If you’re traveling for the holidays, you might be wondering whether you should bring your credit cards along for the ride. After all, they come in handy for purchases, and filling your wallet with cash can be downright scary.
We all know that using credit cards can overburden you with debt if you don’t pay your bills on time, but you might be surprised to hear that using credit cards can help cut costs by reducing your travel fees.
Before you read on, let me just say you’ll want to avoid using your debit card as much as possible on your trip.
Why? Because ATM fees can be impossibly high. Plus, hotels and car rental agencies will usually ask for a deposit on your card, and that hold could ultimately block access to your cash and even cause the bank to reject payments on important bills back home.
Plus, debit cards may not offer you the sweet rewards and perks you can get with a bonafide credit card.
Way #1: Skip Foreign Transaction Fees
Foreign transaction fees are super annoying; especially, when you don’t know they’re happening. However, not all credit card companies have them. You can save money on your transaction fees if you steer clear of debit cards and use the right credit card instead.
Just choose a card that offers no foreign transaction fees as a travel perk when you go credit card shopping. If you already have a card you’re planning to use, call to get the details on all foreign transaction fees before you travel.
Way #2: Take Advantage of Travel Rewards & Perks
Credit cards are a perk waiting to happen. Some have luxurious perks such as priority boarding, vouchers for food and drinks on flights or access to airport lounges.
Other credit cards will float you better hotel deals such as a bigger room, a late checkout or a free breakfast.
Besides the benefits, using your card for your travel purchases makes sense. Your card will likely offer rewards or mileage you can save for your next vacation. Check out your benefits pamphlet to see which rewards and perks your card offers.
Way #3: Get Free Travel Cancellation Insurance
You know those pesky offers that appear at the very end of your flight purchase, telling you to buy cancellation insurance for your trip?
Well, now you can skip them – if you have a card that already offers the insurance.
Many cards allow you to cancel a flight or a hotel room if you get sick or have a family emergency. This benefit can help you save money on purchasing the insurance AND will help you recover the cost of the trip.
Just check your benefits before you leave home, or shop for a credit card that offers trip cancellation insurance.
Call your creditor to advise them of your plans before you travel to make sure you can use your cards. If they think fraud is occurring, they’ll quickly decline your transactions at checkout, leaving you stranded abroad.
Be sure to also set up easy access to your accounts online and have your creditors’ phone numbers handy in case your card is lost or stolen.
Using credit cards is one of the best ways to reduce fees while traveling. The key is to make sure you plan well ahead of time and do your research on card offerings. Want more advice on credit card rewards and perks for your travels? Schedule your complimentary personal credit consultation today