How Travelers Can Fly More With The Right Credit Card

May 15, 2024

Here are some tips to help you maximize your credit cards so that you can travel more.

Travel may be becoming more expensive, but this does not stop Filipinos from being wanderlust. According to a consumer trends study by travel platform Klook, 76% of Filipinos are considering traveling internationally this year, with Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Thailand as their top of mind.

How Travelers Can Fly More With The Right Credit Card

How Travelers Can Fly More With The Right Credit Card


    Today’s tourists are no longer content with just sightseeing, too. Many prioritize comfort when traveling, as shown by the increasing number of people booking business class seats for their flights in the first three quarters of 2023, according to travel platform Trevolution Group.

    For people who are planning to travel more this year, having the right credit card is a good way to roam the world.

    “Frequent flyers are in a unique position to benefit from the robust growth of the credit card industry,” said Alex Ilagan, Executive Director of the Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP). “Credit card companies constantly release new products and programs specifically geared towards travelers, allowing them to earn points or miles quickly, gain access to airport lounges, and obtain other perks that improve their travel experience.”

    However, not all credit cards are created equal. CCAP recommends shopping around to find a credit card that suits one’s spending style and travel needs. It offers these tips for choosing the right credit card for travel:

    Look for reward categories suited to one’s spending habits


    Aim to earn rewards that align with one’s travel-related spending habits to reap long-term benefits from the card. For instance, someone who likes to splurge on their accommodations would enjoy a credit card that offers points on hotel stays.

    Find a credit card with an airline or hotel partnership. People who tend to stick to a specific airline or hotel chain during their travels will benefit from a co-branded credit card that rewards users for their loyalty. With a credit card co-branded with an airline, one earns more points when making purchases with that partner airline. These points can be redeemed for flights. Depending on the card, one may also get additional perks such as priority boarding, airport lounge access, or free checked-in luggage.

    Credit cards can also enhance frequent flyers’ travel experience with free travel insurance, free concierge services, hotel room upgrades, free breakfast, exclusive use of bar lounge, free mini bar, free laundry, and other perks.

    Ensure easy rewards earnings and redemptions


    Choose a credit card that makes it easy to earn and redeem points. Avoid cards with a confusing and long-winded redemption process that would make one hesitate to redeem their rewards.

    For first-time travel credit cardholders, a beginner-friendly card may be a good option. Look for a card with a simple point-earning system that does not require the holder to be strategic about how they use it.

    Choose a card with low foreign currency conversion fees


    Purchases made in a foreign country incur additional fees, which can rack up one’s credit card bill. Compare cards and look for the lowest foreign currency conversion fee. This way, one can shop abroad worry-free and keep their credit card debt manageable. Some banks also issue US Dollar-denominated credit cards which is ideal for individuals who have available US Dollars because it will eliminate possible risk of losses due to fluctuations in the Peso: Dollar exchange rate.

    Consider sign-up bonuses


    Many credit cards offer welcome bonuses to new cardholders who meet a minimum spend requirement within a certain period upon credit card activation. The bonus is a good way to jumpstart one’s points earnings, allowing them to redeem rewards much faster.

    Apply for a card at least six months before the planned trip to make sure the sign-up bonus appears in your account on time. A welcome bonus usually takes about three months to earn and around one or two billing cycles after to be credited to the account.

    “Credit cards give frequent flyers a unique advantage by enabling them to fly more often, more comfortably. The buying power and travel-related perks Filipinos get from credit cards allow them to achieve their travel goals and indulge in better, elevated experiences,” said Mr. Ilagan.

    To pursue its mission to educate cardholders on responsible credit management, protect them against unauthorized transactions and scams, and increase their awareness on credit card features and benefits, CCAP has been expanding the audience reach of its intensified campaign. It has a Facebook page that now has nearly 50,000 followers, in addition to a TikTok channel to promote association mandates.

    For those interested in its credit awareness programs, CCAP can be reached at https://www.ccap.net.ph/contact-us/.

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