Cash in on Travel Rewards


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Credit Card Applications » Research » Guides » Travel with Credit Cards » Cash in on Travel Rewards

Cash in on Travel Rewards

Updated: December 26, 2012

The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

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.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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