Even if you’ve done a great job of saving up so you can pay with cash or use your debit card to pay for airfare and related expenses, there are some very practical reasons to use a credit card. Many banks and credit card companies offer benefits such as protections if your trip is interrupted, you lose your wallet or other unfortunate things that can happen while you travel.
And, before you book, check out these 10 travel sites that can help you save money on things like airfare, car rentals, accommodations, and more.
The good news is, you can use your credit card to pay for your trip, and then use your savings to pay off the balance right away, before you incur bank charges. Read on to learn more.
Trip cancellation and insurance from your credit card
Trips are planned and canceled for many reasons. The simple reason for this being: life happens. Maybe you become terribly ill or bad weather forecasts deter you from making your flight.
Different credit card companies offer a range of insurance plans that are free of charge to secure your travel. For example, if you are a Visa Infinite cardholder, you could be reimbursed for a maximum of $2,000 of non-refundable forms of travel tickets like bus passes, flights, ferries, and cruise ships.
Baggage protection from your bank
With all the hustle and bustle that goes on in airports, it should come as no surprise that bags can be lost or misplaced. Fortunately, credit card carriers could be reimbursed for lost luggage, typically for up to 3 days.
Mastercard’s luggage insurance offers reimbursement of $100 per day for up to 3 days. The reimbursement expense is the incurred price of emergency purchases of essentials. Despite this excellent deal, there are limits to what can be covered. Items such as contact lenses, artificial teeth, tickets, and business samples.
Trip delay insurance
The inconvenience of a delay can put a damper on anyone’s travel plans. Delays can cause concern for pricey accommodations that could hurt your budgeted trip. A great feature some credit card plans offer that a debit card won’t is reimbursement for your inconvenience.
Visa will accommodate for up to $500 per ticket if your trip is delayed at least 6 hours or requires an overnight stay. A Jetblue Mastercard will offer similar accommodations, however, at a maximum cost of $300.
Trip delay reimbursements are only available if an airline doesn’t already provide a refund, voucher or credit.
Travel accident insurance is very similar to a persons regular accidental or life insurance; just without the monthly payments.
Accidental travel insurance only covers unforeseen events that cause harm to you, a spouse or any unmarried children. Some travel accidental insurances, such as with Jetblue, can cover you up to $250,000. Benefits like this are essential for any traveler because you never know when a traumatic incident can occur.
This is one of the more critical and necessary benefits you must hold while traveling that a debit card will not provide for you.
This benefit is only offered for individuals holding certain cards. Meaning, if you use Visa, there will be a Visa travel assistance. Mastercard and American Express both have their own assistance as well.
The assistance benefit serves as a hotline for travelers who are looking for answers to global questions such as exchange rates, customs inquiries, emergency translations, emergency medical transportation and more.
Not only is the feature excellent for in-travel necessities, but, it is also a great tool for pre-trip planning. If you are traveling to a foreign nation, you must have all the necessary information to ensure you will not get stuck in a hard place without any means to help yourself.
Credit card theft
If you have a debit card stolen it could take weeks, if not months, to have you claim filed and your money reimbursed. With a credit card, payments can be stopped almost instantly.
If you contact your card provider and inform them of any unrecognizable charges, they can begin the process of stopping purchase finalizations.
When traveling, your card is handed off from person to person when paying for meals, travel, and souvenirs. The odds of your private information being stolen isn’t necessarily likely but you still need to be cautious. Especially if you have already paid a great deal in expenses for your trip, you would want any stolen charges blocked.
Credit cars are excellent, especially since no money is actually transferred until your debt is paid off. This is a big reason as to why credit cards give you a safety advantage over debit cards.
Earn points for huge future discounts
Earning points could quite possibly be everyone’s favorite feature of a credit card and each card offers different rewards systems. For some travel cards such as a Southwest Rapid Rewards card, you can receive extra points when traveling and even discounted flight prices.
A Capital One Venture card offers 2x points when traveling and will even provide a $100 credit for TSA pre-check and excludes you from foreign transaction fees.
Despite these great points benefits, the best one is the ability to use your points to plan your next trip. Nobody wants to leave vacation, so, you might as well start saving points and plan for the next one!
Credit cards are an awesome tool to travel with if you can handle them responsibly. There are so many different kinds, you’d be doing yourself a favor to research and pick which one best suits you.