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The Best Credit Cards Around for Every Kind of Situation

The Best Credit Cards Around for Every Kind of Situation

Traveling can be an extremely exciting time in your life but you need to make sure that you have properly prepared for your trip so that unexpected issues don’t completely derail what might have been a great vacation.

Having a credit card specifically designed for travelers can save you a great deal of money on vacations. Of course you have to look into the payment options within your country but, in general, it is a great idea to carry one or more of theses credit cards with you when you travel.

Different cards offer different benefits. Some allow you to get great deals on flights; others are better suited to those who spend money on hotels and lodging, tourism, and traveling abroad. It is important that you conduct enough research and have a basic understanding of the different benefits that are offered by each card. Determine which benefits are going to be the most useful to you, and seek out cards that provide those benefits. Some of the better credit cards that are available to travelers include;

Chase Ink Plus – Traveling Abroad

Chase Ink Plus is an excellent card for would-be travelers. Its impressive list of rewards make it an ideal choice for individuals who travel abroad.

The card offers a wide range of perks, including an initial bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points, which are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel booked through Chase. This means that the initial bonus provided by the card could be worth as much as $625.

The card also provides a good amount of flexibility in terms of payments, along with no foreign transaction fees. To determine whether or not this card would suit your needs, consider its complete list of benefits.

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British Airways Visa Signature – Flights

The British Airways Visa Signature card is another excellent choice. The card is aimed toward travelers, offering no foreign transactions fees anywhere in the world.

The card offers a 50,000 bonus once the cardholder has made $2,000 worth of purchases within their first three months with the card. The introductory annual fee is waived for the first year, and is just $95 per year after that.

Cardholders receive 2.5 Avios for every dollar spent on British Airways, and 1.25 Avios for all other purchases made with the card. Additionally, cardholders can earn a Travel Together Ticket, good for two years during any year that more than $30,000 in purchases are made.

To find out more about the benefits of this card, read our review.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premiere – Flights and Hotels

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premiere Credit Card is the perfect card for travelers who are interested in earning benefits as quickly as possible.

Every dollar spent on the Rapids Reward Vista earns 1.67% back as credit for purchases with Southwest Airlines. This means that even the basic day-to-day use of the card can earn plane tickets.

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For a limited amount of time, the company is offering 50,000 points towards two round-trip flights when cardholders spend at least $2,000 within the first three months of opening an account. Additionally, each and every year cardholders receive 6,000 points. Find out more about these deals here.

Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard – Traveling Abroad

The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard is one of the premiere options for those who spend a great deal of time traveling.

Cardholders can earn as many as 40,000 bonus miles when they spend $3,000 or more during the first ninety days of holding an account. This alone could save them as much as $400 off their next trip.

This card earns 2X miles on all purchases, with no mileage caps or foreign transaction fees, which makes this the ideal card for traveling abroad.

Users are also able to redeem their miles for statement credits, which can then be applied to a wide range of services including flights, rentals, lodging, and even cruises.

The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard is an excellent choice for those that do a lot of traveling. It offers a high reward rate, though it does require an annual fee be paid – $89 -, but that amount is waived for the first year. Learn more about this option on Impossible Travel.

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Starwood American Express – Hotels

The Starwood American Express card is certainly an excellent choice for travelers.

Cardholders can use this card towards not only purchases from Starwood but also flights from a number of airline partnerships including American Airlines, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic, among others.

The Starwood American Express is particularly suitable for those with luxurious lifestyles who make large purchases. The base rate of rewards for the card provides one Starpoint for every dollar spent. That may not seem like much compared to others cards, but the overall value of each point sits at about 2.3 cents, which can save you a great deal of money in the long run.

Cardholders are provided with 10,000 bonus points after their first purchase, and an additional 15,000 if they are able to spend $5,000 during the first six months that they hold card membership. Cardholders also earn up to five Starpoints for every dollar spent at SPG hotels.

The Starwood American Express has quickly become a very popular card for travelers due to its wide range of different hotel-related bonuses. Find out more here.

Ink Bold Business Charge Card – Interest

The Ink Bold Business Charge card is an excellent business charge card.

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This card comes with excellent sign up bonuses, no foreign transaction fees, and a $95 annual fee. Cardholders earn over 50,000 bonus points if they spend over $5,000 in their first three months.

The card is excellent for interest, providing no interest charges when the balance is paid off in full each month. The Ink Bold Business Charge Card is therefore an excellent choice for those looking to severely limit their interest payments.

Finding the right card can be a difficult task. There are many different cards with a wide range of benefits, many of which are suitable for those who do a good amount of traveling. It is important that you examine the benefits of any card before making a final decision, so that you can ensure that you receive the benefits that you have been looking for.

Photo credit: Kaiyan

 

Featured photo credit: Kaiyan via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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