Sunday, January 23, 2022

What Is The Best Travel Credit Card To Get

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Is Credit Card Travel Insurance Enough

Best Delta Credit Card | How to Travel the World for Free Credit Cards

Depending on your needs, credit card travel insurance might be enough to cover your trip against interruptions, delays and cancellation. However, if you want to make sure you’re covered medically while traveling, most credit cards don’t come with extensive travel medical insurance. You might want to purchase an add-on plan or separate coverage in case of a medical emergency.

How Much Is A Point Or Mile Worth On A Travel Credit Card+

Points or miles, which are basically the same on a travel card, are valued differently from card to card and from rewards program to rewards program.

For example, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, according to ThePointsGuy.comâs valuation system, rewards at a whopping 2:1 rate, or 2 cents for every point. Compare that with Hilton Honors, which rewards at 0.6 cent for every one point. However, keep in mind that cards may reward generously and more than make up for the low valuation.

Best No Fee Aeroplan Credit Card

  • 1x Aeroplan points on gas, groceries, and Air Canada purchases
  • Aeroplan preferred pricing on Air Canada flights
  • Minimum income: $15,000 personal or household
  • Annual fee: $0

If youre keen to keep costs down while earning points for flight rewards, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card is your best bet. Its a good card to get if youre just beginning to explore the Aeroplan program or award travel in general.

In fact, this is the only Aeroplan credit card with no annual fee. It has a very low barrier to entry, requiring a minimum household income of $15,000.

For students, CIBC also offers the CIBC Aeroplan Visa for Students, with no income requirement, and all of the same features and bonuses.

Not surprisingly, as a no-fee card, this card earns at a lower rate than premium cards, and it has fewer insurance benefits.

Instead, the cards biggest appeal is the preferred pricing benefit, giving you a slight discount on flight rewards on Air Canada flights. In addition, your Aeroplan points will never expire as long as you remain a cardholder.

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How To Maximize Your Travel Credit Cards Rewards

Theres more to making the most of your travel credit card than just charging all of your purchases on it. With a little know-how and effort, cardholders can boost the benefits of any reward card.

1. One of the main ways to maximize your travel credit card is to use it responsibly by paying off the balance in full each and every month. All the bonuses and benefits in the world wont make up for the hundreds of dollars in potential interest charges you could add to your balance if you dont pay it off in full every month. Not to mention the hit your credit score could take if you have a negligent repayment history. If you consistently carry a balance, a low interest credit card or one with a generous balance transfer option would likely be a better fit.

2. Travel credit cards are geared mostly towards travel redemptions. Though you can often use points or miles for statement credits, merchandise or gift cards, these options typically offer less value for your points than they would if redeemed for flight or hotel redemptions. For example, Scotia Rewards Points are worth $0.01 if you redeem them for travel, but lose about a third of their value if you redeem them for a statement credit. Generally speaking, if you dont travel much yet want to reap significant rewards, its likely that youll get more bang for your buck with a cash back credit card instead.

Evaluating Hotel Credit Cards

Best Travel Reward Credit Cards
What you get with a hotel card

Hotel credit cards earn points with each purchase. As with airline cards, you typically get more points per dollar for purchases from the co-brand partner, and some cards also give bonus points in additional categories. Similar to the airline model, the points you earn with the card go into the same loyalty account as the points you earn from actually staying at a hotel. You redeem your points for free stays.

Hotel cards usually offer a sign-up bonus, but like airline cards, they really make their bones with the ongoing perks. Common perks on hotel cards include:

  • Free nights. Several cards offer this perk, which can make up for the card’s annual fee. You may get a free night automatically every year, or you may unlock it by spending a certain amount within a year. In the latter case, it comes on top of the points you earn for your spending.

  • Upgrades and freebies. Cardholders may qualify for automatic room upgrades when available, or free or discounted amenities such as meals or spa packages.

  • Early check-in/late check-out. No one likes having to cool their heels in the hotel lobby waiting for 3 o’clock to check in. And no one likes have to vacate their room by 11 a.m. when their flight doesn’t leave till evening.

  • Accelerated elite status. Some hotel cards automatically bump you up a level in their loyalty program just for being a cardholder.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best hotel credit cards

Choosing a hotel group

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How Much Is A Point Or Mile Worth On A Travel Credit Card

Every point or mile from an airline, hotel or bank is worth a different amount, so you cant assume that a 50,000-point bonus on one card is equivalent to a 50,000-point bonus on another. Thats why The Points Guy maintains a guide to point and mile valuations, which explains how much each type of point and mile is worth. You can use those valuations to determine how much a sign-up bonus or bonus category is worth.

For instance, Amex Membership Rewards are worth 2 cents each based on TPGs valuations, which means the 100,000-point bonus on the Amex Platinum is worth $2,000. Thats because 100,000 x .02 = $2,000. And since that card earns five points per dollar on airfare, you can also determine that each dollar you spend on airfare will get you 10 cents back in points because 5 points x 2 cents = 10 cents.

How Many Miles Do You Need For A Free Flight+

Whether you have an airline credit card or a general travel card, you can use your or miles to book award tickets. How many miles for a free flight, however, is determined by the type of credit card you have and whether your card offers bonus value on travel redemptions.

For example, If you book through AMEX, your points are worth 1 cent apiece on travel redemptions. That means if a flight costs $500, youâll need 50,000 points to book.

If you book through Capital One or use your card to book and redeem rewards as a statement credit, each mile is worth 1 cent each. So if the cash price of the fare is $250, youâd need 25,000 miles to book.

Through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, youâll get at least 1 cent per point in value. But if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, youâll get 1.25 cents per point on flights and other travel booked through Chase. And if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your points are worth 1.5 cents each.

If you have a card that earns Citi ThankYou Rewards, youâll typically get 1 cent per point when booking a flight. That means a $750 flight would cost 75,000 points.

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Other Top Credit Cards That Just Missed The Cut

Our list of the best travel rewards credit cards contains our very top picks, but there are dozens of other travel credit cards out there. Here are some cards that almost made the cut, along with why we opted to leave them off our final list.

  • American Express® Green Card This card earns 3x points on travel and dining and has a moderate $150 annual fee. The points earning is great, but the welcome bonus isn’t anything to rave about, and the card’s statement credits for CLEAR and LoungeBuddy aren’t easy for everyone to use.
  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card If you want to earn travel rewards without an annual fee, this card is worth considering. Says NerdWallet’s Sara Rathner, “It doesn’t have the same high rewards earning rate as cards that charge fees, but there’s a valuable sign-up bonus and easy redemptions.”

Travel Credit Cards Benefits And Features

Top 3 Travel Credit Cards in Canada (If You Can Only Get 3 Credit Cards!)
  • Air miles bonus – anniversary bonus, welcome bonus
  • Free airport transfer – Grab, limousine services
  • Free airport lounge access – nationwide or worldwide
  • Gold privileges – discounted to free green fees to prestigious golf clubs nationwide or worldwide
  • Free travel insurance – coverage for personal accident, flight delay, missing connecting flight, luggage delay, luggage loss
  • Travel and lifestyle coverage – personal services for restaurant reservations, ticket bookings, transportation arrangement, etc
  • Cashback and rewards for overseas spend – save more with cashback and earn points / air miles when you pay with your credit card

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Clark Howards Warning For Travel Credit Cards

Travel cards have rewards that can help take you to the most desirable places on the globe. Its easy to see why theyre popular.

But are they actually in your best financial interests? Clark cautions against getting too carried away with the fantasies associated with travel credit cards.

If youre going to do any type of airline or hotel card, you need to understand that theyre typically going to have, at minimum, an annual fee of roughly $100. And in some cases that is actually more like $300-$500, Clark cautions.

So you need to have a really high charge volume to make it work. Im talking about charge volumes of a minimum of $10,000 per month to make many of these cards worth getting.

That level of spending is often achieved by business owners. But if youre considering this for a personal card, make sure that your monthly spending is on that level.

Clark says he sees people pulling travel cards out of their wallets all the time, but few of those people are spending enough each month to make these cards worth it.

There are so many people that I see all around who pull out these Sky Miles reward cards, and I know that theyre not traveling constantly on Delta. Theyre not charging $10,000 per month. And it just doesnt pay, Clark says.

So whos actually best served by travel cards? Clark says that the market for people who spend enough to see the benefits is pretty small.

Consider The Card’s Other Benefits

In addition, see if the card offers any of these benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees. Many credit cards charge 3% on every purchase in a foreign country, meaning you’re shelling out $30 for every $1,000. The best travel rewards credit cards don’t have foreign transaction fees, and you should have at least one on hand.
  • Acceptance. If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll need a . Visa and Mastercard are accepted almost everywhere. American Express is catching up and, while there are still a lot of popular travel destinations that don’t accept it, Discover is expanding its reach.
  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck. The best travel credit cards offer up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fees, so you can expedite your way through security checks.
  • Airport lounge access. If you fly often, airport lounge access is priceless. Not only does it make long connections and early flights more bearable, but the complimentary food and beverages and, sometimes, even showers and beds offered by these lounges can actually save you money while you travel.
  • Free checked baggage. If you tend to check bags, waived baggage fees can more than recoup the cost of a card’s annual fee.
  • Elite status benefits. Many cards grant you accelerated or automatic elite status with major airlines or hotel chains, bringing additional benefits, such as free hotel breakfasts or priority boarding on flights.

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Travel Credit Cards With Fixed

A travel credit card with fixed-rate rewards lets you redeem your rewards for cash travel purchases. Rewards are always worth the same amount toward travel this way. For example, if your card offers $0.01 per point, then 10,000 points will always be worth $100 in travel. Depending on the card, you can either use your rewards as a statement credit toward previous travel purchases, use them in the card issuer’s travel portal to book travel, or both.

Winner: The American Express Aeroplan* Card

The Ultimate Guide to Picking the Best Travel Credit Card ...

If you fly Air Canada, then the American Express® Aeroplan®* Card needs to be in your wallet. It offers perks that make flying AC way more enjoyable.

For starters, the primary cardholder and up to 8 people travelling on the same reservation get their first checked bag free. Youll also earn 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles and 1 Status Qualifying Segment for every $10,000 charged to your card. That means you can get higher Aeroplan status quicker.

The welcome offer will also appeal to many people since its worth up to 40,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan®* points. How it works: New American Express® Aeroplan®* Cardmembers earn 10,000 Aeroplan points and a bonus Buddy Pass for an eligible round-trip flight within North America after spending $1,500 in purchases within the first three months of Cardmembership. Plus, you can also earn 2,500 Aeroplan points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases on your Card for the first twelve months of Cardmembership. That could add up to 30,000 Aeroplan points.

The Details:

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How Do Points And Miles Work On Travel Credit Cards

The rewards you earn with a travel card can take the form of points or miles depending on the card and the rewards program. Some cards might use the terms points and miles interchangeably, but in any case they refer to specific units of currency that you can earn and redeem.

Earning: Each dollar you spend on eligible purchases is worth a fixed amount of points or miles. Credit cards and loyalty programs assign different values per purchase, including flat rates across the board or tiered rates for special purchase categories.

Redeeming: Redeeming miles and points to pay for travel usually provides the most value. Many credit cards and loyalty programs offer the option to redeem for cash back, merchandise or gift cards, but in most cases you wont get the same bang for your buck.

How To Make The Most Of Your Travel Credit Card

Take advantage of as many benefits as possible. Go through your travel card’s features to make sure you don’t forget to use any of them. If it has airport lounge access, see which lounges you can get into and if there’s a registration process required first. If your card has travel protections, such as trip delay or lost luggage reimbursement, learn how they work in case you ever need to use them.

Get the sign-up bonus. Double-check the bonus’s spending requirement and how long you have to reach that amount. As you use your card, keep track of how close you are to getting the bonus, asking the card issuer if necessary.

Use your travel credit card for purchases. When you pay with your travel card, you’ll earn travel rewards. Maximize your rewards by paying for all eligible purchases with your travel card.

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Blue Cash Preferred Card From American Express

Best for: Though not a travel card per se, this card is best for those who may love travel but prefer cash back over points and who spend big bucks on household purchases .

Why now? Spend on your home and the holidays now, pay later with 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening.

Welcome offer: Earn $300 back after spending $3,000 in the first six months of account opening .

Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

Earn points: Earn 6 percent cash back on groceries and select streaming subscriptions 3 percent on transit and U.S. gas stations 1 percent on everything else.

Key perk: 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent

How Does It Compare To Other Top Competitors

How to Pick the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card

If you compare the Refresher Credit Card with its peers in the industry, it’s better than most in terms of features. For starters, the Refresher’s minimum deposit of $200 is among the lowest since many charge $500 going upwards. This way, you get to keep most of your money as you build up your credit score.

On the other hand, the $48.95 fee, which is a sum of the $12.95 annual fee you pay plus the $3 monthly installments for a year, is slightly higher than most. But, overall, the card ranks among the top in its line.

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The Platinum Card From American Express

Our pick for: Luxury travel perks

The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a hefty annual fee, but travelers who like to go in style can more than get their money’s worth. Enjoy extensive airport lounge access, hundreds of dollars a year in travel and shopping credits, hotel benefits and more. That’s not even getting into the high rewards rate on eligible travel purchases and the rich bonus offer for new cardholders. Read our review.

Best Travel Credit Cards Of 2021

This content is not provided or commissioned by any issuer. Opinions expressed here are the authors alone, not those of an issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by an issuer. Please keep in mind that while some offers may come from WalletHub advertising partners, sponsorship status played no role in card selection.

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