Looking for a way to feel good about your impulse online purchases or late-night Uber rides? Then maximize your credit card points. Thanks to sign-up and spending bonuses, I've enjoyed Dom Pérignon on my way from Bangkok to Sydney and had an in-flight meal served by a chef while en route from Los Angeles to Istanbul, all on credit card miles. But first-class travel is just one benefit of putting purchases on plastic. Companies like American Express and Chase have upped their games, giving millennial consumers access to experiences they might not have otherwise.
Millennials make up more than half of Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmembers, according to a Chase spokesperson. That card created a legit frenzy when it debuted in 2016, thanks to the mega 100,000 points sign-up bonus and triple points on anything deemed "travel." With a broad definition, Chase imagines travel to include taking an Uber to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Chinatown and then riding the subway to karaoke before catching a taxi home. Amex has also created a new category of perks that favor experiences instead of "stuff." Janey Whiteside, who heads American Express's global benefits services, says millennial cardmembers are passionate about travel, dining, fashion, and entertainment. "We look to provide access to exclusive experiences," she explains. To get you started, here is a list of 12 little-known — yet actually exciting — credit card perks you'll actually want to use.
Money back on Amazon purchases: Chase's new Amazon Prime Rewards Credit Card offers five percent back on anything you buy on Amazon.com.
Free Uber rides: Amex recently announced Uber Rides with Platinum, which provides up to $200 annually in Uber credits and automatic Uber VIP status where available.
A free Southwest ticket: The Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card, from Chase, helps you get a coveted companion pass faster because each purchase gets you points toward the free ticket.
Price adjustments: Cards like Chase Freedom will reimburse the difference if an item you purchase with the card is advertised for less within 90 days of when you bought it. Citi offers something similar if a price drops within 60 days.
A new cell phone: Some cards from Citi will cover repairs or offer a refund if you lose or damage your phone (or other item) within 120 days of purchase.
Museum days: Any Bank of America credit card holder is eligible for the Museums on Us program, which offers free access during the first full weekend of every month to a variety of museums and cultural institutions across America, including more than 10 museums in New York City. Merrill Lynch and US Trust credit card holders are also eligible.
Tickets to Hamilton: The American Express Platinum card offers concert and theater access, which has included hard-to-get tickets to Hamilton at face value for qualifying cardmembers. Amex has ongoing offers for high-profile entertainment access.
A shower at the airport: Platinum cardholders can access American Express's airport Centurion Lounge throughout the country and the convenient shower suites. An airport shower is perfect if you have a long layover or are taking a flight after a long day. Cards like Citi's AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard give access to airline-specific lounges, like American Airlines' Admiral Club, which often come with a shower, too.
Celebrity sightings at Sundance: At last year's Sundance Film Festival, Chase Sapphire Preferred customers received perks like a warm lounge and priority box-office tickets for screenings.
SoulCycle at Coachella: Amex opened a Platinum House for 2017's first weekend at Coachella, where cardholders could take a SoulCycle class and also enjoy celebrity DJ sets and free food and drinks.
A feast in Aspen: Amex teamed up with Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard for exclusive tastings and more at the 2017 FOOD & WINE Classic.
Free wine tasting: Planning a trip to California wine country? Dozens of wineries in Sonoma County offer complementary tastings and other perks for Visa Signature cardholders.
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