Credit BuildingCredit Card Reviews

What Is A Travel Credit Card And Why Do I Need One?

If you’ve spent much time perusing the travel or credit card news, you’ve likely heard about travel credit cards. Some consumers are wary about signing up for any new cards, especially considering that there may be an annual fee. For those who have not yet traveled, air travel can be intimidating and at times, confusing. It also gets complex when you employ more strategies. Those who travel a lot spend considerable times learning and hacking these strategies to keep up with the current changing trends and executing strategies that are beneficial to them. Having a travel card is one of them, but the question here should be, do the benefits on these cards expire fast? Irrespective of the answer, what other travel credit cards are out there as options? If you are a person interested in travel hacking, you can benefit from the rewards of near-free travel based on points and miles.

The Complicated Way Or The Simple Way

However, not everyone is interested in this hack, but that does not mean you can miss the benefits that come with it. If you can sign up for a travel credit card, you can get over $600 of free travel and a myriad of other bonuses. A good travel credit card is important too that every traveler ought to have.

Choosing A Travel Credit Card

You want to know what other travel credit cards are out there for you. The choices are many, but you need to know how you can choose one. Consider the following:

General Or Co-Branded 

You can decide to have either of the above. Cobranded cards come with the name of the airline or the hotel chain. The rewards with this card can only be redeemed with that specific airline or the hotel. The options become limited, but there are exclusive rewards like priority boarding for airlines, free checked bags, and bonus amenities like hotels and so on. General travel cards earn you rewards in any travel expense, though using your points to directly book for travels or redeeming points for a credit for your account.

How Travel Credit Cards Earn Benefits

When you have a travel credit card, you earn travel rewards any time that you use it. The type of rewards you earn will depend on the card. You can apply for a card that’s part of the card issuer’s rewards program, or a card that’s co-branded with a hotel or airline and part of that company’s rewards program.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Points Credit Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is part of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards (UR) program, which means it earns UR points. You can transfer UR points to any of Chase’s many transfer partners, including Southwest, United, and Marriott. Southwest and Marriott each have their own co-branded credit cards through Chase. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card earns miles you can redeem with Southwest, and the Marriott Rewards Premier card earns points you can redeem with Marriott. Those two companies also have transfer partners, but not as many as Chase, making Chase UR points more versatile. Cards earn a certain number of points or miles per dollar spent. The standard is 1 point per dollar spent, but many cards earn more points in certain spending categories.

  • 2 points per dollar spent on travel
  • 2 points per dollar spent on dining
  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Why do You Need a Good Travel Credit Card

It is important to have a good travel credit card because of the following reasons:

  • You can earn mile points that make you eligible to redeem free trips- Excellent credit cards allow you to earn points in two ways. You can earn points through a sign-up bonus when you are signing up for the travel credit card. Secondly, you can earn a point for every dollar spent on the card. This is different from using a debit card of cash. The rewards are there, even though some may be wondering, do the benefits on these cards expire on time? Yes, they do.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees- Most of the credit cards and debit cards charge a fee especially on foreign transactions every time you make a purchase using a different currency. Foreign transaction fees go up to 3%, meaning if you are on vacation, and you spend $1,000 on your credit or debit card, you will part with $30 for your foreign transaction fee. The transaction fee will not be charged when you use a travel credit card.
  • Zero fraud liability- If your financial details fall into the wrong hands while you are traveling, they can use them to empty your account. You can be liable for some or all of the money stolen from hour account. So what other travel credit cards are out there as options? You do not need to worry about fraud or liability. If you have a travel credit card, you are safe from such incidences.
  • Insurance on lost luggage- Picture a situation where you have prepared to travel, packed your belongings to ensure you have what you need for the upcoming adventure. Then you land at the airport only to find out that your luggage is not there and the airline has no idea where it is or when it will arrive. A good travel credit card will not help you or the airline in finding your luggage. However, it will help you in covering the cost of your missing luggage if does not show up again.
  • Insurance on travel incidence- If anything happens during your travels, are you covered or do the benefits on these cards expire with the incident? No, they do not, unless you purchased travel insurance for your tip. Having a good credit card to buy the tickets earns you reimbursements if anything catastrophic happened to you or your family member in the course of the trip.
  • Insurance on car rental- There is nothing so irritating like hidden fees, especially when it comes to car rentals. Insurance is one of the things they try to sell you when you are picking up the car and it very expensive. If you have a travel credit card, you will not need to pay for rental car insurance because it is free.

Important Tips To Know Before You Sign Up For A Travel Credit Card 

  • Not all points and miles are equal- Points and miles are used to distinguish rewards from mere commodities. However, this does not mean that points and miles are equal in value. They have a substantial difference. To redeem your miles, travel cardholders have to make a travel-related purchase with the card. Miles Are converted into a statement credit to reverse any charge for travel purchase.
  • Be sure you want to travel- Some travel cards have reduced redemption rates especially when miles or points are redeemed for cash. Be sure that you want to travel before you sign up for any travel credit card.
  • Excellent travel cards have an annual fee- Travel credit card holders can earn points, miles, and money faster with cards that have an annual fee. These cards have the biggest sign-up bonuses. Higher reward rates and are more valuable to the cardholder. Maximizing on the value requires closing the card before the annual fee is due.

Information Needed when You Apply for a Credit Card

If you’ve decided that you want to sign up for a travel credit card, you can usually fill out an application online. The application process doesn’t take long, as it will just ask for standard personal and financial information, including:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your phone number
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your annual income

Get a Travel Credit Card Even if You Have Bad Credit

Exact application requirements will depend on the card. Approval will depend primarily on your income and your credit score. If you have an excellent credit score, you will likely receive approval on most cards. What if you don’t have the best credit score? There is a way you can check what cards you’re likely to receive approval on before you apply. Card issuers allow you to provide some basic information to see which cards you’re pre-qualified for, which are the cards that you can likely get through them. The benefit of doing this is that the card issuer only needs to run a soft credit check on you to check pre-qualifications, and those don’t affect your credit score. An actual card application requires a hard credit check, which can bring your score down a bit. Once you’re approved, you should receive the card in the mail within about seven to 10 business days.

Special Offers to Sign Up

Make sure to check if the card has a sign-up bonus offer with a minimum spending requirement. Many cards will credit you a bonus amount of points or miles for spending a certain amount within a specific time frame. For example, a card could offer 30,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of having it. A travel credit card is a valuable financial tool if you enjoy traveling and want to cut down on the costs of doing so. Check out the cards that are available to see which one is right for you.

Go For Rewards And Sign Ip Bonuses 

A good travel credit card is supposed to give you 1.5% to 2% rewards of your spending. Cards with larger annual fees can increase this percentage even higher. Sign-up bonuses enable you to earn points when you use a certain amount in purchases on the card in the preliminary months of having it. If you have a good sign-up bonus, you can get a round-trip flight. When it comes to genera; cards, the higher the annual fee, the bigger the sign-up bonus. Having a good travel card is important because it comes with many rewards and among them, free trips. It helps in cases of travel emergencies without charging any extra fee for using it anywhere in the world. You now know what you want, and as such, you can sign-up for any card that you feel fits you best. The benefits of these cards help you in saving several hundred dollars in a year.

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