In this exclusive article for Traveltalk, BILL TSOUVALAS, Managing Director at Savvy, lifts the lid on credit card perks and how they can save you money on travel.
Complimentary travel insurance
Many credit cards, especially at Gold or Platinum level, offer free travel insurance if you purchase your flights or travel with the card. For some destinations, this can save you hundreds, even thousands, if you’re flying with family.
Though travel insurance coverage varies, it could help you coverlost baggage, medical expenses and transit accidents. Remember to read your terms and conditions to see what’s included.
Converting points into flights, accommodation, or upgrades
Frequent flyer points are for flying, right? Some rewards or frequent flyer programs not only give you the opportunity to take up reduced price or free airline tickets, they can also be spent on hotels or upgrades, from economy to business class for example.
You may also spend points on upgrading your hotel room, gaining access to Wi-Fi, or complimentary breakfasts.
Virgin Velocity, Qantas Frequent Flyer, EmiratesSkywards, Etihad Guest, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and many others all offer these services.
Consider a personal loan
Though credit cards can give you lots of freebies, there’s no such thing as a “free” flight. You’re paying for your rewards and pointsthrough added interest, annual fees, or other charges.
Considering a personal loan could reduce overall interest compared with a credit card.
A personal loan is a fixed term loan that you pay off in manageable instalments until it’s done; a credit card (if you’re not careful) can spiral out of control if you only make the minimum repayments.
Personal loans usually have lower interest rates than most credit cards, too. Though you need to spend a bit of time applying for a personal loan, the money you save will be more than worth it.
Some credit cards reward cardholders with complimentary travel vouchers, such as Virgin Velocity cards. They essentially refund part, or all, of your annual fee with a voucher that you can spend on travel or accommodation.
Airport lounge passes
Some credit cards, such as Virgin Velocity or American Express, give you passes to their airport lounges.
Airport lounges are almost like hotels without the private rooms: you can dine in, work at private offices and take advantage of premium comfort before you board. Some passes even give you priority boarding.
Using a concierge service
If you have a platinum or premium credit card, you may have access to a worldwide concierge service.
A concierge helps you book flights, hotels, concerts, restaurants and events. American Express, Visaand MasterCard, when you upgrade your card to a premium or platinum tier, offer a concierge service of some kind.
They can also be used in case of emergency, such as requesting replacement cards if they’ve been lost or stolen.
Savvy is a financial institution based in Adelaide and Sydney.
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