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I am researching for a travel credit card. I don't fly frequently, but I spend around $2000-3000 at max/year (domestic and international) in air fare.

Should I go for a travel card, do I even need one?

If yes, then what kind of card? For example, Virgin's white card ($49/yr with less benefits) or black card ($90/yr with more benefits)

How do you make the judgement of which card to go for, black card is obviously better but need to pay more? Is it worth it?

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This is just my opinion, but paying an annual fee for a credit card these days is simply not worth it. – JohnFx Jul 11 '12 at 18:55
Yeah, that's the thing which is stopping me from applying for this card. – zengr Jul 11 '12 at 18:57
I'm with JohnFX on this, I oppose paying any annual fees for benefits. – Kirill Fuchs Jul 11 '12 at 19:26
I am mostly in agreement with JohnFx too, but in some cases, a fee might be worth it. For example, one credit card charges a $95 fee per year, but allows you to check one bag on one particular airline without paying the $25 fee. If one is an infrequent flyer (as the OP says he is) and resides in a town served only by that airline (as I do), the fee would be recovered in just one round-trip. Of course, frequent flyers with Gilt Platinum status can check a bag for free because of their status, and such people should ignore this comment. – Dilip Sarwate Jul 11 '12 at 19:57
up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is just my opinion, but paying an annual fee for a credit card these days is simply not worth it. Also, if you are just going for the airline miles, I'd suggest a cash back card is a better choice. Cash is much more fungible between airlines, and they can't jack with your rewards by limiting the number of award seats or the number of miles/surcharges for using frequent flier miles on tickets.

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+1 for pointing out that airlines miles as rewards are usually not worthwhile and cash back is a better choice. – Dilip Sarwate Jul 11 '12 at 19:59

Look at the list of benefits that the card gives, then compare the benefits to what you can get from a regular credit card, and then to a cash back card.

Remember that most major credit cards have certain protections including rental car coverage.

If it will take years to earn the free trip you want, you may find that the benefits aren't worth the cost. They can also change the rules before you can earn/use the benefit. So make sure that you are comfortable with that gamble.

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+1 for pointing out that free trip rules can change before one gets to use the benefit. – Dilip Sarwate Jul 11 '12 at 20:02

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