For those who love to travel, signing up for a credit card that offers points redeemed towards travel may sound too good to be true. While some credit card companies may make the potentially earned points seem like an unachievable goal, if you do your homework, snagging the best travel credit cards can actually happen. Our guest author brings some simple tips to earn points on the best travel credit cards.
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Simple Tips to Earn Points on the Best Travel Credit Cards
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There are all kinds of credit card acronyms and fancy terms related to your credit card. With so much to know, earning points and finding the best travel credit cards can often be a little bit confusing and overwhelming. However, don’t let that deter you from “free money” earned when using travel credit cards.
Information about your credit card and how it works is widely available. If you don’t know or understand something, ask, and always be sure to read the fine print. The main thing to learn is how to make your credit card work for you in order to earn the most points.
Fortunately, this is easy too, at least if you know how to take advantage of credit card points, especially when it comes to your travel credit card. From day-to-day spending to sign-up bonuses, you’ll almost immediately net the rewards when signing up for some of the best travel credit cards.
Editor’s TIP: Each points program has its own point valuation, and we recommend you check out the Points Guy as he breaks points and miles down here.
Before you can make the most of credit card points, you have to understand what they are and how they work.
For starters, know that not every card is a “points card.” While many credit card companies offer the opportunity to earn points, not all of them do. So, before you sign up for a card, ask about its point-earning potential.
If a card does earn points, this means it earns rewards, most often one point or more for each dollar spent, while others earn a set percentage of dollars spent. These points can be redeemed for different incentives. Each company offers its own incentives, but they include like statement credits, travel rewards, free merchandise, gift cards, and more.
Once you have a point-earning card, there are many things you can do, especially with a travel card, to rack up those points as quickly as possible.
Consider Using Multiple Travel Credit Cards
One easy way to rack up the points is to sign up for more than one card. Be on the lookout for cards that offer special sign-up bonuses or lots of rewards points for signing up or switching cards. With these types of incentives, you can get a lot of points very quickly.
There’s nothing wrong with having several cards as long as you are responsible and keep careful track of your spending and rewards. Plus, you can always cancel a card after taking advantage of the points it offers.
Add an Authorized User
Another easy way to get an influx of points is to add an authorized user to your account. Many credit card companies offer additional points for taking this step.
An authorized user is someone who can make purchases with your card, so you’ll need to be very careful about who you add. Be sure it’s someone you can trust, especially since, with most cards, the added authorized user may not have any legal responsibility to pay off what he or she spends. That falls on your shoulders!
If you have a trustworthy person, though, adding an extra user is worthwhile for the additional points.
Book Your Travel with Your Card
Most credit cards, especially those that are specifically designed to be travel cards, will reward travel expenses more than other types of purchases. Thus, every time you book a hotel room, arrange a flight or rent a car, take advantage of the potential points by using that credit card.
In addition to taking advantage of this bonus, find out what other types of purchases your card rewards more heavily than others, and then strive to make all purchases of those types using your card.
If you use credit cards wisely, you can basically earn incentives just for spending money on your card, and it’s definitely nice to get rewarded for something you were going to do anyway. Just make sure you know the rules and limitations of your cards in order to take full advantage of each one and the bonuses it offers.