Wanderlust is calling you and you have an ever-recurring itch to get out of town and explore the world. One of the most common things people say they wish they could do more of it travel, so you are not alone. Unfortunately, travel is very expensive and many people feel that they do not have the flexibility in their budgets to afford travel.
Airline credit cards are becoming a more popular way to afford travel, no matter what you budget is. Many people have earned enough miles to travel for free each year. But this all seems too good to be true, how could you possibly do that just by using a credit card? Here are some things that you need to know in order to utilize your airline credit card.
Know minimum spending amounts
Minimum spending amounts can vary greatly depending on the airline credit card that you have. Many will want you to spend a certain amount within a short time period when you first get the card to earn maximum points. It may seem like an impossible task to spend a large amount of money, such at $5,000 within the first 3 months, but most airline credit cards do not stipulate where or what your buy to meet this amount. It is then easy to just spend on your credit card as you would your debit card for the trial period, and then pay it off after the cycle has ended to earn the full rewards.
Recognize annual fees
The ideal situation would be to find a card with no annual fees, but unfortunately, usually the airline credit cards with the best rewards systems have an annual fee. Look for cards that meet your needs and have the best rewards systems for you, then narrow those choices down based on annual fees. Many airline credit cards will also have offers that will waive this fee for a limited period of time.
Understand foreign transaction fees
“There are so many airline credit cards that will work around the world, making it easier than ever for you to travel to the places you love and do the things you want to do,” says Chris Mettler of CompareCards.com.
Of course, you can spend money anywhere in the world using an airline credit card, but you might have to pay a fee. Some airline credit cards charge foreign transaction fees, and some fees may be more than others. If you travel to certain countries frequently, look for a card that does not charge foreign transaction fees for that country, or has lower fees depending on the country you travel too.
Find out if there are partner airlines for your airline credit card
Some airlines have partner airlines, which allow people to use either airline and receive the same deals or rewards. The same is true for airline credit cards. If you prefer a certain airline, you can stick with just that airline when you use your credit card, but if you want to change between 2 or 3 different airlines, you can find an airline with partner airlines that will let you earn the same rewards no matter which one you fly with.
Learn how to use your rewards
Now that you have the rewards, make them work to your advantage. Many people will use the rewards to go on a trip that they can use their airline credit card during to earn points while you spend them. Some airline credit cards will also have deadlines for you to use your points, so keep track of when you need to use your points so you don’t miss out.