7 travel perks you can get with a travel rewards credit card
If you’re a frequent flier, and a credit card user, did you know that you could be earning travel boosting rewards on your everyday purchases with the right card? Depending which card you go for, you could be making big savings on everything from luxury hotel stays to free flights-ensuring you have the trip of a lifetime.
1.Earn points that turn into travel credits
In most cases, the cards work by allowing you to clock up points with purchases made using your card which can be redeemed for a value amount, or used directly to make a purchase. Cards such as the American Express Cobalt Card allow you to earn up to five times your regular points to use on food and drinks at participating restaurants.
Other cards will allow you to use your points towards saving money on flights with your favourite airline, or on car rental services-great for sightseeing.
Sure, you may be paying for these perks in your annual fee, but it’s always nice to see your spending turn into travel credit and will make those annual fees worth it.
2. Travel Insurance
Many credit cards offer basic travel insurance as part of their perks package, usually if you use the card to book your trip. Credit card coverage can span anything from rental car collision and travel accidents to lost luggage and cell phone replacement depending on the provider. However, the key thing that tends to be offered in travel insurance packages across the board is cancellation insurance, which can really save you if you find yourself having to unexpectedly cancel your trip of a lifetime.
It is vital that you are certain your credit card does offer insurance, as only around 15% of cards do.
However travel insurance coverages from credit cards do have limitations so it is wise to supplement your travel insurance in order to make sure you have adequate coverage. Credit cards tend to offer a basic package, that doesn’t take into account pre-existing medical conditions, age or length of trip, so it is a good idea to search around and see what deals other providers can offer.
3. Enjoy airport priority
Airport experiences sometimes have the habit of turning into a stressful situation that leave you running from one line up to the next. Sure, you can try to plan in advance for a smooth airport experience, but imagine how sweet it would be if your credit card could save you the work, allowing you to board your flight feeling like a VIP. Well, it turns out, many credit cards actually can. Enjoy priority check-in, security priority and even priority boarding, meaning you can skip the usual queue and relax.
4. Gain airport lounge access
Sit back with a glass of wine and a snack, or even take a hot shower before you jet off to your destination all in the airport lounge. Several cards on the market offer access to airport lounges around the world either free, or for a small fee. Some even let you bring a guest with you for no extra cost.
5. Great currency conversion rates
Changing currency is a necessity before a big trip, but it can be both expensive and time consuming. You can expect to not only potentially lose money due to the exchange rate, but also expect to shell out for admin fees and buy-back rates. Plus, if you end up having to change your money over at the airport, you can expect to pay through the nose. Some credit cards, however, save you the hassle by offering great currency conversion rates, with very low charges when you use your credit card abroad.
In fact, most cards tend to charge just 2.5% in addition to a very small spread that the issuer has to pay. If you’re lucky, you might bag yourself a card that charges no fee at all, giving you almost free currency conversion whenever you make a purchase on your trip.
Remember, if you’re card translates cash spent into points, you can continue to earn points towards additional perks while you shop abroad!
6. Check your luggage for free
If your card is affiliated with an airline then you could benefit from free checked bags, meaning you can rest easy knowing you have all of your trip essentials.
Both Aeroplan and WestJet affiliated credit cards let passengers check one bag for free instead of the usual fee that most people have to pay. Plus, some even let you check your bags for your travel companions for free too, as long as your travelling on the same booking.
If you’re a frequent flyer, those savings can add up!
7. Get free flights
If you find yourself above the clouds regularly, you could clock up enough points to bag yourself a free flight. Alternatively, some cards such as the RBC Mastercard World Elite credit card, actually offer cardholders a free travel companion voucher once a year as a reward for being a valued customer. Now there is an offer you can’t refuse!