Travel credit cards are helpful for people who travel frequently. It helps users save a considerable amount of money, sometimes offering free flight tickets too if chosen correctly. Travel credit cards are of two kinds - Travel rewards credit cards and Cashback credit cards.
Travel rewards credit cards are further categorized into general purpose credit card and brand-specific credit card.
General-purpose travel credit card: It pays higher rewards on making travel purchases through any hotel or airline. If you want to try the services of different brands, then this card is for you.
Brand-specific credit card: It provides higher rewards on purchasing from a particular brand of hotel or airline or travel tech company. For example, Yatra collaborates with SBI for the Yatra SBI Credit Card.
As for Cashback credit cards, you need to consider two points before making a purchase:
Amount of cashback: Choose a card that offers you more cashback in the areas where you spend the most.
Cashback limit: Check the maximum limit of cashback that you can earn on the card.
Earn welcome points on sign-up: Most credit card companies offer a substantial amount of bonus points during sign-up, which you can earn after spending up to a specific threshold within 90 days of purchasing the card.
Discount vouchers: Many credit card companies offer discount vouchers to their customers during the purchase of travel credit card, which can be utilized while booking hotels or flights from the brands that are in collaboration with the credit card companies or banks. For example - Yatra SBI Card - It offers discount vouchers worth Rs. 8250 as a joining perk.
Complimentary insurance: You can also earn complimentary insurance with your credit card to cover baggage loss, theft, accidents, and medical emergencies. Please note that all credit companies do not offer this benefit, so choose the credit card that meets your expectations and check if there are any hidden charges to avail the benefits.
Free lounge access at domestic and international airports: Some travel credit cards offer these benefits either as a joining perk or when you accrue a certain number of reward points.
Retail vouchers: When you buy a credit card, there are higher chances of receiving retail coupons in your kit, which you can utilize while shopping.
You could fly for free: Let's discuss this with an example - several travel tech companies tie up with lender to offer co-branded credit card that often offer exciting perks like a free flight ticket or a free hotel booking.
Pay the full outstanding balance: Many customers prefer to pay the minimum due amount thinking that it would save them from excessive interest payment. However, the fact is that it leads to the user paying higher compound interest on the accumulated amount. So, try to clear the full credit due every month, as it will help you in maintaining a good credit score and availing good offers.
Pay your bills on time: Set a reminder of the due date in advance on your mobile so that you will have ample amount of time to clear the bills or set up an auto debit payment system in your bank account. If you pay your dues before the deadline, it will help you in maintaining a good credit history, and you will not lose any accrued reward points.
Pay attention to the changes in rewards programs: Check the components of your statement thoroughly every month. If you note that there is a reduction in your reward points, then pay attention to the factors that have affected the credit card rewards program, such as your spending habits or the changes in terms of the reward program by the credit issuer.
Redeem your reward points on time: Check out the expiry date of reward points utilization and use them on time to save money.
Redemption fee: Some cards might have a redemption fee, so check it before you proceed to buy a travel credit card.
Check out the spending threshold to earn the sign-up bonus: The spending threshold is the amount that you need to spend within 90 days of credit card purchase to earn the sign-up bonus. So, if the spending threshold is not affordable for you, you won't be able to reap the benefits of rewards on the credit card.
Annual fee: In India, some cards might charge an annual fee and some may not; and some companies may waive the annual fee after a specific period. So, consider this a vital point while buying a travel credit card.
Travel credit cards can be very crucial when it comes to saving money if you use them in the right way. How do you know if you're doing it right? - By checking your credit score regularly.
Compare the different credit cards online and choose the one which provides you the maximum benefit, making your travel budget-friendly.