The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker

Community News Network

May 1, 2013

How credit cards can help pay for summer travel

When you're planning a summer vacation, it's important to make out a budget. Too many consumers fail to plan their spending and, when they return, are faced with more debt.

But having the right credit card can help. It can help you not only save money, but actually get some money back.

Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of CardHub, breaks down summer travel cards into three categories; those that have good initial reward bonuses, those that have good ongoing rewards programs and those that have the best 0% financing offers. The right card can add up to actual money.

“Consumers, by signing up for the right offer, can get $400 statement credit or $500 toward travel expenses by spending what they would normally spend on their credit card during the first three months,” Papadimitriou said.

Real money

Take the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, for example. By spending at least $3,000 during the first three months your account is open will give you a 40,000-point rewards bonus, which can be redeemed for $500 in travel accommodations booked through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program or a $400 statement credit.

That's right. Instead of stockpiling those airline miles that you never seem to be able to use, you can trade them in for cash.

“It doesn't get much better than that,” Papadimitriou said.

The Chase Sapphire card does not charge an annual fee the first year but there's a $95 fee each year after that.

Another solid choice is the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard. Spend just $1,000 during the first 90 days to claim the card’s 40,000-mile rewards bonus, which is redeemable for a $400 statement credit you can use to pay any travel-related charge. It also waives its $89 annual fee the first year.

Hilton HHonors Surpass Credit Card and the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Card also provide general upfront bonuses. With the latter you get 50,000 bonus points with your first purchase and 35,000 additional points for spending at least $2,500 within 90 days. Those 85,000 points can get you up to 18 free hotel nights, depending on the category of hotel you select and the number of consecutive nights you book.

Long-term value

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014