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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Use Credit Card Travel Rewards This Holiday Season

For most of us, the holidays mean travel. Don’t be a grumbling grinch about it. Use your credit card travel rewards to make the most out of that 300-mile trip to see Great-Aunt Bertha. Jason Giacchino has several tips on how to spend wisely during the holidays, one of which is to “develop a buying strategy.”
It’s a great idea. Gas purchases and hotel stays can rack up rewards to help you enjoy a little post-holiday stress release. Check out Mr. Credit Card’s post on Kiplinger’s recommended list of credit cards for various categories.
The Capital One Platinum Plus MasterCard came out on top in the travel card category, according to Kiplinger’s. Mr. Credit Card agreed with this choice, as well as the magazine’s choice on best gas card, the BP Rewards Visa. That card offers 5% rebates on BP purchases and 2% on other travel and dining expenses. But Mr. Credit Card makes a good point - not everyone uses BP to fill up. I certainly don’t; I think their gas tends to cost more than competitors.
For non-BP users, Mr. Credit Card recommends the American Express Simply Cash Card. It is a business credit card that pays 5% rebates on gasoline and certain types of business expenses. The site mentions that a person can obtain a business credit card without actually owning a business; they will simply be treated as a sole proprietor. It’s worth a try!
For those who will need to fly instead of drive, Kiplinger’s has a recommendation on that too. Here’s what Mr. Credit Card had to say about the magazine’s choice, the Citi Premierpass Card Elite Level.
While this is a very good card, I think there are just too many types of travel reward cards to simply pick one. What they failed to mention is that this card will only suit those who travel a lot because you can earn points from the dollars you spend and also from the miles you fly. For those of us who are not really frequent flyers, then this card may not be suitable. Plus, Citi’s ThankYou Network airline reward system could get complicated as they have “fixed options” and “flexible options” for redeeming points for airline tickets. Check out our review of Citi’s Rewards for more details.
Something else to keep in mind is that the Platinum Plus MC (best travel card) is for consumers with “excellent credit,” according to MasterCard’s web site. If you can get it, go for it - and happy traveling!

Posted in Capital One credit cards, Citi, Featured, Article, business credit cards, American Express Credit Cards, Credit

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