multiple travel credit cards plus various IDs such as a passport and driver's license

What to Look for in Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards are a good way to earn points and rewards for making purchases your normally would anyway. Yet, with numerous credit cards on the market, choosing between them can be a confusing endeavor. Look for these 5 aspects on travel credit cards to make sure you're getting the best deal and to compare multiple cards evenly.

Sign Up Bonuses

There are multiple perks that come with credit cards. Companies will offer special bonuses for people who enroll in their service such as air miles, cash back bonuses, and more. Finding a credit card that offers great sign up bonuses is a quick and easy way to ensure you get more bang for your buck. Also, taking advantage of the deals you get when signing up for a credit card is one of the main ways that 'travel hackers' exploit the system and get free trips all over the world, just by spending money the way they normally would!

Points Per Dollar

The best travel credit cards will offer points for every dollar spent, but there are often different levels of points. For instance, some cards might offer 0.5 points, while others may offer 2 points for each dollar. It usually depends on whether you have the 'silver,' 'gold,' or 'platinum' card, or whatever equivalent your credit card company offers.

Low Spending Minimums

As with any reward, there is a catch: you must often spend a certain amount of money before you receive the sign up bonuses or perks. This amount is sometimes a one-time amount, or a monthly minimum that must be met. The key to finding a great card is finding one with a low spending minimum so that you don't bury yourself in credit card debt in an attempt to reach those spending minimums.

Annual Fees

It's common knowledge that credit cards come with annual fees. However, some are more expensive than others. The best types of travel credit cards will have low annual fees. After all, no one wants to pay $200 per year just for the privilege of using a card. Somewhere between $20 and $100 is the range you should look for. Of course, this varies from person to person; choose whatever you are comfortable with.

Foreign Transaction Fees

When traveling, the main thing to keep in mind are foreign transaction fees. These are the fees that originate when your credit company has to calculate the difference between your native currency and a foreign currency, and these processing fees can quickly add up over time. Most cards charge around a 3% fee, but some exist which do not charge a fee at all. If you plan to use a credit card often, you will want to make sure you aren't spending too much each time you use it.

Last Updated: January 21, 2015