In addition to writing my own content, I contribute to money-saving articles written by top talent in the smart shopping, beauty, and personal finance space. The post below from CreditCards.com is the latest!
Written by Dan Rafter
You can enjoy the benefits of travel rewards with a cash back card – if you use it wisely!
You’re ready to take that big trip across the globe. Or maybe you fill your years with multiple small trips. You know that travel rewards or airline co-branded credit cards are a great way to earn free miles or hotel stays, but you prefer the simplicity of cash back credit cards.
Is it possible to use these cards to save money on travel?
The answer is a resounding “yes.” If you use them wisely, cash back cards can help you save on the costs of renting a car, eating out and buying airline tickets and hotel stays.
Here are nine tips to capitalize on the benefits of cash back cards when traveling.
1. Use cash back to offset travel costs
“General cash-back credit cards offer consumers great rewards on everyday spending, which can be redeemed for cash to cover travel expenses like hotels or flights,” Jason Gaughan, card products executive with Bank of America, said.
He points to his own bank’s Bank of America Cash Rewards card. This card offers 3 percent cash back on gas, 2 percent on groceries and wholesale club purchases and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
Natasha Rachel Smith, personal finance expert at TopCashback.com, said cash back cards can be valuable if you use them for the everyday purchases you might make when traveling, from buying a gallon of milk at the supermarket next to your hotel to charging an expensive meal on the last night of your trip.
It’s important, though, to use these cards at the right vendors. A few cash back cards offer rotating categories in which you get a greater return on specific purchases.
6. Work with coupon, online rewards sites
Trae Bodge, smart shopping and personal finance expert, said that consumers can save more when they use their cash back cards in conjunction with online rewards or cash back sites such as Swagbucks or Ebates.
These sites let you earn additional points or cash back while shopping, which you can use to reduce your expenses while traveling.
- For instance, if you earn enough points from Swagbucks, you can redeem them for travel-related gift cards, hotel stays or low-cost deals at museums, amusement parks, tours and other attractions.
- If you shop for travel through Ebates, you can earn cash back, too. Current offers include 5 percent cash back on TripAdvisor and up to 7 percent cash back on Expedia.
Combining these offers with the cash back you receive by using a cash back card can generate plenty of travel savings, Bodge said.
“Just because you don’t have a travel rewards card, doesn’t mean that you can’t save on travel,” Bodge said.
As you can see, cash back cards can be valuable travel companions whether it’s for driving across the country or flying across the Atlantic – and save you a good amount of money on your next trip.