Here’s How Credit Cards Can Help Save Money During Your Next Vacation
You might think of charging your next vacation on a new credit card as a very bad thing – a debt just waiting to happen! But what if you could actually use your credit card to save money, and give yourself free credit, instead of spending it?
That sounds like a real vacation – one without the financial headache!
In this article, we’ll teach you a few ways your credit card can save you money and actually reduce the cost of your next vacation.
1. Pay for Part of Your Trip with Rewards Points
Most credit card companies give you reward points for most of your purchases. Some reward points are only redeemable at certain stores. But generally, reward points can convert to cashback.
While a few cents on the dollar doesn’t mean much in one day, over several months or even a year, you will have earned a significant amount of cash. You can use reward points (for all of your credit cards) to pay for extra travel expenses, dining, and entertainment, or hospitality. And whatever you do, don’t pay full price for a bad vacation spot! In fact, stay out of the worst cities for staycations entirely and choose a better city for sightseeing, as this article explains.
2. Baggage Discounts
We don’t often think about baggage prices, but with fees as high as $100 for a few extra bags, it’s an expense that could run you a considerable expense when you analyze your budget. In fact, some statistical research shows that at least 21% of all Americans exceed their luggage allowance.
That’s why you want to pay attention to airline fee credits, waived baggage fees, special coupons, and seasonal discounts that banks, online lenders, and even airline companies may provide their customers. Oftentimes, our luggage increases when we return from vacation, with extra gifts and souvenirs to bring back home. Plan ahead this coming year and use your baggage discounts to save more vacation money overall.
3. Free Stuff!
Don’t underestimate the value of free stuff! Airlines, hotels, and credit card companies give away millions of dollars in free perks for loyal customers.
The list of freebies may not have a firm price attached, but expect stuff like:
- Free airport food (we said fancy airport food, not airplanes!)
- Free hotel breakfast
- Free restaurant credit
- Free hotel stays or upgrades
- Special event access, like concerts, theaters, or conventions
Some companies even offer free travel tickets and accommodation for a friend or companion.
4. Free Insurance
Travel insurance is one of those expenses you might not think about very often – until you realize that the alternative of not having any insurance could be disastrous. But what if you could get pricey insurance for free? Travel insurance covers trip cancellation, medical emergencies, baggage loss, and other unpredictable expenses. Some credit cards offer free travel insurance, as well as rental car insurance.
Hey, renting a car seems cheap…until you add on an insurance policy, protecting you from personal liability as well as damage to the rental car.
5. Overseas Transaction Fees
Did you know that some banks, even modern online banks, will not allow you to make international purchases? And of course, the ones that do very often charge you foreign transaction fees for every purchase. While it might only be a small percentage that adds up by the end of your trip!
That’s why some companies, like SoFi, Bank of America, Discover, and American Express, are now offering international spending with no added fees for foreign transactions. A zero percent transaction fee could mean hundreds of dollars in savings, depending on where you go. More and more companies are giving back to their customers lately, with superior rewards programs and more incentives to keep traveling. Hey, it’s hard to travel in a recession! But that shouldn’t mean it’s time to cut back on very necessary rest and relaxation. Be frugal and you can still have fun.