Travelling today has become more at hand than ever before. Technology combined with a high interest to gain knowledge of other cultures is pushing people to travel more often and over greater distances. A travel credit card offers many perks over time, including significant savings and lower exhange rates. However, users should take notice that there are also disadvantages to owning such a card.
It can be hard choosing the right type of card for you, or even deciding if it’s worth owning such a card. For example, NerdWallet credit card expert, Sean McQuay, reported for Time magazine that: ”If you tend to travel over the globe, or in case your spendatures over $8,600 on travel annually, or if you decide to apply for new cards regularly, then you would have to consider a credit card for travel rewards” He also underlines that if you travel more within borders and prefer hikes and nature to the cityscape, then a travel credit card might not be so suitable.
Canstar, Australia’s largest financial comparison group, performed a wide-ranged analysis of travel credit cards, comparing them against credit and debit cards, to isolate the pros and cons of owning one, as outlined in Travel Weekly magazine:
- Exchange rate locking
- Load multiple currencies
- Less risk
- High control
- Exchange rates
- More fees
- Load times
In consequence, although it might be an attractive solution to save money at first, consumers should pay extra attention when choosing a travel credit card and make sure the choice they make suits them and is thoroughly documented.
As Steve Mickenbecker, Canstar’s Financial Services Executive explains, Some offer competitive exchange rates but come with high fees, while others come with lower fees and make up for it by adding in commissions to their exchange rates […] It will pay to do your homework and be aware of these subtle differences, including any additional fees, because they may have an impact on your holiday funds.”
Most travelers are budget restricted and are most interested in the services and facilities that offer the highest return on investment. The search for the best travel credit card can be daunting, as not all travelers fall under the same category: for instance, some travel more within borders, others more internationally. While most people make an average of 4 trips per year, others might travel more, or less. Finally, when opting for the right type of card, users should consider if they travel more often for business, or for leisure.
That’s why, when looking for best choices, some might opt for the Best Credit Cards for Hotels, while others could get more of their money’s worth from the Best Miles Credit Cards. Choosing the best card is like choosing the right pair of shoes. It has to fit you and your needs, because you are the one to walk in them.
In these circumstances, the best travel cards available, grouped according to their major benefits, as presented in aUS News survey, are:
Best Travel Credit Card, overall:
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best for travel redemption options
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card: Best for flat-rate travel rewards with no annual fee.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for travel redemption options with an annual travel credit.
Best Credit Cards for Hotels:
Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card: Best for loyalty hotel rewards and a large welcome offer.
Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card: Best for loyalty hotel rewards with a free annual hotel stay.
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card: Best for a large sign-up bonus and a free annual hotel night.
Best Miles Credit Cards:
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business: Best for flat-rate business airline miles.
American Express® Gold Card: Best for earning flexible rewards with an airline fee credit.
United℠ Explorer Card: Best for loyalty airline spending with cardholder perks.
The survey goes on to show that although many consumers obtain a variety of perks from owning a travel card, they don’t always know how to benefit from them, nor are they fully aware of the entire range of fees applicable to their type of card.
So whether you choose or not to own a travel credit card, make sure you are fully aware of both the benefits, and the fees that come along with it, so that you can enjoy travelling even more so!