How to choose the right travel credit card?
Are you one of those people who live more out of a suitcase than at home? Do you feel that the best way to get over a vacation is by planning a new one? If globe-trotting is a part of your regular routine, then a good travel card can truly be your best buddy.
When it comes to choosing a travel card, the most obvious choice seems like the one that gives you the maximum miles on your spends- Miles that help you fly far and wide. However, the choice is really not that simple. Not all cards measure up to each other on benefits that go beyond miles. There are a wide range of benefits that you should look out for while choosing the travel card that suits you the best.
Sign up bonus
Most of the travel credit cards offer a healthy sign up bonus in terms of a significant number of miles, free flight tickets, hotel or flight coupons etc. This usually gives you a head start in earning free miles from the card.
Earn more miles
There are credit cards that allow you to accrue miles on the credit card account while allowing you to accrue on your frequent flyer program as well. This allows you to get double the number of miles on a single transaction. Go for such cards.
Most co-branded airline cards restrict you to one domestic airline and its international partner, but some cards like Citi PremierMiles Card, allow you to book on any of the airlines that suits your budget and still earn miles for it. Very few credit cards in India offer this feature. You can also redeem your miles against all major domestic and international airlines with such a credit card.
Earn miles on all transactions
Some travel credit cards allow you to earn miles for both your airline and non-airline transactions, albeit lesser number of miles for your other transactions. Going for such cards ensure that you do not lose out on miles that could have been yours.
Expiry of miles earned
Most of the points earned on travel credit cards have expiration limits. Choose a card that has no expiry or blackout dates. You should be able to redeem your miles whenever you feel like taking a holiday.
There is no point in earning miles if they cannot be easily redeemed. You should be able to redeem your miles for flight tickets, hotel bookings, car hires etc. So choose a card that offers you ease of redemption across a variety of options.
Paying an annual fee is a definite spoiler when you look at getting a travel credit card. However, if you are a frequent traveller, this will definitely work to your advantage in the long run. Some cards offer you renewal bonus in the form of free miles. This and the other benefits will more than compensate you for your annual fee.
Travel Insurance & Fraud Protection
Some credit cards also offer travel insurance and great fraud protection. Choose a travel card which is also safe for online transactions.
Free Lounge Access
Most travel credit cards offer free lounge access. Opting for a card that doesn’t give you the same will make you feel that you missed out on something that goes without saying.
Travel credit cards give you complimentary access to airport lounges, clubs, hotels and more. Such perks are an important and welcome relief to your busy, jet setting lifestyle. This is over and above the convenience, savings and security a travel credit card offers. So the next time you make up your mind on which travel card to go for, make sure you evaluate all the benefits and not just focus on the miles.
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