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Beginner's Guide to Credit Card Traveling

Traveling to great destinations all over the world and staying in 5 star hotels isn't just for the wealthy or business travelers. You can travel too in economy or first-class with a few easy steps.

Step 1: Sign up for Airline and Hotel Loyalty Programs

Top Airline Programs

Top Hotel Programs

Step 2: Sign-up for a Free Points Management Account

AwardWallet is a free tool for tracking your reward programs and booked itineraries. You must add your airline and hotel loyalty information. You also get notified when your point balance changes and when your points are about to expire.

Step 3: Sign-up for Free Credit Monitoring Service

Credit Sesame and Credit Karma are great free tools to monitor your credit score. It is suggested to dispute items on your credit report that aren't favorable prior to applying for credit cards. Both websites offer their own useful tools.

Step 4: Sign-up for a Travel Earning Credit Card

Listed are a few great credit card offers for first timers. Depending on what your travel goals are should determine which card you sign up for. Chase has some of the best travel reward credit cards. Chase will not approve you for their cards if you’ve opened five or more cards from any bank in the past 24 months. This restriction is known as the Chase 5/24 rule.

Chase’s 5/24 rule applies to all of their travel credit cards. If you’re under the Chase 5/24 rule, your approval will also depend on your credit score and several other factors.

Step 5: Identify Ways to Reach the Minimum Spend

Congratulations! You've been approved for a rewards credit card. now the real work begins with hitting your minimum spend. Set a reminder alert of the date you were approved for your card. Don't let the minimum spend date past without hitting your spend limit for the reward. This will prevent you from getting your points and miles. The easy way to hit your spend limit is to use your card for normal everyday spend. (Groceries, gas, automated utilities, medical expenses, taxes, rent, student loan, etc.) You can also pay for friends and family while hanging out or for large purchases that you can be reimbursed for.

Just remember, a common mistake is purchasing items you don’t need just to hit the minimum spend. Also, not paying the balance off each month. If you pay your balance off in full prior to the due date, there is no interest charged.

Step 6: Book Your Travel

Let your dreams come to fruition and book your trip! Now that your points and miles have hit your account, proceed with booking your hotel and flight. Read our Destination articles to find out about fun destinations to visit.

Curious about which card to sign up for to visit a certain destination? Ask away and we'll help.

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