With so many travel credit cards out there, choosing the right one can be a very difficult decision. This is an important decision to make because the travel credit card you’ll choose can affect your financial health and the overall quality of your life. Choosing a travel credit card that requires you to pay expensive membership fees annually, for example, will prevent you from traveling more often as you’ll likely won’t have any more budget for it.
To make your choice easier, we have compiled these tips for choosing the best travel credit cards. You won’t have any problems choosing the best travel credit card when you know what factors to consider when making a decision. With the right travel credit card, you’ll be able to take trips as often as you want to and not worry about having debts.
Here’s our list of the best tips when choosing travel credit cards:
Apply For More Than One Card
When it comes to travel credit cards, frequent travelers prefer to have more than one card. For instance, they might get one card to book plane tickets and another for hotel rooms. That’s because one of the credit cards offer better deals with plane tickets and the other offers better hotel room deals. The trick is to compare before booking.
Applying for more than one card is important because this allows you to know your options and how each of these differ from each other. Doing so will also make it easier for you to weigh the pros and cons of all of your options. You might even be surprised how certain travel credit cards allow you to sell AmEx credit card points in 2021 for cash.
Kind of Travel Credit Card
Travel credit cards can be broadly divided into two types: co-branded cards and general travel cards. Co-branded travel cards are affiliated with a particular airline or hotel brand. This means when you use co-branded travel cards, you will only get discounts with that particular hotel or airline. Co-branded travel cards are a good idea if you plan on sticking on one airline or already have a preferred brand.
General Travel credit cards offer your rewards and points on all your travels. They give you discounts with more than one airline and hotel, but the discount might not be as high as with co-branded travel cards.
When deciding what kind of travel credit card to get, assess where you usually travel and stay during your trip. If you’re fond of going back to your travel destinations and stay in the same hotels, a co-branded travel card might be apt for your needs. On the other hand, if you don’t want to visit the same country twice or stay at the same hotel whenever you travel, consider getting a general travel credit card.
Sign up bonuses
All good travel credit card companies offer a sign-up bonus. Once you make your first purchase or spend a minimum amount, you can access your sign-up bonus. A good sign-up bonus is a free hotel stay or even a free airline ticket.
You should also look at their point system. This means that when you sign-up, you instantly get a thousand or so points in your credit card. New credit cards holders often don’t track their points so they don’t use them. That’s a mistake. With points, you can even bring down your credit card bills.
The point system of the travel credit card is important because it enables you to save money in the long run and enjoy several perks. The points you’ll earn from using your travel credit card can be used to pay for your airline ticket, accommodation, and even tours. Some travel credit card companies might even give you free trips and accommodations after you’ve gained certain number of points.
Also, ask your credit card provider how many points you will earn with every dollar spent. Look for companies that offer more than one point per dollar.
Don’t miss out the sign-up bonus. Once you miss it, you won’t get it back. You will also not be able to reapply for the loan.
Look at the perks
When you are choosing a travel credit card, you should also look at the benefits they offer. These include booking and travel discounts. With the right travel card, you can also access the first-class lounge at the airports or extra baggage allowance. Some even allow you to bag unbelievable discounts with rental cars. Look for perks that resonate with you. This means you will be using these benefits.
For instance, if you plan to travel with a particular airline, you should look for a travel card that offers discounts with that airline.
No international transaction fees
Travel credit cards are only useful when there is no international transaction fee every time you take out money. Look specifically at transaction fees. Some credit cards have a 3% transaction fees. This might seem like a nominal amount, but if you travel frequently and with the exchange rates, it could add a good amount of money to your travels.
Exchange rates are also something you should be looking. Compare the exchange rate different credit card companies are offering. If you are planning to have more than one credit card, then choose the one that gives you the best exchange rate.
I like to choose cards with low minimum spending. Though high minimum spending isn’t bad, low minimum spending cards offer you a safety net. You aren’t tempted to spend a high amount to access all the bonuses and points. A good idea is to look for a card with a minimum spending limit of 1,000-3,000 dollars within a 3-6 months period.
Also, when you have more than one credit card, it often becomes difficult to track all the due payments. If you already have a charge off on your credit card, this article by Crediful will help you to deal with it in the right manner.
Review your Credit Score
All credit card companies will review your credit score before offering you a travel card. If you have a good credit score, you could get a better deal with the company such as pre-qualify for credit card. That’s why I always suggest reviewing your credit score before you start shopping for travel credit cards.
If your credit score is less than 300, you might want to delay applying for a card. Try to improve your credit score first. The first thing you should be doing is reviewing your credit history and look for discrepancies that will improve your score.