Blog posts come to me all the time. Most of the time it is because I've had a funny travel experience that I wish no one else had experience. Today, I want to provide you with a few simple travel tips to help you with you save money when traveling.
You may ask, how can you save money when traveling if you're talking about credit cards? The answer is simple. When you use the right credit card you save money on possible interest and foreign transaction fees. Follow these simple steps to get the most when using credit cards during your travels:
1. Know Your End Game. Think about what you are trying to accomplish. You want to travel and enjoy your trip and not have to worry about your personal bank account being compromised. That's the real reason we should use credit cards, to give us a secured account to use, so that our personal bank account is not compromised. Therefore, you should leverage this new account to the best of your abilities. What are you planning to do later in the year? Are you planning to go on a Disney Cruise or a relaxing stay in Hawaii? If you think about your future plans you can get a credit card that will provide you with points/miles/credit towards a future trip. I have friends that always cruise with Royal Caribbean. They use their Royal Caribbean credit card for almost all their purchases and as a result they receive hundreds of dollars off their cruises.
I recommend that you sign up for the hotel and airline travel programs even if you don't travel often. We have gold status with Hilton, Marriott and Starwood. Before I made status with any hotel I signed up and made sure the front desk knew I was a loyal member when I checked in. That may help me get an upgrade.
2. Pick a card that is going to offer no foreign transaction fees.
If you are traveling overseas you need to have credit cards that don't charge foreign transaction fees. I usually tell people to leave their debit cards at home to avoid risk of losing them or getting them skimmed and have at least two credit cards that don't charge foreign transaction fees. Bill and I travel often so we use our American Express Platinum cards. Unfortunately, American Express is not always accepted due to their higher transaction fees, so I also travel with a Capital One card and my USAA World Visa Card. Those cards will charge you the price of the item in US dollars. Usually, it will be slightly higher than if you use a currency converter app.
Here's a link to sign up for an American Express Platinum Card. I recommend the card if you travel a lot. They have lounge access, concierge services, hotel status and more.
3. Pick a card with high rewards - but make sure it is paid on time.
I must admit, I've fallen into the trap of getting a credit card and using it for all my purchases and then at the end of the month the credit card bill was more than my paycheck (I'm thankful for my mom and dad for helping me pay off that college credit card). When you get a rewards card often it will come with annual fees and higher interest. Therefore, it's in your best interest to pay it off quickly.
Use these tips and you are your way to having a safe, secure, and enjoyable vacation.