Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards on Spring Break

March 12, 2009

The best travel rewards credit cards for a spring break trip depends on a variety of factors such as how you’re travelling, where you’ll be staying, and how much you plan to spend on your credit card.  I had a reader email me after the recent post on spring break money savers and ask which travel rewards credit card I recommended for their upcoming vacation to Florida.

Airline Credit Cards

If you’ll be flying to your destination and you do a lot of flying in general then an airline card, such as Blue Sky from American Express, may be a good choice. Amex Blue Sky is a good option since the card has no annual fee, no purchase limitations on where you can earn travel points, and no blackout dates or travel restrictions.

Gas Rewards Cards

If you’ll be making a big road trip then gas rewards cards can help you earn some rewards for all the miles you’re driving.  Alot of gas rewards cards don’t offer the best rewards on purchases other than fuel so it’s typically best to use these cards simply for gassing up.

Hotel Rewards Cards

If you always stay at the same hotel chain when you travel then a hotel rewards card can save you some money.  Often times these cards not only earn your rewards points but can also give you a discount when you reserve a room. Cards like the Marriott rewards card earn you points for staying at any hotel in the Marriott “family” and others such as the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card earn points for hotel chains like Westin or Sheraton.

Student Rewards Cards

One of the top student credit card mistakes is opening a card simply for free stuff, this happens a lot on spring break.  While it’s not smart to open a credit card for a free T-shirt, if you’re responsible with your money and are looking for a student rewards card before you go to help you earn some points on your trip the Discover credit card is a good option with a nice cash back rate and cash back bonuses.  Just be sure to pay off your balance in full each month so you don’t get into credit card debt.

Cash Back Cards

If you don’t want to mess with a separate airline, hotel, and gas rewards card you can always just get one of the best cash back cards and use it for all of your travel expenses.  We use the American Express Blue Cash card and earn hundreds of dollars in cash back with it each year.

Travel Savings

Sometimes you can get a deal on a hotel room or an airline ticket simply by using your Visa or American Express card to book your trip, look for ads that say something like “Save $50 when you use American Express”.  In these cases the hotel or airline has worked out a promotional deal and you’ll get money knocked off your bill when you use the specified card.  If you combine credit card rewards program with some of the spring break money tips you may be able to vacation a little cheaper this spring break.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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