Don’t leave home with the wrong credit card in your wallet.
- Travel is picking up again this summer as COVID restrictions ease.
- Having the correct travel card is important when you go on a trip.
- You should check foreign transaction fees and see what cardholder benefits are available.
As summer approaches, a growing number of people believe that the serious threat of the COVID-19 pandemic is receding and that travel is safe again. This is especially true now that the airline’s mask mandate has ended and boosters are widely available.
If you’re one of the many Americans taking some travel again this year after taking a break due to the coronavirus, it’s important that you make a financial move. Specifically, you’ll want to absolutely make sure you have the right credit card to pay for your vacation.
How can you do that? You’ll want to ask yourself these key questions about your current card to help you decide if it’s worth using or if you should make a switch.
Many travel credit cards offer significant benefits that can make your trip that much more enjoyable, and maybe even lower costs.
For example, travel rewards cards can provide airline lounge access, free checked bags, and early check-in or check-out at hotels. Some cards also provide rental car insurance, trip interruption insurance, or loss of luggage insurance.
If your credit card doesn’t offer any of these benefits, you may want to switch to one that does. Otherwise, you could end up paying more to bring luggage on board or purchase insurance to protect your trip.
Different types of credit cards offer additional rewards for different types of spending. If you’ll be charging a lot of vacation-related purchases, it makes sense to use a card that rewards that type of spending.
There are airline and hotel brand cards you can use if you plan to be loyal to certain brands while traveling. You can also opt for a general purpose credit card that offers additional cash back, points, or miles for all travel-related purchases. Research your options to see which bonus rewards program makes the most sense based on your vacation plans.
Does your card charge fees for foreign transactions?
Finally, if you’ll be traveling outside the United States now that many foreign countries have relaxed their entry requirements, you’ll want to make sure the credit card you’re carrying doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. These fees can be as high as 1% to 3%, and there is little reason to agree to pay these additional costs and make each purchase more expensive when there are cards that will not impose this additional cost on you.
If you’ve gotten used to using a card that rewards different types of purchases during the pandemic when you weren’t traveling, like a card with extra bonuses for gas or groceries, then it’s especially important for you to consider the answers. to these three questions before leaving for your summer destinations. Not using the right card could cost you dearly, so it might be time to make a change before you leave.
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