Benefits of Using a Credit Card When You Travel

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 — meals, activities, 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.

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. He adds that it’s also important to review the terms and conditions of your credit card to determine if charges made outside of the United States 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. Now that you’ve answered the big question — how do I get a credit card? — learn more about what credit card might work for you and your travel needs. 


This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.