Can I Go on a Free Vacation Using Credit Cards?

Who doesn't like things for free? While a free vacation may seem like a lucrative lie, you can easily go on a trip for free or at very discounted rates thanks to so many travel credit cards! If you’re not familiar with credit cards and how they can help you cut travelling costs, this blog is for you!

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* Price shown is for a 15 day trip to UK with a 1 lakh dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

Travel Benefits of Using Credit Cards

Frequent travellers may already be familiar with the rewards that travel credit cards offer. You can easily cut costs during your trip by availing some of these benefits:

  • Air Mile Earnings: Users can earn air miles as a reward every time they use a credit card for a purchase. Depending on the card, these miles can be used to travel for free once they're enough to buy a ticket.
  • Flight Upgrades: You can avail of these benefits offered by credit cards to their users where they can opt for free flight upgrades. Premium cards also sometimes extend this benefit to companions.
  • Free Flights: Many card providers or airline cards also offer free flights as a part of their plan or welcome bonus, which can be used towards your trip.
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: There are credit cards that don't need you to pay any surcharge fees when you buy fuel using a credit card. This will let you save considerable money if you're going on a trip by car.
  • Forex Mark-up: Among the most important travelling expenses, there are some credit cards with zero or very low foreign currency mark-up fees. This is helpful on an international trip and saves a lot of money.

These benefits vary depending on which credit card you use, so make sure to buy a card that suits your need the best. There are also other travel benefits like domestic and international airport lounge access, travel insurance coverage, priority pass discounted gold access and a high reward rate while dining and shopping. This has been discussed in the next section.

Ways to Travel for Free Using Credit Card Rewards

Before you dismiss this as another clickbait, this article has been written to help you make an informed choice. Many people are lured by different credit-card schemes and feel they can easily benefit from them. However, consider the following tips if you aim to easily earn a free trip:

Plan Your Trip Well

Firstly, know the budget for your trip. It can be a domestic trip or an international trip. Either way, you need to know the budget before planning the trip. Most credit cards offer generous welcome bonuses. But if you think you'll be able to get significant rewards enough for a trip, then you're wrong.

Be careful about the initial offers and if they're going to be useful to you. For example, if you're not a frequent flyer, then Airmiles are of no use to you. Sometimes, the rewards offered after the initial welcome bonus aren’t even enough to cover the annual card membership or renewal fee.

Use Credit Card for all Travel-related Purchases

To travel for free using a credit card, you need to have enough reward points that can be redeemed. Make sure to use your credit card as much as possible so that you can maximise your rewards. With enough points, you can either book flights for your trip by redeeming points in cash, or redeeming the points elsewhere such as hotel bookings.

However, it's important to use your card where it benefits you and not in places where it may place a surcharge or additional fee. For example, don't use your credit card for dining or booking flights if the reward rate isn't very high. Instead, you can use another card that offers great benefits and exceeds your annual card charges.

Another thing to remember is to always compare the cost of booking in points versus the cost of booking in actual currency. If there's a huge disparity, opt for a different reward which has a higher value.

Look Out for Loyalty Programs

You can opt for co-branded cards for flight upgrades, hotel stays, free flights, air miles and a lot more if you prefer a certain airline or hotel chain. There are several banks that have partnered with airlines to offer unique benefits specifically when you use their services.

Also confirm if the rewards point redemption is limited to air mile conversion only, this will let you avail of other services that your airline or hotel may offer.

What's more, these brands often have milestones that offer higher reward conversion rates as a part of their loyalty programs. They also offer additional bonus points and perks to such customers.

Ensure Full & Timely Repayment

This is among the most important things to follow if you're a credit card user. It will help you improve your credit score and improve your qualifications for better credit card offers. Failing to pay within the grace period will levy finance charges that may negate your rewards and benefits. If you end up paying interest on your card spending, it is going to harm your credit score as well as your card benefits.

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully, you may have learned some great ways to save money on your next vacation. Your credit card is packed with several benefits and offers significant rewards that can help you go on a free trip. However, don't forget to buy travel insurance as soon as you're done booking your discounted flights and hotel. It will protect you from any financial loss due to last-minute cancellations or emergencies.

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