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7 Ways Your Credit Card Can Help Save Money on Travel

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Having a credit card offers security and convenience. You don’t always have to carry cash, so you can keep your money safe from theft. Even if your card is used for fraudulent transactions, you can report them to the credit card company and not have to pay for the charges while the issuer investigates the fraud. And if you are fond of traveling, you may be able to use your credit card to conveniently make purchases abroad and make the various bookings for your trip. Paying via credit card may even help you save money while traveling. 

If you’re a credit card owner and want to reduce your travel expenses, it’s worth taking note of how this little piece of plastic can come in handy. Check out this article and discover seven ways your credit card can help you save money on travel.

Get Discounts on Accommodations and Flights 

Depending on your credit card issuer, you may be able to pay for your plane tickets and accommodations at a lower price. Many credit card companies partner with different hotels and airlines all over the world. As a result, some issuers are able to offer discounts when cardholders use their credit cards to book flights and hotel rooms with certain airline or hotel partners. So before you finalize your bookings, make sure to first check if your credit card issuer has any partnerships or ongoing promotions that can help you reduce costs for these travel expenses. 

Earn Travel Rewards 

Some credit card companies have partnerships with airlines and hotels for a limited time only. However, they may offer reward points and frequent flyer miles that you can redeem for a travel-related purchase. These benefits can help you exchange the points you’ve accumulated for airline tickets, hotel stays, and cabin upgrades. If you travel a lot, you might consider getting a credit card that specifically offers such benefits to their customers so that you can take full advantage of your credit card usage. 

Accumulate Membership Points 

Even if your credit card doesn’t have travel-related rewards, many credit card companies still let you earn membership reward points or cashback for certain purchases you make. This means if you pay for your meals, access tickets, or travel shopping with your credit card, you can earn points you can later redeem. Typically, these credit card points can be redeemed for gift cards, used to pay for certain purchases, waive membership fees, or get other discounts that allow you to save money. 

Waive Checked Luggage Fees 

Airline companies can have different rules on checked-in baggage allowances. Some may provide you with sufficient allowance to cover your luggage weight, while others may only allow you to take a carry- on. In the latter case, you’ll need to pay for costly extra baggage fees. Fortunately, some credit cards cover the cost of checked bags or suitcases for their customers. 

The coverage may automatically apply when you use your credit card to purchase your plane tickets. In other cases, you can get the fee waived at the check-in counter. That said, make sure to find out if your credit card has such an offer and clarify the process needed to avail of the waived fees. This way, you can reduce your travel expenses and have a smooth check-in experience. 

Access to the Airport Lounge 

Waiting at the gate before you board your flight isn’t the most exciting part of traveling. If it’s a full flight, you may also have to deal with fewer chances of finding a seat near the gate, if you can find any at all. Airport terminals are likely to be packed with people during peak seasons like summer and the holidays, so you may have to find a different place to wait. However, most airport lounges are pay-per- use, so this can add to your travel expenses. 

Fortunately, some credit cards give their cardholders free access to exclusive lounges in different airports around the world. This allows you to comfortably wait for your flight and use the various amenities in the meantime. Many airport lounges provide free drinks, snacks, and Wi-Fi access. As such, you can save money on refreshments and entertainment while you wait. Some airport lounges even have showers and nap areas, which you can use if you have a long layover between flights. This way, you can skip booking a hotel for the day, thus increasing your savings. 

Skip Costly Currency Conversion Charges 

If you’re traveling abroad, using a credit card allows you to make purchases easily without having to exchange money first. This can allow you to purchase at a better conversion rate than available at the local money exchange. Additionally, some credit cards don’t charge foreign transaction fees, which can typically range from one to three percent of your transaction. While it may seem like a small percentage, skipping it can make a big difference in your spending and help you stay within your travel budget. 

Reduce Travel Insurance Fees 

Although travel insurance gives you peace of mind in case something happens during your trip, getting one also adds to your expenses. Fortunately, you can reduce the cost by paying with a credit card that already includes it. Many credit cards offer free basic coverage, including for flight cancellations and lost baggage. The coverage may vary depending on the issuer, but even if you have to pay extra for other inclusions, the complimentary protection helps you reduce your expenses. 

Being a credit card owner doesn’t just increase your purchasing power. It also lets you save money when traveling. You can apply for a credit card that is especially designed to offer travel perks or check if your existing credit card has offers that can be useful for your trip. Always keep abreast of the various travel- related incentives that your card can offer so that you can maximize your savings when you travel.

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