It doesn’t have to be that way. There are strategies that can help you travel on the cheap more often. Some of the best credit cards offer significant opportunities to save while travelling.
1. Free Flight Bonuses:
You know those free flight welcome bonuses credit card companies dangle in front of you to entice you to apply for their card? They work. Credit card companies often offer free short-haul to long-haul flights. All you have to do is activate your credit card, and typically spend some type of minimum dollar amount in a given period of time. There is no other opportunity which offers this much value in the world of credit cards. Whether you churn or get the occasional free flight sign-up bonus, don’t miss out.
2. Companion Tickets:
Not every travel credit card offers this benefit, but it’s one of the highest value travel perks out there. Get a credit card with a companion ticket benefit, and for around $120, you can fly a guest as a companion when you fly with them. You pay full fare for your flight, and you can bring your companion with you at the fixed cost of the companion ticket. Imagine flying to Hawaii, return for $120!
3. Free Insurance:
No matter where you travel you need insurance. Whether it’s protecting your investment in your vacation with trip cancellation insurance or your health with travel medical insurance – your savings depend on it. Many premium travel cards offer robust insurance to protect you, your spouse and your children, as an included benefit on the card. Typically you will have to book your travel through your card to become eligible for the coverage. Make sure to review the insurance offered by your credit card and the exclusions and limitations.
4. Foreign Exchange:
Travelling often requires exchanging your domestic money for the currency of the country you’re visiting. If you exchange your money at the airport, hotel or currency exchange booth in a tourist area, you could be spending a lot more than you have to. Visa and MasterCard offer some of the best exchange rates available. To save even more money, get a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee by your credit card company – usually about 2.5% or more!
5. Lounge Access:
Spending your time in an airport lounge, as opposed to the gate, is a luxury. You get free snacks, coffee, wi fi, television, showers, conference rooms and clean bathrooms. If you have a long layover or delay, lounges can be a life saver. Many credit cards either offer free lounge access, or provide you with multiple lounge access passes a year. Keep an eye out for them, they’re worth hundreds.