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Five tips for using your credit card while traveling​

When deciding what form of payment you should use to not only book your trip but also while traveling, credit cards may be the ideal choice to consider. You can use your credit card to maximize its travel benefits and rewards while making purchases.

Why use a credit card to book your trip

Before taking your trip, you may want to use a credit card to book your travels. Here's why:

Potential to earn rewards

Many credit cards on the market offer you rewards when you use your card to make purchases, often in the form of points or cash back. Travel credit cards may offer bonus rewards when you spend on travel related categories, which can be redeemed for things like flights, hotels stays and rental cars.

Your card may offer travel protection benefits

Depending on your credit card type, some cards come with travel protection benefits that can make booking your trip with a credit card a no-brainer. Some examples of travel protection benefits include Lost Luggage Reimbursement, Travel Accident Insurance and Travel and Emergency Assistance Services.

What to do before using your credit card on your trip

There are some things to check off the to-do list before going on your trip. For example, planning and sticking to your budget can help keep your spending on track. It's easy to go overboard when it comes to spending, so setting a budget is one way to avoid doing so.

Your credit card issuer should also be notified regarding your travel, so you don't run into any issues when you try to use the card on your trip. They may ask you to provide information like when you're leaving, where you're going and when you plan on arriving home. Travel notifications aren't required by all credit card issuers, including Chase, so check with yours to see if it's necessary.

When notifying your credit card issuer, also make sure that your credit card type is accepted at your destination. Not all credit cards are accepted outside of the country, so you'll want to find out that information ahead of time.

Tips for using your credit card while traveling

There are a few tips to keep in mind when using your credit card while traveling, as well as some advantages to using them for and during your travels:

  • Tip one: Look up your credit card's travel perks. If you have multiple credit cards and aren't sure which to bring on your trip, look up your card's perks. The more travel-related perks you use, the more rewards you'll earn for your spending. For example, if you're dining at a lot of restaurants, it may be valuable to bring the card that earns points for dining.
  • Tip two: Book your trip through your issuer's rewards portal (if applicable). By using your issuer's rewards portal, you'll often see options to book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars and more. You're typically able to book your travel using your rewards points, credit card or a combination of the two.
  • Tip three: Note your billing due date. Be aware of your billing due date and avoid falling behind on any payments. Traveling may take your mind elsewhere, but don't forget to pay your credit card bill. Missed payments may result in late fees. Consider setting up automatic or recurring payments so you don't miss the due date while on your trip.
  • Tip four: Travel with more than one card. Having backup payment methods is important when traveling. If your card is declined while making a transaction, you'll want to have a spare. Consider bringing cards that also offer extra rewards for travel spending categories.
  • Tip five: Keep an eye out for secure ways of making your purchases abroad. There are a few ways to make purchases with your credit card, including tap to pay, inserting the chip and swiping. Contactless payments are a way to make payments without the need for physical touch.

Keep these tips in mind when traveling with a credit card to optimize your card's rewards and help keep your purchases secure.

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