If you travel frequently or would like to travel more frequently but haven’t yet gotten yourself a credit card that gives you travel rewards, you’re essentially giving away free money. Now while this turn of phrase isn’t technically accurate, credit cards that offer travel rewards can make it a lot easier and more financially affordable to purchase flights, hotel stays, and pay for other travel-related items. So to help you pick the right credit card for your travel interests, here are three tips for selecting a credit card with the best travel rewards for you.
Take Advantage of Sign-Up Bonuses
One of the best things about many credit cards that have travel rewards is their initial sign-up bonuses. Depending on the card you choose to go with, you could end up racking up a lot of points within just the first few months of having your card, which could make your dreams of traveling a much closer reality. According to NomadicMatt.com, you shouldn’t even consider applying for a travel card unless it’s offering you a hefty sign-up bonus. To get this initial bonus, you often have to spend a certain amount on the card within a certain time of getting the card, like $3,000 in the first 3 months. If you use this bonus right, you could get an entire flight paid for right off the bat.
Check For Foreign Transaction Fees
Getting a credit card that makes traveling more affordable is great, but if you’re getting charged more for making purchases while you’re traveling, that card may not be working as well for you as it should. This is the issue you face when you get a card with foreign transaction fees. Brian Kelly, a.k.a. The Points Guy, tells Janna Herron of BankRate.com that people who travel internationally should only get a card that doesn’t have foreign transaction fees. A card that doesn’t waive foreign transaction fees will often charge you up to 3 percent in fees when you make a purchase in a foreign country. This fee could potentially negate all the points you’ve worked so hard to acquire, so make sure the card you choose has no foreign transaction fees if you plan to leave the country.
Look For Lower APRs
Because travel cards offer you so much in the way of rewards, Kari Bodnarchuk, a contributor to The Boston Globe, shares that these cards often have higher APRs than other types of credit cards. This means that if you don’t have plans to pay your card off on a regular basis, you could be paying a high price in interest fees over the course of the card’s life. Not only could this negate the points or money you’re accruing with your card, but it could also be harmful to your credit. Knowing this, make sure you pick a card that works for you but that also has a lower annual percentage rate so you don’t end up paying more than you’re getting by using your card.
To get the right credit card for your traveling desires, use the tips mentioned above to pick the perfect card for you.