How to Find the Best Credit Card for Holiday Travel

With summer now behind us, many Americans are turning their sights to their winter holiday travel plans. And, as with any travel planning, it is important to use the right credit card that will offer competitive rewards and valuable benefits, as well as low fees.

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Earning Travel Rewards

Traditionally, travel reward cards have offered frequent flyer miles that can be redeemed with the airlines for award flights. But, for many years now, airlines have been increasing the number of miles needed for most award reservations while dramatically restricting the number of seats available at the lowest mileage levels, especially during peak travel (“blackout”) periods such as the winter holidays.

As a result, many credit card users now prefer to earn miles with a card that offers miles that can be redeemed as statement credits toward travel purchases with an airline or hotel. For holiday travel, it helps to find a card that features miles that can always be redeemed with no blackout dates or capacity controls.

Utilizing Travel Benefits

When it’s time to book your travel reservations, you will want to use a card that offers valuable travel benefits. For example, review your credit card benefits to see if they include auto rental insurance coverage and determine if you should decline secondary collision damage coverage which could help you save money on rental car coverage. And, if you should lose your card while away from home, it helps to have a card that offers free overnight card replacement.

Another benefit that you want to have, but never want to need to use, is flight accident insurance that covers you in the event of a disaster. Finally, you will want to have a card with travel friendly features that help you manage your account while you are away, such as built-in fraud protection, automatic bill payments and mobile account management.

Minimizing Fees

While it’s important to earn rewards and enjoy travel benefits, it shouldn’t be necessary to pay excessive fees in order to do so. While some travel reward credit cards charge large annual fees, others do not.

If you are planning on traveling outside of the United States, you will want to avoid cards that impose a 3% fee on foreign transactions. Furthermore, some cards offer credits toward airline fees, such as the Discover it Miles card‘s $30 annual credit toward in-flight Wi-Fi purchases.1

Wherever your plans take you during the winter holidays, the right credit card can be one of your most valuable travel tools.

1. In-Flight Wi-Fi Credit: When you use your Discover it Miles card to purchase wireless internet access on an aircraft, we will issue a statement credit in the amount of that purchase in U.S. dollars within seven (7) business days, up to a maximum of $30 each Anniversary Year. An Anniversary Year consists of 12 consecutive months following your account open date, and each subsequent 12-month period thereafter. You will lose any unused Wi-Fi credit at the end of each Anniversary Year, or if you close or convert your account. Airport and other Wi-Fi purchases are not eligible. This benefit may change or end in the future.

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Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.

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