Travel Credit Cards – Though it may sound weird, today it is possible to generate profits when spending money.
The thing is that many banks work in partnership with some airlines, big retailers, and different companies.
They issue special co-branded cards with varied benefits for their cardholders.
Special programs allow big travelers to accumulate bonus miles and exchange them for tickets, paying only fees related to the purchase.
As a bonus, you can get not only air tickets but also priority boarding, extended limits for check-in luggage, or business class seats on the plane.
Travel Credit Cards – How to Earn When Spending?
If you travel a lot, consider ordering the best free travel credit card to use it for your ticket purchases and automatically get bonus miles with each single buying.
The logic is simple: you pay for air tickets with a card and get miles accredited to your account.
Depending on the level of the plastic, the “cost” of one mile will be different.
Any Other Benefits of Travel Credit Cards?
In general, the segment of credit cards for travelers with the cashback feature has been actively developed over the past 3-5 years.
Nowadays, almost any bank has travel credit cards in its arsenal with an extended functionality.
What is more, each airline has its own loyalty program tied to a banking card.
The market moved to a new level: universal cards are becoming more and more popular.
Wondering how to earn on vacation without making any special effort?
The bank will help with the mission!
All you need is just to regularly pay with a plastic card and receive additional vacation money in the form of bonus miles, cash-back amounts, discounts, and bonus credits.
The ideas is that you then spend the accumulated miles on tickets of different airlines and for any directions.
In some cases, you can spend bonus miles not only on air travel but also on hotel bookings, car rentals, and any other vacation needs.
You just need to clarify the conditions of using a co-branded card with the bank.
How to Use a Travel Credit Card – Life Hacks
To make your travel card usage even more effective, we recommend you consider the following life hacks:
Choose a card with the maximum accumulation of miles per purchase;
Use an interest-free period for credit cards;
Get used to paying for everything with a card. It’s easier to control costs and more pleasant to receive bonuses;
Now there are a lot of offers on cashback, which can make your travel even more pleasant;
Try to accumulate miles on one or the maximum of two reward programs.
It will be easier and faster to accumulate them;
Now many hotels give bonuses for direct booking on the site.
Take this opportunity.
No matter what travel credit card you are going to use on vacation, we strongly recommend you read terms and conditions of using the plastic.
Benefits of Travel Credit Card
Travel Credit Card – Finding the time and extra money to travel when you want can be a real challenge nowadays, especially for busy mothers.
However, it’s important for your mental health and well-being to get away every once in a while.
Calculating your miles using online tools can help you enjoy more freedom if you use it strategically.
There are benefits to a United Travel Credit Card so you can enjoy a freer lifestyle.
Check Out our Round The World Travel Guide which includes over 100 pages full of lessons and tips we learned while traveling around the world on our first RTW trip, and our Travel Cheat Sheet for Europe
If you are busy with responsibilities such as work, raising kids and maintaining a household, it can be difficult to take vacations.
Saving money these days is not easy; bills and everyday expenses have a way of eating up most of your income and savings.
However, with a Travel Credit Card selected after searching through comparison tools, you can save up travel miles and use them for flights, hotels and other travel-related expenses.
The great thing about a Travel Credit Card is that you use it on products and services you would normally purchase anyway.
That way, as you accumulate miles on the card, it’s like free money that you can use for those excursions you’ve been dreaming of.
The specific benefits you earn with a Travel Credit Card will depend on the card you get.
However, many cards not only allow you to earn travel miles but also other perks such as nights at popular hotels, memberships in airline travel clubs and the right to check bags for free.
The latter is an especially good benefit as airlines are charging more and more for baggage fees.
Budget Travel Tips to Keep in Mind
There are quite a few ways to create a freer lifestyle where you can travel more frequently.
Having more money at your disposal certainly helps, but it’s also a matter of managing your time.
Time is a resource that’s often quite scarce in the life of the typical mother.
Planning can go a long way in helping you make the most of your time.
While it can be fun and romantic to decide to take a last-minute weekend trip to Paris or the Bahamas, for most people in the real world, it’s easier if you plan ahead.
Planning also allows you to seize the best travel deals.
If you can plan a trip or two off season, that’s even better for saving money.
Combining this with using travel miles you’ve saved up on your credit card can really make a difference and help you enjoy economical trips.
Sometimes choosing an all-inclusive vacation can help you to save money.
These include resorts and cruises.
Aside from being cost effective, such trips can be fun because once you pay for it, you don’t have to worry about adding up all the separate expenses.
On the other hand, if you have enough miles saved on your travel card, it might be more economical to use your travel points on hotels.
If you have enough points to take care of both airfare and hotel, most of your trip is paid for!
Choosing the Right Travel Destination
When planning trips, you have to consider your interests and preferences as well as your budget.
Do you prefer a vacation that’s relaxing or one that’s full of activities?
Do you like beaches, snow or bustling European capitals?
Of course, you might like all of these at different times.
You should, however, consider what you want to get out of your journey so that you can select the destination and type of trip that’s most suitable.
You can feel great about spending money where it counts the most, letting you enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
In some cases, you don’t have to go far or for a long time to feel rejuvenated.
For example, getting away for a weekend at a place that’s a short flight away can be reasonable and easy to plan.
It can be just as refreshing, if not more so, than a longer and more elaborate trip.
There are other considerations as well when choosing a travel destination.
If you’re traveling with kids, you naturally want to choose a hotel or resort that’s child friendly.
Weather conditions during the time of year when you’re traveling also must be planned for.
Make Travel a Part of Your Life
If you want to arrange your life so that you have more freedom to travel, you may have to make a few adjustments.
You may simply have to decide to make this a priority and make sure you plan a few trips each year.
Getting a good Travel Credit Card such as a United Travel Credit Card can certainly help when it comes to paying for the trip.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you can travel more frequently if you really want to.
The first step is making the decision to find ways to make this a reality.
How to use a credit card when traveling
The best way of spending money whilst abroad is always up for debate, but many travelers now carry a Credit Card as their number one option for those one-off payments to restaurants and hotels. In the past travelers often used things like travelers checks, and more recently people have tended towards Prepaid Cards (travel cash cards), Debit Cards, and even traveling with cash.
It’s always unwise to carry large sums of money around with you on holiday, but for those of us that don’t want to pay bank fees we sometimes end up taking the risk.
By enlisting the help of a Credit Card for casual purchases, we don’t need to carry so much cash or be so dependent on Debit Cards.
Prepaid cards can be subject to hidden charges, so often just seem like a poor substitute for a decent Credit Card with no transaction frees.
If your Debit Card is stopped or lost, the Credit Card provides essential backup for anyone travelling alone, but more importantly, with a Credit Card you often won’t pay those niggling 2% to 3%, transaction fees like you would on a Debit Card.
With a Credit Card you’ll also get the best exchange rate at the time of purchase, and earn points.
Some companies – hotels included – may even demand a Credit Card to guarantee your purchase by pre-authorising charges that you may incur.
With all that said, you will need to find the right card for international use: banks like Santander are often very good in this department.
When you search for a Credit Card provider, you need to implicitly state that you don’t want foreign exchange fees.
A Credit Card always needs to be used in conjunction with some form of ready cash and possibly a Debit Card, as you should never withdraw money abroad, or buy foreign currency with a Credit Card.
You should think of a good international Credit Card on similar lines as a prepaid travel card.
Additionally, with a Credit Card your purchases over £100 and less than £30,000, which are faulty or fail to materialize are protected under consumer legislation called ‘Section 75’.
Gap Year Money Management Tips
A great gap year will result in new friendships and life-long memories, so having a good financial plan and money management skills will help you to fully enjoy the experience.
Worrying about running out of money or having your money stolen is no way to spend a trip — follow these tips to prevent financial problems during your gap year:
Make a Budget
List all the countries you’d like to visit and estimate how much you’ll spend in each place.
Take into account the cost of living in each place as well as the cost of transportation and activities, and be sure to pay for proper travel insurance coverage.
Carry a Cash Card
Debit cards often charge fees when withdrawing currency from a foreign ATM, and these can add up quickly.
Carrying too much cash can be disastrous if it is lost or stolen.
Understanding travel money rates and how to get the best exchange rates will save you money in the long run.
It’s also a good idea to split up your money, so try and keep a bit of pocket money where you can easily access while keeping your cards in more discrete place.
Be Culturally Sensitive
Get cash back in small bills rather than large ones — large bills may be difficult for local merchants to break and advertises the fact that you have a lot of money.
Feel free to barter in the marketplace, but realize that you will still end up paying more than a local on most items.
Be Street Smart
Pay attention to your surroundings before you withdraw money from an ATM, and realize that pick-pockets and scam artists typically operate in crowded situations such as the metro and major tourist attractions.
Keep your valuables out of sight and trust your instincts.
It’s fine to enjoy the nightlife, but remember that getting too intoxicated makes you a more appealing target.
While getting paid legally for work can be tricky due to visa restrictions, it’s completely possible to volunteer in exchange for room and board.
WWOOF, or Willing Workers on Organic Farms, is a great way to see a country’s rural side, and will allow to you to interact with locals and other like-minded travelers.
Harvesting grapes in France is another classic gap year activity — the work is hard, but the rewards include free wine!
10 Hacks for Frequent Flyer Cards To Maximize Traveling Budget
You can find many of our Frequent Flyer Cards hacks that will maximize your traveling budget in our The Pre-Travel Guide
Our Pre-Travel Guide is designed as a step-by-step guide to help you improve every part of your RTW preparation.
From planning, saving, where to go, health, 1st month on the road etc – Download Here.
For more advice on collecting points, Alex Miller from Upgraded Points has some great guides
While many airlines offer these frequent flyer perks, they tend to make it difficult to earn a substantial number of miles or they make redeeming your miles a difficult process.
This is because the airlines do not make money when they give away tickets, making them reluctant to do so.
Many airlines will even charge large booking fees to recoup the costs they lost by offering frequent flyer miles.
The following hacks will help you make and spend frequent flyer miles:
Frequent Flyer Cards Hack #1: Always pay for business trips out of your own bank account and ask for reimbursement later
This is an easy way to build up a lot of frequent flyer miles.
Especially if you travel on a regular basis (for leisure or business).
By flying on your own account, your air miles could add up to a free flight or upgrades.
Frequent Flyer Cards Hack #2: Check your statement for errors
Get in the habit of checking statements to ensure that you are receiving all of your miles.
It is possible for the airline to make a deliberate or accidental error that will result in a statement with less points than you truly deserve.
Frequent Flyer Cards Hack #3: Build more points using a frequent flyer credit card
It’s a good idea to take advantage of credit cards that offer frequent flyer miles if they do not charge a substantial annual fee.
Large annual fees will negate any benefit you receive from using the credit card.
Frequent Flyer Cards Hack #4: Always pay your credit card bill in full every month
Getting into the habit of paying off your balance in full each month will help you avoid paying interest on purchases.
If you frequently forget to pay on your credit card, you will not benefit from choosing a card with frequent flyer rewards.
Frequent Flyer Cards Hack #5: Understand the rules of your card
Read and understand the rules and regulations associated with your frequent flyer miles and avoid breaking them.
Because the airlines do not want to give away free seats, you are likely to be refused your frequent flyer miles if you’ve broken any rules or regulations they set out.
Frequent Flyer Cards Hack #6: Redeem your miles for expensive flights
If you need to fly at the peak of the season, save your points from all of your off season flights and use them for this expensive trip.
You will make more money by flying on cheap undesirable flights and saving your points for a flight that has no cheap tickets.
Frequent Flyer Cards Hack #7: Book your ticket as far in advance as possible
You will not be able to use your frequent flyer miles at the last moment.
You should aim to book your flight at least three months ahead of time, but six months to a year is more advisable.
This is because there is a very limited number of frequent flyer seats available and they fill up very quickly.
If you wait to book your seat, you are likely to miss out.
Frequent Flyer Cards Hack #8: Research the best airline for you
If you haven’t already established yourself with a particular airline, do your research.
You should look into the frequent flyer programs at a variety of airlines until you find one that works well for you based on the routes you are most likely to fly.
If you are always flying to Asia, you may be able to find a frequent flyer program that offers bonuses for flights to Asia.
Singapore Airlines are worth looking into.
Make sure you are getting the best deal for the flights you actually plan on taking.
Frequent Flyer Cards Hack #9: Boost your account status ASAP
Moving up to a higher status in frequent flyer programs is usually easy and can be achieved after just a few flights.
Check with your airline’s frequent flyer program and make sure to increase your status whenever possible.
Increasing your status will gain you preferential treatment, such as line skipping, promotions to better seats, and access to lounges.
Frequent Flyer Cards Hack #10: Take advantage of frequent flyer deals
If you can double your rewards by staying at a particular hotel or renting from a particular company, be sure to do it.
These bonuses and perks can result in huge increases in your frequent flyer miles.
Just be sure to only take advantage of deals that offer things you truly need.
For example, don’t send flowers to get frequent flyer miles if you ordinarily wouldn’t send flowers.
By following the Hacks above, you will be able to earn and redeem your frequent flyer miles in the easiest and cheapest way possible.
Just remember to consider which deals will make you money and which will lose you money.
Never pay credit card fees that add up to more than the value of your frequent flyer points and never buy products or services that you don’t need or won’t use.
Be realistic about your earnings and make sure to do the math before investing in frequent flyer deals.
What are the Benefits of Using Cash While Traveling
Benefits of using cash while travelling – Travelers tend to have their preferred favorites when it comes to carrying foreign currency, varying anywhere from using credit cards or debit cards to purchasing pre-paid spending cards.
Some people insist there are benefits of using cash while travelling.
And remember in the past when Traveler’s Cheques were so commonplace?
No matter what you prefer in the way of financing yourself while travelling, everybody should include at least a little bit of physical cash in their travel budget.
Why Use Cash While Travelling?
Using cash abroad can prove to be a major benefit when travelling, especially if you are going to a more secluded area or rural areas.
This is because local markets might not accept credit or debit cards as a payment.
Depending on where you are travelling, there may or may not be an ATM available.
Acquiring the local currency will also demonstrate your willingness to embrace the local culture as well as give you a better feel for it too.
Additionally, should your trip take an unexpected turn, having physical money in your pocket will give you the peace of mind that you can still complete a purchase at any local shop, restaurant or market that you visit.
Cash is especially helpful if you are relying on public transportation.
Another one of the many benefits of using cash while travelling is that you can avoid the considerably high charges that many banks have in place for debiting your bank account while you are abroad.
Some financial institutions charge hefty fees for using an ATM machine.
You will have no choice but to pay it.
Sometimes you won’t be able to use your debit or credit card while travelling abroad if you haven’t contacted the banking company in advance to authorize your transactions.
They may detect fraud, and while trying to protect you, will shut down/freeze the use of your credit or debit cards.
You can contact your bank while abroad and eventually acquire the cash you need.
However, it will take awhile to do, especially given the difference in time zones.
Consider that you may have to talk to an actual person to get the hold lifted from your card.
Plan Ahead Your Budget
Make sure that you know your budget and sort your money out before you go away.
The bureaux de change at airports and rail stations will charge considerably higher rates for buying and selling currency than alternatives on the high street and online.
While many banks can give you a considerably good deal, most only do so if you bank with them.
Therefore, you have to plan ahead to ensure you get the best deal for your money.
The best currency exchange can be done before you leave home by using such online services as those available at CurrencyFair.
Money exchange places will often charge for lower sums, but drop or lower this charge if you buy more currency.
Preparations for your trip should go hand-in-hand with your destination research.
Bear in mind that if you are travelling to the larger of the European countries, it might not be difficult to use your credit or debit cards while travelling to different countries than your home residence.
However, if you are opting to visit a rural or developing country, you might not have a chance to use your card at all so physical cash will be vital.
In short, the best way to travel is to ensure that you are covered for whatever situation you may encounter.
Travel Smart: 5 Ways To Save Your Money
Unless you have an endless supply of cash to supplement your globetrotting, chances are that somewhere along the way you will have to watch what you are spending, so once you’ve made the decision to go traveling and you’re sticking to it, you need to start thinking about how you are going to afford it.
Here are some tips that will help you reduce the cost and keep them low on your trip:
Tourists are easy targets for criminals, especially those who travel alone.
Busy areas such as Capital cities are the worst places for it, as often thieves will operate in gangs and can steal your possessions and disappear into a crowd before you have noticed.
Don’t advertise your expensive belongings to thieves.
If you’re walking round with an SLR camera that has cost over £600 around your neck, or are flashing your wallet every two minutes then you will be a target.
Lock your valuables in a safe at your hostel/hotel, or if you must take them with you then make sure they are well wrapped up in your backpack.
A common trick is for pickpockets to slit a hole in the bottom of your bag while it is on your back, take what they want and leave the victim unaware of what has happened.
A tip to prevent this is to invest in a PacSafe or other good wire to keep the backpack safe from being cut open.
More safety tips
Keep your money and phone on your person but not in a back pocket – remember that you may be traveling to countries where even one stolen item may be worth a month’s wages to someone, so be careful.
Also, read up on any local scams that are rife in the countries you are planning on visiting; such as the Chinese tea scam, where a local will invite you to a ‘tea ceremony’ and then present you with a bill for hundreds of pounds.
Or the taxi robbery, common in Central America, where a group of people get into your taxi, close the doors and rob you of all your money – taking you to several ATM machines to get cash from your credit cards.
As with anything nowadays; there are always bargains to be had.
Don’t just accept the first price you find; compare prices, consider stopovers, look for transport passes in foreign countries and haggle with every travel agent you come across!
The first price is rarely the best deal – so although you may have to spend a few hours researching into prices and the easiest way to do things, it will be worth it in the long run when you’re taking in sights you never thought you’d see.
Haggle The Price.
Haggling can save you hundreds, as often prices are inflated to tourists.
Using a personal travel agent can be very helpful
Most market stall owners will be expecting you to negotiate, and will always try to coax more money from you, so if you really want to buy something, get a figure in your head and be prepared to stick to it.
Half price or slightly higher is usually a good place to start.
You will find that if you walk away, the seller will often give in and agree to your price, simply to make a sale.
Unless a price is set in stone, there is always room to negotiate so be prepared to haggle, haggle and haggle some more.
Eat Like A Local.
In the same way you would do at home, go to the places you know and enjoy, so find out from the locals where is good and cheap to eat.
Don’t immediately head for the big brand chains you know, instead haggle with the street vendors for some of the local cuisine.
Also, head down to the supermarket and pick up a few days worth of groceries; you will still be able to feed yourself but it won’t take up the majority of your spending money.
Plan Ahead & Keep On Track.
Planning ahead is vital. Once you know how much money you are going to have, then divide it between what you plan on/hope to spend in each country and try to stick to it as much as possible.
The last thing you want to do is overspend as soon as you get to your first destination, and then have to skimp and save the rest of the way.
Think about where you can save money before you travel as well, such as taking your own medicines with you.
Taking over the counter medicines for common ailments such as flu, coughs, headaches, upset stomachs and bites can save you a lot of money, while certain medications can be really expensive in other countries.
Don’t avoid doing the things you had planned on doing just to save money; some days you are going to spend less than planned, others you are going to spend more. Prepare for your holidays in advance, and you will be able to do what you can afford.
The main thing is to be sensible, don’t just blow it all then think about what you could have done with the money you’ve wasted on beer.
Tips on how to find the best all inclusive vacations
Kids splashing water and yelling in overcrowded swimming pools, a perky “party man” organizing conga lines and events, plain buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and boring shows at night – this is the nightmare of all inclusive vacations – one that doesn’t have to be yours!
There are many all inclusive vacations that are really amazing experiences, it’s just about finding them, and finding what works for you. Things to Do in Anaheim – Besides Disneyland
Step 1: Find The Popular & Awarded Resorts
One of the best ways to make sure that you get a good all inclusive vacation is to find the most popular resorts – it is true that just because they’re popular it doesn’t mean that they are the best, but it’s a good place to start.
Also make sure to see what types of resorts these are, whether they’re focused on families, singles, couples or seniors.
Step 2: Search For Photos & Reviews
After you’ve found some popular resorts, google the resort and add “review” after the name, to see what pops up.
TripAdvisor and VirtualTourist will likely have many pages of reviews from people who have taken all inclusive vacations to these resorts, so you can read about their experiences.
Then check out the photos and compare them with the “perfect ones” shown on their own website or in the brochure.
Step 3: Choose Your Destination Carefully
When looking for the best all inclusive vacations, keep in mind that most of them are beach-oriented destinations and often count on you not leaving the resort – so a beautiful area makes a big difference.
If you want to do other things than just have fun in the sun by the beach, make sure you find out where it is and how easy it is to get around.
Find out what a taxi would cost from the resort to different attractions (do this by finding out the price per kilometer in the country), and if there are any bus stops nearby.
There are of course all inclusive resorts in the cities or close to them as well, so you will definitely find something – but location is everything!
Step 4: Compare Prices
Sometimes booking with an agent can turn out cheaper, other times not – don’t go for the first place you find, but compare the prices to see which one can offer you the best value.
Last minute vacations is another good option to find cheaper deals, so sign up for news-letters and stay updated.
Will You Use What’s Included?
The meaning of “all inclusive” seems to vary between hotels, and some might include less than others and still call it “all inclusive”.
Ask yourself if you really are going to use what’s included?
My sister went on an all inclusive vacation last month, and ate at other restaurants every day – not using the free food at the hotel.
Will You Want What’s Not Included?
Say you stay at an all inclusive resort in Orlando, but want to spend all day every day at Disneyland and have to pay for taxi there, entrance ticket and food there – maybe it would have been cheaper to stay in the theme park instead?
Also remember to count the flight there and back – taking all inclusive vacations from Toronto down to Brazil might look cheaper on the price of the resort than one in Florida, but the flight ticket might cost you a lot more.
Look For Your Likes
Does the resort have other things to do?
Does it offer sport facilities like tennis courts, golf course, kayaks etc?
What are some of the excursions you can take from there, and do they seem like something you would like to do?
Remember that even beach bums want a change of pace, so make sure your resort can offer something to do.
Is It Worth It?
See what really is included in the price, what kind of food is offered – if you’re not a drinker you might not find the “free alcohol” very appealing, and the days of the buffet dinners are long gone, many resorts offer better dining options today.
Also find out if you could have gotten it cheaper by arranging food and accommodation on your own for the same quality.
Do you take all inclusive vacations? If so, what’s the best all inclusive vacation you’ve taken?