Benefits of Using a Credit Card When You Travel
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Whether you're headed for a weekend getaway or the trip of a lifetime, using a credit card to book airline tickets, hotel reservations or other expenses, such as meals, activities, and souvenirs, can offer several benefits. Here are a few of those advantages:


Travel-related benefits

When you reserve airline tickets, a rental car, or a hotel room using a credit card that offers travel-related benefits, you may receive access to features such as lost luggage reimbursement, rental car insurance, or roadside assistance, says David Smitherman, Vice President of Product Development at Regions Bank. "You have to understand the features and benefits that come with your cards and use the ones that fit your lifestyle the best," he says.

Cashless convenience

A credit card offers a secure way to pay for purchases, so you won't need to carry a lot of cash when you travel. With the convenience of mobile payment devices, most vendors and businesses accept credit cards for payment. If you're following a travel budget to avoid overspending, you may have the ability to track your credit card spending with mobile or online banking services if offered with your card.

Accepted globally

Thanks to EMV-chip technology, which has been standard in Europe for years, many U.S. credit cards are now compatible with Europe's point-of-sale terminals. "Certain situations would make it more difficult for the old magnetic strip technology to work, says Smitherman. "But the U.S. migrating toward the EMV standard has made that experience much more seamless." Smitherman says it's also important to review the terms and conditions of your credit card to determine if charges made outside of the U.S. are subject to a foreign transaction fee.

Fraud protection

Before you travel, contact your bank and credit card provider to inform them of your itinerary. This way your card is less likely to be affected due to "suspicious" activity while traveling, even if traveling domestically. Credit cards equipped with EMV-chip technology provide an enhanced level of security from fraudulent activity when used at an EMV enabled terminal  — because the embedded chip is difficult to duplicate — and greater worldwide acceptance.

Entertainment perks

Some credit cards also include concierge services that can help you book meals and other activities during your trip. These 24-hour call services can help secure a table at a restaurant or purchase in-demand tickets to concerts or sporting events. Some services even help make your travel reservations. "They have all of the research at their fingertips to help guide you toward what you are looking for," Smitherman says.

Earning rewards

Put your rewards credit card to work for you. Pay for accommodations or trip-related purchases and accrue reward points that can help you fund another great adventure. "If you continue to use the card on one trip, you're going to lay down the foundation for the next trip that you take," Smitherman says.

Learn more about what credit card might work for you and your travel needs. 

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This information is general in nature and is provided for educational purposes only. Regions makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information presented. Information provided should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal, or tax advice. Regions encourages you to consult a professional for advice applicable to your specific situation.