The competition among credit card companies is intensifying by the day and in order to beat the competition, card issuers are coming up with new offers and incentives to entice customers each and every day. Reward credit cards have gradually evolved in this race for survival among credit card issuers and banks. Why would reward credit cards, which were once issued only to the loyal customers of a credit card company, be promoted and distributed in such large numbers? Well, market conditions have pressured credit card issuers into providing newer more compelling credit card offers, allowing the common man on the street to gain immensely from the newest and best reward credit cards currently available. This article will describe the various types of reward credit cards, features, benefits, tips for use, and things to watch out for maximum advantage.
In essence, reward credit cardholders are entitled to receive rewards based on the points he or she gains through their card purchases over time. The most common types of reward credit cards seen in the marketplace are air miles credit cards and cash back credit cards.
Air miles credit cards provide air miles for each dollar spent using the card and allow the user to redeem the accumulated miles for hotel accommodations, air travel or car rentals. Such offers are especially beneficial for those who are frequent fliers. Cash back credit cards typically give back a set percentage of total purchases as a cash rebate based on the total bill, either monthly or annually.
Who Should Be Using a Reward Credit Card?
Although the credit card companies are undoubtedly aiming to profit from every type of credit card they roll out in the market, one can expect some economic advantages behind the reward credit cards for consumers as well. Reward benefits for cardholders are usually offset by higher interest rates and additional fees and surcharges that exceed what a normal credit card might incur. Reward credit cards are best suited for individuals that can confidently pay off their card balance each and every month so as not to incur finance charges by carrying a balance. The points that you earn from your purchases can be built up progressively but are better suited to individuals or businesses that use their cards often and are probably not best for those who use credit cards very sparsely primarily because by the time the cardholder builds up enough points for a viable reward redemption, many times, the expiration date on those points will have already expired.
Tips for Use
So if you do plan on acquiring a reward credit card, to get the most out of the card, you should try to use it extensively, including virtually every bill you pay, including electricity and gas bills, phone service expenses, weekly grocery shopping, and internet and cable TV, etc. If you are financially sound enough to make the repayments in time, there are even some reward credit cards that will allow you to charge your mortgage or rent payment on your card.
Also, it is a good idea to apply for an add-on card for your spouse and distribute the spending on both. This way the customer could gain more bonus points for the same expenditure and hence better rewards.
To sum it up, the trick is quite simple, use your reward credit card as often as possible (well within your repayment ability, of course), always pay off the card balance at the end of each month, and reap the reward benefits.
Finally, before concluding, a word of advice; prior to applying for a reward credit card, do a bit of research to see which companies are offering the best reward credit cards and which among them is the most advantageous for your personal situation. The Internet provides a wealth of information on various card types and offers so be sure to utilize the information available online. A little bit of homework will make all the difference in your reward credit cards selection.
Whenever we decide to travel abroad, we always get the think of taking travel insurance. If you are an occasional traveler you’ll probably buy your insurance from the travel agent. But if you travel more than twice a year, it is much more cost effective to have one insurance lasting all year round, than buying one every time you travel. If you are travelling for a long time then its better to take longstay travel insurance.
Before buying any longstay travel insurance, it is better to go through the whole policy. Health concerns which are rather severe as well as problems brought about by alcohol and drug uses are oftentimes excluded from the full coverage a client is entitled to. War and terrorism clauses can be excluded in most policies to protect both the company and the traveler with the latter being influenced not to plan a trip to such hazardous nations. Travel insurance is an agreement or a contract which can offer a traveler with an adequate amount of assistance that can be beneficial when traveling so it would be smart to compare a list of policies beforehand.
There are different forms of insurance which is hard to classified but considering the durations, travel insurance is further divided in three types:
* Single trip,
* Multi-trip and
* Annual / Long stay
“Long stay” insurance is the most important and attractive part of the travel insurance because for the large number of travelers who planned their vacations for more numbers of days / many months. It not helps you only in travelling plans but also a safeguard for cancellation charges, luggage and personal belongings, financial investments, your health and well being and most important to give you sense of peace. Companies are offering much best coverage to the customers who are buying long stay like international travel insurance, top up insurance etc. The main benefit of this insurance is the customization of coverage. A customer of long stay travel insurance can optimize their coverage as per their need; he should take help with their insurance adviser. Go for most appropriate coverage often their charges may be more than the standard one. The customers must be clear about their need and the ignorance.
As you make travel plans this summer, be sure to pack the plastic. Credit cards are a convenient tool to finance your trip. To make the most of them, it’s best to keep a few factors in mind. Here’s what you need to know before you go.
As you prepare for the trip, take a look at the credit cards you have. If you plan to travel abroad, consider carrying cards that are widely accepted, such as Visa or MasterCard. Taking along two credit cards is wise; this way, if one of the cards is not accepted, you have a backup.
Most credit card companies and issuers charge fees for international purchases. This expense, which covers the fees incurred for currency conversion, is usually 2-3% of the purchase amount. To find out how much you will be charged, call your credit card company and ask before you leave. In most cases, the fees you will have to pay will be less than what you would spend exchanging dollars or cashing in traveler’s checks. This is because when you use a credit card, you usually receive the best exchange rate available.
A common problem for those traveling abroad involves purchases being blocked. This occurs because the international activity sets off a fraud alarm. For your safety, the credit card company does not allow the transaction. To avoid this potential dilemma, inform the company of your travel plans before you leave. They can make a note on your account that allows foreign transactions to go through.
Finally, before you travel, send an email to yourself. Include the toll-free number for customer service at the credit card company. This way, if the card gets lost or stolen, you can access your email and call the company immediately to stop any account activity. Be a Smart Traveler Even after proper planning, you will still want to be careful when traveling with credit cards. Make sure all purchase transactions are done in your presence. Most restaurants and hotels will process the card in a public place in order to avoid fraudulent activity. Pay with cash if you have any doubts.
If the credit card transaction does not go through, call the company right away. Occasionally, a purchase will be blocked for security reasons, even after informing the company of your trip. If you speak with a representative, the hold can be released on the card. This can be done within a few minutes, allowing you to make the purchase.
Should your card get lost or stolen, report it immediately. You will only be responsible for up to $50 in unauthorized purchases. In some cases, you won’t have to pay anything.
If you need to, you can use the credit card for cash advances. But remember that fees for these transactions can add up fast. If you will be unable to pay off the advance quickly, you may want to look into a different plan.
By preparing properly and taking safety precautions, you can travel easily with a credit card. They are more convenient than traveler’s checks. And they offer you more protection than cash, which disappears if it gets stolen. By using a credit card, you can enjoy the many benefits of carrying plastic on your trip.
Today international travel for business or pleasure keeps growing at a fast pace and is unlikely to change in the near future. The most serious problem any international traveler faces when on the move is the possibility of having a medical problem in a foreign country. International travel medical insurance goes a long way in taking care of surprise medical problems. It offers temporary medical or health insurance for US citizens and foreign nationals when traveling anywhere outside of their home country.
Some domestic health insurance plans will cover you for some procedures and expenses away from home but many don’t, especially for major medical expenses. There are many types of international travel medical insurance on the market today including student travel medical insurance, travel accident insurance and even backpackers travel insurance.
It’s important to know that evaluating someone who has met with an accident or become ill in an isolated place can be terribly expensive. Many international insurance companies have a bi-lingual or multi-lingual staff and on-site medical staff available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for their policyholders for consultation and medical emergencies.
One way to lower your insurance costs is to agree to pay a small upfront medical cost for any future treatment needed and make a claim from the insurance company only when the amount exceeds that amount. For example, you could agree to pay the first $200 of any medical expenses and make a claim only when the cost of the treatment goes above it.
If you find a quality insurance company, it’ll take the financial worry of terrific medical expenses out of your travel experience. You can exclude a medical condition that is pre-existing which can lower your insurance costs, but you must be sure that the condition will not worsen on your trip and it could cost you a lot more. Any international traveler, expatriate or business traveler needs to be careful about the medical costs they could incur while traveling out of their home country.
Whatever compromise you choose to make in your plan between risks and costs, shop around not only for cheap international travel medical insurance plans, but also for the insurance company that gives you complete information, has open not hidden view functioning and doesn’t evade any of your questions.
The time frame on your insurance policy needs to be restricted to the actual time you’re out of the country; the shorter the duration will obviously reduce the cost. Some travel insurance plans don’t accept hazardous vocations such as mountain climbing. After you get your insurance, in case any minor emergency medical treatment is needed, have all the expenses listed in itemized bills to make a claim when you get back home.
Getting low cost or cheap international travel medical insurance quotes online from several insurance companies is easy enough to do. The watchword in your travel insurance should be attention to the smallest of details.
Some of the insurance policies don’t cover any pre-existing illnesses, and will ask for a history of any medical problems. All around the world medical costs are skyrocketing, due mostly to the advances in specialized equipment and the cost of advanced medicines and training specialists in a number of medical fields.
Finally international travel medical insurance is a must for all travelers going out of their home country. You want to make sure that evacuation coverage is included in your plan, because that can be a major expense; getting you out of a isolated or difficult location such as a cruise ship, mountain top or safari can be very costly.
Getting low cost or cheap health insurance is certainly a good possibility without giving up any quality care you might need away from home. International travel medical insurance quotes are easy to get online and an important travel necessity for individuals and families when they live or travel outside their home country. Just make sure you know exactly what is covered in your travel insurance policy.
Sites such as Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity claim to offer the best price – sometimes even guaranteed. They may even claim to offer the best rates on a luxury world cruise, a trip that travel wholesalers publicly prefer to be sold by agents. The emergence of online travel sites have put many agencies out of business, and claim to have conquered the consumer base by offering quality product at a lower cost. When you call your local travel agency and ask for a price quote on an air and hotel luxury travel vacation package, most consumers will check against one of the more popular travel websites to see what prices better. True, two thirds of the time, you will find that the Internet will beat the travel agent price by about $150. The travel website will assure you that it is the same package. The resorts and hotels are aware that you are going to be in the most unfavorable rooms, in fact, that is why they sold them to the Internet travel site at a discounted rate in the first place.
Travel service sites proudly proclaim that they are able to further save customers money by selling large volumes of travel and collecting a smaller fee. Orbitz and Travelocity do have a large volume of travel reservations made, but what little they make in commission they make back in changed or canceled reservations. Most travel agencies offer a travel insurance that covers you and your travel companions if you should have to cancel for a medical or personal emergency.
American Express Travel offers a cancel for any reason insurance that even covers your airline tickets. These Internet booking engines are now beginning to offer “insurance,” but it rarely covers cancellations in full. Your local travel agent is there to offer the customer care you need back at home while you’re traveling abroad. When it comes to planning luxury travel vacation, you are truly better off using a travel agent. If you don’t like your room, your travel agent can have it fixed in a matter of moments. Travel agents are not focused on quantity, but quality. So travel safe, not sorry, and call a travel agent to hear more benefits that each agency offers their clients