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In the 21st Century, travel credit cards are all the rage. Millions of Americans use travel cards to help enhance their travelling experience, or pay for it all together. It’s a great way to start accumulating credit towards flights, hotels, and other travel expenses. Travel cards allow you to accumulate various types of points when you purchase goods which can they be redeemed for travel in various forms. In addition, many credit cards offer additional benefits such as free baggage, lounge access, and annual rewards flights. Most major financial institutions and lenders have partnered with various airlines and hotel chains to bring various travel cards to the consumer. You should make sure that you research all the industry leading cards before deciding on which car suites you best.

It’s important to note that travel credit cards normally have higher interest rates than non-rewards cards. This is largely due to the lender needing to offset the cost of the rewards provided to you. Many Americans with travel cards use them as their primary card so they can take advantage of the points they accumulate when spending. For this reason, millions of people carry balances on their travel rewards credit cards, which can be costly in the long run. To take advantage of a travel rewards card you should be as responsible with it as possible. Paying large amounts of interest can offset the value of the rewards you receive. This article will delve into the various things to look for when deciding on which travel credit card to apply for. In addition, it will outline the advantages and disadvantages of having a travel credit card.

What to Look For

When deciding on which travel credit card to apply for, it’s important to consider the following factors: type of rewards, travel partner, points per purchase, and sign-up bonus.

  • Type of Rewards — There are two primary types of rewards cards: flight and hotels. The type of travelling you do will largely impact which card is more rewarding. If you tend to travel domestically, a hotel card may be more advantageous as there are often cheap domestic flights to various major hubs. While if you travel internationally, you may find that you will be better suited to a flight card, as long-haul deals can be harder to come by.
  • Travel Partner – This is important. If you already have miles with a specific airline, or points with a hotel chain, you should look to see if they have a partner credit card with a lender that can help you boost your rewards. Also, some credit cards allow you to accumulate points that transfer into various airline or hotel points, or simply be redeemed against the cost of travel.
  • Points per Purchase – Most rewards cards reward points a 1 point per dollar spent, while others have an increased multiplier for certain purchases. If you spend a lot of money at a particular store, or on a particular good, check to see if there are rewards cards with higher multipliers that might apply to you
  • Sign-Up Bonus – A lot of the value in a rewards card is derived from the sign-up bonus associated with the card. Seasonal offers sometimes include up to 100,000 points for signing up to a new card! Keep tabs on what lenders are offering credit card applicants, sometimes it’s worth the wait for the extra miles.

It’s also important to make sure you consider the interest rates associated with the card, especially if you’re going to be carrying a balance on the card.

Advantages

The advantages lie in your ability to accumulate substantial points for travel. These can be used to book flights, or upgrade to business and first class tickets. Some cards will often allow you free baggage on all flights if you have their partner card. In addition, partner cards offer huge sign-up bonuses that can pay off immediately.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages lie in the higher interest rates the cards offer. In addition, because you feel you are accumulating points, you may justify spending extra money to get rewards. But this is not an economical decision. As long as you’re responsible with your card, there are relatively few disadvantages.

Verdict

If you currently fly or stay with a particular provider, check and see if they have a partner card – it’s a great way to add to your existing rewards. Travel cards are some of the most popular cards on the market for a reason, if you’re a responsible spender, start turning your purchases into travel.