Credit cards, today, are omnipresent in our daily life. They are especially very handy for the traveler. You do not have to carry hard cash when travelling. Credit cards can be conveniently used to pay for all your flights, hotel expenses, shopping and any other expenses. There are many companies that provide credit card services and they all have different advantages and disadvantages. To get more members, credit card companies provide their customers with rewards just for subscribing to them or for using the credit card services. Different credit card companies offer travelers different rewards. To gain most from the cards you need to understand which credit cards suits you best. Below are some things to consider when picking a travel credit card.
Do you favor a particular airline or hotel chain?
If you usually use one particular airline during your travels or if you prefer accommodation from a particular hotel chain, you would get better and more benefits if you had a credit card affiliated to the airline or hotel chain. Using a company affiliated credit card in an airline or hotel not affiliated to the credit card will devalue the points that you would gain from your purchases. If you are using an airline or hotel that has an affiliate credit card and you do not have the card, you would rather use a credit card not affiliated to any company, a good example of such a card is the Capital One Venture Card.
When using a credit card affiliated to an airline, some benefits you could get include free checked baggage, priority boarding, free in-flight Wi-Fi, or airport lounge passes.
Initial and Ongoing Benefits
Most of the credit card companies provide great rewards for customers who sign up for their services. These rewards vary between the different companies with some offering better rewards. There are also the ongoing rewards that the customer enjoys mostly when they make purchases. Before deciding on which credit card to sign up for, one should look for a credit card that will bring about more rewards. Some credit card companies may have great rewards when you join, but the long-term rewards are very little.
If you travel frequently, you should pick a credit card that provides better long term rewards since you will gain more from your frequent travels.
Consider the required minimum
Before one can get rewards from credit cards, there is a required minimum that one has to spend. For example before you can get the 40,000 points offered by Chase Sapphire Preferred, you have to spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. A reward of 40,000 is alluring, but you have to be planning to travel before the three months expire if this card can be practical. It is advisable to get credit cards where you can attain the required minimum amount from your day-to-day expenses. One can, however, opt to pay for an upgrade to the elite status where one earns more rewards.
Most credit cards charge annual fees. The fees charged are usually not more than $100. However, there is the American Express Platinum Card, which has an annual fee of $450. This credit card provides many privileges including free checked luggage, free in-light meals, access to Priority Pass Select airport lounges, and free foreign transactions. If you travel a lot, and you do not mind paying extra for comfort, this is a good plan, but it would not be viable if you do not travel much.
Annual fees are good since they provide many benefits. They also help the members accumulate points in a shorter time and get more insurance cover.
Apply for specific Credit cards
It is not automatic that when you apply for a credit card you will get it. As such, some people opt to apply for as many credit cards as possible so that they can increase their chance of getting a credit card. This is very wrong. One should only apply for a credit card that is beneficial considering their lifestyle. For example, you cannot apply for the American Express Platinum Card if you are not a frequent flyer and you are not ready to spend much on luxuries.
Apart from getting a card that is not right for you, you will also get a bad reputation from the credit card issuers who will view you as desperate and it will negatively affect your credit score.
Always pay up promptly
When out travelling, it is very easy to spend a lot of money, much more than you had planned to spend. This usually happens to many people and it can have bad repercussions if you will not be able to pay the credit card company at the end of the month. Travel credit cards attract higher interest rates and such payments also eradicate the possibility of earning rewards. Therefore, one should try to pay up as soon as possible.