If you’re a keen traveller, a frequent flyer or planning your next holiday, a credit card can be a handy helper in your wallet beyond footing the bill. Here’s how you can save money using your credit card when you’re booking travel and accommodation.
One of the biggest advantages to having a credit card is the ability to buy now and pay later. While you may not have funds readily available to pay for flights or accommodation for your trip, you can still use your credit card to book and lock in a bargain. As long as you can actually afford to pay the balance off, booking travel with a credit card can be a great option.
Many credit cards come with special offers to attract new customers, such as the 0% purchase offer. Applying for a credit card with an excellent 0% purchase offer will allow you to use the card to purchase travel and accommodation, and pay nothing in interest for a certain period of time. Use the interest free period to gradually pay off the balance, and try to have it paid off before the introductory period ends.
Credit cards can also offer complimentary insurances, such as purchase insurance, extended warranty, and travel insurances. The value of these insurances will vary according to the credit card, with Gold and Platinum cards usually offering more cover. There are various pros and cons to credit card travel insurance, but as long as you read the fine print to make sure you have sufficient cover, it can be a great way to save money on your trip.
There are a number of rewards and frequent flyer credit cards on the market, allowing you to earn rewards points on your purchases. As long as you choose the right credit card with the right rewards program, this can be a fantastic way of saving money on travel. Rewards points can be redeemed for flights, accommodation, merchandise and more, and you can earn points as you travel as well. Just be aware of how much you are paying out in annual fees and interest, and make sure you are getting value for money.
Credit cards can be incredibly handy while you are away. Most places take credit cards, and it can be safer than carrying cash around. Credit cards can also be used to cover emergencies and unexpected costs.
It’s an unfortunate fact of travel that many holidaymakers go over-budget and come home in debt. If this happens to you, you may want to consider a balance transfer credit card. Transferring the balance from your existing credit cards onto a balance transfer card can give you a ‘holiday’ from interest. This can allow you to pay off your debt faster, while paying less in interest.
Now you know the pros and cons of using your credit card to book travel and accommodation, it’s time to look into finding the best travel and accommodation options for you. When it comes to booking flights, try to be flexible and book well in advance.
When booking accommodation, use a site like Trivago.com.au to search for the best accommodation options at your destination of choice. Whether you are looking for a luxurious hotel, a family resort or a holiday on a shoestring, you can search all your options in one place. Then it’s simply a matter of making a booking, and counting down the days to your trip.
Pauline is a personal finance expert at CreditCard.com.au, with 8 years in money, budgeting and property reporting under her belt. Pauline is passionate about seeing Aussies win by making their money – and their credit cards – work smarter, harder and bigger.
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