8 New Credit Card Benefits We’d Love to See for 2022

The pandemic forced credit card issuers to revamp their travel card benefits. Why stop there?
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Written by Sally French
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The travel world as we knew it won’t be back for some time and credit card issuers had to zig and zag their way through the pandemic to bring value to customers in the new normal. We saw things like the addition of Peloton partnerships, travel credits used at grocery stores, discounted streaming services and even credit statements for Dell products.

Why stop there? As travel hopes to slowly rebound, credit card companies would be smart to continue to find new ways to improve the value of their travel cards.

With that said, as NerdWallet travel writers, here are new credit card perks we’d like to see come to fruition in 2022:

Travel credit card reward ideas

1. Vacation rental benefits

When will credit cards crack the vacation rental puzzle? Granted, Airbnb owes much of its success to shaking up the established travel world, including eschewing traditional models like rewards and credit card partnerships, but it’s time someone figured out how to bridge this gap.

As a digital nomad, I generally spend far more on vacation rentals than traditional hotel rooms, yet my credit cards do very little beyond earning a few points. Even a category spending bonus from one of my cards would shake up this paradigm.

2. Wellness perks

Who knows when I’ll be able to really “travel” like I did pre-pandemic, but when that time comes, I’m going to want a massage. I find it strange that so few travel credit cards offer perks for spas, fitness classes and other wellness activities.

Some cards did offer meditation app subscriptions in recent years, which was a welcome and interesting benefit, but this felt more like a way to promote these apps than a true wellness-inspired offering.

3. Smarter offers

Nobody knows more about my preferences than my credit cards, which track nearly every dollar I spend. So when Chase pops into my inbox with an offer like, “Save 20% at the Olive Garden,” I’m appalled.

Don’t you know I’m a snob, Chase?

Frankly, I wish credit card issuers would get a little smarter with that wealth of data they have collected on me, and stop sending me offers and promotions that couldn’t possibly interest me.

4. Uber and Uber Eats purchases

Several higher end American Express cards offer annual credits for Uber rides or Uber Eats, and I have long considered getting one of them. However, these credits apply only to U.S. purchases, which has always been confusing to me because Uber and Uber Eats are available worldwide.

As a result of the exclusion of international purchases, the annual credits (which can be worth hundreds of dollars) aren’t as useful to me because I spend a lot of time outside the U.S.

5. Grocery store bonuses on AmEx cards

American Express grocery/supermarket bonus categories are also currently restricted to U.S. purchases. These supermarket bonus points (4 to 10 points per dollar) are not available to expats, leaving them to earn the standard 1 point per dollar spent.

If AmEx would include global Uber and supermarket purchases, it would make their cards significantly more appealing.

6. A staycation credit

Wouldn’t it be nice if credit card companies found a way to encourage us to spend money on travel without going much beyond our cities? With air travel down for the foreseeable future, it would be interesting if airline incidental credits transitioned into a staycation credit: say, $100 credit toward a hotel within 100 miles of your address.

That would give hotels much-needed business while avoiding out-of-state travel. For consumers, it would be a chance to experience the fancy hotel downtown that you’ve always been curious about but haven't since your own bed is just a couple of miles away. Sure, actually executing this kind of credit would be a logistical nightmare, but I’m just the idea person.

7. Rollover travel statement credits

For credit cards that offer airline incidental or hotel resort credits, I’d like to see them roll over to the next year, so people don’t feel pressured to travel until it’s safe. I see this as a win for credit card companies too, as you’d have to continue holding (and paying annual fees on) your card to allow you to maintain those rolled over credits.

Even a simple one-year rollover would go a long way to helping travelers.

8. An outdoors statement credit

One of the great trends of recent years has been an increase in getting outdoors and experiencing nature. Many national parks, state parks and campgrounds charge entrance fees, so it would be delightful for credit cards to offer a statement credit covering those.

So many cards offer TSA PreCheck or Global Entry benefits that weren't really necessary in 2020 or 2021, which presents an opportunity to swap those out. Perhaps an $80 outdoors credit would be apt. That’s the cost of an America the Beautiful Pass, which covers entrance fees for a year at federal recreation sites including national parks.

The bottom line

There’s no shortage of ideas for what the next batch of new credit card perks and benefits could entail. How credit card issuers adapt in 2022 could have a significant effect on what cards customers sign up for, keep or cancel.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:

Travel Cards from Our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.


Intro offer

Up to $300

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.


Intro offer


Enjoy $250 to use on Capital One Travel in your first cardholder year, plus earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening - that’s equal to $1,000 in travel.

See more travel cards
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