Why Credit Cards with Travel Rewards Are a Must for Frequent Flyers

Do you find yourself flying around the world on a regular basis? An increasing number of people do these days. The reasons can vary widely, but it’s often related to work. There are also those who just enjoy the freedom of exploring different countries and their cultures. In any case, traveling regularly is easier than ever these days thanks to the various technological advances we’ve made in the last few decades.

If you fall in that category, there’s one important consideration you should make that many people in your situation often ignore. If you don’t have a dedicated credit card with travel rewards, it’s time to get one. It can make a huge difference on your finances in the long run. Even if you don’t enjoy working with credit cards in general, this is one exception you should definitely consider. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why.

Those Miles Can Add Up Fast

You might think that the rewards associated with flying a certain number of miles don’t sound that impressive, but the truth is that they can add up at a surprisingly fast rate. Even if your trips are short or infrequent, as long as they happen on a regular basis, that’s an additional source of income that you’re leaving untapped if you don’t get a card with travel rewards.

Some airlines or credit card companies might also have specific deals for certain destinations or connections. Take a look at what’s available and try to match that to your own traveling profile. You might spot some surprising connections. And once you’ve worked out which cards can work best in your case, it’s only a matter of signing up for them to start taking advantage of those benefits.

Convenient Special Deals When Shopping Abroad

There are also various special bonuses to be reaped when shopping in some foreign countries. Some cards might provide you with exclusive deals aimed at promoting travel to specific locations, and even though those discounts are not always that impressive, they’re still worth checking out. You never know when you might spot a deal that’s right up your alley, as companies are always trying to run cross-promotion specials that provide mutual benefit for them.

In some cases, those deals might also become available for your card at a later point. Keep checking back to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything. It might also be worth having a chat with your credit card company and explaining your traveling situation to them. You might be able to strike a special deal if you’re lucky enough.

Airport Lounges Are Great

Have you ever been in an airport lounge? It’s quite the comfortable experience, even at lower-grade airports around the world. Many traveler’s credit cards come with special deals that can give you access to lounges all over the planet, and you may not even have to pay anything special for that privilege. The benefits can range from special drinks and food, free Wi-Fi, a great view, to having a place to catch a few hours of sleep during a badly scheduled connection.

The only downside is that once you’re used to having lounge access, it’s hard to go back. You’ll crave that special feeling every time you arrive at an airport, even if you don’t have to wait that long for your flight in the first place.

Combining Travel Credit Cards with Regular Ones

Some people have also figured out great ways to reap maximum benefits by combining their travel credit cards with standard ones. This can allow you to take advantage of great shopping rates in your own country for your everyday needs, while also getting those nice discounts and other bonuses that come with the use of a travel credit card. Of course, how viable this is depends on the availability of good credit card deals in your area in the first place. Do some research and find out what’s available, starting with any partners of the company that provides your travel credit card.

That said, if you don’t see any deals that grab your attention, don’t force yourself into one. It’s better to only use your travel credit card and do your regular shopping the old-fashioned way, rather than having to pay extra for a card that doesn’t provide you with such good conditions in the long run. After all, a credit card is supposed to be a useful financial tool that can improve your situation and help you realize the full potential of your money. It doesn’t make sense to use it in a way that puts you in a disadvantageous position. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what some people tend to do with their own credit cards as a result of their carelessness.

Interest-free Loans – Where’s the Catch?

Interest-free loans are a popular concept on the lending market. It’s not hard to see where their attractiveness comes from, and many people get lured into this idea on a regular basis – especially when they need to get money now. The old motto “there’s no such thing as free lunch” is quite true here though. After all, the bank – or other lending institution – must end up making some profit from letting you borrow money. It doesn’t make sense to assume that you can just take out a sum of money as a loan and end up paying the exact same back.

That’s not to say that interest-free loans are a totally bad idea. They do have their benefits when used right, but you have to be aware of the associated risks, and know how the conditions change over the course of your contract. It often turns out that the deal is not as attractive as it initially looks once you chart it properly.

Interest Is Heavier When It Kicks In

The most common detail about interest-free loans is that they only fit that description for a certain predefined period of the contract. After that, interest kicks in as normal. Not only that, but it’s often noticeably harsher than what you have to deal with when you have a regular loan. Of course, your contract probably lists those conditions in precise detail, but let’s be honest – how much do you actually look into these things before signing them?

That’s the exact problem most people are facing these days when it comes to loans. They trust the initial description provided by the bank and assume that there’s no reason for it to be wrong. But in the end, banks stand to gain a lot from misleading you into signing up for a deal that’s not exactly ideal for you.

Compare the Deal to a Personal Loan

If you’re not convinced that an interest-free loan is a worse deal than the average credit product on the market, consider a comparison to a personal loan. When you take everything into account, a personal loan is often much more beneficial for you in the short and long term. This can be proven by simple math – just calculate how much you’ll end up paying over the loan’s duration if you go into the zone where heavy interest kicks in.

Often, you can get a much better deal for the same duration when working with a personal loan. Of course, you may not always have access to the ideal product in that area of the market, on the other hand. Interest-free loans tend to be a bit easier to qualify for due to their specific conditions. With that in mind, it might be a more appropriate option for those who’re currently in a difficult financial situation.

Loan Duration May Put You in an Uncomfortable Position

Another common factor about interest-free loans is that they’re often associated with longer durations. This is something you should consider with regards to your future financial situation. Even if you’re confident in your capabilities at the moment, how certain are you that things will remain that stable a year or two from now? And considering the conditions you often have to deal with when you have an interest-free loan and some time has passed, it’s definitely something you should not treat lightly in your considerations.

If you can predict the next few years of your financial life with strong certainty though, then this type of loan might prove a reasonable deal. That is, assuming that you don’t get surprised by the heavy interest rates that you’ll have to deal with at a later stage of course. As we said above, some people don’t take this factor as seriously as they should, leading to significant disappointment later on.

The Rare Exception

With all that in mind, remember that there’s always an exception to every rule, and interest-free loans are no different. There are always deals on the market that can work out well enough if you’re careful about the conditions of the loan before signing up for it. Sure, it won’t be exactly “interest-free” as the name implies, but it can still be an acceptable financial deal for someone in need of extra money.

Part of the reason that these types of loans have such a bad reputation is because they’re often attached to various expensive products, such as TVs. It’s easier to fall into that trap when the loan is packaged as a financing deal, but in the end, you’re working with the exact same concept. As long as you’re responsible about your expenses and know exactly what you can afford though, this shouldn’t be such a problem for you. You never know, it might even prove to be a useful thing at the right time of your life.