Guest Blogger: Stacy Barbee from kissyourmoney.com


Can Credit Cards Be Your Bestie During Holiday Trips? Yes!

It isn’t true that credit cards only help to push you towards debt. Credit cards help you build credit history. Plus, it would be wrong to blame credit cards for your debts. You got into debt because you didn’t pay your bills on time. And, even if you’re in debt, there are lots of credit card debt solutions to solve your problem.

Credit cards come with lots of benefits, and one of them is that they help you to save money on holiday trips.

Yes. I’m not kidding.

Credit cards offer lots of perks like waived baggage fees, trip cancellation insurance and rental car insurance. These lead to lots of savings.

In 2015, 5.7 million air tickets were booked between December 24 and January 4. The average cost of a discounted round-trip ticket was $186. The figure says it all.

Here are the 7 scenarios when credit cards can be your best friend when traveling.

1. You don’t have to pay a penny for foreign transactions   

Foreign transaction fees can be irritating when you have your vacation in a foreign country. Typically, you have to pay 1% to 3% for foreign transaction fees. But, there a few credit cards that come with no foreign transaction fees and some of them are:

Capital One

Discover

2. When you can save $20 every day on collision damage waiver  

Does your credit card offer primary or secondary rental car insurance? Are you paying the rental with that credit card? If so, then you can save $20 every day by rejecting the collision damage waiver proposed by the rental car company. When you have primary insurance, the credit card company will pay for the damage first.

3. When you get a refund on the nonrefundable airfare

You don’t need a trip cancellation insurance when your credit card already has this feature. If your credit card already includes a trip cancellation insurance, then you can easily qualify for a refund on your travel costs when you have to cancel the nonrefundable air tickets due to health issues or bad weather.

Obviously, the coverage will vary from company to company. Usually, credit cards with Visa Signature benefits and World MasterCard offer this coverage. In case of American Express, you have to pay additional charges for such coverage.

4. When your checked baggage fees are waived off

It sucks big time when you realize that you shopped more than what was necessary. When you packed your bags at the beginning of the trip, your bags were light. Now, you’re left with so many souvenirs, gifts, clothes, etc. What should you do now? Either you need to buy a new bag, or you have to leave them in the hotel. But, you haven’t spent so much money for leaving all the things in the hotel. Right?

Again, if you buy a new bag, this means you have to pay checked baggage fees.

Tricky situation.

Well, your co-branded credit card can help you get your checked baggage fees waived off. All you need to do is book the air ticket with the card. You can also use another trick. You can mention your frequent flyer number on your air ticket to get the fees waived off.

5. When you can book hotels and air tickets at low rates

Have you earned lots of reward points in 2016? If so, then it’s time to redeem the rewards as a travel statement credit. Do you know what’s the best part of this card? You can book hotels and air tickets with low rate by using this card. You can redeem those points against the charges made later.

Here are a few credit cards that you can use to redeem rewards for travel statement credit.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

6. When you don’t have to pay for in-flight meals or checked baggage fees

A few credit cards offer airline fee credits, which help to cut down trip cost and let you travel in style. The credit card will cover in-flight meals, checked baggage fees, airport lounge access, etc. Just redeem your points to take advantage of these lucrative benefits. Remember, these benefits may be valid until the end of 2016. So, hurry!

7. When you don’t have to pay for the person accompanying you

Wouldn’t it be great if you don’t have to pay a penny for your companion? Before you book air tickets or hotels, find out if you have any credit card that allows you to add someone (be it a hotel or flight) without any extra cost. In some cases, you may get heavy discounts too.

Few words of wisdom

Traveler-friendly benefits and flexible rewards make credit cards one’s best friend in the peak travel season. Often, we skip reading the features of the credit cards we have. It’s in our best interest to know about our credit card’s benefits in this year. Remember, you just need to select the right credit card and use it at the right time for getting good deals in the holiday season.

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