Good Reasons for Using a Travel Card on Vacation

Good Reasons for Using a Travel Card on Vacation

It’s true that you can use your everyday credit card for just about anything, including paying for expenses while you’re vacationing abroad. But you might just realize that travel cards, which were designed with travel expenses in mind, might be a better deal.

Here are some excellent reasons why you may want to go with a travel card when you’re going places:

Travel Awards

Credit cash rewards can come in several ways. You might get cash back rewards or points.

And then there are travel rewards. These travel rewards are often part of the deal when you use travel cards. These travel rewards may include airline miles, stays at particular hotels, meals at restaurants, and perhaps even tickets for concerts and similar events.

Travel Upgrades

This is a popular reward with co-branded travel cards, as you get benefits with a particular airline or hotel group. So, the card might reward you by upgrading your coach seat in Delta Airlines to business class. Or you might enjoy a priority check-in for flights.

Or your standard hotel room might become a luxury room or suite. You might get a priority late check-out during your hotel stay, or maybe you can get free use of the hotel’s fitness center or the Wi-Fi.

Bonus Reward Points for Travel Purchases

You may get extra miles or points when you use the travel cards to make your travel purchases. And instead of just a single point for every dollar spent, you might get more points.

It’s even possible to get 5 points for each dollar, depending on the type of purchase you make. For example, you might qualify for more points per dollar if you use the travel card to buy your airline tickets, to pay for your hotel stay, or for car rentals.

What that means is that it’s theoretically possible that instead of getting just 1,000 points for your $1,000 travel purchase, you might get up to 5,000 points instead.

Generous Signup Bonuses

This type of welcome bonus is another tempting benefit when you signup for a travel card. Depending on the circumstances, your rewards might end up worth several hundreds of dollars.

You can use the welcome bonus towards your vacation packages, airline flights, cruises, hotel stays, and room upgrades. Just remember that you usually have a minimum spending requirement within a few months of signing up for the signup bonuses to kick in. This minimum spending requirement will differ depending on the particular card, but in most cases, it’s within a range of $500 to $5,000.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

Lots of card companies charge a foreign transaction fee when you use your card outside the US and the transaction amount is then converted to the local currency. Usually, this is about 3%. That might not seem a big deal, but when your total purchases abroad reach $10,000, that means you’re also paying an extra $300 for these fees.

But some travel cards specify that there are no foreign transaction fees, and that’s always a good thing.

Access to Airport Courtesy Lounges

Waiting for you flight can be a rather aggravating experience, since most airports aren’t havens of serenity. These places can be crowded and noisy. But then there are airport courtesy lounges that allow you to escape the mayhem, where you can relax in relative comfort. The chairs are more comfortable, you have free snacks, there are newspapers and magazines, and the Wi-Fi might even be free.

You normally have to pay for this privilege, and that typically costs at least $25 per person. But you might be able to get in for free if that’s one of the perks that comes with the travel card!

Air France – Salon La Première – Paris Charles-de-Gaulle

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