Credit Cards » Credit Card Guides » Leverage Credit Card Statement Credits – Full Guide
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Leverage Credit Card Statement Credits – Full Guide

Credit card statement credits can get you a partial or full refund of specific charges on your account. However, you need to meet certain requirements to receive a refund.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

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Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: January 1, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: January 1, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

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What are Credit Card Statement Credits?

Credit card statement credits are offered by some of the biggest credit card companies including Citi, Chase, Capital One, Bank of America, and American Express. They are offered by credit card companies to give you a partial or full refund of specific charges on your account. You need to complete a qualifying activity in order to receive a refund.

For example, if you have a $50 credit for Uber and spend it on a qualifying Uber ride, you will get refunded the $50. This basically gives you a free ride. Statement credits are usually hotel spending, inflight WIFI, dining, or other airlines fees.

You can get credit card statement credits from reward points or from completing activities that will give you a refund.

How Can I Benefit from Statement Credits?

You can easily benefit from statement credits by receiving chunks of money back that you spent previously. The only catch is that you have to upfront the money and be able to go without it for a month before you receive it back on your statement credit.

Every credit card company has different rules and qualifying purchases, so just make sure you are reading the guidelines from your company and ensuring you are making qualifying purchases so you can get your money back. Always read the terms and conditions.

If you are interested in having a credit card that will give you statement credits and help you save money on a purchase that matters the most to you, there are many different kinds of cards to choose from. Each card will also offer different statement credit types as well as other rewards and perks to help you save money.

1. Airline Fee Credit

If you’ve flown recently, you are probably well aware of how much airlines charge for extras now. Some airlines even charge for carry-on bags or seat selections.

Using an airline fee credit will allow you to travel with more comfort and ensure you have everything you need for your trip by giving you free baggage and other things.

  • Business Platinum Card from American Express – American Express is one of the top cards for gaining travel credits because they allow you to redeem travel right through AMEX or you can transfer your points and rewards directly to the airline. You will need to select an airline for your airline purchases including Delta, Frontier, and American.
  • Platinum Card from American Express – This is another option from American Express. You can get credits back for spending money at Global Lounge Collection lounges in airports all over the world. This includes day passes you might purchase when waiting around in the airport. You can also get airline credits for in-flight WIFI and refreshments.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card – Hilton Honors is another option from American Express. Even though it’s a hotel credit card, you also get airline credits for purchasing extra baggage or in-flight refreshments on certain qualifying airlines. Overall, you can get a $250 airline fee credit per year that you have the card. You can 
The American Express Platinum card, one of the best for credit card statements
The American Express Platinum card, one of the best for credit card statements (Photo by Artem Oleshko/Shutterstock)

2. Reward Flight Statement Credit

This will basically give you a free flight if you make enough qualifying purchases annually.

You will need to purchase the flight from a qualifying airline to a qualifying location, so always make sure to check the terms and conditions of your credit card before buying. This will give you a free flight every year if you make enough purchases to earn it.

  • British Airways Visa Signature Card – The British Airways ticket gives you statement credits for taxes and fees. Taxes and fees are often the most expensive part of flying as the base fare for flights are often cheap compared to taxes and fees. On a one-way first-class, the surcharges can be $900 or more. With this credit card, you will be saving a ton of money.
  • AMEX Delta Cards – American Express offers many different options for Delta reward cards, such as the Delta SkyMiles Gold or Delta SkyMiles Reserve. Once you earn enough points if you have a certain tier of the card, you can get a free flight credit as well as a companionship certificate. You will need to upfront the money for your ticket while your companion will get a free flight. 
Get Delta flight statement credit
Get Delta flight statement credit with Delta credit cards (Photo by NextNewMedia/Shutterstock)

3. General Travel Credits

This encompasses a broader variety of different transactions rather than focusing on airlines or hotels specifically. It can give you direct access to airport lounges, spending bonus categories, and better in-flight entertainment and refreshments.

These credit cards are great if you travel often and you want to be able to use your credits on a variety of different airlines.

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve – This is by far one of the best cards you can get for travel. They offer a $300 annual statement credit for travel which means you are eligible to get $300 back in travel reimbursements. The categories are pretty high including airlines, hotels, campgrounds, travel agencies, and car rental agencies. Basically, anything involving travel can be reimbursed up to $300.
  • Citi Prestige Card – This is basically the Citi version of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card except the statement credit is $250. You can use the travel credits for all things relating to travel including airlines, ferries, hotels, commuter transportation, and passenger railways. You can also use the credit for car rental agencies and cruise lines.
  • U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card – The Altitude  card offers a $325 travel credit per year. The credit is automatic but it must be made directly to the travel-related purchase, not through third-party apps or services. It includes reimbursement for airlines, hotels, cruise lines, passenger trains, taxis, and car rental companies. You can also get credit for WIFI passes and Global Entry.
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4. Hotel Statement Credits

If you travel often and stay in hotels, especially long-term, you need to take advantage of hotel statement credits.

Hotels can often cost more than the flight itself depending on where and when you are traveling. Getting reimbursed for hotel stays is a fantastic way to save money on every vacation.

  • Amex Platinum Card – The Amex Platinum Card comes with $200 in prepaid hotel credits. It can also be used at more than one hotel chain, so you don’t need to commit to one hotel every time you travel. To get the statement credits, you need to book directly through Amex Travel and prepay. You can’t pay at the hotel and earn this credit.
  • Hilton Aspire Card – If you choose to get the Hilton Aspire Card, you get a $250 Hilton Resort credit every year. You also get a $100 credit at the Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties. You can be reimbursed for rooms as well as any extras you add on while staying at the hotel.
Use Hilton credit on Hilton hotel chain
Use Hilton credit on Hilton hotel chain

5. Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit

Several premium credit cards offer statement credits to cover the application fees for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, making these programs essentially free for cardholders.

When paying the application fee, use the eligible credit card that provides the statement credit. This is a crucial step to trigger the reimbursement.

The statement credit is typically applied to the credit card account after the cardholder charges the application fee to their card. Here are some of the cards that offer this benefit:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: $100 credit every 4 years.
  • Capital One Venture X: $100 credit every 4 years.
  • American Express Platinum Card: $100 credit every 4 years for select Amex cards.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card: $100 credit every 4 years.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card: $100 credit every 4.5 years.
  • IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card: $100 credit every 5 years
TSA PreCheck and Global Entry: how they compare?
Global Entry membership provides TSA Precheck (Photo by David Tran Photo/Shutterstock)

6. Equinox Credit

Equinox credit is a lesser-known statement credit and probably won’t be used by as many people as travel credits and airline fee reimbursements.

However, if you are into fitness and gyms, this could be a good option for you. The credits can be used or paid for regular gym memberships as well on-demand fitness training videos.

  • AMEX Platinum Card – This platinum card by American Express offers up to $300 in Equinox statement credits every year. You have to enroll in their special program though and you will receive the statement credit as $25 per month. This includes monthly membership fees to the gym and the standalone Equinox membership that you purchase through the app.
  • Centurion Card – The Centurion card offers up to $3,000 in Equinox statement credits every year which equates to $250 a month. This is a fantastic deal if you are spending a ton of money at the gym and need help paying for it. Make sure you are actually using the statement credits though with this card as it comes with a huge annual fee and you will want to make sure you are making it worth it.
general travel statement credit
Chase Sapphire Reserve offers general travel statement credit (Photo by Africa Studio/Shutterstock)

How to Maximize Your Statement Credits

The best way to maximize your statement credits is to take advantage of every opportunity. Remember that you only get a certain dollar amount of credits per year, and they do not rollover.

If you don’t use them before your card anniversary, you will lose the entire credit. Make sure to plan your travel or book your hotel rooms before the time is up, and choose a great travel rewards card.

You also need to consider how much money you spend on the annual fee. You always want to make sure you are getting more money in statements than you are paying for the card to ensure you are getting your money back.

So, if you pay an annual fee of $300, you need to make sure you are using statement credits for at least up to that amount.

Limitations: What Should Cardholders Look For?

When dealing with travel credits offered by credit cards, there are several limitations and important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Eligible Expenses: Travel credits are often limited to specific types of expenses, such as airfare, hotel stays, rental cars, or dining. Be sure to understand the exact categories of expenses that qualify for the credit.

  • Merchant Restrictions: Some cards may have specific partnerships or limitations on eligible merchants. Check whether the credits can only be applied to certain airlines, hotels, or restaurants, and verify that your preferred vendors qualify.

  • Expiration Dates: Travel credits often come with expiration dates. Make sure to use them within the designated timeframe to avoid losing the benefit. Some credits may reset annually, while others may have a “use it or lose it” policy.

  • Annual vs. Calendar Year: The timing of when credits reset can vary. Some cards reset credits on a calendar year basis (January to December), while others reset on the cardholder's account anniversary. Understand the timing to maximize the benefit.

  • Refund Policies: If you cancel a booked travel arrangement that you used a travel credit for, understand the card's policies regarding refunds or reapplying the credit to another expense.

  • Activation Requirements: Certain travel credits may require activation or enrollment in a program to become eligible. Check if there are any steps you need to take to ensure you receive the benefits.

By carefully reviewing these limitations and considerations, cardholders can make informed decisions about how to use their travel credits effectively and get the most value out of their travel-focused credit cards.

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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