Many families put off their vacations until the end of the summer. The reasons are numerous, but many have everything to do with scoring lower hotel rates, better airline deals or cheaper gas. Before you head out, check out our tips for avoiding the vacation blues while keeping your credit card balances lower. We’ll also show you a few of the better credit card offers that make ideal vacay companions.
Fees, Fees, Fees
There are few things worse than realizing an alarming number of fees have been added to your credit card while vacationing. From baggage fees to gratuities to those “not-so-free” free amenities at resorts and spas, they add up fast. One of the bigger pitfalls has to do with any car rentals you require while on vacation. Odds are, your new credit card already extends complimentary car rental insurance to its card holders.
Check into that before you leave on your trip so that you can tell the rental company clerk “no thanks” with confidence when she asks if you’d like to add this extra insurance. While it’s usually less than $20 a day, if you’re renting a car for five days, you could spend an additional $100 on something your credit card already provides. Check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card. Not only does it offer this free service, but you’ll pay no foreign transaction fees on purchases outside the U.S. and you’ll also earn twice the rewards points on airfare and hotel accommodations.
Those pesky fees that pop up as we’re standing at the airline counter run the realm. Baggage fees, upgrading fees and an assortment of other fees are worse than mosquitoes on Mississippi evening in the middle of July. Check with the airline before you head out to the airport. You might can have some of those fees withdrawn or at a minimum, you can pay for them with your debit card to avoid paying interest on your credit card. And speaking of credit cards and airlines, be sure to take a look into the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card. The opportunities for earning rewards are many and you can earn unlimited free flights, making this an outstanding credit card offer for those who love to travel.
A Week Long Sunday Drive
Some of us prefer to enjoy our vacations a bit closer to home and minus the 30,000 ft. altitude. There are beautiful roadways that are scenic and relaxing throughout the United States. From the spectacular Gulf Coast, including the casinos along the Mississippi Gulf Coast to the Rocky Mountains to the wide open spaces of Montana, there’s something to be said about “up close and personal”, especially when it comes to time away from the daily grind.
If you’re more of a road trip person, you’re likely always on the lookout for a great gas rewards credit card. With fuel prices still hovering around $3.50 a gallon on average, it’s often the small things that make all the difference when it comes to budgeting a vacation. Consider the Discover More card. This credit card is ranked number 1 in customer loyalty by Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index.
You’ll earn up to 5% cash back in your fuel charges three months out of the year (on a rotating basis) and even when gas charges aren’t part of the quarterly bonus categories, you’ll still earn cash back. There are no annual fees or rewards redemption fees, either. No worries if your credit card is stolen or lost while on vacation. Discover’s $0 fraud liability provides peace of mind, no matter where your road trip takes you.
Take a Nap
Regardless of whether you love the sound of an airplane’s engine or the freedom that comes with stopping at every fruit stand and restaurant, you’re going to need a place to call it a day. Hotels often run great summer specials and when coupled with a hotel rewards credit card, you know your budget is safe. We recommend you consider the Marriott Rewards Visa. You’ll earn three points for every dollar you spend at a Marriott hotel, plus, after your first purchase with this card, you’ll earn a bonus 22,500 points, which equates to about three free nights.
Who says vacations break the bank? With a bit of planning and forethought, you can have a relaxing vacation with no worries about the damage to your credit card balances.