According to a new study from Discover, 46% of travelers prefer to use their credit cards while on vacation. The number of travelers using their credit card increases with age—16% with the youngest generation and 68% with the oldest.
If you are a vacationer that likes the convenience of credit, you should use this opportunity to rack up credit card rewards. The Discover survey found 30% of summer travelers do not have a rewards card, and 26% say they don’t use their rewards points to save money on vacation.
It All Starts with a Good Rewards Card
If you don’t have one of the top summer travel cards, now is the perfect time to get one. Some card issuers increase their sign-up bonuses shortly before summer as an extra incentive for potential customers. Think about how you travel and how you will use the card to find rewards that match your lifestyle and financial needs.
Take Advantage of the Sign-up Bonus
If your travel rewards card offers a sign-up bonus, use your vacation to meet the terms. Most cards will require you to spend about $3,000 in the first 90 days. You could pay for your plane tickets, hotel room or rental car, and quickly meet that bonus. If you can use those bonus points/rewards to save on other travel expenses, that’s even better.
Make Plans That Match Your Rewards
If you’re somewhat open-ended about how you want to spend your vacation, try to plan around your existing rewards. Is there a certain airline or hotel where you can get a good deal? What about a cruise or complete vacation package? Explore the options in your credit card rewards dashboard, and you could have a great vacation for little out-of-pocket money.
Continue Earning Rewards While on Vacation
You’re going to spend money on vacation anyway. You might as well earn rewards while you do it. If you have money set aside for travel, use that as a spending limit for your card. Only spend what you can pay back at the end of the month. This is a great habit to get into in general because it will build up rewards without pushing you into debt.