Get More From Your Travel Credit Cards
Are you getting the most out of your travel credit cards? Most people don’t maximize their rewards cards. If you happen to be one of them, it’s time to take a closer look at how you can turn everyday expenditures into free trips.
Do Your Research
The first step to making a good choice in credit cards is taking the time to research. Sites like Money Supermarket offer information and comparisons between credit cards. This can be a good place to start your research.
You’ve probably received credit card offers in the mail before. These may sound like a great idea at the time, but these offers may not be the best for you. Rather than sign up for half a dozen cards, which could get you into trouble, look carefully at what is on offer. If the card doesn’t fit your lifestyle, move on. You’ll find a better option.
For example, if the card you are being offered gives double points for purchases at a store you never frequent, it’s not a good choice. Likewise, avoid cards that only offer in-store vouchers if you are looking for a free vacation. Instead, find a card that will suit your lifestyle. It should offer the types of rewards that you will really use. If you choose an air miles card, be sure that it is for an airline that will take you where you want to go.
Understand the System
In order to gain the most from your spending, you need to fully understand the rewards system. Take time to read the fine print. Some cards will give you one point or air mile for every pound spent, while others will only give you a reward for every two pounds. This may also vary depending on where you use the card, as certain companies may give you more points.
Any information sent from the company should be read carefully, tedious as it may be. There may be changes to your credit card terms that will affect the amount of points you earn for each pound spent. You need to stay on top of this information.
Reward points and air miles expire. Avoid losing your hard earned rewards by keeping close tabs on expiration dates. Even if you cannot use the miles before the necessary date, it may be possible to transfer or sell them to someone who can use them. Another option is to purchase extra points so you can get the ticket or hotel room you need.
Use Credit Cards for Everything
Increasing the number of points you earn is simple if you use your card to pay for everything from groceries to petrol. Rather than use cash, opt for credit wherever possible and you will see your rewards increase drastically. However, you do need to be careful of overspending.
It can be tempting to use a credit card even when you know you shouldn’t, just for the rewards. This can be a dangerous path, so be careful and avoid getting too many rewards cards. You should never spend more money than you actually have, no matter how great the rewards.
The best way to ensure that you stay on track financially is to keep a budget. This will allow you to ensure that you are not spending more money than you have. Keep track of every purchase made, no matter the size. A simple notebook works well for this, or a smartphone app can be used. Spending Tracker is a good choice if you own an iPhone.
Use One Card at a Time
In order to truly take advantage of the rewards system, you should focus on one or two credit cards. CreditCards.com suggests getting rid of any cards with lesser rewards to avoid diluting the results. When you shop with multiple cards, you spread the rewards out. It works best to focus all your spending on just a couple of cards. This means you will reach the desired levels of points faster and is more rewarding.
Travel credit cards with rewards are a good way to save up for that holiday you’ve wanted to go on. Rather than save money, which could be spent on a whim, you have air miles or points. These can only be used for specific rewards, which makes the holiday more likely to happen.