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La Jolla Mom

Should Every Luxury Traveler Have a Regal Card?

BY La Jolla Mom

There’s no doubt that luxury travelers can benefit from a Regal Card. I have updated this post to reflect new pricing changes that make the membership even more attractive.

Before we get started, let me say that I’d hadn’t heard of this exclusive membership until they contacted me for editorial purposes. I scrutinized the details and asked for some hotel quotes that wound up low enough to make accepting a complimentary year’s membership and affiliate partnership worthwhile.

Over the last several months, I’ve used the membership multiple times and feel confident enough to share the details of how it’s gone and why I’ll keep it. Plus, they’ve just decreased the base membership price to $99.

There are definitely things to know, however, before you take the leap.

What Is a Regal Card?

Regal Card is an amazing elite membership card that allows members to experience the luxuries of first-class travel benefits at a lower cost. It’s a fairly big and reputable operation. The membership includes:

  • unlimited lounge access
  • premium travel insurance
  • 24/7 personal concierge
  • preferred rates for air/hotel/car
  • preferred cruise rates
  • elite status for hotel and rental car
  • points redemption service
  • discounted visa and passport services
  • discounted airport parking
  • many, many more travel discounts

To be honest there are too many benefits to cover in this post. We’re talking discounts on private jets, international luggage shipping, walking tours, sporting event tickets and even nice sunglasses.

Air Benefits

While initially excited about the discounted luxury hotel aspect, what wound up really selling me on the membership are the air benefits.

DragonPass Lounge Membership

The Regal Card provides members with DragonPass lounge access. I didn’t think I’d use this because I have status on American Airlines, an Admirals Club Membership and fly business or first exclusively on international flights. I love airline lounges so much that I’d rather sit in them than shop duty-free.

But, it turns out I’ve used it several times. I used it in the Venice and Nice airports most recently with out issues. It is worth checking out the DragonPass network (there are over 1000 lounges at 400 airports) to see if lounge access is provided at airports you frequent.

Here is what you need to know. The Regal Card base membership gives you a DragonPass access where you would pay $25 to enter a member lounge. This is actually low. I’ve paid much more than that at pay-per-use lounges. Your guests would also be $25. If you choose the Pilot’s Membership, you will have ten free lounge passes and then pay $25 for you and any guests.

Miles and Points Redemption Service

I’m using the miles redemption service to monitor availability for flights to Europe that I’d ideally like to book with miles. This is something I’d normally check on almost every day so quite a time saver. Through Regal Card, I do not pay for monitoring, unlike if I were to use a service like this directly.

Regal Wings

You can access Regal Wings without the Regal Card (the two are affiliated) but I heard about Regal Wings because of my membership. I read that Maroon 5 uses them to book international premium class travel. If it’s good enough for Adam Levine, it’s good enough for me.

Anyway, I spotted a Japan Airlines business class sale and asked Regal Wings to price out an adult and child ticket, too. They came in about $700 total lower than the sale fare which is money in my pocket. And, yes, I still earn American AAdvantage miles as if I had paid retail. I booked business class on British Airways to Athens at about $800 less than retail.

The membership also offers discounts on airport parking, airport meet and greets, black car and other services to ensure a smooth flight.

Wholesale Luxury Hotel Rates

In addition to discounted rates, depending on the hotel, guests can receive free breakfast, room upgrades and other perks when booking through the Regal Card. While the savings is up to 30% on over 300,000 properties worldwide (including Shangri-la, The Ritz-Carlton, Hilton and more), you need to be comfortable with how the process works.

I was in early stages of planning my Hong Kong trip during peak season. I had the agent run several quotes for me and all came back at well less than retail. Jazzed, I booked Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, received my voucher and thought nothing of it until a few months later when I thought I should add spa and other appointments to my reservation as I usually do. The hotel did not have a reservation under my name. I basically flipped out since I prepaid (required) and knew rooms would sell out.

I was told that the agency worked with MO on a corporate level and they in turn held an unassigned room on behalf of the travel agency. It is not assigned to the guest’s name until a few weeks before the reservation at which time the hotel sends their typical email confirmation. Since this hotel (and subsequently most others I like in Central Hong Kong) will sell out on this particular weekend, I was tremendously uneasy with this. I think because of the fuss, they wound up assigning me a room early and sent me a confirmation so it all worked out for me in the end.

To give you an idea, however, I saved about $400 on a 3-night stay booking with Regal Card and was upgraded by two room categories according to the email confirmation I received from the hotel. That being said, if I was headed to Los Angeles or New York City during a non-peak time where there are a gazillion hotel rooms, I’d not have stressed. Have a look at the luxury hotel benefits.

Personal Concierge

I keep forgetting to use this service. Download the app and send requests to your own dedicated concierge who can handle life’s needs from booking dental appointments to finding entertainers for your kid’s birthday party. Seriously. It’s included with Regal Card’s full membership. I could not figure out how to get to our Venice vacation rental from the airport and they found me an awesome private water taxi.

Travel Insurance

Seeing that health insurance has changed so dramatically in the U.S., most of us are likely not to have international coverage on existing health plans. I do not use Regal Card’s travel insurance benefit because it only covers the Regal Card member and we have a family policy. But this could be a real benefit to a member because annual plans like this are not exactly inexpensive.

Automatic Status

The Regal Card comes with Avis Preferred status and instant elite status at Small Luxury Hotels of the World which entitles the member to upgrades and other cool perks. There are a number of boutique hotels I love who are a part of this very large group.

How Much Does The Regal Card Cost?

You have three options when it comes to purchasing a Regal Card.

Navigator’s Club ($99)

  • $25 fee per lounge visit
  • $25 fee per visiting lounge guest
  • Dining & Spa discount program
  • Lifestyle Benefit Collection
  • Instant Elite Status
  • Regal Air

Pilot’s Club ($249)

This package includes all of the above plus 10 lounge passes.

Decision Time

Think about your upcoming travels and weigh the cost savings and convenience Regal Card may bring you. For us, the card will more than pay for itself when I renew it.

 

Do you have experience with The Regal Card?

The Regal Card provides global access to a collection of luxury travel benefits for a fraction of their retail cost.

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