Want to visit Italy, but don’t think you can afford it? You might be surprised. Have you ever considered using rewards travel to pay for a trip? Credit cards can be a great tool to use if you use them smart and responsibly. Sometimes that takes a bit of education.
Using reward points can be challenging if you don’t know the ins and outs of the points life, so I’m going to give you some resources to help you learn how to best use them and which cards are the best fit for you.
Why You Should Use a Credit Card to Pay for Travel to Italy
Using credit card points to pay for travel can bring a host of benefits. Here are some of the key advantages:
- Cost Savings: The most significant benefit is the financial savings. Using credit card points can reduce the overall cost of your trip. Depending on how many points you’ve accumulated, you may be able to pay for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and more completely with points, saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Just this weekend, I purchased three international flights with credit card points!
- Flexibility: Many credit cards offer travel rewards that can be used with a variety of airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies. Some programs even allow you to use points for travel experiences, cruises, or vacation packages. This flexibility allows you to plan the trip that’s right for you, rather than being locked into a specific itinerary.
- Perks and Upgrades: Some credit card companies offer exclusive travel perks when you use your points for travel. These may include access to airport lounges, priority boarding, free checked bags, upgrades to business or first class, or better rooms at hotels.
One of my cards allows my whole family to get CLEAR and TSA Precheck which has been a huge lifesaver! We are also able to use most airport lounges and bring 2 guests. This means that my husband and I each have a card and can each bring 2 kids. If you have a teenager, you can add them as an authorized user and they can get a card too, which will allow them lounge access as well.
- Travel Protection and Insurance: Credit cards often come with travel protections such as trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, and car rental collision damage waiver. These features can add a layer of security to your travel plans. I banged up the bumper of a rental car in Italy last year when I got too close to a wall (very easy to do in Italy). My credit card company was able to cover the entire expense!
- Earning More Points: When you redeem credit card points for travel, you’re usually still earning more points on the purchases you make during your trip. This can help you start building up points for your next adventure. Many cards offer double points on travel purchases, so it’s especially important to use one of these cards when paying for travel!
- Ease of Use: Many credit card reward programs have made it easier than ever to redeem points for travel. Some allow you to book directly through their online portal, while others let you transfer points to travel partners. Either way, using points can simplify the booking process.
- No Cross-Border Fees: Most credit cards don’t have a cross-border fee. When I use my debit card in another country, I get charged a fee every time I use it, so I try to only use my credit cards when possible.
- Increasing Credit Score: Did you know that using rewards points and credit cards can actually increase your credit score? Find out how.
Remember, the specific benefits can vary depending on the credit card and reward program, so it’s important to read the terms and conditions of your card’s program to make sure you’re getting the most out of your points. Find out which card is best for you, and what perks and points you’ll be getting.
Credit Card Mistakes to Avoid
If you’re new to rewards travel, be sure to learn the mistakes to avoid. This will save you lots of money and headaches!
The Best Credit Card Deals Right Now
Admittedly, there are so many cards out there right now. Most of them will have travel perks, but not all cards are created equal. I’ve compiled all of the best offers available right now, in order of how many points you’ll earn.
Rewards Points App
If you need a place to organize your credit cards and points to plan for your trip to Italy, I highly recommend downloading this points tracking app, which has been hugely helpful for me when trying to figure out all my points. It eliminates a lot of the math that my brain doesn’t want to do these days!
I hope this has been helpful to you and that you’ll be able to select the travel credit card that is right for you. Do you have a favorite travel card? Let me know in the comments!