Travel Credit Cards – How to Earn When Spending

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Travel Credit Cards – Today it is possible to generate profits when spending money. The thing is that many banks work in partnership with some airlines, big retailers, and different companies. They issue special co-branded cards with varied benefits for their cardholders.

Special programs allow frequent travelers to accumulate bonus miles and exchange them for tickets, paying only fees related to the purchase.

As a bonus, you can get not only air tickets but also priority boarding, extended limits for check-in luggage, or business class seats on the plane.

Travel Credit Cards – How to Earn When Spending?

If you travel a lot, consider ordering the best free travel credit card to use it for your ticket purchases and automatically get bonus miles with each single buying.

The logic is simple: You pay for air tickets with a card and get miles accredited to your account. Depending on the level of the plastic, the “cost” of one mile will be different.

Any Other Benefits of Travel Credit Cards?

In general, the segment of credit cards for travelers with the cashback feature has been actively developed over the past 3-5 years. Nowadays, almost any bank has travel credit cards in its arsenal with an extended functionality. What is more, each airline has its own loyalty program tied to a banking card.

The market moved to a new level: universal cards are becoming more and more popular. Wondering how to earn on vacation without making any special effort? The bank will help with the mission!

All you need is just to regularly pay with a plastic card and receive additional vacation money in the form of bonus miles, cash-back amounts, discounts, and bonus credits.

The idea is that you then spend the accumulated miles on tickets of different airlines and for any directions. In some cases, you can spend bonus miles not only on air travel but also on hotel bookings, car rentals, and any other vacation needs. You just need to clarify the conditions of using a co-branded card with the bank.

How to Use a Travel Credit Card – Life Hacks

To make your travel card usage even more effective, we recommend you consider the following life hacks:

  • Choose a card with the maximum accumulation of miles per purchase.
  • Use an interest-free period for credit cards.
  • Get used to paying for everything with a card. It’s easier to control costs and more pleasant to receive bonuses.
  • Try to accumulate miles on one or the maximum of two reward programs. It will be easier and faster to accumulate them.

Now there are a lot of offers on cashback, which can make your travel even more pleasant.

Now many hotels give bonuses for direct booking on the site. Take this opportunity. No matter what travel credit card you are going to use on vacation, we strongly recommend you read terms and conditions of using the plastic.

Benefits of Travel Credit Card

Travel Credit Card – Finding the time and extra money to travel when you want can be a real challenge nowadays, especially for busy mothers. However, it’s important for your mental health and well-being to get away every once in a while. Calculating your miles using online tools can help you enjoy more freedom if you use it strategically.

There are benefits to a United Travel Credit Card so you can enjoy a freer lifestyle. Check Out our Round The World Travel Guide which includes over 100 pages full of lessons and tips we learned while traveling around the world on our first RTW trip, and our Travel Cheat Sheet for Europe.

If you are busy with responsibilities such as work, raising kids and maintaining a household, it can be difficult to take vacations.

Saving money these days is not easy; bills and everyday expenses have a way of eating up most of your income and savings.

However, with a Travel Credit Card selected after searching through comparison tools, you can save up travel miles and use them for flights, hotels and other travel-related expenses. Staying Safe When Traveling

Travel Credit Card
Travel Credit Card

The great thing about a Travel Credit Card is that you use it on products and services you would normally purchase anyway. That way, as you accumulate miles on the card, it’s like free money that you can use for those excursions you’ve been dreaming of.

The specific benefits you earn with a Travel Credit Card will depend on the card you get. However, many cards not only allow you to earn travel miles but also other perks such as nights at popular hotels, memberships in airline travel clubs and the right to check bags for free. The latter is an especially good benefit as airlines are charging more and more for baggage fees.

Benefits of a Travel Credit Card
Benefits of a Travel Credit Card

How to Use a Credit Card When Traveling

The best way of spending money whilst abroad is always up for debate, but many travelers now carry a Credit Card as their number one option for those one-off payments to restaurants and hotels. In the past, travelers often used things like travelers checks, and more recently people have tended towards Prepaid Cards (travel cash cards), Debit Cards, and even traveling with cash.

It’s always unwise to carry large sums of money around with you on holiday, but for those of us that don’t want to pay bank fees we sometimes end up taking the risk.

By enlisting the help of a Credit Card for casual purchases, we don’t need to carry so much cash or be so dependent on Debit Cards.

Using cash when Traveling
Using cash when Traveling

Prepaid cards can be subject to hidden charges, so often just seem like a poor substitute for a decent Credit Card with no transaction frees.

If your Debit Card is stopped or lost, the Credit Card provides essential backup for anyone travelling alone, but more importantly, with a Credit Card you often won’t pay those niggling 2% to 3%, transaction fees like you would on a Debit Card.

With a Credit Card you’ll also get the best exchange rate at the time of purchase, and earn points.

Using Cash While Travelling
Using Cash While Travelling

Some companies – hotels included – may even demand a Credit Card to guarantee your purchase by pre-authorizing charges that you may incur.

credit card when travelling
credit card when travelling

With all that said, you will need to find the right card for international use. Banks like Santander are often very good in this department.

When you search for a credit card provider, you need to implicitly state that you don’t want foreign exchange fees. A credit card always needs to be used in conjunction with some form of ready cash and possibly a Debit Card, as you should never withdraw money abroad, or buy foreign currency with a Credit Card.

You should think of a good international credit card on similar lines as a prepaid travel card.

Additionally, with a credit card, your purchases over £100 and less than £30,000, which are faulty or fail to materialize are protected under consumer legislation called ‘Section 75’.

Carry a Cash Card

Debit cards often charge fees when withdrawing currency from a foreign ATM, and these can add up quickly. Carrying too much cash can be disastrous if it is lost or stolen. Understanding travel money rates and how to get the best exchange rates will save you money in the long run.

Exchange Rates
Exchange Rates

It’s also a good idea to split up your money, so try and keep a bit of pocket money where you can easily access while keeping your cards in more discrete place.

10 Hacks for Frequent Flyer Cards to Maximize Traveling Budget

You can find many of our Frequent Flyer Cards hacks that will maximize your traveling budget in our The Pre-Travel Guide

Our Pre-Travel Guide is designed as a step-by-step guide to help you improve every part of your round-the-world (RTW) preparation. From planning, saving, where to go, health, 1st month on the road, etc. – Download Here.

Obtaining frequent flyer miles is an excellent way to save money while traveling.

While many airlines offer these frequent flyer perks, they tend to make it difficult to earn a substantial number of miles or they make redeeming your miles a difficult process.

This is because the airlines do not make money when they give away tickets, making them reluctant to do so.

Many airlines will even charge large booking fees to recoup the costs they lost by offering frequent flyer miles.

10 Hacks for Frequent Flyer Cards To Maximize Traveling Budget

What are the Benefits of Using Cash While Traveling

Benefits of using cash while travelling – Travelers tend to have their preferred favorites when it comes to carrying foreign currency, varying anywhere from using credit cards or debit cards to purchasing pre-paid spending cards.

Some people insist there are benefits of using cash while travelling.

And remember in the past when Traveler’s Cheques were so commonplace?

No matter what you prefer in the way of financing yourself while travelling, everybody should include at least a little bit of physical cash in their travel budget.

Here’s why:

Benefits of Using Cash While Travelling
Benefits of Using Cash While Travelling

Why Use Cash While Travelling?

Using cash abroad can prove to be a major benefit when travelling, especially if you are going to a more secluded area or rural areas. This is because local markets might not accept credit or debit cards as a payment. Depending on where you are travelling, there may or may not be an ATM available.

Acquiring the local currency will also demonstrate your willingness to embrace the local culture as well as give you a better feel for it too.

Additionally, should your trip take an unexpected turn, having physical money in your pocket will give you the peace of mind that you can still complete a purchase at any local shop, restaurant or market that you visit.

Cash is especially helpful if you are relying on public transportation.

Another one of the many benefits of using cash while travelling is that you can avoid the considerably high charges that many banks have in place for debiting your bank account while you are abroad.

Some financial institutions charge hefty fees for using an ATM machine. You will have no choice but to pay it.

Sometimes you won’t be able to use your debit or credit card while travelling abroad if you haven’t contacted the banking company in advance to authorize your transactions.

They may detect fraud, and while trying to protect you, will shut down/freeze the use of your credit or debit cards. You can contact your bank while abroad and eventually acquire the cash you need.

However, it will take awhile to do, especially given the difference in time zones. Consider that you may have to talk to an actual person to get the hold lifted from your card.

What is the Best Way to Exchange Money

Going on vacation to Europe or an international trip is an exciting adventure. We can get totally swept up in the fun of visiting faraway places, tasting exotic foods, and learning about the history of new lands that we forget that all of these things need to be paid for!

It’s no secret that travelers get ripped off all of the time when changing currencies. You’re at a total disadvantage. You’re also at the whim of foreign banks and exchanges that can charge extremely high fees for transactions.

How to Exchange Money Before Your Trip without Breaking the Bank

Use these simple steps and tips for exchanging currency for an international trip, and you’ll have more cash to enjoy your vacation instead of losing it all in fees and charges!

1. Always Let Your Bank Know the Dates of Your Travel

This doesn’t pertain to exchanging currency before your trip per se, but skipping this vital step can lead to a bank freeze on your debit and credit cards. There are plenty of horror stories of people who have been stranded abroad with no access to their money simply because they failed to inform their bank that they were planning on heading abroad.

Banks freeze accounts with the best intentions in mind. They want to make sure that the person buying those shoes in Koh Samui was really you, not someone who lifted your bank information.

If you don’t let them know that you’re heading to Thailand, they will make the assumption that the transaction is fraudulent and freeze the card- for your own good!

Make the simple call to your bank and let them know the dates that you are planning on traveling. Some banks even let you do it through online messenger.

2. Download an App to Help You with Currency Conversions

Currency conversion can be extremely confusing, which is why it’s important to download an app that can make the conversions for you! This is especially important for currencies that are tough to calculate.

With one quick glance, you can determine exactly how much money you’re spending in your native currency. These travel apps for Europe are compatible with both iPhones and Androids. Two of my favorites are XE Currency and Valuta+

XE Currency

XE Currency is a very popular conversion app that works on all smartphones. If you download conversion rates prior to traveling you’ll be able to access them offline. On XE Currency, you can look at multiple currencies at once, and really get a good picture of how much cash you’re spending.


Valuta+’s simple interface allows users to immediately see where they stand with different currencies. It also allows you to save a list of your favorite currencies, so you don’t need to go scrolling through a bunch of options that don’t pertain to you. It also works offline, which is a huge bonus if you need to look up a currency right away.

3. Always Try to Use the Local Currency

I don’t necessarily advise exchanging currency before your trip as fees can rack up quickly, but it is always important to use the local currency when you travel. Most places will give you the option of taking out money in USD or the local currency.

Always choose the local currency. In more touristic places in Europe, Asia, and Latin America you’ll find signs that advertise that a particular shop takes dollars. It might be tempting to see that as a welcome sign that you’ve food a little piece of home in a faraway land, but beware! You will wind up paying up to 30% more if you use dollars.

4. Take Out Local Currency When You Get There

When it comes to exchanging currency for an international trip, a good rule of thumb is to make the exchange when you get there. Traveler’s checks are a thing of the past, and most places don’t take them anyways now, so simply plan on withdrawing cash from the airport ATM.

You might get charged a slightly higher ATM fee, but you’ll be spending less money in the long run. There are a few things to keep in mind.

The first is that airports have caught on that tourists are now withdrawing their money at airports instead of doing it prior to their trip. As a response, many have installed ATMs that charge a ridiculously high conversion rate.

The really tricky part is that they also boast that there’s no fee for taking out money, which is a great incentive to get people to use them. The no-fee part is totally true, but it’s also true that you are being swindled with a shocking exchange rate.

These ATMs go by the name Travelex are littered all over various airports. Whenever possible, use a reputable local bank or an international bank. Many countries have their own national bank. Do your research in advance. Avoid withdrawing money from ATMs that look like they’ve been tampered with.

Whenever possible, use an ATM that is inside of a kiosk and seem to have a bit of security.

5. Be Careful With Which Currency Exchange You Use

There are some cases where you can’t avoid exchanging currency. If you find yourself in a position where you can’t withdraw money from an ATM, you might have to suck it up and go to a currency exchange. Most currency exchanges will rip you off, but you can dull the pain a little bit by knowing how to avoid the worst offenders.

There are a few tips and tricks that will keep more of your cash in your pocket exchanging money!

6. Avoid Using Airport Currency Exchanges

Airport currency exchanges are totally opportunistic and take advantage of the fact that weary travelers need to have a little local currency in their pockets. Many people make the mistake of thinking that they should change all of their money at the airport.

If you do this, you’ll pay outrageous fees and get a terrible conversion rate when exchanging money. Instead, use the ATM at the airport. Look for one that is affiliated with the national bank of the country you’re visiting.

7. Try to Find Somewhere That Doesn’t Charge a Commission

Look for places that don’t charge commission. Also, find locations that buy at sell at roughly the same rate. It’s totally reasonable for a business to want to make a profit, but if the buy and sell rates have more than ten percent difference, you’re really giving too much of your money away.

Use the Boy Scout motto on this one and be prepared! Do your research prior to traveling and choose exchanges that don’t charge commission when you are exchanging money.

8. Use a Credit Card with No Foreign Transaction Fees

Beware of credit card transactions when exchanging money! Many places charge you at least three percent per transaction. That can really add up over the long run. So many of us use credit cards without thinking, but each swipe could be really packing on some extra fees. You can eliminate this problem by finding a credit card that doesn’t charge you foreign transaction fees.

Check Out These No-Fee Credit Cards

  • Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

The ones listed are just some of my favorites, but there are plenty more! Why not look for a card that also offers you airline miles. Avid travelers can really save themselves a lot of money simply by using cards that give them bonuses for using them.

General Money Safety Tips When Traveling Abroad

The world is a beautiful place, but there are those who would take advantage of you. As they say in Colombia, “no dar papaya!” That saying loosely translates into “don’t give people a chance to mess with you.”

Ways to keep your cash safe while you’re seeing the world

  • Separate Your Money
  • Keeping all of your cards and money in the same spot is a recipe for disaster.
  • Nobody wants to think about getting robbed, but it does happen!
  • Protect yourself from thieves by keeping your money in different locations.

Use a Money Belt

You can buy discrete money belts that fit right under your clothes. Using a money belt makes you a hard target because your valuables are not right out there in the open!

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Personal Finance Tips for Traveling Abroad

Make Smart Decisions About ATMs

Whenever possible, always choose an ATM that is well-lit, secure, and reputable. Beware of any danger signs like suspicious characters lurking around before using the ATM. Never use an ATM that has been obviously tampered with.

Hitting the road and traveling the world is a fun adventure that will leave you with memories that last a lifetime. Places You Should Plan Your Next Vacation

Make sure that it also leaves you with cash in your bank account by following this guide and be careful exchanging money!

(photo credit: 1 – DeusXFlorida – jschinn – Ironchefbalara – teamshaw79 )