Published On: Thu, Jul 5th, 2018

How to Pick Out the Best Travel Credit Card for an Awesome Vacation

Are you planning an exciting vacation with your family and friends? If yes, then you need to inflate your wallet. You might be wondering what we are talking about? Well, choose the best travel credit card to make your dream vacation come true. Then, the abundance of these products makes choosing difficult. The market is flooded with reward credit cards with deals and discounts abound. Figuring out which is the perfect one among those that meet your travel needs seems a little overwhelming. How do you know which credit card is right for you? Of course, you can read online literature. However, there is information overload out there, making things more difficult for you. The complexity is in picking out the right financial product. Fret not. To make your job simpler, here are some essential tips to choose the best travel credit card:

photo/ Michael Jarmoluk via pixabay

Look for More Rewards

When choosing a travel credit card, decide which one you need, a general card or a co-branded one? When you opt for a co-branded product, it will include the name of a hotel chain or an airline company. If you want to redeem the rewards, you need to stay in that hotel or book tickets from the airline mentioned on the card. It means you have limited options. However, you can enjoy some exclusive benefits if you choose co-branded cards. For example, you are entitled to free checked baggage and priority while boarding the aircraft. You may also get free upgrades and additional benefits at the hotel.

You can also choose general travel credit cards to meet any travel expense. You either use the point while booking air tickets or redeem your rewards for getting a credit in your account.  However, if you are traveling on one specific airline as well as staying in the same hotel most of the time, we recommend that you choose a co-branded travel card. It will help you cover most of your costs. On the contrary, if you want more flexibility, pick out general travel credit cards.

Know Your Travel Goals

Before you choose anything, decide what you want from your travel credit card. Take your time and think. There is no need to hurry. Are you looking for fixed value points? Or you want the points transferred?  If you want to collect many airline miles to visit the Niagara Falls with your loved ones in Canada, we recommend that you choose airline miles to save on ticket costs. Again, if you want a relaxing holiday at a beachside resort in Hawaii for two weeks, then fixed value points are your best bet. Travel credit card points are more rewarding than cash back cards if you know how to use it strategically. Therefore, first decide on your travel or vacation goals.  

Look for Travel Perks and Safety

A few credit cards offer benefits and protection when you travel abroad. You might be wondering how. Well, let us explain. Some card companies provide customers with rental car coverage, accident and travel delay insurance, luggage insurance, and emergency and concierge services. Co-branded cards, especially, offer benefits like hotel discounts, deals, and many travel credits. Yes, you can earn awesome vacations with credit card miles and save on flight ticket costs.

Choose a card depending on the benefits and protection it provides. For example, if you travel frequently and regularly check-in with bags containing pricey items, look for cards that offer baggage safety and protection. If you are traveling in a group or with your family, you need a car for sightseeing purposes. Therefore, choose travel cards that provide car rental coverage.

Think of the Terms and Sign-up Bonus

When it comes to travel credit cards, they provide some of the amazing sign-up benefits. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card will delight you with 50,000 bonus points provided you spend $4,000 on buying items during the first three months. If you spend below $4,000, you will not receive the bonus. Therefore, you must reach this target within the specified time to get the 50,000 bonus points. It is as simple as that. You can also opt for alternative options with lower minimum expenditures to use the bonus points.

No matter whether you are flying abroad frequently or once in summer, read the credit card terms and conditions carefully. Check if there is any foreign transaction fee or not. These charges will add to your traveling cost fast if the card includes them. Your best bet is the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the United Mileage Plus Explorer card because they do not have these terms and conditions.

Factor in International Travel

If you are traveling internationally, then you need to keep in mind a few aspects. Some cards are not accepted if you are traveling outside the US. Check with the payment network that decides on matters like acceptance or refusal. Opt for MasterCard or Visa because they are universally accepted. Check the fees if you are shopping outside America. A few cards will charge you a three percent fee for every purchase you make. We recommend that you avoid an American Express card. It is a bit dicey if you are vacationing outside the country. Even if you own an Amex card, always carry a MasterCard for safety.

Check Your Credit Score

If you have an outstanding credit history and less than five credit cards in the last year, your application for a travel credit will gain approval. If you have a poor credit score, something less than 650, you may not get a travel card. Therefore, check your credit score before applying for a travel card. Even if your score is low, work on it. Make timely payments to improve your credit history. Alternatively, you can opt for Discover, Capital One, or Barclays. These companies offer travel cards to people with below-average credit score.


Opting for the best travel credit may seem a challenging task. No, it is not if you follow the rules. Consider your travel goals, build a good credit score, and choose a card that best fits your traveling needs. Choose products with a sign-up bonus and flexible terms. You can zero in on your choice this way.

Author: Charlie Brown

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