travel apps

When it comes to travel, I’m sure you already have a few travel apps downloaded onto your cell phone.  The real question is whether any of the apps you have, actually benefit you.  I’ve put together a list of the travel apps that I find to be the most useful while I’m traveling or planning to travel.  Some of them will save you time, some will save you money, and some will do both.  Do you already have any of the following travel apps?  If not, I suggest you give them a shot.

LoungeBuddy (use code JnSjMo28aP for $10 credit)

If you have a Priority Pass giving you access to airport lounges, this is a necessity. It shows you what lounges are in each airport, reviews them, and tells you how to find the lounge. Once I get passed security or land for a layover, this is the first thing I check on my phone. Free food, free drinks, a relaxing place to wait, and TV? Yes please!  If you don’t have Priority Pass yet, there are a few credit cards that offer membership as a perk.

Skyscanner

This is an app that allows you to do in depth searches for paid flights, hotels and car rentals to find the best deal. You can also save flights, specific searches, and even get price alerts. It’s a must have for booking a vacation when you’re unable to use miles and points.  It’s similar to Google Flights, but seems more in depth and has a phone app which makes it more convenient.

top travel appsLyft / Uber

If you’re traveling around a large city, getting a Lyft or Uber car is very convenient.  Depending on your travel location, taking rides when needed might be much more efficient than renting a car.  Also, if you’re planning on drinking, you can let them be your DD. Lately, I’ve found Lyft rides to be slightly cheaper, but I always check both each time to get the cheaper of the two.

Service

This app is awesome, especially if you travel often. It will automatically find your flight and hotel bookings in your email and if your flight gets delayed or canceled it will automatically send the airline a message trying to get you compensation. It will also find upcoming bookings and make sure you got the best price for your flight or hotel and re-book them if not.  The best part is you don’t have to pay anything until you actually get compensation.

Rocketmiles

If you want to earn airline miles for paid hotel stays, this is for you. Every stay at a hotel that you book through their app earns you miles on your airline of choice. Sometimes they even have promos where you can earn 5000 or more bonus miles for just a one night stay.  I earned 11,000 Alaska Airlines miles for two one night stays, which was enough miles to book a short round-trip flight!

best travel appsGoogle Translate

This is pretty self explanatory. If you don’t speak the native language of where you’re traveling all you have to do is tell the app whatever you want to say. It translates your words to the native language and then you can push play for the person you’re trying to communicate with. It supports over 100 languages.

Travel Apps Save Time & Money

Have you already tried any of these?  How do you like them?  If you haven’t tried these out, I’d suggest testing them for yourself when you travel next.  If you use any other travel apps that you can’t live without, leave a comment and share with the rest of us!

chase sapphire reserve lounge

Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access is obtained through the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a premium credit card that comes with an array of travel benefits to allow you to travel in luxury. The card comes with features like 50,000 points as an introductory bonus, a $300 annual travel credit, free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and of course access to the Chase Sapphire Reserve lounges.

 

These lounges are also known as Priority Pass Select. Access can be earned by having one of a few different credit cards. While there are a handful of cards that offer Priority Pass Select membership, two of them stand out above the others. The Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Platinum Card from American Express (Learn More). From our reviews, the Chase Sapphire Reserve takes the top spot as the best of the bunch. It offers the most plentiful travel benefits, comes with a great introductory offer, and is good for earning points through purchases.

 

You Can Purchase Priority Pass Access

It’s also possible to buy a Priority Pass membership, but purchased memberships are not nearly as good. Membership through a credit card gives you an exclusive Priority Pass Select, which grants unlimited visits and two free guests included with every visit. If you purchase a Priority Pass membership directly, you are limited on visits and will have to pay $27 per guest.

 

Here are the regular prices for Priority Pass Lounge access:

  • Standard – $99: Includes membership, but each visit costs $27 for the member and $27 per guest.
  • Standard Plus – $249: Includes 10 free member visits ($27 per visit thereafter). $27 per guest.
  • Prestige – $399: Unlimited member visits. $27 per guest.
  • Select – (exclusive credit card benefit): Unlimited member visits. 2 free guests on every visit.

Priority Pass Membership Travel Smarter and without stress, regardless of your airline or ticket class. Become a member today of the world's largest airport lounge access program. Priority Pass Membership

 

How to Easily Gain Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge Access for Free

The easiest and best way to get Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access (aka Priority Pass lounges) is by applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. As mentioned before, it comes with a ton of valuable travel benefits as well as the lounge access. The annual fee is high on this luxury credit card, but for good reason. It comes with enough luxurious benefits to far outweigh the fee.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge Access: How to Get It Instantly 1
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.
Also Earn a total of 10X points on Lyft rides.
BENEFITS
$300 annual travel credit.
Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.
1 year of Lyft Pink.
FEES
$550
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Instantly earn Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge Value

As you can see above, membership to Priority Pass lounges (if purchased directly) will cost $399. With Priority Pass Select through the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you will have an even better membership, which could easily be valued at $500. Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access alone is worth more than the annual fee of the credit card. On top of lounge access, you’ll receive even more travel value from the rest of the benefits. Together, the benefits are valued well over $2000! Obviously, you will only get as much value out of the lounge access as you can use it. This credit card is for people who travel often.

 

Other Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits

  • Large Introductory Offer

These Chase Ultimate Rewards can go a long way when used for travel. If used in the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders get 50% more value out of their points. This means that points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents per point, raising the value of your intro offer. If you want to get even more value out of your points, you can transfer them to one of the many travel transfer partners (hotels or airlines). By transferring points and redeeming them for flights or hotels, you can often get a redemption value of more than 2 cents per point. Going this route can make the introductory offer points worth over $1000.

 

  • $300 Travel Statement Credit

Obviously, this statement credit is worth a total of $300. It is incredibly easy to use and basically works on anything you can imagine that has to do with travel. I even paid off a parking ticket with my Chase Sapphire Reserve and it went toward the travel credit. I don’t advise getting parking tickets to try it out… It has also been reported that some airline and hotel gift cards can be credited as well. Some purchases that should be reimbursed through the travel statement credit are airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.

 

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Membership

When you purchase a membership to either service you will be credited up to $100. This is enough to cover the complete five-year membership. This is one of the best and most affordable perks in the airline industry. Global Entry and TSA PreCheck allow you to go through airport security quickly, without having the empty your bags or take off your shoes. It helps make travel much more relaxing. The longest I’ve ever waited in line to go through security with TSA PreCheck is about five minutes. This Chase Sapphire Reserve benefit is valued at up to $100 (TSA PreCheck is only $85).

 

These three benefits along with the Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access can make up for what you pay in an annual fee and then some. Together, the benefits of the card can be worth more than $2000, which is an extraordinary offer.

chase sapphire reserve card lounge

 

How to Enroll Your Priority Pass Membership

Never spend your layover uncomfortable in the terminal again. After you’ve been approved for your Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card you’ll have to enroll online before gaining access to any Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge. You’ll only have to enroll once. Your Priority Pass Select membership will renew each year and they will automatically send you a new Priority Pass card as long as you keep your Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you cancel your credit card, your Priority Pass access will immediately end. To enroll for free, follow these simple steps:

  • Go to Chase Ultimate Rewards and log in
  • Click “Earn Points”
  • Then click “Card Benefits”
  • Under the “Airport Lounge Access” tab, click “Activate Now”
  • Wait for your Priority Pass Select card to arrive in the mail. It usually takes about a week.

 

What to Expect in a Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge (Priority Pass)

You can expect luxury when you enter a Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge. Even the less luxurious lounges offer free drinks, a comfortable place to sit down away from the hustle and bustle of airport terminals, and usually some snacks at a minimum. Below are the amenities offered at a typical Priority Pass lounge.

 

Most Chase Sapphire Reserve lounges have the following general amenities:

  • Digital Membership Card Option
  • Free Wifi
  • Drinks & Snacks
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • TV’s
  • Internet Data Ports
  • Newspapers & Magazines
  • Disabled Access

Some lounges even provide:

  • Showers
  • Conference Rooms (subject to a fee)

 

At Priority Pass restaurants, instead of getting lounge access, you’ll receive a credit of $28 for yourself and one guest off your final bill. That means if you and a guest go to a Priority Pass lounge together, your Priority Pass Select will allow you to receive $56 off. At most of the Priority Pass restaurants, that’s enough to cover the complete bill.

chase sapphire reserve lounge access

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge Locations

With over 1200 loungest worldwide and nearly 80 Priority Pass locations in the United States, it’s likely that you’ll find a lounge in the majority of airports you’ll visit. In recent years, they’ve also added some great restaurants to the list. When visiting a restaurant with your Priority Pass Select, you’ll receive $28 of food/drink in place of lounge “access”. At some of the locations, you really have to splurge to use the full allotted amount. In addition to my meal, I usually have enough left over credit to grab a drink and a snack for my flight when I visit a Priority Pass restaurant.

 

Anchorage, AK (ANC)

Alaska Lounge

Location: Concourse C (near Gate C1)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 1:00am

 


Atlanta, GA (ATL)

Minute Suites

Location: Concourse B, Airside (near Gate B16)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)
*Cardholders receive complimentary access to a suite for 1 hr; discounted rates ($28/hr) for each subsequent hour

Minute Suites

Location: Concourse T, Airside (near Gate T8)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)
*Cardholders receive complimentary access to a suite for 1 hr; discounted rates ($28/hr) for each subsequent hour

The Club at ATL

Location: International Terminal, Concourse F, Airside, Mezzanine Level (next to the Chapel)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 10:30pm

 


Baltimore, MD (BWI)

The Club BWI

Location: Concourse D, Airside Upper Level (near Dunkin Donuts at Gate D10)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:15am – 10:30pm (3hr stay max)

 


Boston, MA – Logan International (BOS)

Stephanie’s (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal B, Airside After Security, Departures Level (opposite Gate B24)
*Domestic Flights Only
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:30am – 30min prior to last scheduled flight

The Lounge

Location: Terminal C, Airside First Floor, Concourse Level (across from Gate C19)
*Not accessible from Gates 40-42
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 11:00pm (subject to space constraints, in particular 4:00pm – 8:00pm)

Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar And Grill (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal C, Landside Before Security, Departures Level (opposite Alaska Airlines’ check-in counter)
Hours: Mon-Sun,  2:00pm – 8:00pm (cardholders will not be admitted outside of these hours; also subject to space constraints)

Air France Lounge

Location: Terminal E, Airside (turn right after security toward Gate 4; elevator or stairs to lounge)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:30am – 11:30pm (3hr stay max)

The Club

Location: Terminal E, after Security (take the elevator down 1 level)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:30am – 1:00am

 


Charlotte, NC (CLT)

Minute Suites

Location: Airside, Main Atrium (next to the Food Court)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)
*Cardholders receive complimentary access to a suite for 1 hr; discounted rates ($28/hr) for each subsequent hour.

 


Chicago, IL (ORD)

Air France/KLM Lounge

Location: International Terminal 5, Airside (between Gates M8 & M7 on the left)
*T5 passengers only; smart-casual dress at all times (no shorts, vests, baseball caps, or football shirts)
Hours: Tue-Fri & Sun: 8:15am – 12am, Mon & Sat: 8:15am – 9:30pm (3hr stay max)
(subject to space constraints, in particular 10:30am – 3:00pm & 5:00pm – 7:30pm)

Swissport Lounge

Location: International Terminal 5, Airside (between Gates M8 & M7 on the right)
*T5 passengers only
Hours: Mon-Sun, 12:00pm – 9:30pm

 


Cincinnati, OH (CVG)

The Club at CVG

Location: Concourse A (between Gates A8 & A10)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 8:00pm

 


Cleveland, OH (CLE)

Bar Symon (Bar/Restaurant)

Location: Concourse C, Airside (between Gates C4 & C6)
Hours: Sun-Fri: 4:00am – 8:00pm, Saturday: 4:00am – 7:30pm

 


Colorado Springs, CO (COS)

Mortgage Solutions Financial Premier Lounge

Location: Airside (adjacent to Gate 6)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:30am – last scheduled flight departure

 


Dallas, TX (DFW)

Minute Suites

Location: Terminal A (near Gate A38)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)
*Cardholders receive complimentary access to a suite for 1 hr; discounted rates ($28/hr) for each subsequent hour

Minute Suites

Location: Terminal D, Airside (near gate D23)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)
*Cardholders receive complimentary access to a suite for 1 hr; discounted rates ($28/hr) for each subsequent hour

The Club at DFW

Location: Terminal D, Airside (adjacent to Gate D22, through “Airline Clubs” double doors, take elevator to 5th floor)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:00am – 10:30pm (subject to space constraints, in particular after 1:00pm)

 


Denver, CO (DEN)

Timberline Steaks & Grille (Restaurant)

Location: Concourse C, Airside, Center Core on the Left
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 9:00pm

 


Detroit, MI – Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)

Lufthansa Business Lounge

Location: North Terminal, Airside (next to Gate D8)
Hours: Mon-Sat: 5:00am – 6:30pm*, Sunday:   11:00am – 6:30pm*

 


Greenville-Spartanburg (GSC)

RJ Rockers Flight Room (Restaurant)

Location: Airside, After Security (near Gate B3)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 3:30am – last scheduled flight departure

 


Honolulu, HI (HNL)

The Plumeria Lounge

Location: Inter-Island Terminal, Airside, 3rd Floor (near Wiki Wiki shuttle pick up)
*Not accessible for Arrivals
Hours: Mon, Weds, Fri, Sat: 9:00am – 6:00pm; Tues, Thurs, Sun: 9:00am – 9:30pm
(subject to space constraints)

IASS Hawaii Lounge

Location: Overseas Terminal, Airside, Proceed to Garden Court (towards Gates 14-23, elevator to ground level & follow signs)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 7:30am – 1:30pm & 2:00pm – 6:00pm

 


Houston, TX (IAH)

Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal A, Airside (near Gate A17)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 10:00pm (subject to space constraints)

Landry’s Seafood (PP Restaurant)

Location: Terminal C, Airside (near Gate C42)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 10:00pm (subject to space constraints)

Air France Lounge

Location: Terminal D, Airside (opposite Gate D12)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 12:00pm – 5:00pm (3hr stay max; subject to space constraints)

KLM Crown Lounge

Location: Terminal D, Airside (near Gate D8)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 9:00pm (subject to space constraints; 3hr stay max)

 


Indianapolis, IN (IND)

The Fan Zone (Bar/Restaurant)

Location: Airside, After Security (Near Gate B17)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 8:00am – last scheduled flight departure

 


Las Vegas, NV (LAS)

The Club at LAS

Location: Terminal 1, Concourse D, Airside, 2nd Level (above Red Line train station, left behind Sugar Factory & Jamba Juice)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 12:30am

The Club at LAS

Location: Terminal 3, Airside (across from Gate E2)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 12:00am

 


Lexington, KY (LEX)

Kentucky Ale Taproom (Bar/Restaurant)

Location: Airside, After Security, Near Concourse D Entrance
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – last scheduled flight departure

 


Los Angeles, CA (LAX)

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

Location: Terminal 2, Airside, Level 4 (above departure gates)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:30am – 10:45am (no cardholders admitted into the lounge outside of these hours; 3hr stay max)

Alaska Lounge

Location: Terminal 6, Airside, Mezzanine Level (near Gate 64)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 11:00pm

KAL Lounge

Location: Tom Bradley Intl Terminal, Airside (follow signs to All Gates, turn left before Duty-Free, elevator to 5th floor)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 12:00pm – 8:00pm (hours may vary according to KAL international flight schedules; subject to space constraints)

P.F.Chang’s (Restaurant)

Location: Tom Bradley Intl Terminal, Airside (Mezzanine Level)
*International flights only.
Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:00am – 11:00pm

 


McAllen, TX (MFE)

Salon Aeromar

Location: Landside – behind the Aeromar Check-in counters
Hours: Sun, Mon, Wed-Fri: 9:00am – 5:00pm, Tue closed (3hr stay max)

 


Miami, FL (MIA)

Air Margaritaville

Location: Central Terminal, Concourse E, Landside (departures level by door 11)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 11:00pm (subject to space constraints)

Viena (Restaurant)

Location: Central Terminal, Concourse E, Landside (Level 2, Miami Intl Airport Hotel elevator to 7th floor, follow signs)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:00am – 12:00am (subject to space constraints)

Club America F

Location: Central Terminal, Concourse F, Airside (follow signs to lounge, 3rd floor)
*Customers on international flights only
Hours: Mon-Sun, 7:30am – 9:00pm (hours may vary according to flight schedules)

Corona Beach House (Restaurant)

Location: North Terminal, Concourse D, Airside (Between Gates D23 & D24)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:30am – 10:00pm

Avianca VIP Lounge

Location: South Terminal, Concourse J, Airside (Gate J4, escalator to 3rd floor, turn left & left, end of the hall)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)

VIP Lounge Miami

Location: South Terminal, Concourse J, Airside (near gate J5)
*Dress code applicable (no shorts or sandals)
Hours: Mon & Tues: 12:00pm – 3:00pm; Weds – Sun: 4:00am – 3:00pm

 


Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP)

PGA MSP Lounge

Location: Terminal 1, Airside, North End of Airport Mall (stairs btwn Ike’s & French Meadow to Mezzanine Level; can also take elevator inside Ike’s)
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7:00am – 8:00pm, Sat & Sun: 8:00am – 7:00pm (3hr stay max)

 


New York/Newark, NJ (EWR)

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge

Location: Terminal A, Airside (after security checks, near Air Canada departure gates)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 3:00pm

Art & Lounge

Location: Terminal B, Landside, Gate Level before Security (between Gates B2 & B3 or Gates 50 & 60)
Hours: Sun-Fri, 9:00am – 11:30pm (may be subject to space constraints btwn 3:00pm – 7:00pm; 3hr stay max)

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

Location: Terminal B, Airside, After Security (Gates B51 – B57, Elevator on Right to Airline Lounges)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 2:00pm – 6:00pm (cardholders will not be admitted outside of these hours; max stay 3 hrs, also subject to space constraints)

 


New York, NY (JFK)

Air France Lounge

Location: Terminal 1, airside (near Air France boarding area by Gate 1)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 1:30pm & 11:00pm – 1:30am (3hr stay max)

KAL Business Class Lounge

Location: Terminal 1, Airside after security (right-hand side across from Gate 3)
*Passengers with Terminal 1 boarding pass only
Hours: Mon-Sun, 2:00pm – 8:30pm (subject to space constraints)

Wingtips Lounge

Location: Terminal 4, Airside, turn right after security (lounge on the left ~100 meters down)
*Dress code applicable (shoes & shirts required; no baseball caps)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24 hrs (may be restricted btwn 5:00pm – 1:00am due to space constraints; 4hr stay max )

Alaska Lounge

Location: Terminal 7, Airside after security (mezzanine level)
Hours: Sun-Fri: 5:00am – 10:00pm; Sat 5:00am – 5:00pm
(3hrs prior to scheduled departure, subject to space constraints)

Bobby Van’s Steakhouse (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal 8, Airside after security (opposite Gate 14)
Mon-Sun: 6:00am – 10:00pm

 


Orlando, FL (MCO)

The Club MCO

Location: Airside, from Gates 1-29 (adjacent to XpresSpa)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 11:00pm

The Club MCO

Location: Airside, from Gates 70-99 (next to InMotion store, near Gate 91)
Hours: Mon 6:00am – 10:30pm, Tue-Sun 6:00am – 9:00pm

 


Orlando, FL (SFB)

The Royal Palm Lounge

Location: Terminal A, Airside, Intl Departure Lounge (adjacent to Budweiser Tap Room)
Hours: Lounge opens 3 hrs prior to first scheduled flight departure; closes after last scheduled departure or 11:00pm, whichever comes first.

 


Philadelphia, PA (PHL)

Minute Suites

Location: Terminal B, Airside, between Concourses A & B (in AB connector)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 24hrs (subject to space constraints)
*Cardholders receive complimentary access to a suite for 1 hr; discounted rates ($28/hr) for each subsequent hour

 


Phoenix, AZ (PHX)

The Club at PHX

Location: Terminal 4, Airside, end of N4 Concourse (Gates B15-B28)
*Only passengers on international & domestic flights arriving/departing from T4
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 11:30pm (3hr stay max)

 


Pittsburgh, PA (PIT)

The Club

Location: Concourse C, Airside (across from Gate C52)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:00am – 9:00pm

 


Portland, OR (PDX)

Alaska Lounge

Location: Concourse C, Airside (across from Gate C5)
Hours: Sun-Fri: 4:30am – 10:30pm, Sat: 4:30 – 9:00pm (subject to space constraints)

Capers Cafe Le Bar (Bar/Restaurant)

Location: Concourse C, Airside (immediately after security on L)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:00am – 10:30pm

House Spirits Distillery (Bar/Restaurant)

Location: Concourse C, Airside (near Gate 6)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 10:00pm

 


San Francisco, CA (SFO)

Air France/KLM Lounge

Location: International Terminal, Concourse A, Airside (first left after TSA)
*Only passengers on flights departing Concourse A
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:45am – 12:15am (3hr stay max)

San Francisco Giants Clubhouse (Restaurant)

Location: Airside, Concourse F (near Gate 82)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 11:00pm (subject to space constraints)

Yankee Pier (Restaurant)

Location: Airside, Concourse F (near Gate 72)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 11:00pm (subject to space constraints)

 


San Jose, CA (SJC)

The Club at SJC

Location: Terminal A, Airside, 3rd Level (across from Gate 15)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 10:00pm

 


Seattle, WA (SEA)

The Club at SEA

Location: Concourse A, Airside (across from Gate A11)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 7:00am – 12:00am

The Club at SEA

Location: South Satellite, Airside (next to Gate S9)
Hours: Mon: 5:30am – 6:00pm, Tue-Sun: 6:00am – 5:30pm
(access may be restricted between 10:00am – 2:00pm; subject to space constraints)

 


St. Louis, MO (STL)

The Pasta House (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal 1, Lower Level, Pre-Security (close to Baggage Claim)
Hours: Sun-Fri: 10:00am – 8:00pm, Saturday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

The Pasta House & Schlafly Beer (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal 2, Airside, Upper Level (right side, opposite Gate E6)
Hours: Sun-Fri: 6:00am – 10:00pm, Saturday: 6:00am – 6:00pm

 


Syracuse, NY (SYR)

Johnny Rockets (Restaurant)

Location: Airside Connector, after Security (turn left, towards North Concourse B)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 10:30am – 7:00pm (subject to space constraints)

 


Tampa, FL (TPA)

The Café by Mise en Place (Restaurant)

Location: Airside F (directly in front of security checkpoint by gate F85)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 4:30am – last flight departure daily

 


Tucson, AZ (TUS)

Noble Hops (Restaurant)

Location: Landside, 2nd Floor (opposite the “Arroyo Trading Post”)
*Domestic Flights Only
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 8:00pm (subject to space constraints)

 


Washington, DC (IAD)

Air France/KLM Lounge

Location: Concourse A, Airside (opposite Gate A22)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 7:00am – 3:00pm & 7:00pm – 8:30pm (subject to space constraints; 3hr stay max)

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

Location: Between Concourses A & B, Airside (in front of Gate A32)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 1:30pm (no cardholders admitted outside of these hours; 3hr stay max)

British Airways Galleries Lounge

Location: Concourse B, Airside, Concourse Level
Hours: Mon-Sun, 7:00am – 2:00pm

Turkish Airlines Lounge Washington

Location: Concourse B, Airside (near Gate B43)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 11:00pm (4hr stay max)

Chef Geoff’s (Restaurant)

Location: Concourse C, Airside (near gate C14)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6:00am – 10:00pm
(subject to space constraints)

 


Washington, DC (DCA)

Bracket Room (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal B, Airside (opposite Gate 12)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 9:00pm (subject to space constraints)

American Tap Room (Restaurant)

Location: Terminal C, Airside (near Gates 35-45)
Hours: Mon-Sun, 5:00am – 10:00pm (subject to space constraints)

 

An easy way to find a Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge while traveling through airports is to download the LoungeBuddy app (enter code JnSjMo28aP “Credit” to get a $10 credit to purchase lounge access) to your phone. It’s easy to use. When you arrive at your airport, just open the app and it will tell you what lounges are available and whether you have access through Priority Pass Select. If there is no Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge at that airport, you may be able to purchase access using the app (and that $10 credit).

chase sapphire reserve lounges

 

Other Credit Cards Offering the Same Lounge Access

The Chase Sapphire Reserve isn’t the only credit card that offers chase sapphire reserve lounge access through Priority Pass Select. The most popular other credit cards that offer this type of lounge access are the Platinum Cards from American Express and the Citi Prestige card. The Amex Platinum cards also come with Global Lounge access, which adds even more airport lounge opportunity. Note that the other benefits of these cards don’t quite match those of the Chase Sapphire Reserve. They’re very close though.

 

Amex Platinum Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge Access: How to Get It Instantly 2
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
BENEFITS
Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month (bonus $20 in December).
Enjoy access to the exclusive Global Airport Lounge Collection.
$200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 every calendar year with one qualifying airline. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.
Fine Hotels & Resorts Access.
Hilton & Marriott Gold Status.
Discounts on First/Business/Premium Economy tickets.
FEES
$550 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
Terms Apply
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
With a large introductory offer, statement credits, and airport lounge access, this is an excellent premium travel credit card.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Instantly earn Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access plus more. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Amex Business Platinum Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge Access: How to Get It Instantly 3
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points. 50,000 after you spend $10,000 in the first 3 months, and another 50,000 Membership Rewards after spending an additional $15,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Earn 50% more points on purchases over $5000. (up to 1 million bonus points.)
BENEFITS
$200 airline credit.
Global Lounge Collection access.
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
Get 35% back when booking a flight with Membership Rewards on a select airline.
Two $100 statement credits from Dell annually.
1 year of Platinum Global access to WeWork. (enrollment through 2019)
FEES
$595 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees
Terms Apply
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
If you have many high ticket purchases yearly, this card will earn you a good percentage back. The WeWork membership could be very valuable, if you need a place to work for a year.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

 

Instantly earn Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access plus more. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Our Concluding Takeaways: Chase Sapphire Reserve Lounge Access is Worth It

If you want to travel more luxuriously, having Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access is one of the best ways to do it. The easiest ways to gain access to Priority Pass lounges are by getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve or American Express Platinum credit cards. Both have excellent premium benefits, but the Sapphire Reserve is slightly better and has a lower annual fee. Once you start traveling luxuriously with things like lounge access and priority security, you’ll never want to travel without them.

hotwire review

Hotwire is one of the premier travel booking sites on the Internet for a good reason. So many people use this site in order to book their travel. It is useful for booking flights, hotels, and rental cars. It is capable of doing so much that there are many users who simply use the travel booking site for all of their travel needs. When it comes to travel booking, it is one of the best ways to save yourself money when going on a trip. Read on to see our full Hotwire review.

 

Today we are going to be taking an in-depth look at Hotwire and everything that it has to offer. You know that this is a popular website that has a good reputation. Even so, it’s always a good idea to gather some information for yourself so that you can make an informed decision as a consumer. Is Hotwire really worth your time or is it simply one of many similar travel sites on the Internet?

 

Read on to discover all of the important details during our Hotwire review. We’ll be digging into all of the details so that you can see if Hotwire is right for you. Once you’ve examined this site from every different angle, it’ll be much easier to make a final decision. You just might be able to save some money on your travel purchases so keep reading and we’ll come to a conclusion together.

Hotwire - Book Travel Now Book cheaper travel today. Get 4 star travel at 2 star prices. Hotwire - Book Travel Now

 

An Overview of Hotwire

Hotwire is a website that is all about helping people find the cheapest prices on travel. It is used to help people book flights, hotels, and car rentals. In many situations, Hotwire is able to help people find the lowest prices on travel. It has a reputation for being among the best travel booking sites when it comes to helping users get a good deal.

 

This is a pure travel booking site that doesn’t really have an associated rewards program. If you’re looking to accumulate rewards points that can be used toward paying for travel expenses, then you should know that you won’t find that here. This is simply an online tool for finding the best deals on travel and then booking them. If that’s what you’re looking for, then Hotwire is going to prove to be among the best options around.

 

Pros of Using Hotwire.com

Hotwire manages to give users a really fantastic overall experience. If you want to book your travel in the most convenient way possible, then Hotwire is really going to appeal to you. It offers an easy-to-use interface that gives you as much information as possible. Also, it really does help you to find the best deals on airfare, rental cars, and hotels.

 

One of the best reasons to consider using this travel booking site is due to its opaque fares. You’ll be able to book things such as rental cars with opaque rates. This means that you’ll be unaware of certain particulars about the car rental company before booking your car. For some people, this is going to be a bad thing but it does allow you to save a significant amount of money.

 

If you truly want to save the most money possible, then Hotwire is going to rank among the best travel booking sites on the Internet. Those who are looking to find cheap deals on flights, hotels, and car rentals will be able to make great use of opaque rates and fares. Doing so will let you take advantage of the lowest possible prices. Depending on what you want out of your travel experience, this might be the best option.

 

It’s also worth noting that this is a good travel booking site due to being able to serve multiple travel needs. Since you will be able to find flights, hotels, and rental cars all in one place, it’s going to make things easier for you. If you want to have a good experience with booking your travel, then the streamlined nature of Hotwire might be a good fit for you. It’s proven to be a popular option for many people and you may wind up loving it too.

  • Offers ease of use
  • Makes it possible to enjoy the most affordable travel prices
  • Offers opaque rates
  • Books flights, hotels, and car rentals in the same place

 

Cons of Using Hotwire.com

Of course, not everything is going to be perfect when it comes to using Hotwire. One of the biggest issues that people have with this website is its overall lack of filter options. When you compare Hotwire to other websites, it’s likely that you’ll find it to be lacking when it comes to filters. This can make it tougher to narrow down your search.

 

If you’re not looking for the cheapest hotels, then you may not like Hotwire either. This is a site that is primarily meant to help people get the best deals. This is great but it does mean that you’ll be looking at the most affordable hotel options. If you’re looking for high-end vacation spots, then this is not going to be your go-to option.

 

Hotwire is going to be more practical for those who are looking for affordable hotels or hotels that fall somewhere between high-end and cheap. If you’re looking for absolutely top-notch hotels, then that is not what Hotwire specializes in. Of course, most people are using this site in order to save some money. This is likely a moot point but it is important to know what this booking site is meant for.

  • Doesn’t have robust filter options
  • Is not the best site for finding high-end hotels

 

Booking Flights with Hotwire

Hotwire actually works really well for those who are looking to Book flights. It allows you to search for flights in a specific area. You can choose to either search available flights at a specific airport or you can go for a more general search of the surrounding area. You’ll be able to see all of the options available to you in order to track down the best possible deal.

Hotwire Flights Get a cheaper flight. Find special deals on the flight you're looking for. Hotwire Flights

 

When you’re looking at flight information with Hotwire, you’re generally going to see more details when searching for domestic flights. Domestic flights will show you information such as how many stops the flight has as well as baggage information. International flights will have more stops than usual and you’ll have to select your flight itinerary to get more detailed information.

 

Another thing that Hotwire does is it gives your flight an overall score. This takes many factors into account to determine how desirable it is. For instance, the length of the flight, the type of plane you’ll be flying on, and all of the perks of the flight go into determining the overall score. You should also be able to see how many seats are available. Overall, this is a very thorough search that is going to work brilliantly for your needs.

 

Booking Hotels with Hotwire

Booking hotels with Hotwire is going to be a very intuitive experience overall. When you’re starting your search, you’re going to be asked many questions. You’ll have to list how many people are going to be staying in the hotel as well as whether you need more than one room. You’ll then be able to choose whether you want to bundle your hotel with other purchases such as airfare or a car rental.

Hotwire Hotels Get a hotel room for less. 4 star hotels at 2 star prices. Hotwire Hotels

 

The results that you’re going to see pop up first will be what Hotwire refers to as “Hot Rate Hotel Deals.” These are discounted hotels that you’ll be able to book for a very low price. This is also often referred to as an opaque rate. You won’t know all of the details when booking this type of hotel.

 

You’ll only see all of the details once you have moved forward with your purchase. After this, you’ll see where the hotel is located and all of the other pertinent details. This may seem to be a big risk but you’ll typically be getting very good rooms. You’ll see an approval rating of the hotel ahead of booking it so you can make a judgment call on whether or not it looks as if it would be a good fit.

 

Hotwire is good at searching for hotels with a regular rate too. You can still find good deals on hotels even when you aren’t comfortable with being left in the dark on where the hotel is located. In order to search for hotels at the regular rate, you simply need to click the hotels tab in the search results window. You’ll be able to sort your results by price or overall star rating too.

 

You’ll also enjoy making use of the interactive map feature that Hotwire uses. This can show you the most popular places to visit that are in the area where you want to stay. You can then get a look at where all the nearby hotels are located. This makes planning your trip simpler and is likely something that will appeal to you if you’re traveling for vacation purposes.

 

Booking Car Rentals with Hotwire

Booking car rentals with Hotwire is a really great experience if you’re looking to save money. You’re going to be able to book cars using the opaque rates that have been mentioned above. This means that you’ll be able to save a lot of money but you may not know all of the information about which car rental service you’ll be using. For the most part, this is going to be very positive due to most companies offering the same types of cars.

Hotwire Car Rental Rent a car for less. Get 4 star quality at a 2 star price. Hotwire Car Rental

 

You won’t know exactly which type of car you’re going to get but you’ll be guaranteed a compact car or something larger. Some people will consider this a risk but it should work out well for anyone who wants to keep costs low. This is one convenient option that will make your trip more manageable financially. Note that the opaque rates may not be available in places such as Europe.

 

Being able to bundle everything together can also help you to save some money. You can choose to book your airfare, hotels, and car rentals through Hotwire. This will allow you to save the most money that you can. It’s worth your consideration when you need all three.

 

Alternatives to Hotwire

One of the biggest alternatives to Hotwire is Priceline. This is actually going to give you a very similar experience to Hotwire so it’s worth looking into their site as well. Much the same as Hotwire, Priceline also allows you to book travel using opaque rates. This means that sometimes Priceline may wind up having a better deal than Hotwire.

 

Most of the time, Hotwire is going to come out ahead. Even so, it can be smart to search for travel using both Hotwire and Priceline. This will allow you to check to ensure that you’re truly getting the lowest possible price when booking travel. Keep Priceline in mind as they’re the closest competitor to Hotwire among the different travel booking sites.

 

Our Hotwire Review Final Thoughts

Through our Hotwire review, we’ve found that they are a very good travel booking site that is going to help you to save money. If you need to book a car rental, a hotel, or a flight, then this is a good place to start looking. It’s a good resource for finding deals and it’s pretty user-friendly overall. Just understand what the opaque rates mean for your travel situation before booking one of these great deals.

 

Remember that there are other travel booking sites out there that can offer you similar experiences. Some people may prefer Priceline for finding a good deal. Others may like the more straightforward nature of other travel booking sites. The decision is ultimately up to you but Hotwire is certainly a travel booking site that deserves its reputation as a great option for finding a good deal.

 

You can make use of Hotwire today to start booking your next vacation. This is likely going to appeal more to people who are booking travel for vacation purposes than it will to businessmen or businesswomen. If you can make use of the opaque rates and are flexible with your needs, then this site is great. Otherwise, you may want to book something at a standard rate so that the power of choice is placed in your hands.

where does southwest fly

A common question I’ve heard recently is “where does Southwest fly?” It’s a good question because, in recent years, their route map has been changing drastically. Just a few years ago, they only had flights within the continental US. Through their expansion, Southwest will soon have 103 destinations that they fly to. Their destinations will include flights within the continental US, internationally to Mexico, Central America, and the Carribean, as well as to all four major Hawaiian islands.

 

Southwest is quickly becoming much more than a regional airline. They’ve grown substantially in the last decade and continue doing so. Not only have they been growing, but they continue to bring great service and excellent travel features to their customers. They are the home of no fees and continue to go the opposite direction of other airlines. Let’s find out the answer to your question: Where does Southwest Airlines fly? Here’s our complete list:

 

Where Does Southwest Fly: Listed by Region

Where Does Southwest Fly in the Western United States (21)

  • where does southwest fly westSeattle
  • Spokane
  • Portland, Or
  • Sacramento
  • Oakland
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Burbank
  • Ontario
  • Los Angeles
  • Long Beach
  • Orange County
  • San Diego
  • Boise
  • Salt Lake City
  • Denver
  • Reno/Tahoe
  • Las Vegas
  • Phoenix
  • Tucson
  • Albuquerque

 

Midwest Destinations (17)

  • where does southwest fly midwestMinneapolis
  • Des Moines
  • Omaha
  • Kansas City
  • St Louis
  • Wichita
  • Milwaukie
  • Chicago
  • Grand Rapids
  • Detroit
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus
  • Cincinnati
  • Indianapolis
  • Louisville
  • Tulsa
  • Oklahoma City

 

Where Does Southwest Fly in the South (24)

  • where does southwest fly south El Paso
  • Amarillo
  • Lubbock
  • Midland
  • Dallas
  • Austin
  • San Antonio
  • Houston
  • Corpus Christi
  • South Padre Island
  • Little Rock
  • Memphis
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • Birmingham
  • Atlanta
  • Pensacola
  • Panama City
  • Jacksonville
  • Tampa
  • Orlando
  • Ft Myers
  • West Palm Beach
  • Ft Lauderdale

 

East Coast Destinations (22)

  • where does southwest fly eastPortland, ME
  • Manchester
  • Boston
  • Hartford
  • Providence
  • Rochester
  • Buffalo
  • Albany
  • Long Island
  • New York City (La Guardia)
  • Newark
  • Pittsburgh
  • Philadelphia
  • Baltimore
  • Washington DC (Dulles)
  • Washington DC (Reagan)
  • Richmond
  • Virginia Beach
  • Raleigh
  • Charlotte
  • Greensville
  • Charleston

 

Where Does Southwest Fly Internationally (15)

  • where does southwest fly internationalCabo
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Mexico City
  • Cancun
  • Belize City
  • Liberia
  • San Jose, CR
  • Aruba
  • San Juan
  • Punta Cana
  • Turks & Caicos
  • Montego Bay
  • Grand Cayman
  • Havana
  • Nassau

 

Southwest Flights to Hawaii (4)

  • Oahu
  • Maui
  • Kauai
  • Big Island (Hawaii)

 

Southwest Route Map

If you’re wondering “where does Southwest fly”, but need to see it visually, you can look at their route map. To see where you can fly from each Southwest location check out the Interactive Southwest Route Map.

Where does southwest fly

 

Fly with a Free Companion on Every Southwest Flight

By earning a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass you can have a free companion on every single Southwest flight you take. The companion pass stays active for the calendar year in which you earn it as well as the following year. That means if you earn the Southwest Companion Pass in January of 2019 you will have it through December of 2020. How do you get Southwest Companion Pass? It’s actually pretty simple.

 

You must earn 110,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points. It sounds like a lot, but you can actually earn that many points very quickly without ever taking a flight. Amazingly, points earned through the Southwest credit cards count toward earning the companion pass. Both, signup bonuses and earning through spending on the credit cards work.

 

With typical credit card introductory bonuses ranging between 40-60,000 points, you can earn enough (or close to enough) points simply by being approved for two of the Southwest credit cards. One personal card and one business card (don’t worry, you probably qualify for a business card – or could easily). You can learn more about how to earn it in our detailed Southwest Companion Pass post.

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

Where Does Southwest Fly? Our Epic Southwest Destination Guide 4
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months. Plus 35,000 more points after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.
BENEFITS
Earn 3000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
FEES
$69 annual fee.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

Where Does Southwest Fly? Our Epic Southwest Destination Guide 5
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months. Plus 35,000 more points after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.
BENEFITS
Earn 6000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
FEES
$99 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority

Where Does Southwest Fly? Our Epic Southwest Destination Guide 6
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months. Plus 35,000 more points after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 2X points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.
BENEFITS
$75 Southwest travel credit each year.
4 Upgraded boardings per year.
20% back on in-flight drinks and wi-fi.
Earn 7500 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
FEES
$149 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Premier

Where Does Southwest Fly? Our Epic Southwest Destination Guide 7
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 2X points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.
BENEFITS
Earn 6000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
FEES
$99 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

How to Earn Even More Southwest Miles to Use with Your Companion

It’s your lucky day. Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio. That means that when you earn your Southwest Companion Pass, you can stack your Southwest miles account balance by earning Chase Ultimate Rewards to transfer over. Below are the two best credit card offers to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Where Does Southwest Fly? Our Epic Southwest Destination Guide 8
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.
BENEFITS
Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Ink Business Preferred

Where Does Southwest Fly? Our Epic Southwest Destination Guide 9
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 80,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on travel and select business expenses (including online social media ads).
*Limited to first $150k per year.
BENEFITS
Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The signup bonus alone for this card is amazing. Pair that with some great rewards earning for your business and this card is great. If you have a business, we find the Ink Preferred to be the best offer available.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

If you’re looking to travel a lot in the next year with that Companion Pass, you might also be interested in priority airport security screening and airport lounge access. You can receive those travel benefits and much more with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Where Does Southwest Fly? Our Epic Southwest Destination Guide 10
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.
Also Earn a total of 10X points on Lyft rides.
BENEFITS
$300 annual travel credit.
Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.
1 year of Lyft Pink.
FEES
$550
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

vacation from business using points

 

Even if you don’t have an interest in earning the Southwest Companion Pass, these Southwest credit cards can add up to a lot of free travel. Southwest is one of the best programs for using points to fly. With 103 destinations, you better get started if you want to visit them all. Now that you know all their destinations, you’ll never have to ask “where does southwest fly” ever again.

How to Gain Free Centurion Lounge Access in One Easy Step 11

Have you ever heard of an American Express Centurion Lounge before? They’re known to be the most elite airport lounge brand of them all. If you travel regularly, you’ve probably at least noticed an airport lounge before. They look like a place where only business travelers and the rich are allowed to set foot in. Looks can be deceiving. There are other ways to gain access to these exclusive lounges where members receive free drinks and food in a more luxurious setting than the airport terminal.

 

The easiest and least expensive way to gain access to airport lounges is through premier travel credit cards. There are a handful of credit cards that offer the benefit of complimentary airport lounge access. Two of those cards offer the elite Centurion Lounge access.

centurion lounge access

 

What is a Centurion Lounge?

A Centurion Lounge is an exclusive room that members can enter while traveling. Inside they will be greeted with comfortable places to sit and lounge, TV’s to watch, newspapers to read, workspaces with computers and printers, and of course, amazing food and drinks that come complimentary.

  • Free high-speed Wi-Fi
  • Lounge pods
  • Computer workspaces
  • Printers
  • Large televisions
  • Premium cocktail bars
  • Showers
  • Buffet style dining at breakfast, lunch, and dinner

 

While most other lounges have just snacky type food, Centurion Lounges have full on cooked buffet’s that are prepared by chefs and have ever-changing menus. An example of a typical meal available in Centurion Lounges is a menu of fried chicken, wild rice, fresh bruschetta, Brussel sprouts, side salads, and vegetables, with chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

centurion lounge

 

Of course, you’ll find typical drink choices like beer, wine, and cocktails available at the bar, but you’ll also find a menu of specially designed mixed drinks from renowned mixologist Jim Meehan. The drinks are designed around the Centurion Lounge location with recipes like the “Tex Mex” (Tito’s Vodka, Cabeza Blanco tequila, corn, honey, lime, and jalapeno) at DFW in Dallas or the “Big Apple” (Zubrowka Bison Grass vodka, Doc’s draft hard apple cider, Yellow Chartreuse, Miracle Mile celery bitters) at LGA in New York City.

 

Food and drinks aren’t the only amenities you’ll find at a Centurion Lounge. Some of the Centurion Lounge locations even offer professional spa treatments like massages, skin treatments, and manicures. Yes, these amenities are included too. Once you’re in a Centurion Lounge, what you see is what you get, included. You are free to tip as you’d like but per American Express, it is not expected.

 

How to Get Centurion Lounge Access

Unfortunately, Centurion membership cannot be bought. Gaining Centurion Lounge access can be had in only one way. By applying for one of two American Express credit cards that exclusively offer Centurion lounge access. These two cards are the Platinum Cards by American Express that are offered in a personal and business version. The cards not only come with Centurion Lounge access but also have an array of great travel benefits.

 

Amex Platinum Card

How to Gain Free Centurion Lounge Access in One Easy Step 12
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
BENEFITS
Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month (bonus $20 in December).
Enjoy access to the exclusive Global Airport Lounge Collection.
$200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 every calendar year with one qualifying airline. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.
Fine Hotels & Resorts Access.
Hilton & Marriott Gold Status.
Discounts on First/Business/Premium Economy tickets.
FEES
$550 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
Terms Apply
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
With a large introductory offer, statement credits, and airport lounge access, this is an excellent premium travel credit card.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Instantly earn Centurion Lounge access plus more. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Amex Business Platinum Card

How to Gain Free Centurion Lounge Access in One Easy Step 13
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points. 50,000 after you spend $10,000 in the first 3 months, and another 50,000 Membership Rewards after spending an additional $15,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Earn 50% more points on purchases over $5000. (up to 1 million bonus points.)
BENEFITS
$200 airline credit.
Global Lounge Collection access.
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
Get 35% back when booking a flight with Membership Rewards on a select airline.
Two $100 statement credits from Dell annually.
1 year of Platinum Global access to WeWork. (enrollment through 2019)
FEES
$595 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees
Terms Apply
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
If you have many high ticket purchases yearly, this card will earn you a good percentage back. The WeWork membership could be very valuable, if you need a place to work for a year.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY >>

 

Instantly earn Centurion Lounge access plus more. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

If you’re a frequent traveler, the Centurion lounge access alone can make up for the annual fee of either Amex Platinum credit card, but they come with a bunch of very valuable benefits. The travel benefits offered by either of these cards are easily worth over $1000 in value.

 

I value the introductory offers at more than $1000 because you can often redeem them for at least two cents per point through Amex travel transfer partners. The statement credits are worth about $500 together. Even though the annual fee can look to be very high and be a mental hurdle to get over, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to the value you’ll receive in return.

 

Centurion Lounge Locations

There are nine Centurion lounges worldwide, with eight of those being in the United States. American Express has three more lounges in the works, all of which should open in 2019. There are also another six international lounge locations and two arena locations that Amex Platinum cardholders have access to.

centurion lounge san francisco

 

Las Vegas Centurion Lounge (LAS)

Location: Concourse D, opposite Gate D1

Hours: 5:00 AM to 12:00 AM

 

Dallas-Fort Worth Centurion Lounge (DFW)

Location: Terminal D, opposite Gate D17 on the upper level
Hours: 5:30 AM to 10:00 PM

 

San Francisco Centurion Lounge (SFO)

Location: Terminal 3, Boarding Area F, opposite Gate 75 on the mezzanine level
Hours: 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM

 

New York-La Guardia Centurion Lounge (LGA)

Location: Terminal B, pre-security, third level
Hours: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm

 

Miami Centurion Lounge (MIA)

Location: North Terminal, Concourse B, 4th floor, across from Gate D14
Hours: 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM

 

Houston Centurion Lounge (IAH)

Location: Terminal D, near Gate D6
Hours: 5:30 AM to 9:00 PM

 

Seattle Centurion Lounge (SEA)

Location: Concourse B, near Gate B3
Hours: 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM

 

Hong Kong Centurion Lounge (HKG)

Location: Just before Gate 60, take the escalators or lift up to the 7th Floor, follow the signs to the lounge entrance
Hours: 5:30 AM to 12:30 AM

 

Philadelphia Centurion Lounge (PHL)

Location: Near Gate A14
Hours: 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM

 

Centurion Lounge Future Locations

As mentioned above, there are three Centurion Lounges being worked on for future locations. Denver, Los Angeles, and New York will be getting the newest and likely most lavish Centurion lounges in the near future. All three lounges will be very large and all three will likely include a spa inside.

 

Denver Centurion Lounge (DEN)

The DEN Centurion lounge is expected to be 14,650 square feet and will include all of the Centurion lounge basics, plus even more. It will feature a premium cocktail bar, high-speed internet, hot food buffet, showers, a family room, phone rooms, and a tranquility area for sleeping. On top of those amenities, the Denver Centurion lounge will have a spa (like DFW and MIA). It will also offer local beer and wine tastings within the lounge.

 

Los Angeles Centurion Lounge (LAX)

The LAX Centurion lounge is expected to be 13,900 square feet and will offer the typical luxurious amenities of all Centurion lounges. It will feature a full cocktail bar, a hot food buffet, and showers. The Los Angeles Centurion lounge location will also feature a spa, a family room, and a “tranquility area” with a mix of bright and dimly lit areas specially designed to help travelers adjust to new time zones.

 

New York City Centurion Lounge (JFK)

Coming in at an expected 15,000 square feet, the JFK Centurion lounge will be the biggest Amex lounge in their Global Lounge portfolio. It will occupy two levels in terminal 4 at JFK in New York City. While the exact details have not been officially announced, the New York Centurion Lounge should open in early 2019. The lounge will supposedly have extravagant views of the JFK airfield and extraordinary amenities. The amenities will include a complimentary bar, a food buffet, showers, soundproof workspaces, and likely much more. With that amount of space, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a spa as well.

centurion lounge miami

 

Centurion Clubs & Platinum Lounges at International Airports

American Express also has a few international lounges that are accessible for Amex Platinum cardholders. They include the Centurion Clubs and Platinum Lounges located in the following airports:

  • Mexico City (MEX)
  • Buenos Aires (EZE)
  • Rio De Janeiro (SDU)
  • Sao Paulo (CGH)
  • Mumbai (BOM)
  • Delhi (DEL)

 

Centurion Suite Locations in Arenas

American Express has expanded their lounge locations from exclusively in airports to other stadiums and arenas. Literally, professional basketball arenas to be exact. There are now lounges, which American Express is calling Centurion Suites, in both the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Staples Center in Los Angeles. They also had a Centurion Suite at the 2018 US Open Tennis Championship.

 

At the two arena Centurion Suites, food and drinks are not complimentary but you may have more options than the stadium food. At both locations, there are a limited amount of people who will get access to the lounge and it is on a first come first served basis. You’ll likely need to arrive at the arena when it opens to get access.

 

Amenities in the Centurion Suites

  • Premium Food & Beverages
  • Dedicated Servers
  • Flat-Screen TVs
  • Limited Seating with a View of the Event
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi Access
  • Phone Charging Stations

centurion lounge lga

 

Our Concluding Takeaway: Amex Platinum is Worth Getting for Access to Centurion Lounges

If it’s luxury travel you’re looking for, access to the Centurion lounges is the perfect way to both start and end your vacation the right way. With an American Express Platinum card you’ll be living a life of luxury the minute you walk into the airport. It gives you both lounge access and priority security so forget having to sit in the crowded, dirty, and expensive airport terminal. Say hello to traveling with comfy seating, amazing complimentary food, custom cocktails and sometimes even spa treatments.

 

My wife used to call me a “princess traveler” when I first told her about airport lounge access. Now she complains if we’re at an airport that doesn’t have such lounges. Once you get used to traveling in luxury with things like lounge access, it’s hard to go back to the life of a peasant traveler. Go get an Amex Platinum to try it out for yourself. I’ll bet you won’t ever want it to end!

what is a known traveler number

People who travel frequently want to be able to make their traveling experience as streamlined as possible. There are actually several things that travelers can do to help themselves out. One of the most popular methods is to get a Known Traveler Number (KTN). If you have never heard of this before, then you might be wondering “what is a Known Traveler Number?”

 

In this article, we are going to be explaining what a Known Traveler Number is and what you need to do to obtain one. Once you’ve read through all of the information, it’ll be a lot easier to move forward with this. It isn’t a difficult process, but you do need to know how to go about getting the number. Read on and we will explore everything that you need to know together.

 

What Does a Known Traveler Number Do?

Firstly, you should know that Known Traveler Numbers are also referred to as Trusted Traveler Numbers by some. The terms are interchangeable, so don’t be alarmed if you see this being referred to by its other name. With that out of the way, we can focus on why you will want to get a KTN. KTNs can be issued by the Department of Homeland Security, the US Transportation Security Administration, and the Department of Defense.

 

This number shows that you have gone through a background check process or other screening methods ahead of your flight. You can use your KTN when booking your airfare to increase the chances of using the TSA PreCheck system. This is a streamlined process that lets you pass through security a whole lot faster than usual. For many travelers, this is going to save them countless hours of time every single year.

 

The KTN gives you access to another neat benefit as well. You’ll be able to enjoy streamlined customs processing if you’re a member of the Global Entry program. This is only going to be available at certain airports, but it’s still a nice perk. It’s another great way for you to save yourself some time when you travel a lot.

 

Do You Get TSA PreCheck Status Every Time?

You don’t get TSA PreCheck status every time you fly. Even with your KTN, there are going to be times when you’ll have to go through normal security. The KTN simply increases your odds of being chosen for the TSA PreCheck status. It works a lot of the time, but sometimes you might simply not have good luck.

 

You’re probably wondering what the reasons are for people with Known Traveler Numbers not being chosen. There are a few explanations. The most common explanation is that the TSA tries to randomize the selection process as part of their regular security screening procedures. This can be frustrating for those who went to the effort of obtaining a KTN, but sometimes it does occur.

 

The other reason is that you may not have used your KTN properly. There are many situations where customers find out that they wrote their KTN down wrong on an application or ticket. This can cause wires to get crossed and you’ll wind up not being allowed to go through the TSA PreCheck screening lane. This is why it’s so important to check to ensure that your KTN is written down properly.

 

Also, your KTN might not be saved to your frequent flyer profile properly. You’ll want to log into your frequent flyer account to check things out. If the number isn’t there, then it will be easy enough to remedy the situation. Once you get this fixed, it’ll be less likely to cause you any problems moving forward.

 

Many people choose to book their travel through third-party agencies as well. Sometimes, these agencies do not pass the KTN to the airlines properly. You can fix this by choosing to contact the airline directly. Just give them a call and make sure that your KTN is linked to your reservation.

 

There are some hoops to jump through to make sure that your KTN is being used properly. Even so, it isn’t that difficult once you know what to look out for. If you’re a member of TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, then you’ll be able to enjoy a streamlined process. Knowing this, you may want to consider applying for one of these programs to obtain your KTN.

known traveler number

 

Why Do People Sign up for These Programs?

These programs are really going to make your traveling experience that much easier. It costs money to apply for TSA PreCheck status and the same goes for the Global Entry program. The Global Entry program provides the same benefits of TSA PreCheck status while also offering faster US customs screening for international travelers when entering the country. Your KTN is valuable, and you’ll still be using it even when you gain membership into these programs.

 

Whenever you purchase airfare, you’ll need to write down your KTN. You want to make sure that this number is always present so that you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of being a known traveler. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of always looking for your KTN number when purchasing airfare. If it isn’t there, then you should ask questions and make sure that it gets put into the system.

 

How Do You Get a Known Traveler Number?

The simplest way to obtain a known traveler number is to apply for the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry programs. You can go about this in a couple of different ways. One of the most common ways is to simply apply on your own. As of the time of this writing, the American citizens can pay $85.00 to apply for the TSA PreCheck program and $100.00 to apply for the Global Entry program. If approved, you will get a five-year membership into the program that you applied for.

 

You also receive your KTN upon being accepted into one of these programs. These are the most common programs that people sign up for to expedite their traveling experience. It’s also possible to receive a KTN by signing up for the NEXUS or SENTRI Programs. We are going to go over why you might want to sign up for each of them below to give you a better idea of which programs will appeal to you.

 

TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck is the best option for frequent travelers who only travel within the United States. If you’re a US citizen or a permanent resident of the US, then this is a great program to consider. It makes it a lot faster to get through security while traveling in the United States. Your travel within the United States will always be more pleasant when you’re a member of the TSA PreCheck program.

 

Being able to make use of the TSA PreCheck screening lanes really does save you a lot of time. Most travelers will save themselves many hours by simply being able to cut down on time spent going through security. It also makes it possible to show up to the airport a little closer to your boarding time due to the security process not being so time-consuming.

 

Global Entry

Global Entry offers you all of the same benefits as the TSA PreCheck program. The added benefit is that it makes getting through customs easier when you’re traveling internationally. This is going to be a good fit for anyone who has to travel outside of the country regularly. Business travelers and personal travelers both benefit from this convenient program.

 

It’s actually not much more expensive to get a Global Entry membership than it is to get the TSA PreCheck status. If you’re going to be traveling internationally at all, then this is the one you’ll want to sign up for. You’ll be able to make your travel that much easier, both domestically and internationally.

 

NEXUS

NEXUS is a program that appeals to those who travel to Canada regularly. It makes it simpler to get through customs when you’re traveling in the United States and when you’re passing through the Canadian border. This is a great program for both United States citizens and Canadian citizens. If you want to be able to travel across both countries easier, then this makes a lot of sense.

 

Also, it’s worth noting that becoming a NEXUS member allows you to go to Canada without having a Canadian passport. Many Americans who have family members living in Canada sign up for this program. As of the time of this writing, there is only a $50.00 online fee to become a NEXUS member. You’ll be issued a PASSID when you become a member of the program and this is the same as a KTN.

 

SENTRI

SENTRI is a program that is actually very similar to the NEXUS program. The difference is that this is for people who frequently travel to Mexico. Crossing the United States and Mexican border is going to be streamlined for those who are SENTRI members. If you’re a US citizen who travels to Mexico a lot on business or for personal reasons, then this is an ideal way to obtain a KTN.

 

As of the time of this writing, the SENTRI fee is $122.25. This is substantially more expensive than the NEXUS program. Similarly to the NEXUS program, you’ll be issued a PASSID once you have been approved. This will act the same as a KTN, so you’ll want to enter this whenever you’re traveling.

 

Receive a Known Traveler Number through the US Armed Forces

You should know that all US Armed Forces members will receive a KTN in the form of a DoD identification number. All of the benefits of using a KTN will apply to those who have earned it through their service. Whenever you travel, you should also make sure to enter the DoD identification number to reap the benefits. This will allow you to have a smooth traveling experience.

 

Get a Known Traveler Number for Free with these 3 Credit Cards

You can purchase Global Entry or TSA PreCheck for around $100, which gives you access to a known traveler number for 5 years. Even better yet, you can get either of those programs for FREE, through a few different travel credit cards. All of the following cards offer a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck as a benefit.

 

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve

What Is a Known Traveler Number & How Do You Get One? Find Out Now 14
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.
Also Earn a total of 10X points on Lyft rides.
BENEFITS
$300 annual travel credit.
Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.
1 year of Lyft Pink.
FEES
$550
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

2. Capital One Venture

Capital One Venture

What Is a Known Traveler Number & How Do You Get One? Find Out Now 15
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 2X points on every purchase.
BENEFITS
Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Transfer points to airline and hotel travel partners.
FEES
$95 annual fee. (waived year 1)
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is a great travel credit card. It offers a large introductory offer, free TSA PreCheck for 5 years, plus the annual fee is waived the first year.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

3. American Express Platinum Card

Amex Platinum Card

What Is a Known Traveler Number & How Do You Get One? Find Out Now 16
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
BENEFITS
Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month (bonus $20 in December).
Enjoy access to the exclusive Global Airport Lounge Collection.
$200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 every calendar year with one qualifying airline. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.
Fine Hotels & Resorts Access.
Hilton & Marriott Gold Status.
Discounts on First/Business/Premium Economy tickets.
FEES
$550 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
Terms Apply
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
With a large introductory offer, statement credits, and airport lounge access, this is an excellent premium travel credit card.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Remember to Book Your Travel with an Airline That Recognizes Your KTN

Not every airline recognizes the KTN system. There are a large number of airlines worldwide that will participate in this program. Many of the common airlines in North America such as United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and Southwest Airlines are among those that are participating. Take the time to check and see if your preferred airline participates in this program.

 

Some airlines will even issue their frequent travelers a KTN by giving them access to TSA PreCheck status. There are also many airline-related credit cards that reimburse you for the fees that are associated with the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry programs. If you’re a regular traveler, then you likely already have a favorite airline that you stick with. Be sure to check what they’re offering to see if you can make obtaining your KTN easier.

 

Our Last Thoughts

Getting your known traveler number is really going to speed things up for you when you’re a frequent traveler. This is worth your while and you’re likely going to want to get one if you travel a lot. There are a large number of different ways that you can obtain a KTN. Which one of them is going to suit you the best is really dependent on your personal circumstances.

 

If you only travel within the United States, then applying for the TSA PreCheck program might be your best bet. Those who travel internationally frequently will be far better off paying the extra money to become a Global Entry member. Both the NEXUS and SENTRI programs are worthwhile for those traveling to Canada and Mexico respectively. You have many choices when you’re interested in obtaining a KTN.

 

Now that you have read all of the information above, you should have a much deeper understanding of what a KTN is and what it can do. You’ll be able to use your KTN to make your traveling experience more enjoyable. Take your time and consider your options before applying. You’ll be enjoying the benefits of having a streamlined traveling experience soon enough.

credit score range

If you’re trying to understand the credit score range better, you’ve come to the right place.  You’ll learn what the credit score range is, what good credit scores are, and what excellent credit scores are.  Have you ever wondered what goes into calculating a credit score, or how to improve your own credit score?  It’s possible to get into your desired credit score range if you understand a few simple facts.

 

There are different types of credit scores, so you’ll learn the difference between them.  The main scores are Experian, Transunion, Equifax, and the most popular FICO credit scores.  Because FICO is the most used credit score that lenders see, we’ll focus on it mostly.  If you have a good credit score you can use it to your advantage.  You can even travel for free (or close to it) by earning travel points and miles through credit card introductory bonuses.  Learn how this is possible after understanding how the credit scores range works.

 

credit scores range

 

What is Credit?

Simply put, credit is money borrowed for purchases or services that must be paid back within a certain timeframe.  This money is typically borrowed from a bank or financial institution.  Credit usually involves paying a fee, called interest over the time period that the money is borrowed.  Credit can come in the form of a house mortgage, a car loan, or credit cards to pay for smaller purchases.

 

The better your credit score is, the better the terms (lower interest) will be on your borrowed money.  Also, with better credit scores you are able to be approved for travel credit cards that can earn thousands of dollars worth of travel for free.  I am a frequent traveler who uses my excellent credit to earn millions of points to use toward travel for my family.  I’ll show you how that is possible later.

 



 

What is the Credit Score Range?

The most common credit score range is between 300 and 850.  Almost all types of credit score use this range or something very similar.  Within this credit score range, 300 is the worst possible score and 850 is the best.  It is thought that any credit score above 800 is essentially the best because you will always receive the best interest rates Credit Score Rangeand be approved for the best credit cards.  For this reason, you should strive to earn an 800 or better on the credit score range.  Knowing the possible scores within the credit score range is the first step to understanding credit.

 

FICO Credit Score Range

Now you may be wondering what scores mean and what credit score ranges are bad, fair, good or excellent.  To the right, you will find a chart that shows the credit score ranges for each of the ratings.  This chart separates the top scores into good, very good, and exceptional credit scores, while most ratings only have either good or excellent.  It also shows what percentage of people in the United States fall into each of the categories.  As you can see 66% of Americans have at least good credit.  If you have at least a good credit score, you’ll have a better chance of being approved for some of the best travel credit cards.

 

What is a Good Credit Score?

A good credit score is one that falls between 670-749.  With a score in this range, it is possible to be approved for credit cards that require good credit or better.  Having a score of 700+ gives your chances of being approved for those higher level credit cards a boost.  670-699 is more of a gray area.  Some lenders qualify this credit score range as good and others consider it to be fair.  If you have a good credit score, you will likely be approved for loans, but will not get the best terms available to the market.

 

what is a good credit score

 

What is an Excellent Credit Score?

An excellent credit score is one that falls between 750-850.  A perfect credit score is 850, but it is not very important what the number is after you reach 800.  Anyone with a credit score over 800 will have the best chance of being approved for any credit card, and get the best interest rate on loans.  Having a credit score of 800+ puts you in an exclusive club joining only about 20% of all credit scores.  This high of a credit score is only possible if you’ve been responsibly using credit cards and loans for multiple years.  With a score of 750-799 you should qualify for all credit cards and loans, but may not always get the best terms.

 

How are Credit Scores Calculated?

In order to have a FICO credit score, you need to have had at least one account open for six months.  It must also have been reported to the credit bureau within the same time frame.  Also, you must not show as deceased on your credit report.  If you have a joint account with someone who passed away, you may need to close it or have the name of the deceased person removed from the account before your credit score will show up.  While there are three major How Credit Scores are Calculatedcredit bureaus, with whom you’ll have slightly different credit scores, we’re going to focus on FICO.  As mentioned before FICO scores are within the credit score range of 300-850.

 

FICO credit scores are calculated by using five differently weighted factors.  The chart to the left shows the five factors and what percentage each is weighted in calculating a credit score.  The most important factor is payment history, followed closely by credit utilization.  The last three factors: credit age, types of credit, and inquiries combined are weighted about as much as the first two. This means that when you are considering how to improve your credit score, the two largest factors should be focused on the most.

 

Credit Score Range Factors

  1. Payment History (35%)

    Paying your loans and credit cards off in full and on time will help your credit score the most.  An easy way to make this happen every time is by using automatic payments.  It’s also wise to think about your credit card as if it were a debit card.  Don’t spend money that you don’t actually have.  Not only will it hurt your credit score, but you will be paying high-interest charges.

  2. Credit Utilization (30%)

    In terms of a credit card, this means that you want to keep the amount you spend to be less than 30% of the amount of total credit you have been given.  So, if you have a credit line of ,000 you never want to have more than ,000 of debt on the card at any time.  If you want to have an excellent credit score you should really try to keep this amount under 5% utilization.  That means the higher credit line you have the better your utilization should be.

  3. Credit Age (15%)

    The longer you’ve had your accounts open, the more it will help your credit score.  Just because you stop using a credit card very often doesn’t mean you should close it.  If the card has no annual fee, keep it open and try to make a charge on it each year so that it doesn’t get automatically closed.  If the credit card does have an annual fee, call the credit card issuer and ask if there are any no fee options that you can convert to.  This is often an option and will help your credit score in the long run.  For instance, if you have had a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, but no longer get enough value out of it to validate paying the annual fee, you can convert it into the no annual fee, Chase Freedom card.  This will extend your overall credit age.

  4. Different Types of Credit (10%)

    Having different types of credit will slightly help your credit score.  This means having multiple loans, such as credit cards, car loan, and mortgages actually help your score. While this does slightly affect your credit score, it is a very small factor.

  5. Number of Inquiries (10%)

    The number of hard credit inquiries you have within the past two years slightly affects your credit score.  A hard inquiry happens each time you apply for a loan or credit card.  Hard inquiries can also occur for things like rental applications.  Typically, each time you apply for a credit card, your credit score will dip 3-5 points.  Over the course of having a credit card, your score will improve more than that, due to the heavier factors above.

 

what is an excellent credit score

 

free credit scoreDo You Know Your Current Credit Score? Check for Free!

Is your credit score a sports car or a clunker?  You should be regularly watching your credit score.  Errors do occur, and it’s always wise to keep an eye on what is going on with such an important factor in your finances.  You can check your credit score for free with Credit Sesame.

Credit Sesame Price: Free Get your free credit score each month, and monitor your credit report at no cost. We'll also send you monitoring alerts about changes to your credit report. Credit Sesame

Along with your overall credit score, they give you a grade A-F for each of the five credit score factors.  They also send you updates and alerts via email anytime major changes happen to your credit.  It’s an easy and completely free way to make sure your credit is safe.  They even have an app now that you can check your score anytime you want conveniently on your cell phone.

 

700 Is the Magic Number for Travel Credit Cards

If you have a credit score of 700 or higher, you are in great shape to apply for travel credit cards that offer excellent rewards.  With a score in this credit score range, you will likely be approved for any credit card you want.  Many credit cards come with introductory offers that can be redeemed for more than $1000 in travel rewards.  The best travel credit card to start with is the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  It typically offers a 60,000 point introductory offer and waives its annual fee for the first year.  That’s enough points to take a very nice vacation with.

 

This was the first ever travel credit card I applied for back in 2012 and it’s still the best card to start out with.  In this post I wrote, you can find out how I spent those first points I earned through the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.  You’ll also learn more details about this card and what makes it so great.  If you’re interested in traveling, points can be your savior.  You don’t have to be rich to travel like you are.

 

travel and leisure

 

The Best Travel Credit Card Offers

While there are hundreds of rewards-earning credit cards, there are a few that really stand out.  The main reason that certain credit cards stand out above the rest is the introductory offers for travel points.  Travel credit cards offer an array of introductory offers ranging from 30,000 points to over 100,000 points.  Two important factors in deciding what travel credit card to apply for are how many bonus points are offered and what the value of those bonus points are.  Not all points are worth the same value when it comes to travel.  When redeemed, some rewards points may be worth less than one cent, while others may be worth more than two cents each.  Here are some of the best offers:

 

Best First Travel Credit Cards

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 17
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.
BENEFITS
Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Capital One Venture

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 18
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 2X points on every purchase.
BENEFITS
Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Transfer points to airline and hotel travel partners.
FEES
$95 annual fee. (waived year 1)
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is a great travel credit card. It offers a large introductory offer, free TSA PreCheck for 5 years, plus the annual fee is waived the first year.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Best Business Travel Credit Card

 

Ink Business Preferred

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 19
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 80,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on travel and select business expenses (including online social media ads).
*Limited to first $150k per year.
BENEFITS
Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The signup bonus alone for this card is amazing. Pair that with some great rewards earning for your business and this card is great. If you have a business, we find the Ink Preferred to be the best offer available.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

*For more information on even more great business credit cards check out this post: Best Business Travel Credit Cards.

Best No Fee Credit Cards

Chase Freedom

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 20
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn $150 (in the form of 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 5% on rotating quarterly categories. (up to $1500 in purchases per quarter)
BENEFITS
Points can be transferred to primary Chase cards for better redemptions.
Free credit score.
ANNUAL FEE
No annual fee
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is one of the best "cash back" cards for earning rewards. You can earn up to 5X per dollar and those points can be transferred to a primary Chase card for better redemptions. It's a perfect card to pair with either of the Sapphire cards or the Ink Business Preferred.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Wells Fargo Propel

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 21
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 20k points after you spend $1000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in. 3X on gas, transit, and rideshares. 3X on travel. 1X on all other purchases.
BENEFITS
Intro APR offer.
ANNUAL FEE
No annual fee.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is a great no-fee credit card. It has a good introductory offer and earns bonus points on many categories.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Best Premium Travel Credit Cards

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 22
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.
Also Earn a total of 10X points on Lyft rides.
BENEFITS
$300 annual travel credit.
Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.
1 year of Lyft Pink.
FEES
$550
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Amex Platinum Card

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 23
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
BENEFITS
Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month (bonus $20 in December).
Enjoy access to the exclusive Global Airport Lounge Collection.
$200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 every calendar year with one qualifying airline. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.
Fine Hotels & Resorts Access.
Hilton & Marriott Gold Status.
Discounts on First/Business/Premium Economy tickets.
FEES
$550 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
Terms Apply
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
With a large introductory offer, statement credits, and airport lounge access, this is an excellent premium travel credit card.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

How to Improve Your Credit Score

If your credit is not yet within the 700+ credit score range you need to work on building your credit.  “How?”, you may ask yourself, is it possible to improve your credit score?  Start by understanding the five factors that go into a credit score: Payment History, Credit Utilization, Credit Age, Types of Credit, and Inquiries.  If you only focus on two things, let them be the two most important factors that add up to 65% of how credit score ranges are calculated.

 

Focus on the Most Important Factors

First, make sure your payments are always, always, always paid on time!  ALWAYS!  Second, get your credit utilization under 5%.  Paying off your credit card in full every month will help with this.  There are two ways to help this utilization percentage.  Lower the amount of credit you use, or raise the amount of credit given to you.  You can spend $500 monthly of a $10,000 total credit line, or $5,000 of a $100,000 credit line.  If you keep your spending as is, and gradually add credit cards with $5-10,000 credit limits, ultimately your credit utilization will go down.  Also, if you are in the market for a new car or home, don’t pay in full.  Taking out a loan for either will help your credit mix which will improve your position in the credit score range.

 

fico credit score range

 

Our Last Thoughts on the Credit Score Range

Now that you have a better understanding of credit score ranges, you can take advantage of, or work to improve your own score.  You’ve learned what the credit score range is, what good credit scores are, and what excellent credit scores are.  You know how a credit score is calculated and how to improve your own credit score.  It is possible to get your credit score into your desired credit score range and to take advantage of the benefits of your good score.  If you love to travel, go use your credit score to earn the vacation of your dreams.  Over and over again!

chase ink vs sapphire

There are five Chase credit cards that earn at least 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points from the signup bonus alone. Two of them are personal Chase Sapphire credit cards and three are business Chase Ink credit cards. All five of these Chase Ultimate Rewards cards earn top ranks when it comes to travel credit cards. Out of the five, we’ll analyze each card and determine which comes out on top in the battle of Chase Ink vs Sapphire.

 

As you can see, the Ink Preferred card has the highest introductory offer. All of these cards have their own benefits. Let’s start comparing them.

 

Chase Sapphire: Personal Credit Cards

There are two versions of the Chase Sapphire credit card. The all-around good credit card in the Sapphire Preferred, and the ultra-premium credit card in the Sapphire Reserve. They’re both excellent travel credit cards in their own ways. It just depends on what you, the consumer, prefer. Let’s see what they have to offer.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Best Chase Credit Cards 24
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.
BENEFITS
Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Best Chase Credit Cards 25
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.
Also Earn a total of 10X points on Lyft rides.
BENEFITS
$300 annual travel credit.
Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.
1 year of Lyft Pink.
FEES
$550
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

The Best Chase Sapphire Card

Before examining the Chase Ink vs Sapphire debate, let’s find out which of the Sapphire cards is the best. This will be a tough decision because the differences between the cards are great. The signup bonuses are very similar. The Sapphire Preferred earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining compared to 3 points per dollar on the Sapphire Reserve. Now to compare the benefits and fees. The Sapphire Preferred has minimal travel benefits and has an annual fee of $95. Sapphire Reserve, on the other hand, has extremely valuable benefits but also comes with a high $450 annual fee.

 

Basically, the better Chase Sapphire card depends on what you’re looking for as a cardmember. If you don’t want a high annual fee, the best card is the Sapphire Preferred. But, if you want airport lounge access, TSA PreCheck, and will spend at least $300 on travel to receive the statement credit, the Sapphire Reserve is definitely worth the fee for you.

 

Overall, we’ll say that the Sapphire Preferred is the winner of the Chase Sapphire category because it has no annual fee the first year and has an equal signup bonus. Now let’s check out the Chase Ink business cards so that we can find out which is better in the Chase Ink vs Sapphire contest.

 

chase ink vs chase sapphire

 

Chase Ink: Business Credit Cards

Now that we’ve seen what the Chase Sapphire cards have to offer, let’s dive into the details of the Chase Ink business credit cards. There are three Chase Ink cards with widely differing features. They are all excellent choices. I actually have all three of these credit cards because they work well together. If you have multiple Ultimate Rewards credit cards you can transfer points between accounts to join them together.

 

Ink Business Preferred

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Best Chase Credit Cards 26
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 80,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on travel and select business expenses (including online social media ads).
*Limited to first $150k per year.
BENEFITS
Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The signup bonus alone for this card is amazing. Pair that with some great rewards earning for your business and this card is great. If you have a business, we find the Ink Preferred to be the best offer available.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Ink Business Cash

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Best Chase Credit Cards 27
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn $500 (in the form of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 5X points on internet, cable, phone, and office supply stores.
*Limited to first $25k per year.
Earn 2X at gas stations and restaurants.
*Limited to first $25k per year.
BENEFITS
Points can be transferred to primary Chase card accounts for better redemption.
Employee cards at no additional cost.
ANNUAL FEE
No annual fee
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The signup bonus on this no-fee card is amazing. Pair that with some great 5X reward categories for your business and this card is great. This card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire cards and the Ink Preferred.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Ink Business Unlimited

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Best Chase Credit Cards 28
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn $500 (in the form of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 1.5X on all purchases. No limit.
BENEFITS
Points can be transferred to primary Chase card accounts for better redemption.
Employee cards at no additional cost.
ANNUAL FEE
No annual fee
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The signup bonus on this no-fee card is amazing. Pair that with 1.5X rewards on every purchase for your business and this card is great. This card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire cards and the Ink Preferred.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

The Best Chase Ink Card

Hands down, the best Chase Ink card is the Ink Business Preferred. It is honestly the best credit card out there. Period. The signup bonus is nothing less than amazing. My wife and I were able to book both round-trip flights to Hawaii and a resort on the beach for 3 of our nights with just the points from this signup bonus. No other card can get you that kind of value. Plus, the card only has a $95 annual fee. The Ink Preferred can also be converted to a no-fee card at any time if you wish.

 

Here’s why I have all three of these cards for a deadly combination of points earning. The Ink Business Preferred earns 3 points per dollar on certain business expenses and when the points are in this account they’re worth more and you can transfer to partner airlines and hotels (I often get 2 cents per point on redemptions this way). The Ink Business Cash earns 5 points per dollar on common expenses like cable, phone, and office supplies (5X on gift cards at an office supply store – they have a lot of options – wink, wink). Then, the Ink Business Unlimited earns 1.5 points per dollar on everything else. Together, they are a point-earning machine!

chase sapphire vs ink

 

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Who’s the Winner?

Now we’ve seen the features of each credit card. We’re now ready to discuss which is better between Chase Ink vs Sapphire. This is how we’ll do it. We’ll have a few category winners for the cards that are the best at one particular feature. Then we’ll crown the overall winner of the Chase Ink vs Sapphire battle.

 

Best First Travel Card: Sapphire Preferred

Top Premium Travel Card: Sapphire Reserve

Best Card for Earning: 5X Points on Many Purchases: Ink Cash

Top Card for Simplicity in Earning: Ink Unlimited

CHASE INK vs SAPPHIRE CHAMPION: INK PREFERRED

 

Deciding which cards are best between the Chase Ink vs Sapphire is difficult. They’re all very good travel credit cards in their own right. But we have to choose a winner. The champion of the Chase Ink vs Sapphire debate is the Chase Ink Business Preferred card. It has the best signup bonus, a low annual fee, good earning potential, and great point-redemption value. Not only is it the best card in the Chase Ink vs Sapphire battle, but it’s also the best credit card of ALL cards. The value of the signup bonus can be worth well over $1500 in travel if redeemed through partners.

US passport application process

If you’re planning on traveling outside of the United States any time soon, then you should really look into getting your US passport. A passport is necessary for US citizens who wish to travel abroad. If you don’t have your passport, then you’ll likely be denied entry into whatever country you’re trying to travel to. There are some exceptions to this rule, but you’re going to need to get your passport if you want to travel to most countries.

 

Those who have never applied for a passport before might not even know how to get started. This isn’t something that everyone does, as many people never bother to try to leave the country. If no one in your family has ever applied for a passport before, then it’s perfectly understandable to not know what you need to do. Thankfully, the process isn’t all that difficult once you know how to get started.

 

Today we’re going to talk about the US passport application process. You will be able to learn how to apply for a US passport and we’ll also speak about some other pertinent information. This is going to give you the necessary knowledge to get your passport situation handled properly. You should be able to get your passport and you’ll be ready for your upcoming trip in no time.

 

Applying for a New Passport in Person

If you have never had a passport before, then you’re going to need to apply for a passport in person. This shouldn’t be difficult to do, but you’ll need to know where you’re supposed to go. Depending on where you live, the location for getting a passport is going to differ. Some people might need to go to the local courthouse while others may need to go to a government building known as the Secretary of State.

 

Passport Holder Cover Wallet RFID Blocking Leather Card Case Travel Document Organizer (Coffee Grey) You should do some research online to determine where your local passport acceptance facility is ahead of time. This will allow you to figure out where to go and you’ll be able to do everything that you need to do from there. This information should be readily available on your local government websites. Going to the state government website should provide you with the right answers.

 

Once you’ve figured out where you need to go, you’ll need to make sure that you’re bringing the right stuff to the passport acceptance facility. You’re going to need to have several different items to get your passport. Take a look at the items below so that you can gather everything that is necessary. You’ll have a far easier time if you bring these items to the passport acceptance facility.

  • DS-11 Form
  • Proof of US citizenship
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Color passport photograph
  • Fee payment in the form of a check or money order

 

Additional Requirements for Children

  • Proof of relationship to the child
  • Both parents must be present
  • If both parents cannot be present, the absent parent needs to sign a consent form

 

What to Know Once You Get to the Office

Now that you’ve gathered all of the necessary items and documents, it’ll be time to pay a visit to the passport acceptance facility. Go and speak to the appropriate workers at the right government building to get things started. They will be able to guide you through the process. This is actually going to be fairly straightforward once you get things going.

 

It should be noted that you can print the DS-11 form online and fill it out ahead of time. If you can’t do this for one reason or another, the office should have a DS-11 form that they can give you. Depending on how busy the building is, it might be practical enough to sit there and fill out the form. The form isn’t overly long or complicated, so it shouldn’t take too long to get things sorted out.

 

All of the other items really need to be gathered ahead of time. If you’re missing even one piece of the required items listed above, then you won’t be able to go through with your passport application. Note that proof of US citizenship is going to include items such as your birth certificate or naturalization certificate. You should also know that a military ID will work as a substitute for a driver’s license.

 

You also need to keep in mind that you can’t pay for the passport fees with cash or your debit card. Many people don’t use checks any longer, but this is still one of only two accepted payment methods. This may change at some point in the future, but you’re going to need a check or a money order to pay for your passport. Both checks and money orders should be payable to the U.S. Department of State.

 

Applying for a Passport Outside of the US

Applying for a US passport from outside of the US is going to play out a little bit differently. Instead of going to a local government office, you’re going to need to travel to a US embassy or consulate. You’ll be able to request the proper forms to apply for your US passport while there. The process is going to be similar to obtaining your passport while inside of the country, but you’ll be dealing with the embassy or consulate the entire time.

 

Zoppen Rfid Blocking Travel Passport Holder Cover Slim Id Card Case (#21 Grape Purple) There are some differences when you’re applying for a US passport from Canada. Canada has a different relationship with the US and there are going to be situations where some Americans who are living in Canada will be able to do things by mail. This is mostly going to apply to renewing a passport, rather than applying for a new one. Just be sure to contact the US embassy to get more details on what needs to be done if you’re at all confused.

 

Passport Photos

Passport photos need to be considered ahead of applying, too. We mentioned that you’re going to need a passport photo above, but we’d like to go over this in more detail. If you’re new to applying for passports, then you might not be aware of all of the requirements. These photos won’t be difficult to obtain, but you do want to make sure that you’re doing things right.

 

All passport photographs need to be in color. The photo should be a clear picture of your face and it needs to have been taken in the last six months. No filters or other alterations of the image are allowed. Someone else needs to take your photograph too, meaning that selfies are strictly prohibited.

 

If you wear eyeglasses, then you’ll need to go ahead and remove them for the photo. The photo should also be taken against a plain white background. The background can also be off white if necessary. As long as you can meet these requirements, you’ll be able to take the photos at home while being sure to follow the proper rules.

 

Most people choose to have their passport photos taken at a place of business, though. Many drug stores have passport photo areas where you can easily get your passport photos taken. They’ll even print the photos off for you in the right sizes. Passport photos need to be 2 x 2 inches, so it’s likely going to be more convenient to have the photo taken at a drugstore or other professional facility such as this.

 

The photo needs to be printed out on glossy paper, too. Typical printer paper is not going to cut it for a passport photo. You’re supposed to have a neutral expression on your face during the photo as well. Be sure that you have your eyes open, too, to avoid any potential problems.

 

How Long Does it Take to Get Your Passport?

The length of time that it takes to get your passport will differ depending on the season and other factors. If you want an up to date estimate, then it’s going to be best to check your local state government website for more information. There are some general guidelines that you can follow to give yourself a good idea of how long it will take on average. This information should be accurate, but it could change slightly based on certain factors.

 

Routine service is usually going to take somewhere between four and six weeks. You’ll receive your passport in the mail sometime after one month has passed. This is the most common situation that people deal with when applying for their passport. That is why it’s best to apply for a passport months in advance to give yourself time to actually receive your passport.

 

There will also be an expedited service option that can make things go a little bit faster. You can choose to pay more money to get your passport issued to you within two or three weeks. This is substantially faster, but it’s still not immediate. For most people, it’s still going to be practical to just apply for a passport far enough in advance.

 

Zero Grid Passport Wallet - Travel Document Holder w/RFID Blocking If you need to travel abroad due to an emergency, then it’ll be possible to make use of a really fast expedited passport option. This is available at agency locations and can get you your passport within eight days. You have to meet certain criteria to qualify for this, though. You have to be facing an immediate life or death emergency or be traveling within two weeks to make use of this.

 

Passport Book Versus Passport Card

You’ll also want to know that there are two different types of passports that you can apply for. There is the passport card and the passport book. Passport books are going to be the traditional types of passports that make traveling by air possible. If you plan on traveling to another country via airplane, then you’re going to want to apply for a passport book.

 

Passport cards are going to be a lot less expensive to get. The only downside is that they don’t allow you to enter other countries via airplane. You’ll be able to get into other countries by land or by sea using the passport card. Also, you can’t use a passport card to enter all countries.

 

The passport card will allow you to enter Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda via land or sea. If you’re planning a vacation to Europe or Asia, then you need to pay the extra money to get yourself a passport book. It’s important to understand the restrictions that have been placed on the passport card. For most people, the passport book is going to be the better option, since it doesn’t come with the same strict limitations.

 

There is a certain convenience to the passport card, though. It’s a lot smaller and you can even fit it inside of your wallet. Even so, it just can’t do as much as a normal passport book. Consider where you want to travel and how you want to travel before coming to an ultimate decision.

 

Our Final Thoughts on US Passport Applications

Now that you’ve read all about how to apply for a passport, you should be ready to go out and get yours. If you’re thinking of traveling outside of the country anytime soon, then you need to take care of this right away. Standard service can take between four and six weeks to get your passport to you. As long as you get things started several months in advance, you shouldn’t have any problems keeping your travel plans.

 

Getting a passport doesn’t have to be a stressful situation. When you follow the rules and do your best to gather the necessary items, it’ll be a smooth experience. You can get your passport in your hands in time and you’ll be ready to go see the world. Remember to think about what type of passport you want and do your best to pick an option that works for you.

 

Renewing your passport will generally be easy too. US passports are valid for 10 years after they’re issued. This means that you’ll be able to go a long time without having to renew it. Also, you’ll usually be eligible to renew by mail so long as you don’t wait too long and let your passport lapse.

janice lintz travel interview

Welcome to the first episode of Travel Freedom’s “Traveling With Points” interview series.  We will regularly be featuring travelers who take advantage of points and miles to enjoy adventures all around the world.  You will get a glimpse into the lives of people who are already traveling by using points and miles.  Let’s get it started and jump into our first ever interview!

Tell Us a Little Bit About Yourself

My name is Janice Lintz

I am passionate about travel and good food.  I travel for food.

I am divorced and have two grown children, ages 24 and 20.

I live in NYC.

I grew up traveling.

 

How long have you been traveling with points and miles?

Since American Airlines (AA) introduced points, but I grew up with a mother who always chased the deal. She once booked the Eastern Airlines promotion where we could fly anywhere Eastern Airlines flew for 21 days as long as we went in the same direction. It was an incredible trip to Bermuda, Jamaica, Las Vegas and Mexico. We looked like jet-setters when we were just a typical American family.

 

How did you first find out about this somewhat secret world?

Someone told me about the AA card when AA introduced it. But I upped my game when I met a couple at a safari lodge in South Africa who told me I could get two free Park Hyatt nights from a sign-up bonus. I had never heard of sign-up bonuses until then. I was obtaining points from regular spend. Learning about the sign-up rewards was a game changer.

 

What was the first trip you took using miles and points?

We flew to Nepal using points. Although, at the time we could only fly to Frankfurt on AA and then we had to pay for the flight from Frankfurt to Kathmandu.

Whats the best credit card introductory bonus youve ever received?

Recently, the Ritz Carlton bonus was initially three-nights free at a four-star Ritz-Carlton. The Ritz-Carlton Aruba fell into this category. My status at the time entitled me to free breakfast, and the front desk clerk insisted my stay included a resort credit. The hotel knew it was my birthday, so they upgraded my room and provided me with special treats. A standard room alone would have cost $1,908, but I paid nothing. My fantastic stay was an incredible use of my certificates. Plus, I received the travel credit and the other perks. Sadly, the card no longer exists.

janice lintz traveling with points

Near Aruba’s Natural Pool which is a “must see.”

Although, years ago, AA used to give free night certificates with AA awards. For some bizarre reason, we never used them. But once we returned home from France and our home’s construction wasn’t finished. The contractor didn’t get around to installing the staircase. So we had to move to a hotel.

Suddenly, I remembered having a stack of free night certificates. We took the pile and booked a room at the newly opened, first W Hotel, on Lexington Avenue in NYC. The room was so tiny that we had to be upgraded multiple times to fit four people in the room. The manager wasn’t happy that we were about to camp out in the hotel for about a month for free. Plus, my children didn’t fit the profile of the W’s demographic. The manager agreed to let us stay for a week. My daughter still remembers marching down the elevator in her school uniform and wondering why everyone wore black?

 

What do your friends and family think of your points and miles traveling?

My children and friends think I am insane but yet, they can’t believe the trips I take. My daughter has zero interest in obtaining sign-up bonuses, but she is happy to join me on trips.

As good as I am, I think my mother was better than me. She would never leave a point on the table. When my mother died, she was so frustrated that she couldn’t use or gift us some points, that she used them to obtain gift cards. She refused to draft a will, but she left a stack of gift cards for my brothers and me.

 

What is the best trip youve taken? Tell us a little bit about it.

janice lintz traveling with points

In Burundi, dining at Cercle Nautique De Bujumbura and request the table on the terrace to dine adjacent to the hippos. Does it get better than this?

After my divorce, the judge stuck me with substantial legal bills despite me being the non-monied spouse. I have never carried debt in my life. So, I slashed every expense. I sold my car, cut chords and eliminated shopping to pay-off the six-figure debt. I am never one to waste a crisis and view obstacles as opportunities. One attorney permitted me to pay him using credit cards and didn’t charge me interest. So, each payment to him resulted in a sign-up bonus. In about three years, I earned over two-million points in sign-up bonuses alone excluding free nights. The points and sign-up bonuses have enabled me to take incredible trips.

My most recent trip was epic. I traveled for seven weeks in East Africa and the Indian Ocean. All of my international flights were on points. I went to Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia for transit, Burundi, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Zambia, Mozambique, and Malawi. My goal is to visit every country in the world, and this trip added quite a few new destinations.

janice lintz traveling with points

Above: In Zanzibar, go to The Rock Restaurant for an incredible meal at one of the coolest restaurants on a rock. Pro-tip: You may need to walk through the water in low tide so don’t wear a long dress and bring swim shoes.

I transferred Amex points to Aeroplan for Ethiopian Airlines (ET) flights, since Aeroplan allows one stop in addition to an open-jaw. My flights were EWR>ABJ>ADD>BJM and then LLW>EWR (airport codes).

Plus, ET had an overnight in ADD with a free hotel. Although, the hotel was disgusting, so if I ever transit again, I would pay for my room next time. Free is not good when the sheets and carpet are stained.

Planning the trip was complicated until I discovered an outstanding site, AwardEx.io. Its a game changer and simplified the process for me.

For flights, I used Citi Thank You points when flights weren’t available on points, or the airline like Rwandair didn’t participate in a frequent flier program. Plus, I saved 20% off the airfare while earning points when available. Amex had a terrific 25% transfer bonus to Flying Blue before the program changed this summer. One of the best cards which is not well known is the MERRILL+ Visa Signature. It came with a 50,000 point sign-up bonus. But the real benefit is that the first 25,000 points are

janice lintz traveling with points

Seeing the gorillas in Rwanda was my number one bucket list item. Can you believe how close I am?

converted to $500 when booking a $500+ flight. The only issue is finding an agent who understands the program. I used the bonus to pay for a pricey plane from TNR>LVI.

US Bank’s Radisson card provided two free nights at the Radisson Blu in Kigali, Rwanda. I used points plus spend at the Park Hyatt Zanzibar so that I would still receive points, and get a better rate for my points.

Both properties were outstanding. I also used the Citi fourth night free program for my hotel in Mozambique toward the end of the trip when I knew I would need a little R&R.

For small hotels, I purchased gift Hotels.com gift cards when they were on sale to stack the discounts with coupons or free nights. I saved at least 20% on my stays. Calling or

janice lintz traveling with points

My Capital One Venture card paid for my pricey Microlight flight over Zambia’s Victoria’s Falls.

emailing properties directly sometimes saves money but not always. Sometimes, the OTA’s have better prices.

Also, thank you Capital One Venture card for an experience of a lifetime. Microlighting above Victoria Falls

 

How often do you travel now, compared to before you knew about traveling with points and miles?

Our family, including my grandmother always traveled extensively including when I was younger. After my siblings and I were grown, my mother was away so frequently; it was hard to remember her schedule. Travel is part of my DNA. The points have enabled me to continue traveling.

I travel when I can leave. Sadly, my divorce while final, continues after eleven years. Even on this trip, I was served yet another motion. It is mind-boggling how a person who has money can use the judicial system to torture another person. Traveling provides me freedom. Hence, I am writing a book, Passport To Freedom.

 

What are your upcoming travel plans?

My goal is to travel to all 193 UN countries and the Traveler’s Century Club’s (TCC) 327 destinations. To date, I have visited 116+3 UN countries and 160 TCC destinations.

I am in the process of planning my future trips, but one of my tours is to see the polar bears in Churchill, Canada. Again, the flights are on points.

 

What is your best tip for people just getting into traveling with points and miles?

The process can seem overwhelming. But, its best to start small. I always recommend a person who can manage credit, pull their three credit reports and go over them with a fine tooth comb. Make sure the information is correct. You don’t want a bank to decline you for inaccurate information. My credit report said I worked in a pizza shop and had a lien in Lewiston, NY. Neither was correct.

If there is wrong information, then contact the reporting agency. If they don’t correct it quickly, then file a report with the CFPB. It’s online and thanks to Senator Warren. The reporting companies resolve the issues rapidly. Then start with the Chase cards while you are under the 5/24 mark. But read a few 101 Points guides for guidance after you get your feet wet.

 

How can people follow you?

On my website: janicelintz.com and on Instagram @janicelintz

 

Thank you Janice

Thank you for letting us dig deep into your travel experiences.  Your trip to Africa definitely sounds epic!  Can’t wait to find out more about your book in the future…

 

Would YOU like to share your points & miles journey on Travel Freedom?

We would all love to find out how YOU travel using points and miles!  If you’d like to be considered for a future “Traveling With Points” interview, please EMAIL US.  We’re always happy to hear more success stories in the points and miles community.

Photos courtesy of Janice Lintz