October 18, 2017 Wander-lust

How to use a Credit Card for travel advantages

Most travelers I know, own a credit card. Yes, I’m talking about those skinny plastic cards that can buy you anything. Great for shopping and booking flights right? That’s all that is to it. Wrong! Credit Cards have a lot more advantages than you might realize and are not just a way of payment but something to enrich your life with, literally. In this article I’m going to tell you exactly why it’s so handy to own one as a traveler. 

Why you should get a credit card in the first place
Choosing a credit card can be quite overwhelming with so many out there. But when you pick the right credit card, you can get tons of discounts and rewards on flights and hotels. With every purchase, you earn points and these can run up quite fast! Awesome right? But how does it work? Well, you start off by picking the right card for you. For this, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself; how often do I travel? Do I want to spend all my saved points and miles in one go, or do I want to save for gift cards or hotel privileges? Whatever your goal is, there is a card out there to suit your needs.

Credit cards will give you many travel advantages such as free breakfast, hotelroom upgrades and late checkouts

  • Bonuses & Rewards
    Standard debit cards are mainly used for grocery shopping and other small purchases. Handy, but they offer zero or very small rewards. Many credit cards, however, offer significant rewards when used responsibly. It also depends on which credit card you are eligible for of course. Are you a gold or even platinum member? Then you can bet on great bonuses and many rewards such as free breakfast, free hotelroom upgrades and late checkouts. But even the basic cards have advantages such as airport lounges. TIP: Always check if you get a nice (and high!) sign up reward bonus when you first sign up. Most credit card companies will offer this but it comes in different rates. A good one will start at 20.000 points. This way, you get a nice start ahead that will get you close to your first free flight for example!
  • Discounts
    If you sign up for the right credit card, you might get cash back on purchases or receive huge discounts. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you up to €350 discount. After the first year the card does get a bit more expensive, but it makes up for that with several discounts: free bottles of wine (yes please!) or aperitifs at 600 restaurants worldwide. Platinum is a bit too much for you? Other ​cards are completely free for the first year, for instance the Flying Blue Silver Card and the Green Card.

credit card for travel advantages
Saving airmiles, a way to use your credit card for travel advantages

  • Frequent Flyer Miles
    This is one of the main reasons why I love credit cards. Check which airlines your credit card company is connected to before you make your decision. If you live in The States, your airline preference will be a lot different then if you live in Europe. One rule always applies; the higher your ticket price, the more miles you save. The Flying Blue – American Express Platinum Card gives you a minimum of 1,5 Award Mile per euro spent and is a great card if you look at mileage and therefore a favorite travel partner!
  • Safety & Insurance
    Credit cards can save you from fraud. Simple as that. When a debit card is stolen or skimmed, the money immediately disappears from your account as suppose to a credit card, where you simply contact your credit card company and have them resolve the issue. You as the card holder do not have to pay these transactions. When it comes to insurance, I know that many people don’t realize that there are often insurances included within a credit card such as car and travel insurance. Super handy and another way to save money!
  • Global Credit Card Acceptance
    I got my first credit card when I was 24 years old. I left for my backpacking adventure in Australia and getting a credit card was a very good choice because I could use my card everywhere. Booking tours, flights and car rental companies and hotels usually ask for credit card details. When I was in the Philippines 2 years ago, most ATM machines didn’t accepted my debit card so I was lucky to have my credit card  on me.

So now you know. Time to start earning while you spend! Maybe you already own a credit card, but now you know what you should look at before choosing the right one. Have fun traveling!

Love,

Elke

Make the most out of your business trip by following these tips!

Make the most out of your business trip

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Comments (24)

  1. Eerlijk gezegd gebruik ik m’n creditcard echt alleen op reis en als het echt niet anders kan. Vaak kun je toch ook wel gewoon pinnnen. Maar het is inderdaad altijd handig!

  2. Ik heb inderdaad ook pas een credit card genomen toen ik veel ging reizen. En handig dat je dan verzekerd bent met bepaalde aankopen. Over die andere voordelen heb ik nooit echt nagedacht, handig lijstje!

  3. Hi there,

    Thanks for this post! I’m considering getting a credit card for travel purposes but don’t know which one is best! Have you come across any that you like more than others?

    Thanks!

    Kayla

    • Wander-lust

      Yes we love the American Express Flying Blue Silver Card because it’s particulary good for travel. But it really depends where you live bevause every country provides different types of cards.

  4. Charlotte

    This is so interesting. I actually don’t have a credit card so maybe I should look into this properly..

  5. Ik heb ook een credit card, maar puur om te kunnen taken over de grens en eventuele (hotel)betalingen in het buitenland. Verder gebruik ik ‘m zo weinig mogelijk..

  6. Ik wil niet zonder, omdat het op vakantie – zeker in Amerika – ontzettend handig is, maar ik zou er ook geen tientjes per jaar voor willen betalen. Ik heb er nu eentje via Euroclix, die kost volgens mij 15 euro in het jaar en op alles wat ik via de kaart koop, krijg ik punten. En daarvoor krijg ik dan weer geld. Vind ik op zich een prima systeem 🙂

  7. Tot op heden heb ik nog geen creditcard, ik heb ook nog niet noemenswaardige reizen gemaakt, maar het is duidelijk de overweging wel waard wanneer je op reis gaat. Mooie uiteenzetting, je hebt me aan het denken gezet.

  8. When I go on traveling all I need to bring is my ticket, pasport and credit card. The rest I can buy if I have forgotten to pack

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