Reap Vacation Rewards: Using Credit Cards to Cut Costs

Summer is right around the corner. And with summer, fortunately, comes great summer vacations. With summer vacations, unfortunately, come a lot of expenses. However, there is an effortless way for you to save money while traveling. The trick? Fully utilize your credit cards. That’s right – swiping your card before or sometimes during your vacations can actually save you quite a bit of cash. Ready to save money while seeing the world? Use these five tips to help stretch your summer vacation money.

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1. Know and understand your card’s rewards

If you have the right type of rewards program, you can easily save money simply by spending. Just be prepared to spend a lot if you’re starting from scratch — it takes a lot of rewards points to pay off an entire summer vacation, per Bankrate. However, you don’t have to go big or go home. Even smaller rewards, such as cash back or points for free gasoline, can be put toward your vacation plans. Before you can start using those rewards, though, make sure you know how each of your credit and debit card’s reward programs work.

Sometimes, depending on the cards and what you have saved up for rewards points, it can make sense to consolidate your usage into one card. Bankrate writes that this is especially prevalent if a card has a “tiered rewards structure with a higher level of payouts for a higher level of spending.” This tip, like many of the others, only applies if you are debt free. If you have any sort of credit card debt, ignore the rewards perks until you’ve paid off your debt in full.