You know what they say, traveling is the only expense that makes you richer. And while we all get the metaphorical gist of that, we are also not encouraging anyone to splurge all their hard-earned money overseas. In fact, we want all our fellow travel enthusiasts here to be wiser with how they spend their money during a trip. After all, it is quite easy to spend double or triple what you normally would on a normal day out of the country.
One could easily spend $100 on a lunch that you would not even pay $10 for in your home country. We do not know the exact term for it, but vacationers often see prices overseas with a rose-coloured lens, like everything is worth every penny because they are on vacation, and anything gets a pass. Luckily, we are way past our “tourist phase,” and we are here to help you do the same!
Today, we are going to talk about something that is a crucial must during your travels: A reliable credit card.
For those who do not really use a credit card by choice, then this article probably is not for you. If you are not using a card yet because you simply did not have a reason to (until now), let us introduce you to the fascinating world of credit cards – and later on, help you pick which ones are best for travel!
Perks Of Using a Credit Card
If you ask the internet what their opinion is about using a credit card or opening a credit line in general, you will be met with two opposing factions; those who are pro credit card use and those who are against it. People have a love-hate relationship with this financial tool because many have both incredible and terrible experiences with them.
Looking at it from a self-responsibility standpoint, however, I know for a fact that my “terrible” experience is highly associated with the fact that I did not know how to completely maximize the benefits of having a credit card. I also did not know how to protect myself from the consequences of not managing my credit the right way.
When all is said and done though, and now that I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel, I know for a fact that all the “issues” I’ve had were simply the aftermath of my poor financial decisions and credit cards – when used right – can offer serious perks to the financially responsible. Here are some of them:
Reward Points System
I think one of the biggest perks of having a CC is the reward points that you can earn by continuously using your card for both minor and major purchases. I do not know about you, but I love getting stuff for free! Free flights, free food, gift certificates, discount coupons, cashback rebates, you name it! CC users get to avail of exclusive promotions just because they are using a credit card, isn’t that such a sweet deal?
At Least 21 Days of Deferred Payments
Another benefit that most CC users really appreciate is the fact that you can defer payments when you use your credit. This means not having to pay outright for your purchases on the day you get them but paying them at least 21 days after the purchase date. Depending on the timing of your purchase, the payback period can be longer too! Just make sure that you are disciplined enough to only spend what you can pay back in time.
Zero or Low-Interest Installment Options
Next, bigger purchases do not feel as overwhelming when you are a CC holder, especially when you have earned yourself a higher credit limit. Most credit card companies offer zero to low-interest instalment options for bigger purchases, giving people more buying power even when they do not have that much cash on hand.
Higher Approval Rates for Other Loan Types
Being a credit card holder also helps you develop a good credit score. Credit scoring is used by many financial institutions when deliberating loan applications. Therefore, if you maintain good credit standing and have built a long credit history with a bank or institution, it would be easier for you to get approved for bigger loans, such as housing or car mortgage loans when the time comes.
Safer, Cashless Transactions
Lastly, and this goes to all my travel enthusiasts out there. Travelling with a credit card is far safer than bringing bundles of cash. Sad to say, but travellers (especially first-time tourists) are big targets for scammers and other good-for-nothing.
Every country, no matter how beautiful or advanced, will always have an underbelly, so protecting yourself is your responsibility. When you lose a card, you can call your bank to cancel it. If you lose cash, you best bet you are never going to get it back.
Now that you have a better idea as to what credit cards can actually bring to the table, you might be considering getting one to bring on your next trip. As an added bonus, we will let you in on a few tips for choosing the perfect credit card that would make your travels all the more worth it.
Find A Card That Lets You Earn Air Miles
Remember how I mentioned most cards offer reward programs for users? Choose one that lets you earn air miles so when your points stack up, you get to fly for free! You can check out some of the best travel cards on websites like kredittkortinfo.no/kredittkort-reise and similar.
Check What Their Rates Are for Forex
When choosing a card, search for a bank that offers competitive foreign exchange rates. Banks will not charge you a fee outright for transacting internationally, they will have slightly lower exchange rates compared to actual buying-selling rates though! Finding a card with a conversion fee of 1-2% lower than the market price is a darn good deal.
Get A Card That Would Give You Access to Luxurious Airport Lounges
This is my favourite part. Most, if not all, CCs will give you exclusive access to International Airport Lounges free of charge. You can eat the food, drink the beverages, shower, use Wi-Fi, and relax in these lounges before your next flight.
See If You Can Sign Up for A Card That Has Travel Protection or Insurance
Next, some CCs would be tailor-fit to travellers like you and me and they would tie up travel insurance or “purchase protection programs” for overseas purchases to their credit card offers.
Watch Out for New Cardholder Bonuses!
You have more chances of bagging limited and outrageously good promotions as a first-time user. Such as bonus reward points, flight upgrades, dining GCs, and other welcome gifts if you meet a minimum required spend during the first few weeks with your card. So be sure to read the fine print!