The benefits of using a travel rewards credit card are numerous, as well as obvious. It’s not just frequent travelers who benefit—even those who take an overnight trip once every year or two would appreciate a free hotel stay or an inexpensive bill at a lavish restaurant. And while travel itself will rack up the most points, these cards can be used for anything at all. In fact, some programs, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, allow users to earn bonus credit points by shopping for necessities that have nothing to do with travel. Read on for ideas on how to make the most out of that travel rewards card. With these tips in hand, that dream summer getaway might be closer than you think.
Take advantage of special offers
It can be all too easy to delete the frequent emails that arrive from credit card companies, offering discounts on this and that. When it comes to the travel cards, however, read through them carefully. There might be an offer on double or even triple points for purchases that you might be making anyway, such as flowers for Mother’s Day or even a trip to the local supermarket.
Check the website
Frequently logging in to the company’s rewards portal will reveal more deals, some of which might change on a daily or even hourly basis. Retailers often partner with the card company to offer cash-back or points-per-dollar programs. While it’s counterproductive to spend extra money simply to earn points, if you were planning on a shopping spree in the first place, why not make it work to your advantage?
Take advantage of a signing-on bonus
It’s not just travel cards that offer large points bonuses when a certain amount of money is spent in the first few months of the card’s use. However, if you intend to take a trip this summer, a new card can help you get there faster. Shop around for the largest signing-on bonus that also manages to suit your individual needs. Be aware that some companies charge a hefty annual fee, although this is sometimes waived for the first year. If this is a concern, be prepared to settle for a lesser bonus on a card that doesn’t charge consumers for its use alone.