If you have ambitions to be a frequent traveler you should do some research to make sure that you are carrying the type of plastic that will most benefit you, as well as protect you while you are so far away from home. There are many credit cards out there to choose from, but travelers should be aware of the types of credit that will award you for each dollar you spend, rather than realize that your cards do not benefit the international traveler in any way.
Usability : Does The Country You are Going To Accept The Credit Card You Are Carrying?
Before I embarked on my first trip to the Philippines I came across an add from American Express that offered 30,000 bonus sky miles after I spent $1,000 in three months. That seemed like a ridiculously threshold to meet. I would spend that in groceries and gas over a 3 month period. 30,000 bonus miles is worth $300 in airfare so I was getting 30% back right off the top, and that’s not counting the 1 sky mile for every 1 dollar I spent on anything (1%). That seemed like a pretty good deal.. In most cases, it is a decent bonus for applying to their credit card. The problem was that NOWHERE in the Philippines accepted American Express. Another problem is that the sky miles were only good for Delta flights and the airport that is nearest to my home doesn’t fly Delta!
So, in summary…. Be sure that your bonus sky miles credit card you are using is right for the area in which you live, as well as the countries that you plan to visit. So, for example, do not get an American Express travel card if you are going to the Philippines 😉
Choosing The Best Credit Card With Travel Perks
This depends largely on how big of a spender that you are, as well what kind of reward benefits that you are after. I have a modest income that wouldn’t reach the thresholds of many of the travel credit cards that are out there.. Considering that I love to travel, a credit card that offers sky miles is important to me. It’s a nice feeling when you have accumulated enough sky miles where on your next trip you will be traveling for FREE! I was looking for a card that :
- Does not have an annual fee
- The highest percentage of travel miles awarded per dollar
- A low threshold to get the bonus sky miles when you sign up
- Sky miles that could be used on any airline
- A credit card that would be available in the country I was visiting
- A credit card that would approve me!
- No international fees!
Note : If you have troubles with paying the full balance of the credit card each month, don’t bother even getting one because bonus miles + 1.25% per dollar skymiles bonus will not be worth the expense of credit card interest…. by a long shot! Don’t build debt for the sake of scoring a few travel perks!
The credit card that I chose was the Capital One Venture Card. It is a Visa card which is accepted just about anywhere on the planet and filled all of the criteria listed above. You need to have “Good” credit to be approved, but not exceptional. You only had to spend $1000 on purchases within 3 months to be awarded 20,000 bonus miles.. There is no annual fee.. I can use my miles at anytime that I want (they never expire) on any airline that I choose. Any time that I make a purchase whether it be travel related, or picking up cat food at Walmart… I still accumulate miles for my next travel adventure 🙂
Considering everybody’s income levels are different, the right card for me may not be the right card for you. Some people would simply rather have cash back instead of travel miles. Or some may like to accumulate gift certificates over the year that they can hand out as Christmas presents to loved ones.
The little perks don’t mean much, but they are nice 😉
For me, I prefer the travel cards because you get small perks like entering the airplane before anyone else, or just getting through the terminals a little faster because they have a section at the airport just for you!
If you will be traveling you may want to check out some of the most popular travel cards to see which carries the best rewards package for you needs!
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