How to Compare Travel Credit Cards

The proliferation of travel credit cards over the past few years has been a great development for those who want to travel for highly reduced rates. The number of credit cards available has grown, and with this variety, applicants need to know what to look for when getting a travel card that will work for them. Here are some benefits of travel cards that travelers should look into when applying for a new card.

Interest Rates

This can be an important part of any credit card package for those who carry a balance from month to month. Those who pay their bills off in full each month can skip to the next point, but those who carry a balance will want to look at the annual percentage rate that a card issuer charges. The higher the rate, the more you will pay in interest and less of your payment each month will go toward paying off the loan amount. If you’re looking to save on interest costs, finding a card that permits no- or low-interest rates on balance transfers for an introductory period is a good idea. The interest rate is usually listed under the terms and conditions link on the card’s application website.

How Many Points Does a Card Pay?

Those who do not carry a balance do not really need to worry about interest rates. In this instance, the number of points or miles that a card offers will be a major consideration. That said, all points are not created equal. Delta Skymiles are frequently called Skypesos because of the difficulty in using them. Those who do not have any flights on American Airlines from their home airport should probably not get one of their credit cards. Also, getting a Marriott Premier card that pays out 70,000 points after meeting a minimum spend will probably be a better idea than getting a Choice Privileges card that only pays out 32,000 points. The Hyatt card offers two free nights at any Hyatt property worldwide, and this can wind up being worth about $2,000 if played right. The card that gets you where you want when you want for free is the best in this regard.

Annual Fees

The cost of a credit card also includes the annual fee charged. Those who have trouble paying for the privilege of using a credit card can sometimes find a card that offers reduced benefits in exchange for waiving the annual fee. Other cards will offer a year without an annual fee for new cardholders. Most annual fees range from $49 for basic cards to $450 for the more elite cards.

Flexibility Is Important

Marriott Points can only be used at Marriott properties. United Airlines miles can only be used on United or partner flights. Programs like American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards do a good job of allowing cardholders the option of transferring their points into a variety of hotel and airline programs at a 1:1 ratio. This flexibility allows people more options when they travel, and it’s a big benefit of cards that pay into these systems.

Not all travel credit cards offer the same benefits for cardholders. Therefore it’s important to research which will work best for you. The points noted above are some of the major issues to consider as you look for the travel card that will work best for you.

Featured Image: Thinkstock/dima_sidelnikov

Posted on May 22, 2023