Having a credit card is always a lifesaver, but did you know that it can actually help you to travel more too? You can get specific travel credit cards that offer rewards and cashback credit cards that help you save, and even just having an excellent credit rating with your ordinary credit cards can make things go more smoothly when it comes to your travel plans.
- Get a Credit Card that offers Travel Rewards
Travel credit cards are somewhat of an open secret, and getting one can be a great step towards helping you achieve your travel dreams. Generally, your credit rating needs to be pretty good to qualify for these rewards cards – but if you have that, then they’re great!
Travel credit cards are, on the whole, split into two camps – general ones which pay high rewards on any travel-related spending, and brand-specific ones that offer rewards with certain airlines or hotel chains.
Fairly obviously, you have to use the credit card to earn the rewards – but you should be aware that some purchases will offer higher rewards than others, so as well as making sure you buy as much as you can on your cards in general, make sure you know your credit card’s rewards policy and make sure you always buy those high-reward items with that card.
That said, don’t bankrupt yourself! Earning rewards is the name of the game, but maintaining your bank balance and more importantly your good credit rating is essential: buy only what you can afford to pay back at the end of the month.
Travel credit cards are a great option, especially if you have trouble keeping your travel funds strictly for traveling and find yourself dipping into them when you need money for other things. The rewards you earn on your travel card will be redeemable only for travel-related purposes – either in general or with whichever brand your card is attached to – so you won’t be able to use them elsewhere!
Also, travel cards often have near-perfect exchange rates when spending on your card abroad, which makes purchases you make while traveling cheaper too.
- Cashback Credit Cards
Although not directly related to travel, another great way to use a credit card to help you to travel more is to get a cashback credit card.
These actually help you to earn as you spend. Whenever you make a purchase on one of these cards, you earn a percentage of that back as a credit to your account and you can end up making quite a lot of money over a year. It can help you on your way to your savings goals before you embark on your travels, or it can help you earn a little extra money while you’re out there.
This is a good bet if you don’t want to use your credit card rewards only for travel, as, unlike a travel credit card, the cash you earn back is yours to do with what you like, rather than being solely usable for travel-related purchases.
- To Improve your Credit Rating
Even if your credit card doesn’t help you traveling specifically, having a good credit rating in itself can be helpful in all kinds of areas – it simply shows that you’re a reliable person who can be trusted to pay what they need to, which can take you a long way.
If you’re looking to live abroad, a good credit rating can help you to secure an apartment or open a bank account abroad, or if you’re planning on taking out a loan to cover the cost of your trip (or a related purchase, like a camper van) then having a good credit rating will help you to secure low-interest rates.
You can maintain a good credit score by always ensuring that your credit card bill is paid in full each month – you can do this by making small purchases on it regularly so that the amount you owe at the end of each month is affordable.
Having a credit card is always something to keep an eye on, especially if it’s related to traveling – the temptation to buy a whole holiday on there straight away is hard to resist. However, if you get the right ones and use them for the right things they can take you a long way – earning rewards on a travel credit card can end up funding a hotel stay or a flight, and cashback cards can keep you going while you’re already traveling or help you meet your savings goals. Even if you don’t end up getting one of those types of credit card, maintaining a good credit score itself can even go a long way to helping your trip run smoothly.