5 Platinum Cards You'll Want When You Travel
Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa Signature Card
Annual fee: $95 (first year free)
Woolsey carries this American Airlines(AAMRQ) affinity card himself, partly because the carrier flies to a lot of destinations he goes to.
The expert also likes the card's unusually large initial bonus, though -- 30,000 American Airlines frequent-flier miles when you spend just $1,000 within three months of opening an account.
You'll also get a $100 discount on one American Airlines flight per year if you charge $30,000 over 12 months on your card. That's more than enough to cover your $95 annual fee.
Additionally, the card offers consumers priority boarding, one free checked bag and twice the usual frequent-flier miles whenever they fly American.
"Other airlines offer cards that are similar, but American's upfront bonus is unusually strong -- and very useful for vacations because the airline is such a large carrier," Woolsey say.
Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Card
Annual fee: $65 (free in first year)
Like the Hilton HHonors Visa, this card offers special perks to consumers who frequent one specific hospitality company -- in this case Starwood Hotels & Resorts(HOT) , the parent company of Sheraton, Westin and other upscale brands.
Benefits include 10,000 bonus points to start, plus 20,000 more if you charge $5,000 on the card within the first six months. Those are enough points for a free weekend at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis, Boston's W Hotel or other top-of-the-line Starwood properties.
You can also use your bonus points as frequent-flier miles on some 350 airlines -- an unusually high number for a credit-card program, Woolsey says.
"Many hotel-related credit cards typically have partnerships with just one airline and a few rental-car companies," he says.