9 smart tips to save holiday travel costs using credit cards
Holiday travel can be an expensive affair. Travel tickets, baggage, accommodation, and contingency costs can add up to thousands of dollars spent on a single trip. In fact, the sheer expenses can discourage people from traveling altogether for leisure. If a traveler is a credit card owner, they can use it in several nifty ways to save money. Here are some ways in which a credit card can help save holiday travel costs.
Using airline fee credits
Certain credit cards come with airline fee credits. These credits can cover the expenses related to in-flight meals, airport lounge access, additional checked baggage fees, and flight upgrades. One must contact their credit card company to know whether the card they use has this particular benefit. And if it does, then one can save plenty of money by redeeming these credits every time they book a domestic or international flight.
Normally, airline fee credits expire at the end of a calendar year. So, if required, travelers must use them as soon as possible.
Reducing rental car insurance cost
Car rental services are quintessential for travelers. One can use their credit card to lower their rental car insurance expenses. Certain credit cards come with either primary or secondary rental car insurance, using which renters can save about $15 to $20 daily. To save this amount, one needs to decline the collision damage waiver (CDW) fee that most car rental companies offer.
Car rental cost savings is one of the benefits offered by credit cards that one may possibly not find through most other avenues.
Using airport lounge amenities
Many airports have exclusive lounges for business and premium-class passengers to wait until their boarding time. Certain credit cards provide cardholders access to such lounges in airports anywhere across the globe. One can use a number of money-saving options such as free Wi-Fi, foods and beverages, nap pods, and showers if they have a long layover between two flights and do not wish to spend money on short-term hotel stays in the meanwhile.
Usually, snacks and products come with a premium price tag at airports. However, by using credit card-powered airport lounge access, one can save hundreds of dollars.
Taking advantage of free checked bags
Credit cards come with a host of travel benefits, some of which include the possibility of adding a free checked bag on flight. Some credit cards even allow passengers to add multiple free bags if they are traveling in a group. Check-in bags greatly add to the costs of a flight reservation, especially if there are multiple bags and large groups of people traveling.
Offering the free checked bags facility is one of the smartest ways credit cards can help save holiday travel costs.
Availing of discounts for holiday companion
Most people know about exclusive Black Friday or Cyber Monday offers that enable travelers to get two-for-one deals. But, people rarely know that this particular benefit may be a part of their credit card package. Certain credit card companies offer two-for-one deals, which enable travelers to add an extra passenger to their flight or hotel reservation at absolutely zero additional cost.
So, travelers can enjoy this benefit whenever they book a reservation for two people, and save a lot of money on their companion’s stay or travel expenses.
Making use of foreign transaction benefits
Certain credit card companies do not charge customers specific amounts in the name of foreign transaction fees that are generally charged when one makes international transactions. Using such cards can be beneficial for travelers.
Usually, Capital One and Discover cards offer this foreign transaction fee waiver.
Maximizing cash back rewards
A cash back is one of the most commonly used benefits of credit cards. Cardholders do not need to save all year as they can get cash back rewards at the end of the year on their credit card. They may these rewards while making their holiday travel and stay reservations.
Covering such expenses with cash back can help one use the spare money for contingency purposes or for buying souvenirs while returning.
Booking holidays with points and miles
Like airline fee credits, many credit cards come with loyalty points for long-term cardholders. So, every time one uses their credit card to make purchases, they get allotted a number of such points or air miles that can be accumulated and redeemed later. Many airline companies and hotels (usually brands that are in a partnership with the credit card company) accept payments in such air miles or loyalty points.
One might want to use their accumulated points on time, as they tend to expire at the end of the calendar year.
Using free hotel night certificates
Some hotel credit card companies offer hotel night certificates, essentially a benefit that grants travelers one free night stay while traveling.
Hotel stay is one of the most expensive aspects of any vacation, so even if the accommodation cost of one night is free, it will help save plenty of dollars from a traveler’s holiday budget.
Credit cards are valuable for frequent travelers. If one knows how to use their credit cards wisely, they can save a lot of money annually.