Make Your Travel Money Work Harder
If travel budget cuts are affecting your job or lifestyle, one easy way to offset the cutbacks is to get more out of what resources you do have. In the corporate world, everything is negotiable. Sometimes you can convince an employer to pay for extra things, like a company car to reduce air travel, or to change the way they reimburse you for expenses reports.
Consider asking the company to advance you money for business trips instead of using your personal credit cards so you don’t get hit with high interest rates at the end your billing cycle. These hit before your expense report gets processed and you get reimbursed.
Make the most of the dollars that you spend:
- Save money by using coupon codes and frequent flier rewards.
- Negotiate the price of any purchase over $100 – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
- Don’t assume your bank always has the best rates – shop for the best place to invest and choose the best cd high interest rate available at the time
- Shop at warehouse stores to buy in bulk, saving on the items as well as time and gas otherwise spent on multiple shopping trips, and switch your credit card accounts to one that gives you points toward free travel.
If you use a credit card for your travel, consider putting all of your travel expenses on one card that gives you the best airline credit card offers. In most cases, your airfare will be the biggest chunk of your travel expenses, and with a hybrid card you can combine your hotel, rental car, restaurant meals and other travel expenses to get one big score of points instead of several spread out among specific carriers or chains. Avoid the 4 biggest financial enemies of every traveler.
If you travel internationally, you will need both a credit card and a debit card to pay for your expenses and have access to cash while abroad. Check out our post, “TwentyTips Before Traveling Internationally,” for more helpful information on using credit cards and how to use international ATMs and local currencies.
Creditcards and charge cards are slightly different. A credit card lets you make a payment that leaves a balance, if you choose, and a charge card requires payment of the full balance every month. These cards typically fall into one of five categories:
1. best card for points with an annual fee,
2. best card for points without an annual fee,
3. best hybrid charge card with a fee,
4. best airline credit (or charge) card, and
5. best hotel credit card.
Cards for points are usually part of programs such as Air Miles or Aeroplan, and an annual fee can cut into your savings realized when you redeem your points. Track your actual use and spending to see if you are getting the best deal.
Hybrids are usually tied to a specific bank or financial institution rather than an individual airline or hotel chain, which gives card users the best flexibility in redeeming their points. Some hybrids charge an annual fee, but the best cards will waive the first year’s fee. Compare plans by annual percentage rate as well as annual fee and transaction fees.
Airline and hotel cards are restricted to specific carriers or chains, which can be a problem if you want to redeem points for a location not served by that airline or hotel. Some hotels cards are combined with an airline – if the chain and the carrier are all you need, make sure unused points do not expire before you can use them.
When money gets tight, you don’t have to automatically cut spending to make up for a short fall. Make the most of what you have, and pay attention all the rates and fees that you have to pay.
Easy Related Posts
6 Tips to Maximize Your Summer Vacation
Whether you’re traveling to another country or just staying close to home, you want to ...read more
Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards to See the World
Do you love to travel but don’t have the funds to finance your globe-trotting adventures? ...read more
ATM Card—Your Best Friend in Europe
Planning to travel to Europe in the near future? ATM cards, credit cards, prepaid travel ...read more
Budgeting for a Big Trip can be Easy
For some travel buffs, budgeting proves to be a great way of getting excited about ...read more