There are two major categories of pro-travel credit cards. The first group largely gives you points or discounts toward a certain brand’s rentals or services. The second group tends to give you points or lesser discounts towards a wider variety of brands, or perhaps even a giftcard of your choice. We’ll mostly be concentrating on the first group since they make up the majority of travel credit cards.
Rewards Points vs Discounts
While discounts were the standby for a long time with travel credit cards (ie: credit cards specifically owned by travel companies, like the Delta American Express card), today we see a much greater focus on rewards points. These points keep people loyal to the brand by forcing them to book only with that brand.
For instance, we’ll go back to Delta’s American Express credit card. Frequently, this credit card racks up points at double or triple the rate when flying Delta, depending on the time of year. This is one of the best promos that it offers. Then you can use those points for future flights on Delta, keeping you in the lap of luxury but still on those Delta planes.
It’s a very smart move by the company and we strongly recommend getting a rewards card with your airline of preference to start racking up points now.
Asking Your Card for More
Many hotels and airlines offer travel card incentives. These are usually very nice, very fair- and you can usually get more if you ask and if you’re a responsible spender.
Those with great credit scores can ask for better rewards point brackets or more frequent promos. The Hilton Honors Visa card starts at 2% back for your discount, encouraging you to stay at a Hilton instead of the competition. If you are a responsible spender with a great credit score, you can get as much as 5% cash back regularly.
This can go as high as 10% for those who are incredibly eligible for these sorts of promotions. That money back can be directly applied to the balance of your card, thus serving as an incentive in and of itself. It’s a credit card that can actually help pay your travel expenses off by itself. What’s better than that?
It’s a pretty standard thing to offer, too. The better your credit, the more you can push for a higher reward. Remember that companies want you to spend; always try to use that for more leverage.
If you are a frequent traveler, you should have a wallet full of loyalty cards, points rewards, giftcards and the widest variety of brand loyalty available to the areas you often visit. If you are traveling for work, ask for business travel credit cards. These often offer a much lower interest rate, as well as giving you a few extra perks such as extra special lounges for card holders or preferred seating. Remember that lounges like these usually offer free food and drink, which can help you save just that little bit more when you’re on the road or in the sky.