Credit cards usually have a negative reputation as a pathway to debt, but we disagree.
Travel credit cards are a boon to us, backpackers, as they allow us to rack up miles and redeem them for our next backpacking adventures. It is for this reason that we created this guide to dispelling the myths associated with travel credit cards so you can go ahead and get yourself one using our handy guide to picking a travel credit card.
1. They have very high-interest rates
We can’t speak for all the cards out there, but travel credit cards interest rates are rather competitive, and will not have large differences with the normal ones.
And remember, you only incur interest if the dues are not paid in time. Keeping careful track of your spending can help you avoid interest rates.
2. They can ruin your credit score
Obtaining travel credit cards do not have much impact on your credit score.
Your credit score is impacted by many factors such as your repayment history, standing debt and trustworthiness which is decided by the bank.
Having a travel credit card increases the credit available to you and prompt repayment actually increases your credit score.
3. They have very high annual rates
Most travel credit cards are competitive and offer incentives to match the annual rates they charge.
The cards with high annual rates are known to provide better benefits such as miles and concierge services.
Alternatively, most banks nearing the festive seasons have offers where the first year’s annual fees are waived off.
4. Credit cards a sure path to debt
Not at all.
Credit cards are a useful tool to manage your finances, and can only harm you if mismanaged.
5. The only important thing is miles
Miles might be the main benefit since a backpacker’s biggest expense is usually the flight tickets.
Most travel credit cards, however, do offer various benefits such as complimentary stays at hotels, discounts on tickets, concierge services and a host of other benefits such as access to VIP lounges.
6. You need to cancel old credit cards for a new one
There is no limit to the number of credit cards you can possess at one time, provided they are managed well.
Canceling credit cards suddenly might actually impact your credit score and hinder your application for a new card.
7. Having more credit cards is dangerous
A credit card as with any other financial tool should be managed carefully.
You should have no problem if the payments are made in time and the credit cards are used sparingly.
8. It’s wise to stick with airline and hotel affiliated cards
Concierge services, access to airport lounges and discounted rooms are some of the benefits you stand to gain by sticking branded airline and hotel affiliated cards.
Do however remember that these offers are only redeemable if you make purchases at outlets considered acceptable by these cards and not everywhere else.