After more than a year spent largely indoors due to quarantine, people are finally feeling ready to hit the road – or the skies – again. As vaccines become more and more available, you may be thinking about planning your first trip in a long time. Before you make any concrete plans, however, you might want to upgrade your credit card.
Whether you have a basic no-annual-fee credit card or a popular mid-size travel credit card, it’s worth considering upgrading to a premium travel credit card if you plan to travel to the UK often. to come up. Doing it now rather than later can save you money and help you stay protected during your trip. Here’s how.
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1. You will earn more on prepaid travel expenses
Even if you don’t plan to travel until later in the year, you’ll likely start booking flights and hotels early enough. If you are thinking of getting a better travel credit card, it is a good idea to do so before you complete those reservations.
Chances are, if you upgrade your travel credit card, you will earn more on your travel purchases. For example, you could earn 2x points for $ 1 while traveling with your current card while the upgraded version earns 3x points for $ 1. By upgrading before paying for your flights and hotels, you will be able to take advantage of this higher earning rate.
Be sure to check the conditions of the upgrade card before assuming that you will automatically earn more. Some cards only earn money on flights booked directly with the airline or through the credit card travel portal, and you may not be considering booking your flights that way.
2. You can now save points to spend on your next trip
The sooner you upgrade your credit card, the sooner you start earning more points or miles. If you want to use your travel rewards to save money on travel costs for your next trip, it is wise to start saving them now.
If your card earns you airline miles or hotel points, you’ll want to start saving them well in advance of your trip. This is because you cannot book an award flight or an award hotel stay until you have accumulated enough miles or points in your account. This means that you will need to have enough savings before you can even book your trip.
On the flip side, if your credit card is earning flex points, you might be able to start saving a bit later. You can use cash to purchase your flights and hotel room, and use your credit card points for other travel expenses during your trip.
Some travel credit cards allow you to use your points to book tours and other activities, for example, that don’t necessarily need to be booked as far in advance as flights and hotels. Others allow you to use your points after the fact to “wipe” all credit card purchases encoded as a trip, so you don’t need to have enough points saved before your trip.
3. You could get better travel insurance coverage
In many cases, the upgraded version of your travel credit card will provide better travel insurance. This could mean more protections, such as:
It could also mean higher coverage limits. Either way, better coverage can save you hundreds, if not thousands, on your trip in the event of an accident or unforeseen circumstances.
In almost all cases, you must have booked your trip (flights and hotel) with the credit card to enjoy the travel insurance benefits of that credit card. This means that if you pay your prepaid travel expenses with your current travel credit card and get a better one, you will only be covered under your current credit card travel insurance policy.
4. You could get TSA PreCheck or Global Entry in time for your next trip.
Many premium travel credit cards offer statement credits for the application fees you have to pay to get TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. But you will want to apply as soon as possible. You’ll probably need to do an interview, and they’re often set aside months for those.
To take advantage of a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit benefit, you must pay your application fee with the credit card that offers the benefit. Your application fee is prepaid when you submit your initial application. So you’ll want to have this credit card ready to go before you apply for the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. This means that you will probably want to upgrade now if your plan is to take advantage of this benefit.
5. You can claim credits on your travel statement when booking your trip
Many premium travel credit cards with higher annual fees offer annual travel statement credits to offset these annual fees. These may be statement credits covering any travel purchase, airfare credit, or credits for specific hotel properties.
If you’re considering switching to a travel credit card that offers these statement credits, you’ll want to do so before you book your next trip. This way, you can be sure to take full advantage of this advantage.
Make sure the annual fee is worth upgrading
Despite all of these lucrative perks and perks, it might not be worth it for you to upgrade your travel credit card and pay a higher annual fee. When you compare credit cards, you’ll want to do some math and determine if your travel expenses and the rewards you’ll earn from them are enough to offset the card’s annual fee.
If you decide an upgraded travel credit card is right for you, now is the time to upgrade. This will help you maximize your credit card rewards while still reaping the full benefits of the card.