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The Seven Best Features of Travel Rewards Cards

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rewards-credit-card-two-card-strategyWith just a few short months until the summer, you may begin to plan your next vacation. To help save money, you might want to consider credit cards with travel rewards, as these come with many features that can improve your trip.

  1. 1.     Frequent flier miles: The most common feature of travel rewards cards is frequent flier miles. These can be used to purchase discount airline tickets or get complimentary travel. There are two types of cards that allow you to earn miles – airline specific cards and generic cards. The main benefit of generic cards is that you can use miles toward flights on any airline. However, airline specific cards sometimes offer a higher percentage of miles for purchases made.
  2. 2.     Free checked bag: Another great feature of travel rewards credit cards is the ability to get a bag checked for free. On some airlines, these fees can be more than $50, which isn’t a great way to start off your vacation. In some instances, oversized bags can cost even more. With that said, you could benefit greatly from taking advantage of some of the best credit card offers that provide cardholders with their first checked bag for free. Save some money at the airport, so you’ll have more to spend when you get to your destination!
  3. 3.     In-flight discounts: While in the air, there are many things you can purchase, such as Wi-Fi access, food and alcohol. Oftentimes, these items can be pricy, but with a travel rewards card you might be able to get a discount. Generally, this feature is limited to airline specific cards. This can help you avoid having to go through the hassle of bringing your own food onto an airplane. Also, Wi-Fi access can help keep you entertained on long, boring flights.
  4. 4.     Discounted rental cars: On some trips, you may have a need to rent a car. With some travel rewards cards, you can get these vehicles at a discount through their partners. This can be extremely beneficial for families who are taking long vacations and need to get their way around without having to hail a taxicab. Saving on your rental car can help you have more money to do the activities you enjoy on vacation, such as going to amusement parks or playing a round of golf.
  5. 5.     No foreign transaction fees: People who frequently travel overseas can benefit greatly from a travel rewards card. Not only can they use frequent flier miles to cut down on the costly airline tickets, but some providers offer no foreign transaction fees, which can make purchases much more affordable. While a small fee may not seem like a big deal, these can add up over time.
  6. 6.     Access to airport lounges: If you arrive for your flight early or are stuck in the airport due to a delay or cancelation, there isn’t much to do. However, some airline specific travel rewards cards provide you with access to lounges. These areas can have TVs, food and bars to help you pass the time.
  7. 7.     Free hotel rooms: In addition to frequent flier miles, some travel rewards cards allow you to accumulate points that can be used toward rooms at a hotel. Oftentimes, card providers offer hefty signup bonuses that allow you to get a couple free nights for just filling out a credit card application and being approved. Coupled with frequent flier miles, points toward hotels can potentially help you get a free flight and hotel room to make your vacation extremely affordable.

Does a travel rewards card sound right for you? We want to help you find one that best suits your needs!

If you decide to compare rewards credit cards, our website can help.  We have pages dedicated to all types of rewards including airline rewards, hotel rewards, cash back and points rewards.

Here’s a good system for quickly spotting the card that’s right for you:

  1. Identify the types of rewards you expect to use the most.
  2. Consider how you will use the card, including your spending and payment history.
  3. Check the ‘credit required’, to maximize your chances of approval.
  4. Use our side-by-side comparison matrix to compare key terms at a glance.

Once you’ve spotted a card that seems right for you, carefully fill out a single credit card application. With the online application process, you will quickly receive back from the issuer either an answer or a request for additional information.  If you some reason, you are not approved for your first choice, you can easily apply for another card later.

Happy Hunting for a great rewards card from!

Editor's Note: This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Citi or any of the other companies whose products are featured in this content.

About the author

Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a freelance journalist specializing in personal finance and travel and is recognized as an expert in credit cards. He is a regular contributor to many of the top personal finance sites such as Wise Bread and Money Talks News. His work has been frequently carried on mainstream news outlets such as MSN Money, Yahoo, Finance, and Business insider.

Jason lives in Denver Colorado with his wife and two daughters.

– has written 351 posts.

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