As a frequent traveler, I've always been flabbergasted at just how stressful and frustrating air travel can be. From dealing with crowds and lines to the hassle of getting through security and having to hunt for a spot to sit that's next to an outlet — it's a miserable experience, and one we actually spend a lot of money to endure.
Or, at least, it WAS a miserable experience before I discovered this life-changing travel hack that I can't shut up about. OK to be fair, it's not a hack, it's a travel credit card, and it's probably the most popular credit card for millennials: the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
For years, my friends who travel for work have been telling me to try this card, and my main hesitation was that it has a pretty high annual fee ($450), but once you factor in the $300 a year travel credit you get with it — which includes Uber and Lyft in addition to hotels, Airbnb, flights, etc. — it's actually only $150 per year, and let me tell you, it's so, so worth it.
The first way this card significantly changed my air travel experience for the better is something you can get without it, but the card covers the cost of enrolling in Global Entry ($100 every four years). I have family in Canada, so having international travel streamlined is a huge lifesaver. Included in Global Entry is TSA Precheck, and this is a MUST for anyone who travels. Unless you enjoy taking your shoes off, standing in long lines, and taking your computer out of your bag every time you have to go through security. I, for one, do not, and there is nothing like the satisfaction of breezing through that TSA Precheck line in five minutes flat.
But hands down, the best perk of this card, the one thing that has me actually excited to go to the airport, is the complimentary lounge access. With this card, you're able to use more than 1,000 Priority Pass lounges around the world, for free. And truly, you can't put a price on the feeling of sheer and utter bliss as you enter a calm, quiet oasis of comfy couches, outlets galore, free food and alcoholic beverages, and even showers at some locations. To be able to sit at a table by yourself and get in some work with a glass of wine by your side, freshen up or change clothes in a private bathroom, or even take a little cat nap during a long layover is a luxury that makes the stress of air travel bearable.
If you travel a ton for business or pleasure, I can't recommend the Chase Sapphire Reserve card enough!