10 Biggest Misconceptions about Travel Reward Credit Cards

Travel Credit Card

There are tons of misconceptions out there about travel reward credit cards.  In fact, there are so many people out there that are using their credit cards a lot and not getting any rewards at all.  If you are giving the credit card companies any of your money in interest fees and not getting anything in return, you definitely need this advice.

1.  You’ll be stuck to an airline.  In the past, most travel reward credit cards were issued by a single airline and you had to always fly with them in order to get any benefit. Things have changed, and there are so many cards that can be used at whatever airline has the best flight for you.

2.  You’ll never get a flight.  If you only fly home for the holidays, you might be worried that you’ll not get a flight because of so-called blackout dates.  Again, this is a thing of the past with most credit cards, because a lot of programs allow you to fly whenever you want using your miles.

3.  You’ll never have enough miles.  Unlike a lot of the frequent flier miles that airlines issue, your credit card travel rewards won’t expire as long as you have the card.  That means it is worthwhile to join even if you only charge your gym membership every month and pay with cash for everything else.  Slowly, but surely, you can accumulate enough points to earn a mini-vacation.  Plus, even if it takes five years to do, it’s better than nothing, right?

4.  You’ll be stuck flying standby (or wedged in the middle seat right next to the toilet).  The ticket that you get with this card will just be like anyone else’s.  Ok, maybe that does mean that you’ll get stuck in the middle seat, but it’s not because your ticket is free – it’s because you have bad luck.

5.  You’ll have to pay an annual fee.  Times have changed, and credit card companies are finding out that many people won’t take a card with an annual fee.  That’s good news for you, because you can get rewards without having to commit to a card with a high annual fee.

6.  The free card is worth it.  Depending on your charging habits, it might be better if you do choose one with an annual fee.  The reason is that the annual fee cards typically have better rewards.  You’ll get rewards faster and have bigger bonuses for using your card.  When deciding which card is right for you (the one with our without an annual fee), look at your credit card statements and crunch the numbers.

7.  You’ll only get free flights.  If you are afraid of flying, you may think that travel reward credit cards are going to be a bust.  However, you can use the rewards for free hotel rooms, rental cars, airport parking and a lot more.  Each card is different, so remember to picture what you are going to use the card for before applying for it to get the one that will work best for you.

8.  Budget travelers won’t have any options.  If you usually pay $50 or less for a hotel room because that is all that is in your budget, you can still use your rewards.  There are hotel rooms and rewards for those who don’t want to spend a lot on their vacation.  Plus, remember free is free!

9.  The interest rates are higher to make up for any of the freebies that they give you.  This might be partially true, depending on the card that you get.  If you are careful about your choice and if you do a bit of research, you’ll find that the interest rates are competitive with the cards that offer you nothing in return.

10.  You need a great credit score to get this type of card.  In the past, this was true, and it is still true that the best reward cards are given to the people who have the best credit.   It is possible to get a reward card that offers you the chance to build up points even if your credit isn’t all that good.  Remember, credit card companies need your business too, even if your credit isn’t perfect.

Times have changes and a lot of people still think that travel reward credit cards aren’t the best bet.  Consumers who know what they want, read the fine print and keep the details in mind when making their purchases are going to get something good out of these credit cards.