Finding the best travel rewards credit card
"How do travel rewards credit cards work?"
Not all travel rewards credit cards work the same way, or reward the same way. When looking for a travel rewards credit card, look for one that gives you rewards at the places you spend the most, and lets you easily redeem miles rewards or points the way you want, such as cash back, hotel or airline credit, account credit, merchandise, or gift cards.
Consider how much you plan to spend on the credit card. If you don't plan to charge a lot to an airline or travel credit card, it may be hard for you to accumulate points or miles especially if your rewards expire.
Next, review your travel and spending habits to figure out how much you will have to spend on the card before you can reach the rewards level you want. If you have to accrue 25,000 miles or points before you can redeem for the travel you want, how long will it take for you to earn these credits? How much will you have to spend?
You also may want a card that gives you greater flexibility and freedom in how you earn and redeem travel rewards. Are you limited in the number of places you can earn top rewards—such as affiliated airlines or hotels—or can you earn maximum rewards on any travel with no restrictions? Likewise, do you want to redeem these rewards with a specific airline or hotel or will you want to use your points or miles elsewhere (such as cruises, airlines, car rentals, and hotels)?
To find travel rewards credit card that's right for you, consider:
Your travel habits—are you a frequent flyer who uses the same airline multiple times a year or an occasional traveler with the flexibility to shop for discounted airfare?
In what categories or places you will earn the highest travel rewards?
Do the points or miles you earn expire?
Does the travel or miles card offer unrestricted travel and flexibility in booking—with no limitations, blackout dates or seat restrictions?
Are you limited to where you can earn your points or rewards?
See what travel benefits come with your travel rewards credit card.
Many credit cards offer value-added travel benefits like automatic car rental insurance and flight insurance when you book with your credit card. Some travel rewards credit cards also offer additional travel services like travel assistance. This can come in handy when you need to find lost luggage, rebook a flight, replace a lost passport and much more.
In addition, consider the overall value your card offers. What’s the APR on purchases and balance transfers? Is there an annual fee? Are there fees for using your card when you travel abroad (foreign currency transaction fees)?
Discover believes that consumers should be armed with the information they need to help them make informed financial decisions.
Tip: Let your credit card company know if you will be traveling abroad. They can notate your account and ensure that your foreign transactions won’t be flagged as potential fraud which could result in a freeze on your account.