Summer is finally here, and so begins the season of long trips and family vacations. Approximately 52% of American families go on at least one vacation between May and August, meaning that quite a lot of money is spent on both domestic and international travel.
Unfortunately, traveling with money and checks in your wallet is not recommended. Whether you plan to rent a car, fly planes or stay at hotels, traveling is always easier if you have a credit card available. Even if you only use it for big purchases – like rental cars and airlines – your travel experience will be much more enjoyable if you have plastic.
First of all, plastic allows you to easily document every transaction. When you buy a plane ticket, a record of that purchase is compiled with your card company and you can contact that record if something goes wrong. Flights are canceled every day, so you'll want to plan just in case.
Credit cards are also easier to keep track of than big money or bulky checks. When you visit theme parks and other tourist destinations, you can slip a card or two into a pack, pocket, or compartment with a zipper in your purse. It does not add much weight and is likely to be stolen about fifteen times from a stack of banknotes issued.
So how do you choose a credit card for your summer vacation? If you are making a purchase, you should at least take advantage of the best deals available. Earning miles for plane tickets, cashbacks and rewards points can make plastic much more attractive. And since vacations are inevitably expensive, you might as well get something for your efforts!
Chase Flexible Rewards Platinum Visa
Most offers have very specific rewards programs that allow you to redeem points only at specific locations or at specific vendors. The Chase Flexible Rewards card is a little more versatile. With this offer, however, you earn one reward point for every dollar spent (as well as 1,000 bonus points after your first purchase) and you can redeem points from different merchants, not just one or two. You can get cash, gift certificates or free travel, whatever works best for you. Customers also enjoy an introductory duration of 0% and no annual fee.
This card is a return offer that allows customers to earn 1% cash on all purchases. This card is especially appealing because of its low duration; 0% for the first twelve months and then a low rate in progress. You also get travel accident insurance as a platinum benefit, which can be helpful if you plan to take a lot of vacation this summer.
Blue Sky by American Express
This card has received a lot of media attention because of its travel rewards program. Customers receive one reward point for every dollar they spend, and points can be used to save on airline tickets. It comes with no annual fee and 0% interest for the first six months. And it is surprisingly easy to earn points. For example, if you save 7,500 points, you can redeem them for $ 100 off the next plane ticket.
Summer vacations are made easier by carrying a credit card with you instead of cash or a checkbook, and you can even earn rewards for purchases made with specific credit cards. Check out the top three credit card deals to use while on vacation.