How Can a Family Utilize Their Credit Card Rewards Point For Traveling

Thursday, May 20, 2010

There is no denying that hate them or love them, credit cards have become an intrinsic part of our financial lives. Of course managing a credit card well is important to make sure that you reap the convenience they provide especially when compared to using when making payment. Due to the increased competition among credit card companies, each goes out of their way to offer perks to their clients for purchases made or for being a loyal customer for a long time. These perks are normally in the form of credit card rewards points.

The reward points are in turn redeemable in many different ways that will vary from one credit card company to the other. But often times there are certain forms of points redemption that are almost standard across the different card companies. These popular forms of redemption include airline travel costs, restaurant bills, hotel accommodation and shopping.

If you have not being taking keen interest in your credit card rewards points, it is time you started to do so because they could be the difference between you and your family enjoying a vacation or not. Why pay for something when you could recoup the costs by redeeming the points based on purchases you have made in the past on your credit card? There is nothing that you stand to lose since you would still have made the purchases anyway. The best way to take advantage of these points is to first come up with list of rewards that would be most suitable and interesting for our family.

So if you are hoping to redeem your points for a free ticket or for air miles, first look for companies that offer that type of reward and then assess the one which has the best terms and where possible, the one that requires the least amount of points to redeem the reward. One credit card company may pay for your traveling cost and let you handle the cost of all other expenses incurred when traveling, while others may even pay for your hotel expenses, travel insurance and shopping depending on their terms and of course the number for points you will have amassed. You should also bear in mind that some card companies have arrangements with few airlines while there may be one that has redemption agreement with several airlines. Access to more airlines might very well translate to greater alternatives in terms of where you can travel to.

Make sure you read the fine print to see whether there is anything that might put you in difficulty in future. For instance, some credit card companies require that you forfeit all points you may have amassed if your card is ever cancelled due to default or if you voluntarily choose to close your account. That would not be a pleasant consequence especially if you had taken time to amass the points over several months or even years only to see your efforts go down the drain. Life can be unpredictable and it is good to go for card companies that will not leave you completely high and dry when the storms of life come a calling.

Once you have settled on a company, the next thing is to make sure you manage your points well. If you need to for instance accumulate 20,000 points in order to qualify for a free ticket to a destination of your choice, you must resist the temptation to redeem any points before then. Redeeming your points should be something you plan for and approach in the same way as you would approach source of income in your family budget. You should use an estimate of your monthly spend to come up with a time frame on when you would like to redeem the points i.e. 2 years, 1 year, 6 months etcetera.

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