Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Travel Rewards

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Finding and Using the Right Travel Reward Credit Card for You


It can certainly be a daunting task trying to comb through the hundreds of travel reward credit cards out there to find the right one for you. But, if you know what you’re looking for, you can find the perfect card in no time. Here are some suggestions on finding and using travel reward credit cards.

Figure Out What You Want

Before you start card shopping, you’ll want to determine what it is you’re looking for in a card. If you would like flexibility in your airline choices, then you’ll want to avoid cards that partner solely with one carrier. Ask yourself what kind of rewards you would like from your card. Do you want primarily free flights or do hotel stays and car rentals also appeal to you? Certain cards only offer free or discounted flights, while others offer a variety of rewards, including things like cruises and free hotel stays. Remember that most travel reward credit cards charge annual fees, so, if you are averse to such fees, this will narrow your selection. Figure out how important flexibility in your travel plans is to you. Many cards come with restrictions and/or blackout dates on your reward redemptions, while others have none. This is discussed in more detail below. If you need anymore help, find out what you need to look for when shopping for a credit card.

Pay Attention to Restrictions

If the issuer makes it next to impossible to redeem the rewards you’ve earned, then that defeats the purpose of having the card in the first place! Don’t worry, though, most card issuers are not overly restrictive when it comes to reward redemption for travel reward credit cards. But it’s very important do your homework on card restrictions in order to cull the least restrictive issuers from the group. You will find information on restrictions in the “Terms & Conditions” section of the card agreement. Read it carefully, looking for things like any blackout dates, point expiration dates, and restrictions on airlines. If after reviewing the agreement you still are not clear on restrictions, contact customer service.

Watch for Fees

As a general rule, travel reward credit cards come with slightly higher interest rates than other cards because of the valuable rewards they offer. Check out APR’s when you are comparing cards and balance this information with the other benefits the card has to offer. If you pay off your balance each month, this will not be an issue. Also look for any annual fees. Sometimes issuers charge an annual fee for the privilege of earning free travel rewards. If you have good credit, though, finding travel reward credit cards with decent APR’s and no annual fees should not be that difficult.

Maximize Your Rewards

The amount of travel rewards you accumulate will depend on the type of program you are enrolled in, as well as how the issuer defines an “eligible purchase.” For instance, some creditors will give you more rewards points for spending on things like gas and travel expenses. One type of travel reward credit card, called travel rebate credit cards, gives you more points when you use your card to purchase airline tickets. In fact, you might even be able to earn double or triple points when buying tickets through a certain airline. If you take advantage of these types of programs, you will be able to earn your way to a free flight much faster.