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Could it be that simple? If I use my credit card, I can travel the world? Well, like everything in the credit card world there are some stipulations, some catch-22`s and "things you should know" about using your rewards card for travel.

Don`t get sucked in by introductory offers that boast thousands of frequent flyer miles and travel perks. Many consumers` sign up for these cards expecting to cash in on their rewards, but sadly they never get the chance. Here are some reasons why:

  1. You`re Carrying a Balance. If you carry a balance on a travel rewards card you will never, I repeat, never see your rewards. Travel rewards cards, and rewards credit cards in general usually have higher interest rates than traditional unsecured credit cards. If you`re carrying a balance at a higher than normal APR it can be easy to get behind on payments. If you fall behind on payments you can`t reap the benefits of the card, which usually come from using it. If you a credit card user that traditionally carries a balance, think twice about opening up a travel rewards card. A rewards card is supposed to help you, don`t let it hurt you.
  2. You`re Single. Apparently, being with someone is more rewarding. When you have a family with a significant other and kids, it`s easier to rack up purchases on your credit card. And since rewards cards give cash-back, frequent flier miles or rewards points dependent on usage, people in families actually benefit the most from rewards cards.
  3. You Don`t Travel. Some consumers get caught up in the hype and signup for a rewards credit card that doesn`t suit their needs. If you don`t like to travel or if you don`t do it very often, it doesn`t make much sense to get a card that rewards you for those actions. Instead, pick a rewards card that rewards you for something you like doing.
  4. You’re Not Loyal. When using a rewards card, brand loyalty is one of the most important things. It`s the one thing that really drives the reward card market. If you aren`t interested in always flying Delta or United Airways, then a branded reward card will not work for you. Try a general rewards card from a travel website if you`re not brand specific.

If you`re in a rewards rut, evaluate and see why. Rewards cards are meant to reward you for being a valuable part of the credit card industry. Don`t forfeit your rewards by using your credit card incorrectly.