Travel Perks You May Not Know Your Credit Card Has

You can read this full post on my new personal finance site From Leah’s View.

You’re excited and getting ready for your next vacation. You’ve made your list of what you need to take, packed your bags, picked up some last-minute items from the store, and stopped the mail. All typical things we do before heading out on a trip. But did you check and see what travel perks your credit card has?

I know I never did until I was about to take a trip overseas where I knew I might need to use my credit card. I realized that I didn’t know whether or not I would be charged foreign transaction fees, how to contact customer service, or what would be my options should I lose my card.

Finance tip: Travel perks your credit card has |

(This information is not meant to be financial advice and is just for educational purposes. This post may include affiliate links. Should you click an affiliate link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

Do you know the travel perks your credit card offers? Well, it’s easier than you’d think to find out. These perks vary by credit card, especially if it’s a regular credit card or a travel credit card.

Before we start talking about the perks the cards provide, let’s define what a regular credit card and a travel credit card are.

Regular credit cards are your everyday, run-of-the-mill cash back card. You get cash back for all purchases no matter the type that can be redeemed for various types of rewards.

Travel credit cards are cards that give you bonus points or miles for your purchases and put more emphasis on travel purchases such as airfare, hotel bookings, car rentals, dining, and entertainment. The miles can then be redeemed for free or discounted travel.

Regular credit card perks

Travel dates

I think pretty much every credit card offers this, but I’ve found many people don’t know about it. You can let your credit card company know when and where you’re traveling so your card isn’t frozen when a purchase is made away from home.

I'm now using this feature for all of my overseas travel and some of my domestic travel. Whenever I visit a state or city I've never been to before I let my credit card company know I'll be traveling there.

No foreign transaction fees

One of the last things you want is to make a purchase when you’re overseas and then find out it cost you 3% more than you anticipated because of a foreign transaction fee. That could be the start of blowing your travel budget.

Check to see if your card waives foreign transaction fees. You may find that all fees are waived or there may be restrictions depending on the country the purchase is made.

Customer service

If you have questions or have an issue, such as a stolen or lost card, you can talk to someone for help with the situation.

Fraud liability guarantee

If this feature is offered it typically makes you not liable for unauthorized purchases made if your card is stolen.

Purchase Protection

After spending all that time looking for the perfect souvenir to remember your trip by or gifts for friends or family, the last thing you want is for it to be damaged or stolen. It may be advantageous to purchase the souvenirs and gifts with your credit card if it offers protection should your purchase be stolen or damaged. Check with your credit card company to confirm what’s covered, what’s not, and for how much.

Free card replacement

In the event your credit card is lost or damaged during your vacation you can request another to be quickly shipped to you. Check with your credit card company to see what the location limitations are as some cards will only do this in your country of residence.

Reward points for purchases

Many credit cards out there give you reward points for purchases. But some will also give bonus points for travel-related purchases during the summer. Check with your credit card company to see if this feature is available and how you can take advantage of it.

Finance tip: Travel perks you may not know your credit card has |

Travel credit card perks

Lost or delayed baggage protection

We’ve all heard the stories or may have experienced it ourselves. We check our baggage and then get to a destination ready to start our vacation only to find the airline can’t find it. Some travel cards will provide reimbursement if your luggage is lost or delayed for a long amount of time and you need to purchase items until your baggage arrives.

Travel and/or emergency assistance

Should you run into a situation where you need to change your travel plans because of an emergency situation your credit card may be able to help with that. Some cards will even help with medical or legal referrals should that type of situation arise.

Travel accident insurance

We all hope our vacations are accident-free, but unfortunately, accidents happen. Check and see if your travel card will provide financial assistance to help cover expenses should an accident occur and what qualifies as an accident. This varies card by card.

Car rental insurance

Some travel credit cards will cover the theft or damage of a rental car if you use them for that purchase. Typically this only applies if you didn’t purchase the insurance from the car rental place. By using credit card coverage you can save a few dollars.

Priority boarding

This is a perk that I love. With so many people not checking bags and doing carry-on the overhead bin space can fill up fast. If you have priority boarding you can board the plane before the masses and secure your overhead bin space for your carry-on.

Free checked bags

For longer trips, you may want to check a bag but don’t want to pay the checked bag fee. Some travel cards will let you check at least one bag for free. With my card, I’m able to save at least $25 per flight.

Miles/reward points

Many of these cards will give you reward points or miles for every purchase, but travel-related purchases tend to earn you the most points. The great thing about this is you can later redeem these miles/points for future trips.

Final words

Pretty eye-opening right? While these are pretty common perks for regular and travel credit cards, not every card offers all of these perks. Check with your credit card company to see what is and isn’t available to you. If you’re looking for a new card do your research and determine what’s most important for you when you travel.

And remember while it’s great to have a credit card, they’re best for those who always pay the monthly balance in full and don’t ever incur interest.

Have you ever used any of your credit card’s travel perks?

Travel benefits you can get from your credit card