Credit Cards for Travel and Accommodations

2014 is the Year of the Horse, an animal sign which tells us it’s a good year to go places and run for miles. Speaking literally, if you plan to travel a lot this year, you might want to use your credit card to get air miles and save money. 

If you don’t have a credit card yet, there are different credit card companies that offer bonuses, special privileges, and travel loyalty programs like air miles.

What is Air Miles?
Air miles is a type of rewarding scheme given by credit card companies, which allows you to earn points every time you use your credit card. Using your card frequently for payments allows you to earn more points. Points you accumulate can be converted to various perks such as free or discounted domestic or international flights. You spend less on your travel expenses by spending more on your credit card. 

What Type of Credit Card should You Get
A type of credit card called affinity card is offered by online travel agencies for those who want to consolidate points they earn on their purchases to a single provider. You can fly via any carrier or avail of hotel accommodations using this card. 

Airline credit cards, on the other hand, provide card holders with privileges like priority boarding, no- charge checked baggage, and lounge-club admissions. These are mostly introduced in partnership with airlines and hotels. Cardholders can receive marked-down price deals and freebies every time they use their airline card for regular transactions. This is an ideal type of card for both casual and frequent travelers.

Best Travel Credit Cards in the Philippines
* Citibank’s PremierMiles credit card lets you convert every 30 pesos into one air mile. The card also offers other perks such as free airport lounge access, rebates, and miles that can be used as cash and without expiry dates. 
*HSBC has a credit card that offers free meals and discounts. You can get up to 50% off in different restaurants—not just in Manila, but also in other parts of the Philippines. 
* EastWest Bank lets you unwind and dine in luxury with special credit card rewards. They have cards that 
could earn customers free accommodations and dining privileges in different tourist destinations.

How to Earn Air Miles Fast
Normally, local credit card companies grant only one mile for every specific amount spent using your card. Look for air miles credit cards that let you earn double miles on specific purchases. Earning double means faster points collection. Credit card points can be converted into free flights and resort accommodations. If you’re planning to travel this year, it’s a good idea to book your flights as early as now. Here are some airlines that give extra miles to their clients who book flights using a credit card. Availability may vary according to season so do check their websites from time to time:

Cathay Pacific – allows you to earn more air miles when you book their flights. Booking first-class flights can earn you 150% of the actual miles flown, 125% for business flights, 110% of miles flown for premium economy class, and 25%-100% for economy class.

Cebu Pacific – You can use the Cebu Pacific Citi Card to earn CEB Points that do not expire. By using your card for any purchase, every peso you spend is equivalent to 1 CEB Point.

Philippine Airlines — PAL’s air mile rewards are for active members with valid Mabuhay Miles activities within two (2) consecutive years. Mileage accumulated also have no expiry dates. Perks include buy-and-transfer miles, flight and non-flight mileage redemptions, and more. Reward points earned from Mabuhay Miles program partner banks can also be converted.

Credit cards can be your ideal travel buddy. They are accepted locally and abroad, which is why it is much more convenient and safer to carry a credit card around than bundles of cash. Credit card companies sometimes offer sign-up bonuses such as discounts and promos, extra loyalty points, 0% interest deals, and more—which you can use whenever you are going on a trip. 

If you’re planning a trip, you can check websites like www.ensogo.com.ph or www.metrodeal.com for the best travel deals. You may also search other sites for cheap flights and discounted hotel rates. Make easy payments and earn perks and rewards by using your credit card!


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"MoneyMax is the Philippines’ foremost online platform for comparing financial and telecom products and services – fast, comprehensive, and free. We aim to give the power of smart purchase decisions back to Filipino consumers by providing everything they need to become financially savvy. Find out more at MoneyMax.ph.

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