Whatever your travel destination is – a distant tropical island or a charming European city – a credit card is always your best friend. A credit card can make your trip more convenient and help you avoid stress, as long as you use your card responsibly.
Some financial experts advise using cash. They argue that the responsible use of credit cards does not exist. If you manage not to spend more just because you’re swiping plastic and always pay interest on your credit cards, you should be safe.
10 Reasons to Book Travel with a Credit Card
Moreover, if you smartly use your credit cards, you may even financially be at an advantage. Responsible credit cardholders enjoy many benefits of using credit cards instead of cash to pay for things and services or to book flights and hotel rooms.
Paying with cash puts pressure to always have enough currency on you. This generally involves continually keeping track of how much money you have on you or repeatedly running to your bank to restock your cash. On the contrary, using a credit card saves time and spares you a lot of hassle.
We live in a cashless society where swiping your credit card makes life easier.
2. No Interest
Some credit cards offer no interest for a year or even more. There is usually a small fee, but it is worth it. Call your credit card provider to learn about this kind of travel credit card benefit.
3. Fraud Protection
Most credit cards have better protection than debit cards. In other words, by using your credit card to book travel, you add a level of security to your purchase. Any fraudulent charges on your debit card may take longer to flag, and you may need to provide additional documentation to prove you didn’t make the unauthorized payment.
On the other hand, credit card companies usually spot fraudulent charges on your credit card even before you notice it and typically call off the transaction after you explain the situation.
4. Travel Rewards
Using a travel credit card to book your tickets and rooms allows you to accumulate points or travel miles. These travel rewards can add up quickly, especially when the card offers a welcome bonus so that enough points can earn you a free trip.
5. Build a Credit File
Using your credit card to book travel is a great way to build your credit file. Using the credit cards, responsibly helps you make the foundation of good credit rating. And you know that the better your credit rating is, the easier it will be to borrow from your financial institution in the future.
6. Travel Insurance
One of the big reasons to book travel with a credit card is travel insurance, as many credit cards provide additional travel benefits. So, when you use a credit card to book travel online, you may unlock free travel bonuses such as travel insurance or rental car insurance.
Also, most credit cards offer trip cancellation insurance which means that you will get a refund if you cancel your trip due to serious sickness or injury, death of an immediate family member or severe weather at your travel destination.
However, double-check with your credit card provider if they offer such insurance before you use a particular credit card to book flights and hotels.
7. Managing Your Spending Better
When paying in cash, you can easily forget your purchases and lose track of how much you’re spending. Online credit card statements allow you to track your expenses. Furthermore, you can always rely on them as some card providers keep those records for a long time.
8. Safer Travel
Many travelers have experienced issues with lost or stolen cash at least once in their lives. If your money is stolen or lost, you will most likely never see it again. On the other side, if your credit card is lost or stolen, you’ll be liable for max $50. Some credit cards offer zero liability, which means that your credit card company won’t hold you responsible for unauthorized transactions.
In this case, however, you have to report lost or stolen card to your financial institution promptly.
9. Additional Travel Benefits
Another good reason to book travel with a credit card is extra baggage loss insurance. Lost, delayed, or damaged baggage is often an unavoidable part of a trip that can cause a lot of stress and frustration. Additional baggage insurance is often expensive, sometimes with hidden fees.
However, some credit cards provide luggage loss and damage coverage, either free or as an extra option when you use a card to buy tickets or book rooms.
Besides, some credit cards offer other travel perks such as tracking assistance for lost luggage, no baggage fees, emergency interpretation services, medical emergency transportation assistance, and free access to airport lounges. Many cards include access to Priority Pass network of airport lounges, which makes a long international flight much more relaxed
10. Better Exchange Rates
Credit cards offer better exchange rates than local exchange offices. Also, if you are paying for an excursion or trip while abroad, your credit card purchases made in the local currency will be automatically converted into your country’s currency.
While most credit cards charge a fee on every purchase you make abroad (usually 3%), some credit cards have lower or no foreign transaction fees, so check out your card’s terms and conditions to find out about these benefits.