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The Business Traveler U.S. Awards 2022: Credit Cards, Luggage, Land and Ocean Transit

by Business Traveler

December 5, 2022

Viking in Budapest / Photo: Courtesy of Viking

How you pay for travel has become invaluable for business and vacation needs, from hotel perks to flight points. American Express Platinum wins in each of its nominated categories, while Rimowa’s stylish and durable luggage collections earn the award for Best Luggage Brand. We also looked at all areas of transportation to determine who excelled in travel and transit, including car services, trains and cruises.

Credit Cards

Marriott Bonvoy

Best Hotel Loyalty Program

Marriott Cards / Photo: Courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott’s 30 brands—including The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, W and Edition hotels—encompass more than 8,000 properties in 139 countries. Marriott employs an “advance” program that allows guests to book stays despite not having the required number of points. If you are a member of Marriott, you can earn a fifth night free when booking with Bonvoy points, take advantage of discounted redemption rates of up to 20 percent, and earn points when dining out at more than 11,000 eligible restaurants. Additionally, several other rewards programs include Marriott Bonvoy as a transfer partner. —Alexander Deutsch

American Express Platinum

Best Credit Card for Travel
Best Credit Card Rewards Program

American Express Cards / Photo: Courtesy of American Express

If you travel frequently and place a premium on luxury, the American Express Platinum Card should be in your wallet. Benefits and perks include up to $200 in annual credits for incidental fees charged by an airline of your choice; up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck; access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, Delta Sky Clubs and Priority Pass lounges; complimentary gold status with Hilton and Marriott; bookings through the card’s Fine Hotels + Resorts program; and memberships with Hertz, Avis and National Car Rental. —Alexander Deutsch



Best Luggage Brand

Rimowa / Photo: Courtesy of Rimowa

Hard-shell rolling cases are ubiquitous at airports these days, but Rimowa was the first and remains the gold standard. Founded in 1898, this German brand is celebrating the 85th anniversary of its iconic aluminum case with the distinctive grooved surface. In 2000, Rimowa also was the first to debut a suitcase in lightweight, durable poly-carbonate. In recent years the brand has enhanced its considerable hip quotient by collaborating with other status labels, from Dior and Moncler to Supreme, Off-White and Porsche. Here, the new Essential Sleeve Cabin in matte blue, featuring a front zippered pocket for a laptop. —Laurie Brookins

Land and Ocean Transit


Best Luxury Cruise Line

Viking / Photo: Courtesy of Viking

Celebrating 25 years of cruising, Viking has built a solid reputation with luxury travelers for its destination-focused, highly consistent cruise experience. Sponsorship of Downton Abbey and other PBS programming has created loyalty among affluent consumers, as well as curious travelers who love Viking’s focus on culture, history, science and cuisine (hence their moniker: “The Thinking Person’s Cruise”). Upscale guests cite Viking’s friendly service, top-quality dining, comfortable accommodations, cut-above enrichment and complimentary shore excursions. Viking’s approach to constructing many identical ships has delivered rapid-fire fleet growth, although new purpose-built vessels also now sail the Mekong, Nile and Mississippi rivers. By year’s end, Viking’s fleet of 81 riverboats, eight ocean ships and two new expedition ships will offer voyages that touch all seven continents. —Susan J. Young


Best Train Service in Europe

Eurostar / Photo: David Cabrera

Never mind whether the train from London to Paris is faster than flying (with its unfussy boarding and door-to-door-ish delivery, it probably is). The point is the quality of your travel time. Eurostar, which runs from London’s splendid St. Pancras station to six European destinations (at speeds of up to 186 mph), still retains the bygone romance of rail travel, particularly if you can spring for Business Premier class (Raymond Blanc meal with champagne, anyone?). But the cheaper seats offer the same reliability, the same scenery, the same sense of ease, and the same lack of manic exhaustion when you arrive at your destination. —Chris Wright


Best Car Rental Company in North America

Sixt / Photo: Courtesy of Sixt

Utilizing a premium fleet of German and American cars, Sixt offers attractive weekly rates when reserving a car for more than 28 days. No matter where they might be renting, clients can always access 24/7 customer service and roadside assistance. Members receive benefits such as free additional drivers, discounts of up to 20 percent on future rentals, and free upgrades. —Alexander Deutsch


Best Car Service

Blacklane / Photo: Courtesy of Blacklane

Less expensive than an airport pickup sent by a hotel and more reliable than a ride-sharing service, Blacklane offers a seamless way to arrange a high-end car ride in advance, with all the fees, tips and tolls included in the price. The driver will be waiting in the terminal with a sign, and you will be driven in a luxury Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Chevrolet Suburban, Cadillac Escalade or even Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van if you are traveling with a group. New customers are offered as much as 25 percent off the first ride. —Alexander Deutsch


Best Train Service in North America

Brightline / Photo: Courtesy of Brightline

South Florida is seeded for speed with Brightline, a modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail system. Currently operating from Miami to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, it will soon add stops in Aventura and Boca Raton before launching a route to Orlando. Brightline for Business aims at streamlining South Florida transport for the busy executive through passes, parking and packages centered around business-friendly rates. With travel management simplified, regional meetings are on in comfort and calm. Travelers can take the line two ways: Smart or Premium with Wi-Fi and outlets at each seat. Bright and airy stations in the heart of downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach are beacons of leisure with lounges, restaurants and food stalls. —Lark Gould