Credit cards are a great way to save money on business travel. With points, miles, or cash back rewards, you can get significant discounts on everything from airfare and hotels to car rentals. Plus, with many credit card companies now offering chip and PIN security for overseas transactions, it’s easier than ever to use your plastic when traveling abroad.
Here are 10 tips to help you get the most out of your credit card when it comes to business travel:
Get a Card with Sign Up Bonus and Rewards
Getcredit cards with high rewards rates or signup bonuses. Some credit cards offer higher rewards rates for travel purchases, or for spending in particular categories like restaurants. Others give you bonus points after meeting a certain spend threshold within the first few months of opening your account. Whichever card you choose to use, make sure it offers high rewards on the types of purchases that are important to you. You can also compare available best credit card offers to choose one that fits your traveling needs.
Use your Credit Card for Travel Payments
Use your credit card for all your travel-related purchases. Whether you’re booking a flight, reserving a hotel room or renting a car, make sure to use your credit card so that you can reap the rewards benefits.
Check Rates and Fees Carefully
Check for better rates and fees before paying for travel costs with your credit card. While some cards offer great rewards rates and other benefits, you may find that your card issuer has higher interest rates or a larger annual fee than other cards offer. Do your research ahead of time so that you’re not stuck paying more than necessary.
Keep an eye on spending limits when using your credit card for travel expenses. Most credit cards put strict limits on how much you can spend in a particular category over the course of a billing cycle. If you’re planning to book an expensive trip, make sure that your card has plenty of room left in its spending limit before making the purchase.
Leverage Travel Credits
Make sure to take advantage of any travel credits offered by your credit card issuer. Some card issuers offer travel credits that you can use to cover the costs of baggage fees, in-flight meals and other travel expenses. Check with your card issuer to see if this perk is available on your credit card.
Free Checked Bags and Luggage
Use cards with free checked bag benefits. If you usually carry a lot of luggage when traveling for business, consider getting a credit card that offers free checked bags for you and any companions traveling with you. This can help save you hundreds of dollars in baggage fees on every business trip.
Look for cards that offer travel insurance coverage or other benefits. There are a number of credit cards out there that offer extra benefits to travelers, such as travel insurance, travel assistance, lost luggage reimbursement and other perks. Check with your card issuer to see if you can get extra coverage or benefits when using your card to book business travel.
Pay Off your Balance in Full
Pay off your credit card balance in full each month. If you’re going to use a credit card to finance your business travel expenses, it’s important to make sure you can afford to pay off the balance in full when your statement is due. If not, saving up for your trip might be a better option.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
Use cards with no foreign transaction fees. Many credit cards charge a fee each time you use them to make purchases outside of the U.S. To avoid these fees, which can be as high as 3% of your total transaction amount, look for a credit card that offers no foreign transaction fees.
Other Travel Perks
Use cards with travel perks such as lounge access or free Wi-Fi. Some premium credit cards offer extra benefits to travelers, including access to airport lounges and free Wi-Fi on the road. If these perks are important to you, make sure to consider them when choosing your credit card for business travel.
Ultimately, the best tip for maximizing your credit card use on business trips is to do your research ahead of time and choose a card that’s right for your needs. With the right credit card, you can make the most of your travel expenses and lower your costs over time.