See The World
Seek Adventure Travel Happy
So, I want to preface this by saying, "Only get a credit card if you can handle it!".
You need to know yourself, because we all know people who have let the easy access to extra money go to their heads, and now they're $30,000 in debt and have nothing to show for it. If you feel like having that situation might lend you to spend more recklessly than you do now, then do not get a credit card, no matter what the rewards are!
Now, if you are feeling pretty good about your ability to budget and ignore those nagging pains to spend more money, then this for you. I use a credit card only for purchases that I would otherwise make with cash, but I use the card to get the rewards.
There are lots of cards that offer all kinds of rewards. Some offer cash back, some offer rewards that you can spend at certain retailers, and some offer travel rewards or "miles". Since travel is my thang, I'm going to focus on those.
Most travel reward cards will have an annual fee, which I hate. But if you pay off your balance every month (which is a MUST) and you actually use it for travel, then it works out to not be a bad deal.
I only have one card, a Southwest Airlines Visa. It has an annual fee of $69 which is low comparatively. It has pros and cons though. It's not great for international travel. While you can use it for travel with international carriers, the points required are astronomical...like over 100,000, yikes! It also has foreign transaction fees, which means I never use it for travel outside the U.S. But, the pros: It's great for domestic travel, obviously with Southwest, it has pretty good rates for using your miles for hotels, and they have great customer service and decent signing bonuses for points.
I've had this card for about two years now, and so far I've redeemed it for 2 round trip tickets from Salt Lake to Miami, Flights from Portland to Salt Lake City, 1 hotel stay in Florida, and I have already enough points for another two round trip flights most places Southwest flies.
I have enough points to do this because we put all our monthly expenses that we can on the card every month and just pay it off. So I'm getting rewards and not paying any interest. So essentially, I'm paying only $69 a year for all that free stuff. Which isn't bad at all.
I only have 1 credit card, and may look at getting another, but I just don't like the hassle. But the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, might be worth it. Where the Southwest card is lacking, this one is not. There's no international transaction fee, and the rewards are more useable for international flights. This one has a higher annual fee of $95 (after the first free year) and 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000. You also earn more for every dollar you spend, which is awesome.
Credit Card companies are often changing up their programs, so there's always something new out there. As of this spring though, here are the other top rated cards:
1: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
Highlights: 40,000 bonus miles, earn 2X miles on all purchases, no foreign transactions fees, $89
2: Capital One Venture Rewards
Highlights: $59 annual fee, 40,000 bonus miles, no foreign transaction fees, earn 2x miles on all
There's lots of others, but the ones I've mentioned are consistently rated high.
Each card will be better depending on who you are, where you want to go, and if you have preferences for who you fly with. The Southwest card has been super simple to use, and my only complaint is that it's not geared more for international use...which makes sense due to where Southwest flies.
There's other rewards programs out there, but many are restrictive, if they're free they often don't give you much in return. With these though, it would be pretty easy to get something out of it pretty quickly.
Used right, you could be flying free in no time. Just don't go crazy racking up those points!
Have a great week, and happy travels!
Hi there! I'm Skeeter. I grew up moving a lot and that makes me a bit restless for travel and exploration. I started this blog with my husband Pat when we decided to backpack New Zealand for a year. We are always looking for the next adventure and are loving life. We're just your average couple with two sassy dogs and a love for travel. We're sharing our travels and the tips we pick up along the way.
Hello! I'm Liz. Blogging is very new to me, but I'm so excited to finally write as much as I talk!
"Don't forget to travel happy"-Skeeter & Liz