Credit cards are almost a ubiquitous part of the modern day society and people swipe them to pay for everything starting from groceries to card to gum sticks! America is a country that loves to use credit cards and probably that is the reason behind all those ads and bonuses which you have to sign up with. As there are plethora of options regarding credit cards, how would you know which one would be a good choice for traveling?
Travel credit cards offer wide array of opportunities to earn free points which you can redeem for hotels, airfares or cold hard cash. In the rat race to grab customers, credit card issuing companies are joining hands with different travel brands which entice consumers with loyalty points, bonuses, special rebates and so on. But how are you supposed to choose the best travel credit card? What are the tricks to watch out for?
1. Sign-up bonus should be huge enough
If the sign-up bonuses after you meet the card’s requirement for spending is huge, this gets your mileage account going and you get closer to a free flight. Don’t ever make the mistake of signing up with a card which doesn’t offer you high sign-up bonus. Are you wondering how bonuses work? Well, if you want to get a large bonus, you should either make a single purchase or meet a minimum expense limit within a certain time period. After that, depending on your credit card, you may earn 1-4X points per dollar that you spend.
2. Extra category spending bonus
Most credit cards offer a single point for each and every dollar that you spend but good travel credit cards will give you added points when you shop at some particular retailers. You can hereby add points much quickly. You should not want one dollar to be equivalent to one point and hence look forward to the ability to get 2-3 points each time you spend a dollar. Use those cards in your day-to-day spending and earn more than a dollar per mile.
3. The minimum spending amount should be low
It is sad enough to note that in order to grab bonuses which are offered by such cards, there is a required minimum spending amount. Although there are ways in which you can fake your spending, it is best when you’re able to snag the bonus using your regular expenses. You should typically sign up with those cards which have a minimum spending requirement of about $1000-3000 in a period of 3-6 months. Having a goal and starting with travel credit cards is good when you start small.
4. Cards with special perks and benefits
All the travel credit cards offer huge benefits and perks for the credit card holders. There are many credit card companies which will offer you special elite loyalty reward programs and other added perks. You should look out for cards with foreign transaction fees, free checked luggage, free nights, priority boarding and much more options. Remember that it is not just about achieving some miles; it is all about what else comes with the travel card that could make life easier and smart.
5. Foreign transaction fees
Majority of the credit cards usually charge a 3% fee when you use them abroad. Credit cards are great offers as you can grab a good exchange rate from them but if you pay a fee each time you use the card, then the result is not as good. The best card for averting foreign fees is the Capital One Venture Card. Though there is no yearly fee, yet there is no such reward structure as well.
Hence, if you’re eager to take a travel credit card, ensure taking into account the above mentioned factors so that you may choose the best card in the market. The better is the card you choose, the better will be the benefits that you reap.