#ad How can you travel while earning rewards along the way? You need a travel credit card.
Whether you want a card that allows you to earn points to use toward flights, hotels or other purchases, has no foreign transaction fees or offers access to exclusive experiences, this guide will show you how to use a credit card to travel more!
One of the top questions I'm asked as a frequent traveler is: What is the best credit card for travel? I'm so excited to go in-depth about not only which card is best, but how to maximize a travel credit card for all the benefits!
I just went on one of the coolest trips of my life: dining on the Royal Yacht Britannia with the Commodore himself, having the best seats at The Open at St. Andrews, frolicking through a Scottish castle, staying at the incredible 5-star Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh, and I did it all just by being a Chase Avios cardmember.
What sets a credit card apart for me is not only the benefits of racking up points on travel and other purchases, but the actual experiences you can take advantage of. That's exactly why I recommend one of the Chase Avios Credit Cards.
Your credit card does so much more than you think. There are so many options out there and it can be tough to choose the right credit card that will work for you and help you not only get money back but also the opportunity to embark on cool experiences. Chase and Avios understand that you don't just want to travel, you want to make memories.
The Best Credit Card for Travel
Before we get into all the fun details about the trip, I want to share more about the Chase Avios Credit Cards. These cards are the way to go for travel. So, I’m sure you’re wondering how you can you use it to travel? It's pretty simple. The Chase Avios Family of Credit Cards includes the British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia Visa Signature® Credit Cards.
We have the British Airways Visa Signature Card and being a cardmember offers access to truly unparalleled experiences simply by using your card to earn and redeem Avios.
How to Earn Avios
It’s super easy! By using your Chase Avios Credit Cards on everyday purchases, flights, hotels, transportation and food, you earn Avios. You can then redeem Avios for things such as flights, hotels, car rentals or exclusive cardmember events.
With Avios, cardmembers can also book reward flights and even pay the taxes, fees and carrier charges with Avios. Avios can also be used for hotels, car rentals and Avios part payment – reducing the cash amount paid for flights. As a frequent traveler, I find it's very easy to earn Avios quickly so that I can enjoy the many benefits.
Chase Avios Credit Card Benefits
So, what are the other benefits? For new cardmembers, you can currently earn 75,000 Avios after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. You can also earn an additional 25,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 within the first 12 months after opening your account. I’d recommend checking this out now if you’re interested, as this offer won’t last for long!
Cardmembers earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Iberia flights, and 2 Avios for every $1 spent on hotel stays when booked directly with the hotel, and 1 Avios for all other purchases. Here's a look at additional benefits available on my Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card:
- 10% off British Airways flights starting in the U.S.
- Up to $600 in Reward Flight Statement Credits each year
- Travel Together Ticket: Earn a Travel Together Ticket every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Credit Card. Valid for two years when you redeem Avios for a flight on British Airways for a companion traveling on the same flight. Or you can now use it for a 50% discount on the Avios price you pay when booking a solo reward flight!
- Use Avios to pay for taxes, fees, and carrier charges on reward flights.
- And other benefits!
The card is super flexible since you can redeem your Avios for not only travel, but for one-of-a-kind cardmember experiences as I mentioned earlier! To me, this is what truly sets this credit card apart.
Chase Avios Experience Golf History Event
Now, let's get to the fun part: my incredible travel experience attending one of the Chase Avios cardmember events.
I went to the 2022 marquee cardmember event: Experience Golf History in Edinburgh, Scotland this year to celebrate one of golf’s most storied Majors and all that historic Scotland has to offer. I've been to Edinburgh a few times, but I've never had dinner on the Royal Yacht Britannia WITH the commodore (captain) of the ship. He told us stories of dining with the queen, gave us a splendid tour of the boat, and we dressed up in full Scottish regalia – Michael even donned a kilt! These are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that are offered exclusively for Chase Avios cardmembers.
I travel quite extensively, but I can happily say I've never had an experience like this. Everything was taken care of – from the moment we landed in Edinburgh we were whisked into a whimsical Scottish experience.
For 5 days, I had a whirlwind experience in Edinburgh. Here were some of the highlights:
- A tour of Edinburgh in a traditional red double decker bus
- Dinner at the Royal Burgess Golf Club, the oldest in the world, with golfer Bernard Gallacher!
- Boarding the Britannia Royal Yacht for a formal dinner hosted by Commodore, Anthony Morrow
- Exploration of the Thirlestane Castle with lunch and interactive activities hosted by the estate's family
- Cocktail reception at the newly opened Johnnie Walker Experience
- The main event! A day in St. Andrews attending the historic 150th Open
After my stress-free transfer, we headed to our glorious hotel: The Balmoral. This historic hotel is something that's been on my bucket list for years! A castle-like facade with a towering clock-tower at the top is like a beacon in the city. This is the absolute best view of the old town and Edinburgh castle.
Not only is the hotel simultaneously gorgeous and cozy, this 5-star accommodation has history entwined in the city itself. But my favorite aspect of the hotel had to be that J.K. Rowling stayed in a suite in The Balmoral to finish book 7 in the Harry Potter series: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I felt a sense of creativity buzzing through me as I walked the halls or opened the windows to gaze out at the landscape of Edinburgh. It's easy to see why Rowling would choose THIS hotel as the place to finish her monumental series.
In the evening, we had a cocktail reception in The Balmoral Esk Suite with delicious food, a full bar, and live music. I watched the sunset over the beautiful city, while being excited for the adventure over our next few days!
Each morning, we dined at the lovely hotel which came with a full breakfast buffet, as well as a menu, where we could order delicious Scottish specialties. I particularly loved the little jars of honey, and the hot tea with milk.
In the morning, we hopped on vintage red Double Decker buses where we took a tour of the city and learned more about the incredible history of Edinburgh. We explored the cobblestone streets to find the perfect view at Arthur's Seat.
Then, we chose a guided tour based on our interests in history, food, or the Netflix series: “Outlander.” We opted for the Enlightment Edinburgh Walking Tour, which was fascinating!
Despite visiting this city many times, I had no idea that Edinburgh was the birthplace of the Enlightment which heralds many fathers of thought and initiated many changes that affected the world over.
Next, we dressed up for dinner at the historic Royal Burgess Golf Club. We watched the sunset while eating passed hors d'oeuvres, drinking cocktails and ended with an intimate dinner with golfing legend, Bernard Gallacher, OBE, at the oldest golf club in the world, The Royal Burgess.
The Scottish invented golf, so getting to go to the oldest club in the world to hear Bernard Gallacher’s regale stories of playing was such a treat!
I was thrilled to have some free time in the morning before our VERY exciting night! Michael and I headed on a short-day trip to Rosslyn Chapel, an ornately carved stone chapel shrouded in mystery and legend, a great deal in part to Dan Brown's book “The Da Vinci Code.”
After exploring the chapel, we headed back to The Balmoral for high tea. I adored high tea but experiencing tea at The Balmoral was such a treat. This spectacular room is festooned with a cherry tree with pink blooms, crisp white linens, piping hot tea (wait until you see HOW they serve it!) and decadent crust-less sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, and plenty of treats.
Then, it was time to get ready for the big night! Michael donned a traditional Scottish kilt, fitted to the T with every detail, even a small knife positioned securely in his sock, per tradition. I wore a black dress and a Tartan sash. Each family had a pattern for their kilts and it's a tradition that stems back centuries.
We headed to the immaculate Royal Yacht Britannia in true Scottish Style for a guided tour and formal dinner in the State Dining Room as guests of honor of Commodore Moore. This is the actual yacht of the royal family! We explored the rooms, heard stories of the Queen and royal family, and had a synchronized dinner, which was my favorite of the trip!
I truly felt like royalty that night – all thanks to Chase Avios! It's unbelievable to have such an incredible experience after redeeming Avios earned from my travel-related and everyday purchases.
Our adventure was far from over as we ventured to Thirlestane Castle. The family actually lives in the castle, and it felt like a living, breathing castle as it's one of the oldest inhabited castles in Scotland. I savored the unique experience to not only walk the halls, but we actually dined WITH the family in the most ornate ballroom I've ever seen, it felt like living history.
We also got to watch a falconry display where I had a Hogwarts moment as an owl landed on my arm!
We got a full tour of the historic castle, had a whiskey tasting, and had a bagpipe lesson. Then, we were treated to a surprise jousting tournament on horseback!
To cap off the day, we had an immersive Johnnie Walker Experience featuring flights of whiskey and stunning views of the Edinburgh castle grounds. Even if you‘re not a fan of whiskey, this experience might change your mind, while also offering you a glimpse into the world of whiskey. Don't miss the balcony for beautiful views!
The crowning event of our time in Edinburgh was when we headed to the Final Round of The Open at St. Andrews! This historic event, one of the most important in golf, is hosted in the beautiful town of St. Andrews. We watched the biggest pros compete to win The Open – the oldest and most prestigious Major. We viewed the competitors in style with a private balcony overlooking hole 14. This was perfect spot to view the whole course while we dined on delicious food and drinks.
Not only was this a historic golf tournament at one of the incredible courses in the world, but it was also the 150th anniversary! This was a landmark Championship at St. Andrews, and the finale was exciting as Cameron Smith clutched victory over Rory McIlroy at the Open.
The service at St. Andrews was unmatched! We had access to unlimited food and drinks in a comfortable environment – the best way to watch a sporting event if you ask me!
We also wandered around St. Andrews, a pretty town perched on the sea with ancient ruins and rows of shops and restaurants..
We returned with plenty of time to watch the finale of golf hit its crescendo as Cameron Smith won the Championship.
We headed home after a wonderful time exploring the incredible city of Edinburgh: dining on the Royal Yacht Britannia and at the Royal Burgess, experiencing life in a castle and a magical stay at The Balmoral hotel, and watching the historic Open at St. Andrews! It was truly a once -in-a-lifetime experience, and it was all made possible thanks to Chase Avios.
This post is sponsored by Chase and all opinions are my own. #ChasePartner #AviosPartner #ChaseAviosEvents