Everyone wants to get the most out of their summer travel – and that includes credit card points and rewards. If you love taking big vacations or simply travel a lot for work, it might be a good idea to consider applying for a credit card that rewards you for all those plane tickets, hotel stays, and car rentals. Here are our tips to helping you find the best travel credit card for you.
The “Perfect” Card Depends More on You Than on the Card
Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no one best travel credit card for everyone. Every card is designed with a slightly different type of consumer (and traveler) in mind, so it’s worth doing your research. Your friend might be singing the praises of their card that gives them United miles whenever they buy something, but if you only fly American that’s not going to help you much. Maybe you don’t want miles at all – maybe cash back is more your thing so you can save up for your next big trip. Before you start applying for a whole bunch of cards, ask yourself what you’re looking to achieve. If you’re extremely brand loyal, the best travel credit card for you might be one that’s affiliated with a specific airline or hotel chain. If not, find a card that has good rewards programs with a variety of travel companies or one that gives you points you can trade in for cash spend wherever you like. You’ll be much happier in the long run if you think about your goals instead of just applying for the trendiest card out there.
Read the Fine Print
Every credit card is a little bit different, and the specifics of each cardholder agreement will vary. Again, which card is right for you comes down to what you’re looking to do with the card and how you like to spend. For example, if you sign up for a card that requires you to spend many thousands of dollars in a short period of time to unlock the rewards, you might find yourself scrambling to meet that minimum unless you purchase a lot of big-ticket items. Even if the rewards are fantastic, if the card rules don’t match up with your spending habits it’s not a good fit for you.
Don’t Go Crazy
If you’re not sure what the best travel credit card might be for you, you might be tempted to open a whole bunch at once. Popular opinion says this is a death knell for your credit score, and while this definitely isn’t the best idea for your credit, you absolutely can apply for several credit cards over time. You may notice a slight drop in your credit score when you first apply, but this will even out as you pay your bills on time and build a credit history with this particular card. Your credit rating will actually increase over the long-run if you are responsible with your spending and stay up to date on your payments.
Credit Score Woes
The downside to many of the best travel credit cards is that they are generally only available to individuals with a credit score of 650 or higher. While there’s no quick fix for your credit score, there are steps you can take right now so that you can apply for your dream card in the future. Get a copy of your credit report and see what areas need some help. Notify the credit unions of any mistakes – your credit score doesn’t need to suffer needlessly! Pay your current cards off every month and handle your bills on time. Every little bit helps you build up your credit history and increase your score.
No matter what card you choose, we hope you have a great trip. When you get back, give 360 Payments a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to show you why we’re exactly the kind of credit card processor your business needs.
PS – Want to know our picks for the best credit card for your business? We’ve got you covered.
PPS – Should you ask for an ID for a credit card sale? Here’s our take.