Spring Break is fast approaching. If you’re planning a spring break trip, you won’t be alone in hitting the open road, or open skies, en route to vacation. American Express reports in a “Spending & Saving Tracker” summer travel survey that 75 percent of respondents plan to take a vacation, and the average expected costs for those trips are at $1,145 per person. With costs that high, you’re probably looking for a way to save money on spring break travel.
Before you take flight, set sail or hit the road, make sure you maximize all the benefits from your travel credit card. Travelers have credit card rewards and perks to exploit, but those work best when they’re fully understood.
3 Ways to Use a Travel Credit Card to Save Big
1. Watch for ticket price drops
Certain card programs, such as MasterCard’s Price Assure, can let you know about airline price changes after you book, so you can turn price breaks into airline credits. Most major air carriers, including Delta, American and Continental, participate in such programs. Check with your credit card company to see if they offer a similar deal.
2. Avoid baggage fees
Nobody likes paying airline baggage fees, and with some credit cards and airlines, you don’t have to. Continental Presidential card members can check their first bag and often a second bag for free. Delta SkyMiles offers a similar deal.
3. Book through your travel credit card
Most people don’t book air travel, hotels and car rentals through a credit card website, but they should. Most big credit card companies offer exclusive deals you won’t know about unless you look, and booking a trip directly through your card’s website often comes with perks like double airline rewards miles.
3 Best Travel Credit Card Offers of 2015
Past that, what are the best travel credit cards for 2015? Check out this list from CreditRepair.com of the best credit cards for travelers to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
1. Best Rewards Points Credit Card: American Express Platinum Card
American Express Platinum Card is offering a huge Membership Rewards points sign up bonus after spending a certain amount with the card in your first three months after opening the account. The card also offers an annual credit against airline fees, free concierge services, exclusive travel packages and services, VIP airport lounge access, a Cruise Privileges Program and more. You’ll also earn double points when booking travel at AmExTravel.com. But be aware that the card carries a hefty annual fee.
2. Best Airline Miles Credit Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a top-notch card, offering one of the best signup bonuses in the business to earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. That’s a great way to start off, and the annual fee is reasonable for such a high-earning card: the introductory annual fee is of $0, then $95 after the first year. Cardholders earn double points on all travel and dining purchases made with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
It gets even better on the redemption front since your points are worth 25 percent more if you redeem for travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. If you know your way around frequent traveler programs, you may also want to transfer your points to one of the approved travel partners at a favorable 1:1 ratio. Travel partners include British Airways Executive Club, Korean Air SKYPASS, Singapore KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Amtrak Guest Rewards, Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards, IHG Rewards Club, Priority Club and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
3. Best $0 Annual Fee Travel Card: BankAmericard Travel Rewards
The BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card boasts the perfect trifecta of travel benefits: no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and it’s EMV chip technology that makes it more secure. Cardholders earn 1.5 points on every $1 spent, and points can be redeemed for travel in the form of hotels, flights, rental cars and more by calling or going online and requesting a statement credit. BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card also comes with an online-only signup bonus of 10,000 bonus points if you make at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days, which can result in a $100 credit to put toward travel purchases.
What’s more, if you’re a Bank of America banking customer, you’ll have the opportunity for a rewards points earning boost of 25 percent, 50 percent or 75 percent through the Preferred Rewards program. The bonus you’ll receive depends on the type of account you have and the total amount of assets held with Bank of America. But even if you don’t qualify for Preferred Rewards status, you can earn 10 percent more point by just having an active Bank of America checking or savings account.
The value of the BankAmericard® is that it’s simple, but packs a punch — no annual or foreign transaction fees and no confusing rewards program. If you travel often, but desire a no-frills, no-hassle card that you can bring all over the world, this one’s for you.
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Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.