Inflation Impacting Summer Travel Plans, Credit Card Habits


A new study found that 58 percent of Americans report that inflation is impacting their summer vacation travel plans.

Personal finance website WalletHub revealed a survey examining the summer travel habits, worries and expectations of travelers in the United States, as well as the best credit cards for travel this summer.

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Study respondents found that using a credit card during vacation was important, with around 32 percent of people “likely” or “very likely” to apply for a new card before a road trip this year.

“Roughly 58 percent of Americans say inflation is affecting their travel plans, according to a new WalletHub survey,” WalletHub analyst Delaney Simchuk said. “Inflation has increased to levels not seen in decades, and when prices on everyday items rise, there’s less money left over for luxuries like travel.”

“Even travel itself has gotten unusually expensive,” Simchuk continued. “For example, airfare was 33 percent pricier in April 2022 than one year prior, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and costs are expected to keep rising.”

While 32 percent of Americans said travel usually gets them into debt, data found that 41 percent more people would skip a credit card payment instead of a vacation in 2022 compared to last year.

Another 38 percent of travelers said they plan to use credit card rewards to pay for a vacation, with rental car insurance being the most used benefit at 27 percent. The insurance is nearly twice as popular as extended warranties (14 percent), the least used benefit.





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3 Bargain Vacation Tips from Benchmark Federal Credit Union


Image via Benchmark Federal Credit Union.

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It’s a tough time to travel, with COVID restrictions abroad and vacation rentals fully booked here at home. So, let’s make it easier, shall we? Benchmark Federal Credit Union’s bargain vacation tips can help you put some thought into an affordable vacation that you’re sure to enjoy.

1. Savvy destinations based on budget

When traveling on a budget, destination matters. Flying to Bora Bora can cost an arm and a leg, while a family camping trip to the Grand Canyon can be a great bargain. Concentrate on lesser-known destinations and affordable cities. For example, Washington, DC is a tourist-friendly city where you will find year-round free entrance to many museums, government buildings, memorials and historical monuments. This includes the Smithsonian. While lodging may still be expensive, avoiding peak days and times can help you find an affordable hotel. Tap to discover a list of free things to do in Washington, D.C.

2. Off-season deals & cruise bargains

It may be peak season down the shore, but it’s off-season elsewhere. Traveling off-season will get you deep discounts on airfare, hotels, and even cruises. Examples might include visiting Northern California in February, Tucson in July, or New Hampshire in September. Repositioning cruises are another option. These one-way sailings move a cruise ship from one region to another, happen off-season, and are often less crowded. You can also enjoy all of the typical amenities of a cruise at a much lower cost per night. Visit CruiseCritic for cruise deals, reviews, information on repositioning cruises, and other cruise tips.

3. C’mon, try a new travel website

Most of us have searched Travelocity to compare airfare, but there are many more websites that may not be as familiar. Here are a few of our favorites for finding a great deal.

Scott’s Cheap Flights – Scott’s Cheap Flights has a team of flight experts continuously monitoring fares. When deals pop up, they let you know. If you have a specific destination in mind, you can search the city and they’ll show you all of the current deals.

Airfarewatchdog – Set up alerts from your home airport or favorite routes on Airfarewatchdog. They search, find, and share great deals and airline sales.

Travelzoo – From Top 20 deals that can be great bargains, to trending and last-minute deals as well as road trips, you’ll find it all on Travelzoo. Sign up for exclusive deals and rates.

Kayak – Kayak is a travel deal aggregator. When you’re searching, it checks hundreds of travel websites to help you find the best deal. Find flights, rental cars, vacation packages, and more. You can even set a price alert.

Momondo – Like Kayak, Momondo is an aggregator that searches for the best airfare across the web. They provide an overview of available travel options with prices, and you choose the offer you prefer.

Skyscanner – Find daily deals on Skyscanner and set price alerts for flights. If you’re flexible with your travel dates, you can find big savings. You can view the cheapest day to travel within a month or even the cheapest month for a trip.

The financial tools you need for a great vacation

A low-interest rate VISA Platinum Credit Card from Benchmark Federal Credit Union is a must-have when traveling. If you’re struggling with a tight budget and need a little help making your vacation a reality, a Benchmark FCU Personal Loan may be the answer. Competitive rates and flexible terms can help with a payment that fits your budget.

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Rebecca Worthington is the Vice President of Community Relations at Benchmark Federal Credit Union. The only federal credit union to exclusively serve Chester County, Benchmark FCU has been serving the community for more than 80 years and is known for providing extraordinary service. To learn more about the products and services available at Benchmark FCU, visit our website at BenchmarkFCU.org. Anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Chester County is eligible to join Benchmark Federal Credit Union.





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Five Credit Card Tips Every College Graduate Should Know


Congratulations, graduate! You’re about to launch yourself into the real world, navigating new experiences like jobs and apartments—and, in many cases, applying for your first credit card.

Why should you consider getting a credit card? Establishing a positive credit history is an essential part of post-college life—especially because your credit score could determine how much interest you pay on your car loan or whether or not you get approved for your next apartment.

We’ve put together a list of five credit card tips every college graduate should know, from how to build good credit to how to maximize your credit card rewards. Read our list before you fill out your next credit card application—and read it again once you get approved for your new credit card.

1. If you don’t know your credit score, check it (for free)

The first thing you’re going to want to know as a new college graduate is how to check your credit score. Many credit card issuers offer free credit scores to cardholders, making it easy to know where you’re starting from and track your progress over time. Log into your credit card account to check whether your issuer provides your credit score.

If you don’t have a credit card yet, there are other ways to check your credit score for free. CreditWise from Capital One, for example, is a free app that monitors your credit history, provides updated credit scores and offers tips to help you improve your score—and you don’t have to be a Capital One cardholder to download and use CreditWise. American Express offers a similar service called MyCredit Guide.

2. Prequalify before you apply

Many new graduates don’t realize that every credit card application they complete has the potential to temporarily lower their credit score. This is because credit issuers track how often you apply for credit—and if there are too many new credit inquiries on your credit report, your credit score will suffer.

This is tough on younger people because they often fall within the “fair” credit score range, making it hard to know whether they’ll be approved for a credit card. That’s where prequalification comes in handy. Here’s how it works: The credit issuer performs a soft credit check, which doesn’t impact your credit score but gives the issuer the information it needs to determine whether you are likely eligible for a particular card.

Credit card issuers sometimes send prequalified offers in the mail or through email. Another way to get prequalified is to use Bankrate’s CardMatch™ tool, which will tell you what cards you’re most likely to be approved for from a variety of issuers.

Once you’re ready to apply for your new credit card, the credit issuer will perform a hard credit check. This credit inquiry is reported to the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and will be included in your next credit score assessment. But don’t worry—If you keep your new credit inquiries to a minimum, the impact on your score will be minimal.

3. Pay your bills on time and keep your balances low

Five factors impact your credit score: payment history, amounts owed, credit mix, account age and recent inquiries. Your payment history and credit utilization ratio are the two most important factors in your FICO credit score—which means that if you miss a credit card payment or max out a credit card, you could do significant damage to your credit.

So when you’re trying to build credit quickly, the two most impactful things you can do are pay your bills on time and keep your card balances as low as possible.

Some people mistakenly believe that leaving a small balance on their credit cards will improve their credit score. This myth is not only incorrect, but it will also cause you to throw away money on interest. For good credit, pay your bills in full as often as you can, and make every payment on time.

4. Upgrade your student credit card

Many college students don’t realize they can upgrade a student credit card after graduation. Instead of canceling your student credit card and applying for a new line of credit, you can call your issuer and ask to upgrade your existing credit card.

There are a few reasons this is better than canceling and applying for a new card. For one, you get to keep your credit account active—which adds to the length of your credit history and has the potential to boost your credit score. Plus, you get to maintain your relationship with your credit issuer. If you used your student credit card responsibly during your college years, your issuer may offer you an upgraded card with a higher credit limit, a lower interest rate and better rewards.

5. If you’re not earning credit card rewards, it’s time to start

It’s never too early to learn about credit card rewards. The more you understand about earning and redeeming rewards, the more you’ll be able to get out of your credit cards—and the best rewards credit cards have a lot to offer.

There are two major types of credit card rewards. Cash back credit cards offer a percentage of cash back on every purchase (think of it as a tiny discount), and travel credit cards offer points and miles that can often be redeemed for travel bookings or statement credits toward previous travel purchases.

Many cards offer heightened rewards in specific spending categories, like groceries or online shopping. These types of cards can be lucrative if you make the most of them.

If you’re planning on furnishing a first apartment, for example, a credit card like the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card could save you a lot of money. It offers 5 percent cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2 percent cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; 1 percent cash back on all other purchases and a sign-up bonus worth as much as $150.

You may also want to consider the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card—or, if you’re still working on building your credit, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. These flat-rate rewards cards offer 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase and are great introductions to the world of cash back credit cards.

Here’s one last tip—if you want to get the most out of your credit card rewards, be sure to always pay your credit card bill in full. Carrying a balance comes with interest charges, which could cost you more than you’re earning in credit card rewards. Don’t make a purchase you can’t afford to pay off just because it earns 5 percent cash back!

The bottom line

Knowing how to use credit cards responsibly can save you money, put you on the path toward good credit and set you up for a strong financial future. Once you understand how to track your credit score, build a positive credit history and maximize your credit card rewards, you’ll be better prepared for your post-college life—no matter what happens next.



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These Are the Best Airline Credit Cards for Travelers




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Big perks for big spenders: World of Hyatt Business Credit Card review






Big perks for big spenders: World of Hyatt Business Credit Card review – The Points Guy



















Advertiser Disclosure



Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



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Tips to use those credit card points for travel rewards


AT 11:00. FELICIA: MANY CREDIT CARD USERS RACKED UP A LOT OF TRAVEL POINTS DURING THIS PANDEMIC. TODD: BUYING A LOT OF STUFF AND NOW THAT COVID RESTRICTIONS ARE EASING, MORNING ANCHOR MARK KELLY REPORTS THAT WOULD-BE TRAVELERS ARE ITCHING TO USE THOSE POINTS THAT HAVE PILED UP FOR TWO YEARS. >> I’M FREE AGAIN. I CAN TRAVEL. REPORTER: ONCE COVID RESTRICTIONS LOOSENED LUBA GLICKSON COULD NOT WAIT TO TRAVEL. >> IT HAD ALWAYS BEEN ON MY BUCKET LIST TO GO TO THE BIMOLTRE TO SEE THE ESTATE. REPORTER: GLICKSON AND HER HUSBAND DECIDED TO FLY TO NOHRT CAROLINA INSTEAD OF A DRIVE AND THEY UPGRADED THEIR SEATS TOO. AFTER ALL THEY HAD ACCUMULATED ABOUT 150,000 POINTS DURING TWO PANDEMIC YEARS. >> IT’S A LOT. IT’S A T.LO ONLINE SHOPPING, AMAZON. GETTING SOME FURNISHINGS FOR THE HOUSE. >> WE ACCUMULATED QUITE A BIT OF POINTS. >> DOES IT SHOCK YOU? >> NO. >> YOU SAW THIS COMING. >> Y.EP P.YE YEAH. ESPECIALLY WITH THE PANDEMIC. PEOPLE ARE BUYING HOUSES, SPENDING ASTRONOMICAL AMOUNTONS DECORATING, THEY PUT EVERYTHING ON THEIR CREDIT CARDS. WE’RE NOT SURPRISED AT ALL. AND THEY WANT TO BURN THOSE POINTS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVBEENE STUCK AT HOME. >> ANNIE DAVIS IS PRESIDENT OF PALM BEACH TRAVEL. SHE’S BEEN ADVISING HER CLIENTS TO BURN THEIR POINTS. 50,000 POINTS COULD SAVE YOU ABOUT $500 OFF AN AIRLINE TICK.ET BUT SHE SAYS YOU MUST ACT FAST. P>> PRICES ARE RISING, JET FUEL IS RISING, THE PRICE OF LAR ISBO RISING, THE COST OF FO ISOD RISING, INFLATION IS RISING. AND THESARE E TRICKLING ON. MY ADVICE TO YOU AND YOUR VIEWERS IS TO BOOK YOUR TRAVEL NOW. >> IT’S BECOMING A LTLITE TBI HARDER TO BE ABLE TO REDEEM BASICALLY FOR EXPTCEIONAL VALUE. >> LEE HUFFMAN IS A CREDIT CARD EXPERT AND HOST OF THE WE TRAVEL THERE PODCAST. HE EXPLAINS THAT THE LONGER YOU SIT ON YOUR PILE OF POINTS THE LESS VALUE THEY WILL HAVE. >> AIRLINES AND HOTELS HAVE TO ACTUALLY KEEP THOSE POINTS ON THEIR BALANCE SHEET AS FAR AS A LIABILITY FOR THEM. AND WHENEVER THOSE NUMBERS GET TOO BIG, THEY DEVALUE THEMO T BASICALLY ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO REDEEM THEM AND GET THAT LIABILITY OFF THEIR BALANCE SHT.EE >> AND EVEN THOUGH TRAVEL IS STARTING TO PICK BACK UP, TRAVEL AGENTS SAY IIST STILL A GOOD IDEA TO BUY THAT TRAVEL INSURANCE. >> DON’T SKIP T THERAVEL INSURANCE. THE WORLD IS SO VOLATILE. REPORTER: GLICKSON SAYS ESH WON’T SKIP HER TRAVEL INSURANCE. SHE’S STILL GOT ABOUT 100,000 POINTS TO RNBU. AND ALREADY HAS HER SIGHTS SET ON THE WEST AST.CO >> WE USE THAT ON THE TICKETS TO LOS ANGELES IN SEPTEMB.ER >> MARK KELLY, WPBF 25 NEWS FELICIA: THE CREDIT CARD EXPERT SAYS IT IS BEST TO HAVE AN EARN AND BURN MINDSET. FIRST, DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. THEN FIGURE OUT WHICH AIRLINE FLIES THERE EARN THOSE MILES REDEEM AND THAT WILL ENSURE

Expert tips: Using those credit card points for travel rewards

Many credit card users racked up a lot of travel points during this pandemic. And now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing, travelers tell us that they are itching to burn up those points.”I’m free again. I can travel,” said Luba Glickson, who can not wait to travel now that restrictions are lifting. “It had always been on my bucket list to go to the Biltmore to see the estate.”Take A Look: Impromptu wedding takes flight on Southwest plane after ordained minister offers services on the spotInstead of driving, Glickson and her husband decided to fly to North Carolina, and they upgraded their airline seats, too. After all, they had accumulated about 150,000 points during two pandemic years.”It’s a lot. It’s a lot!” Glickson said. “Online shopping, Amazon, getting some furnishings for the house — We accumulated quite a bit of points.”Annie Davis, president of Palm Beach Travel, said she’s not shocked by the large amount of travel points her clients have accumulated these past two years. “People are buying houses, spending astronomical amounts on decorating. They put everything on their credit cards. We’re not surprised at all. And they want to burn those points as quickly as possible, because people have been stuck at home,” Davis said. Davis has been advising her clients to burn their points. Fifty thousand points could save you about $500 off an airline ticket, but she says you must act fast.”Prices are rising, jet fuel is rising, the price of labor is rising, the cost of food is rising, inflation is rising — and this is continuing on. So my advice to you, and your viewers, is to book your travel now,” said Davis.Good To Know: Your rights if an airline cancels your flight”It’s becoming a little bit harder to be able to redeem basically for exceptional value,” said Lee Huffman, a credit card expert and the host of the “We Travel There” podcast.Huffman explains that the longer you sit on your pile of points, the less value they will have.”Airlines and hotels have to actually keep those points on their balance sheet as far as a liability for them,” said Huffman. “And whenever those numbers get too big, they devalue them to basically encourage people to redeem them, and get that liability off their balance sheet.”And even though travel is starting to pick back up, travel agents say it is still a good idea to buy that travel insurance.”Don’t skip the travel insurance. The world is so volatile,” said Davis.Rossen Reports: 3 tips to rebook your canceled flight fasterGlickson said she won’t skip her travel insurance. She’s still got about 100,000 points to burn, and already has her sights set on the west coast.”We use that on the tickets to Los Angeles in September,” said Glickson.Huffman said it’s best to have an “earn and burn” mindset. First, decide where you want to go. Then, figure out which airline flies there, earn those miles, redeem them, and that will ensure you get a good deal.

Many credit card users racked up a lot of travel points during this pandemic. And now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing, travelers tell us that they are itching to burn up those points.

“I’m free again. I can travel,” said Luba Glickson, who can not wait to travel now that restrictions are lifting. “It had always been on my bucket list to go to the Biltmore to see the estate.”

Take A Look: Impromptu wedding takes flight on Southwest plane after ordained minister offers services on the spot

Instead of driving, Glickson and her husband decided to fly to North Carolina, and they upgraded their airline seats, too. After all, they had accumulated about 150,000 points during two pandemic years.

“It’s a lot. It’s a lot!” Glickson said. “Online shopping, Amazon, getting some furnishings for the house — We accumulated quite a bit of points.”

Annie Davis, president of Palm Beach Travel, said she’s not shocked by the large amount of travel points her clients have accumulated these past two years.

“People are buying houses, spending astronomical amounts on decorating. They put everything on their credit cards. We’re not surprised at all. And they want to burn those points as quickly as possible, because people have been stuck at home,” Davis said.

Davis has been advising her clients to burn their points. Fifty thousand points could save you about $500 off an airline ticket, but she says you must act fast.

“Prices are rising, jet fuel is rising, the price of labor is rising, the cost of food is rising, inflation is rising — and this is continuing on. So my advice to you, and your viewers, is to book your travel now,” said Davis.

Good To Know: Your rights if an airline cancels your flight

“It’s becoming a little bit harder to be able to redeem basically for exceptional value,” said Lee Huffman, a credit card expert and the host of the “We Travel There” podcast.

Huffman explains that the longer you sit on your pile of points, the less value they will have.

“Airlines and hotels have to actually keep those points on their balance sheet as far as a liability for them,” said Huffman. “And whenever those numbers get too big, they devalue them to basically encourage people to redeem them, and get that liability off their balance sheet.”

And even though travel is starting to pick back up, travel agents say it is still a good idea to buy that travel insurance.

“Don’t skip the travel insurance. The world is so volatile,” said Davis.

Rossen Reports: 3 tips to rebook your canceled flight faster

Glickson said she won’t skip her travel insurance. She’s still got about 100,000 points to burn, and already has her sights set on the west coast.

“We use that on the tickets to Los Angeles in September,” said Glickson.

Huffman said it’s best to have an “earn and burn” mindset. First, decide where you want to go. Then, figure out which airline flies there, earn those miles, redeem them, and that will ensure you get a good deal.



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Picking a strategy for your small business credit cards — The Points Guy






Picking a strategy for your small business credit cards — The Points Guy



















Advertiser Disclosure



Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



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Five Tips for Using your Credit Card While Traveling


When deciding what form of payment you should use to not only book your trip but also while traveling, credit cards may be the ideal choice to consider. You can use your credit card to maximize its travel benefits and rewards while making purchases.

Why use a credit card to book your trip

Before taking your trip, you may want to use a credit card to book your travels. Here’s why:

Potential to earn rewards

Many credit cards on the market offer you rewards when you use your card to make purchases, often in the form of points or cash back. Travel credit cards may offer bonus rewards when you spend on travel related categories, which can be redeemed for things like flights, hotels stays and rental cars.

Your card may offer travel protection benefits

Depending on your credit card type, some cards come with travel protection benefits that can make booking your trip with a credit card a no-brainer. Some examples of travel protection benefits include Lost Luggage Reimbursement, Travel Accident Insurance and Travel and Emergency Assistance Services.

What to do before using your credit card on your trip

There are some things to check off the to-do list before going on your trip. For example, planning and sticking to your budget can help keep your spending on track. It’s easy to go overboard when it comes to spending, so setting a budget is one way to avoid doing so.

Your credit card issuer should also be notified regarding your travel, so you don’t run into any issues when you try to use the card on your trip. They may ask you to provide information like when you’re leaving, where you’re going and when you plan on arriving home. Travel notifications aren’t required by all credit card issuers, including Chase, so check with yours to see if it’s necessary.

When notifying your credit card issuer, also make sure that your credit card type is accepted at your destination. Not all credit cards are accepted outside of the country, so you’ll want to find out that information ahead of time.

Tips for using your credit card while traveling

There are a few tips to keep in mind when using your credit card while traveling, as well as some advantages to using them for and during your travels:

  • Tip one: Look up your credit card’s travel perks. If you have multiple credit cards and aren’t sure which to bring on your trip, look up your card’s perks. The more travel-related perks you use, the more rewards you’ll earn for your spending. For example, if you’re dining at a lot of restaurants, it may be valuable to bring the card that earns points for dining.
  • Tip two: Book your trip through your issuer’s rewards portal (if applicable). By using your issuer’s rewards portal, you’ll often see options to book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars and more. You’re typically able to book your travel using your rewards points, credit card or a combination of the two.
  • Tip three: Note your billing due date. Be aware of your billing due date and avoid falling behind on any payments. Traveling may take your mind elsewhere, but don’t forget to pay your credit card bill. Missed payments may result in late fees. Consider setting up automatic or recurring payments so you don’t miss the due date while on your trip.
  • Tip four: Travel with more than one card. Having backup payment methods is important when traveling. If your card is declined while making a transaction, you’ll want to have a spare. Consider bringing cards that also offer extra rewards for travel spending categories.
  • Tip five: Keep an eye out for secure ways of making your purchases abroad. There are a few ways to make purchases with your credit card, including tap to pay, inserting the chip and swiping. Contactless payments are a way to make payments without the need for physical touch.

Keep these tips in mind when traveling with a credit card to optimize your card’s rewards and help keep your purchases secure.



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Lufthansa Group agrees inaugural Revolving Credit Facility of 2.0 billion euros – Breaking Travel News



Lufthansa Group agrees inaugural Revolving Credit Facility of 2.0 billion euros  Breaking Travel News



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