Finding the Premier Credit Card for Travel

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If you only use a credit card for emergencies, you might skip a premier credit card and go with a no frills option. Credit cards have different features and perks. And what’s right for one person may not be right for another. Choosing a credit card isn’t a decision to take lightly. These plastic cards aren’t just a form of payment – they’re a way to earn points, cash and other rewards, which ultimately save you money. Consider your lifestyle and choose a card that fits your needs.

Do you travel often? Do you book hotels and airlines with your credit card? If so, don’t settle for any type of credit card. Here are four tips to help you find a premier credit card for travel.

1. Earning points, miles and other rewards

A premier credit card for travel includes reward cards that give cash back, points or miles for every $1 spent on purchases. Rewards programs are similar and adhere to the same main concept, but the way you earn points can differ between cards. Make sure you understand how your card’s program works.

For example, some premier credit cards give bonus points if you spend a certain amount in the first three months. Additionally, one rewards program may give one point/mile for every $1, whereas another program gives two points/miles for every $1. The cash back you earn on purchases can also vary by credit card.

2. Understanding the costs

No frills credit cards typically feature low interest rates and no annual fees, which is perfect for people who rarely use credit. But if you’re looking into a premier credit card, expect higher costs. You might receive a low rate, depending on your credit score. These cards, however, typically include an annual fee. Do your homework, make comparisons and choose a card with the lowest expense. Several credit cards, such as the Capital One VentureOne and the BankAmericard Travel Rewards, offer a 0% introductory rate on purchases (and sometimes balance transfers) for the first 12 – 18 months.

3. Redeeming rewards

Most people apply for premier travel cards for the perks and rewards. Thus, it only makes sense to know your redemption options. In other words, what can you get for your points? Fortunately, most travel reward credit cards work the same. Points and miles are redeemable for airline tickets, hotel reservations and car rentals. Some premier credit cards also let you redeem points for cruise vacations, cash, gift cards and other merchandise. Know the rules of your particular credit card to determine whether you will benefit from their rewards program.

4. Other card features

The opportunity to earn points and cash for everyday shopping is a major plus, but don’t overlook other attractive features. When looking for a premier card for travel, consider what’s important to you. Some cards include concierge services, emergency travel assistance, as well as priority boarding. Likewise, it pays to read the fine print regarding your points or miles. Do your miles or rewards expire? Are there blackout travel dates? Is there a foreign transaction fee?