Knowing how and when to use your rewards card might be your key to a happy, hassle-free getaway
Vacations are supposed to be restful and rejuvenating, but planning one is often the opposite. If you’ve started to plan your summer vacation, you may have noticed that airfares have taken off, along with increased demand for travel. Data shows the cost of airfare is up more than 25% compared to this time last year, and it may be a while before they reach cruising altitude.
However, with a little planning and help from the right credit card, you may help offset some of the high travel costs and ensure smooth sailing to your chosen destination. Here are a few tips to get you on your way.
Bankroll a bonus for your bon voyage
If you’re in the market for a new credit card, apply now. Why? New cardholders typically get sign-up incentives and bonuses for spending a certain amount in the first few months. These perks could include cash back or a surplus of points.
Let’s say your card’s welcome offer is the equivalent of $450 in travel redemption value when you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within four months of account opening. You can use that $450 of value toward your airfare, hotel or car rental lowering the overall cost of your trip.
Expect the unexpected — and prepare for it
Many travel rewards credit cards offer benefits, such as fraud protection, rental car insurance and travel insurance. While an emergency is unlikely, the coverage may offer reimbursement.*
Flight delays and cancellations can cause last-minute changes to your itinerary. U.S. Bank recently introduced additional travel benefits available through its U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card that can help ease the effects of unexpected travel interruptions. Cardmembers can take advantage of a range of services and perks that can secure and enhance their travel options, including:
You do the sightseeing, not your credit cards
Keep your card from wandering off while you are on a souvenir shopping spree.
To cut down on the chance of misplacing or losing your card during a transaction, load your cards into a mobile wallet or link any U.S. Bank card with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™ or Samsung Pay for mobile payments on the go. **
Before you leave, be sure to call your bank and let them know when and where you plan to travel. Or, if you have a U.S. Bank account, set up travel notifications within the mobile app. This can help guard against unnecessary fraud warnings or even a possible freeze on your account if the bank suspects misuse.
In the event a card is misplaced or stolen, U.S. Bank cardholders have added protection through the U.S. Bank mobile app. If needed, the lock function lets you temporarily turn off purchases to your credit card.
Send foreign transaction fees packing
When traveling outside of the U.S., some credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee on every purchase. These fees typically equal approximately 3% of the charge. Find a card with no foreign transaction fees, such as the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card, and you’ve got that 3% back in your pocket to spend on more adventures.***
For more tips, budgeting ideas and financial wellness modules to support your travel plans, check out our Financial IQ travel resources.
* Always review the benefit terms and conditions of any credit card to confirm coverage conditions.
**How to use credit cards wisely for a vacation budget | U.S. Bank (usbank.com)
***Best travel credit card perks for family vacations | U.S. Bank (usbank.com)
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