Credit cards are among the most important things every traveler should always keep. Even though this might be for convenience or even security, it is always good to ensure that you have a working credit card before and during your travel.
However, is it always a good habit to pay for your travel with a credit card? Well, a credit card makes it easy for users to make purchases when they are away from home. This means that you need to ensure that you have one for your travel.
In addition, a large number of credit card companies offer different benefits to travelers to lure them into using credit cards to pay for travel. However, do you know the pros and cons of using your credit card to pay for travel? Here are the pros;
Earns You Bonus Points
Some credit card companies offer bonus points for travelers who use their credit cards to pay for travel. This is especially beneficial for frequent travelers. You earn points when you pay for trains, car rentals, hotels, taxis, and airfare using your credit cards.
However, this depends on the credit card you are using. While some might earn you up to ten times points on each dollar spent on your travel, others earn you as little as three times points per dollar.
After accumulating a certain number of points, you can redeem them for other expenses such as a free stay in a hotel or even a free flight.
Travel Perks and Benefits
If you are a frequent traveler, you understand how important some perks such as hotel/airline elite status and lounge access at the airport are. These can make the difference between a comfortable and uncomfortable travel experience.
Some credit cards offer these perks to their users, playing a crucial role in making hotel stays and long layovers pleasant.
In addition, these benefits help save a lot of money while traveling. Some cards offer credit card users a certain amount of money every year after spending the same on travel.
Earns Hotel Points and Airline Miles
Even though most people think that cash-back cards are among the best for them today, they do not know the amount of money they stand to save when they use credit cards to pay for travel.
Well, the truth is that you can easily get some rewards worth a few dollars with a cash-back card, but you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars when you use the points earned with your credit card after paying for airfare and hotels.
However, you need to be careful with credit cards. For instance…
Applying for Multiple Credit Cards Could Damage Your Credit Score
Some people might see the benefits discussed above and be tempted to apply for multiple credit cards. Well, will applying for a credit card hurt your credit score?
Applying for multiple credit cards at the same or around the same time is dangerous. When you apply for a card, the issuing company does a hard pull of your credit history to see if you qualify for the card. Having multiple pulls is dangerous and can hurt your credit score.
Here are a few cons of using your credit card to pay for travel;
Difficult to Maximize Card Value
Even though there are many benefits of using a credit card to pay for travel, it is difficult to maximize the value of the credit card. For instance, you have to ensure that your airline miles are used before they expire.
You also need to ensure that you have used all the benefits offered by the credit card company for using the credit card for you to offset any annual fees set. This is even more difficult for people with multiple credit cards.
High Fees with Credit Cards
Some credit cards charge exorbitant annual fees, whether you use the credit card or not. For instance, a platinum card provided by American Express charges almost $700 every year. If you want to get value from your credit card, then make sure that you are using all the benefits offered.
It is, however, important to note that not every credit card charges exorbitant fees. When applying for one, choose a credit card that meets your financial requirements.
Credit Score Requirements
Different card issuing companies require different credit scores for one to qualify for a credit card. It even gets higher for those applying for specific travel credit cards. You should have a credit score of about 700 and a credit history for you to qualify for a credit card.
So, should you use a credit card to pay for your travel? Well, the benefits outweigh the cons. You, however, need to be careful to maximize the benefits.