US Premium Travel Credit Card Emerging Features Benchmark 2021

How 8 Leading Cards Meet Prospective Customers’ Demands

Executive Summary


  1. Which key emerging features do prospective US travel credit card customers value most?
  2. How can these features best attract and engage customers?
  3. How do top premium travel credit card programs compare with their competitors on key features or categories of features?

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? Competition to attract prospective travel credit card holders is growing fiercer as travel—along with consumers’ credit appetite—picks up. This inaugural benchmark report evaluates premium travel credit cards (with annual fees ranging from $75 to $99) based on their features across seven categories, and we weight their scores according to the results from a survey of US adults interested in a travel credit card.

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KEY STAT: Of the 49 travel credit card features included in our study, various ways to earn rewards placed in three spots among the top five travel credit card features. The other top features fell under Security and Control (first place) and Payment Flexibility (fourth).

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Key Findings
  3. Introduction
  4. Leading Premium Travel Credit Card Programs in 2021
  5. No. 1: Security and Control
  6. No. 2: Earning Rewards
  1. No. 3: Shopping
  2. No. 4: Payment Flexibility
  3. No. 5: Travel and Entertainment Features
  4. No. 6: Redeeming Rewards
  5. No. 7: Advanced Digital Features
  6. Methodology
  1. Terms and Definitions
  2. Survey Demographics
  3. Appendix
  4. Read Next
  5. Sources
  6. Media Gallery

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David Morris


Grace Broadbent
Daniel Decea
Researcher, Financial Services
Na Li
Director, Primary Research
Reuben Loewy
Director, Report Editing
Jaime Toplin
Senior Analyst
Ona Koehler
Senior Director, Benchmarking
Tyler Brown
Senior Analyst
Daniel Van Dyke
VP, Content