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Tips to choose the best travel credit card

A good travel credit card not only helps you earn decent rewards but also offers free flight tickets, complimentary memberships, free lounge access and much more. However, choosing the right credit card can be tough especially when multiple cards are available to choose from. Here are a few tips to help you get the best credit card for your travel needs.  

Look out for higher rewards and better travel perks

A good travel credit card not only offers generous reward points but also allows you to redeem your earned rewards against a good value back on travel. An important point to note here is that cards with higher anSirajnual fees usually offer higher rewards and better travel perks as compared to low annual fee credit cards. If your goal is to maximize your benefits, then you must go for a card that has a higher reward rate but also charges a reasonable annual fee. 

Redeeming your reward points is also one of the factors that helps you maximize the benefits of your card. Therefore, before choosing a credit card, it is equally important to consider how you can redeem those rewards. Generally, it is better to choose a card that offers multiple avenues for reward redemption instead of one that limits the redemption to one or more categories.

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Choose between co-branded or generic card

While choosing a travel credit card, you must check whether you want a co-branded or a generic travel credit card. As the name suggests, co-branded credit cards provide higher benefits on the partnered brand, such as complimentary membership or free tickets. Also, the rewards earned on these credit cards can usually be redeemed with the partnered airline or hotel. On the other hand, generic cards let you earn good rewards which you can later redeem against your future bookings without any brand restrictions. 

So, if you are a loyal customer of an airline or frequently travel via a single airline, then you can apply for a co-branded credit card. For example, Axis Vistara is a good credit card as it offers complimentary tickets and generous rewards on Vistara bookings. You can also find credit cards co-branded with travel portals like MakeMyTrip or EaseMyTrip. With these cards, you get the chance to choose from a wider range of hotels and airlines. Moreover, if you do not want to restrict your savings to such platforms, you can choose a card that offers extra rewards on all travel bookings.

Consider international or domestic travel perks

It’s important to dig deeper into your travel goals, habits and frequency to find the right credit card. Your travel preferences define your requirements and help you to decide what kind of card you need. For instance, if you frequently travel abroad, then having a credit card that offers a low forex markup fee and complimentary international lounge access would provide considerable savings. In such cases, getting a card like SBI Card ELITE will help you save on international spends as it comes with low a forex markup fee and also provides international lounge access. 

On the other hand, if you are a frequent domestic traveller, then go for a credit card that helps you save on your domestic travel expenses with high rewards and free domestic lounge access. Citi PremierMiles, for example, lets you earn 10 Miles per Rs. 100 spent on airline transactions and gives up to 8 complimentary domestic lounge visits per quarter. Analyze your travel preferences before getting a credit card. 

Don’t miss out on welcome/renewal offers

When you get a new credit card, you can avail welcome/sign-up benefits. For a travel-focused card, the sign-up bonus may be offered in the form of extra miles, free tickets or travel vouchers. A decent welcome bonus gives you a good head-start. Look for a card that rewards you with the welcome or renewal benefits that either match or exceed the joining or renewal fee. Some travel credit cards also provide such benefits on the payment of renewal fee and some provide travel perks on reaching spending milestones.

While welcome, renewal and milestone benefits are important considerations, they should not be the deciding factors. The decision should depend on the general travel benefits and earning potential of the card.

Apart from the above-discussed points, you should also consider other privileges, such as priority boarding, free hotel stays, free checked baggage and more. These are additional benefits but they do help you in making the most of your travel credit card. 

Analyze your requirements and go for a credit card that suits your lifestyle the best. Do your research and compare multiple options before making an informed decision.

(ThePrint ValueAd Initiative content is a paid-for, sponsored article. Journalists of ThePrint are not involved in reporting or writing it.) 

Source: The Print

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