and you can put that money straight into your retirement account. The 2% back isn’t going to make you rich (not even with that sweet, sweet compounding growth), but it’s a start.
Taking care of your future self might not seem like the best credit card perk, but at age 70, you’ll thank yourself for all the TLC.

Image: citi

The Good

0% interest on balance transfers for 21 months • 0% APR on purchases for 12 months • Pick your payment date • No annual fee

The Bad

No rewards • Interest rates as high as 26.24% after promo period

The Bottom Line

Chasing deals, travel hacking, and enjoying credit card perks can be a ton of fun. But if you need to become debt free more than you need travel rewards, try the Citi Simplicity® Card.

4. Citi Simplicity® Card

Chasing perks can be fun, but if you need to become debt free more than you need travel rewards, try the Citi Simplicity® Card.

  • Pricing: No annual fee. 0% for 21 months on balance transfers. 16.24%-26.24% APR after 21 months. 0% for 12 months on purchases. 16.24%-26.24% APR after 12 months on purchases. 5% balance transfer fee.

Whether you took on credit card debt to pay for one too many nights at the bar or to pay for necessary medical expenses, getting rid of the debt brings a reward better than most credit card perks — peace of mind.
However, the high interest rates on credit cards can make paying off the debt tough. That’s where the Citi Simplicity® Card comes in. This credit card gives cardholders 0% APR for 21 months on all balance transfers completed in the first four months. Anything after will not be part of the intro offer. That means you can transfer debt from your high interest credit cards to low interest cards, and pay just the 5% balance transfer fee for 21 months. In a lot of cases, 21 months is enough time to pay off all that nasty debt.
Plus, cardholders get to pick the date of their credit card payment. That makes it easier to coordinate your date of payment with the date you get paid. By paying off your debt during the 0% intro time frame, you’re likely to boost your credit score, give yourself peace of mind, and set yourself up to take advantage of other credit card rewards without going into debt.

Image: bank of america

The Good

$150 cash bonus after spending $500 in 90 days • 3% cash back in a category of your choice • 2% back on groceries and wholesale clubs. • 1% back on everything else • No annual fee • Free museum admissions the first weekend of the month • Secondary auto rental collision damage waiver

The Bad

Interest rates as high as 26.24% after 12 billing cycles • Limited travel insurance • Can find better rewards rates

The Bottom Line

Use the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card to visit museums in your state and around the nation and choose the category in which you’d like to earn 3% cashback.

5. Bank of America® Cash Rewards

Get the flexibility to tailor your rewards specifically to your spending habits — plus get into museums for free.

  • Pricing: $0 Annual Fee. 0% APR for 12 billing cycles. 16.24%-26.24% APR after 12 billing cycles. 3% balance transfer fee. 3% foreign transaction fee.

Having an appreciation for the finer things in life, doesn’t mean having an empty wallet. Use the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card to visit museums in your state and around the nation. It’s an easy way to brag about your sophistication without spending a dime.
During the first weekend of every month, Bank of America® credit card holders can get free admission at select museums. Some of the awesome museum partners include the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and many more.
So what card should you choose for getting cultured? The Bank of America® Cash Rewards is an ideal option. As a cardholder you get to choose your 3% cash back category (gas, online shopping, etc.). Plus you’ll earn 2% back on grocery and wholesale club shopping and 1% back on all other purchases. 
The self-chosen 3% category perk is perfect for the cultured set who not only visit museums but also buy subtitled films and read leatherbound books. It’ll give you the flexibility to tailor your rewards specifically to your spending.

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