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The No Fee Travel Card You Need to Have

The No Fee Travel Card You Need to Have

Every traveler should have a travel credit card.  But what travel credit card should you get?  When The Professor starts talking about travel credit cards, the response he usually gets is "I don't want to get a gimmicky travel credit card where I am trapped into paying an annual fee or spending a lot of money to get the benefits".  In this blog post, The Professor recommends a card from personal experience, that fits the bill for the occassional traveler and tells you why you need, at the very least,  that travel credit card.

The Professor receives no compensation or rewards for recommending this card.

The travel credit card we are talking about is the Barclays American Airlines Aviator Card.  

  • There is NO annual fee for the first year. 
  • The minimum spend requirement is $1.
  • Once the card is issued, most benefits are available to the traveler.

These are the Most Valuable Benefits to the Traveler:

  • 60,000 American Airlines bonus miles after making the first purchase with the card within 90 days of issuance
  • Travel Insurance:  Although the amount of travel insurance is limited, it does provide some degree of protection at no cost. More on that later.
  • If flying American Airlines, first checked bag is free, priority boarding, and a $25 inflight wi-fi credit.

These are the Secondary Benefits to the Traveler:

  • Anniversary $99 companion traveler certificate.  This requires payment of the $99 annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees.  Lots of credit cards off this. 

What The Professor Does Not Like About the Card

  • The travel insurance is limited.  The $1500 cancellation/delay amount per trip is probably the minimum amount you would want to be insured for.  The emergency medical evacuation insurance (if you need to be transported back home) is insufficient and the medical coverage is not terrific.  However, I recommend supplementing that with an good an inexpensive annual policy like this:

This is how The Professor used his Barclay's card.

  • Signed up and received the card.
  • Made a $10 purchase.
  • 60,000 miles deposited into The Professor's American Airlines AAdvantage account.
  • With those miles, The Professor purchased 2 round-trip airline tickets worth $960.

At this point, it would be up to the card holder to cancel the card or renew it after 1 year for $99 for other benefits.

Here is the full benefits guide to the Barclays Aviator Card:

In future blog posts, The Professor talks about other travel credit cards.  Stay tuned. 






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