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Credit Card eZine - News and Articles about Credit Cards

Credit Card eZine - News and Articles about Credit Cards

Get even more information on credit cards? Read our Credit Card eZine. The section is regularly updated by our specialists. Learn all the financial tricks. Know the pitfalls and hidden bonuses. Find out how to transfer balances and accumulate points. We will tell you about the latest offers on the market.Get your credit card education and make the most out of your plastic.

The ABCs of Travel Credit Cards

[June 11th, 2016]

If you’re a frequent traveler, chances are you have a travel credit card already—maybe even more than one. But even if you do, you may not know everything you can get from your travel credit card, or understand the differences between different types of cards. Here, then, is a primer on the types of travel credit cards and all that they offer. Read, apply, and pack your bags for your next adventure with a great travel rewards credit card in your wallet.

Co-branded travel credit cards are credit cards issued by a particular airline or hotel chain, in conjunction with a bank and/or a credit card network. For example, both Delta and American Express sponsor the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card from American Express, while the United MileagePlus card is from Visa, Chase, and United Airlines. Hilton and Marriott also offer hotel credit cards that are co-branded with different credit card networks. With these kinds of cards, you can earn frequent flyer miles from the specific airline that issues the card. You may or may not be able to transfer the miles to another airline. That depends on whether the airline is a member of an alliance such as Oneworld or the Star alliance. Discount airlines like Southwest and JetBlue tend to not be members of such alliances, which allow you to transfer your miles or points to another airline. Co-branded cards are great because they’ll give you benefits that make flying easier, like free bag check, priority boarding, and discounts on in-flight purchases. If you prefer one certain hotel chain or airline, a co-branded credit card will deliver a lot of benefits to make life—and travel—easier.

Miles cards are not co-branded to a particular airline or hotel chain. Cards like the Discover Miles credit card are essentially still cash back cards, in that you get a statement credit for 2%, or maybe 5%, or even just 1% of what you spend. The key is, you’ll get that statement credit for a percentage of what you spend on travel. So the “miles” part of this card is kind of misleading. The truth is, these cards offer great flexibility if you’d like to get cash back on any kind of travel. They’ll give you credit for purchasing not just airline tickets or hotel stays, but also train fare, car rentals, bus tickets, and even taxis. So for flexibility, they can’t be beat. Just don’t’ expect specific perks when you’re on the road. You won’t get priority boarding or VIP treatment from any certain brand when you’re using these cards.

Points cards. Like miles cards, these credit cards may not be co-branded with any one company. They are often pretty much the same as a miles card, only they call the rewards “points” instead of “miles.” You can redeem your points for travel credits, and the parameters of the redemption offers vary from card to card. Sometimes, co-branded cards use points and miles to describe their rewards, so don’t get confused. If your card offers travel points or miles, but doesn’t have a specific brand tied to it, it’s a regular points or miles travel credit card.

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