Credit Cards bring in a great amount of convenience and ease in making payments, and when used carefully, they can act as a resource to help manage certain periods of cash crunch as well. Credit cards cater to various needs of the individuals, like a card specially catered for online shopping or lifestyle credit cards that reward you for spending in that particular category, etc.

On the same lines are Travel Credit Cards, which come with benefits for travel-related spends like booking air tickets or train tickets, hotels, holidays, car rentals, etc.

Features of Travel Credit Cards

Welcome Benefits: These are made available to a cardholder as a benefit for subscribing to the particular card. They come in various forms like bonus reward points, travel vouchers, etc.

Reward Points: This is one of the major draws of a travel credit card. Reward points are awarded to the credit card holder whenever there is spending on travel-related categories. The reward points are at an accelerated rate when spent on certain sites or with certain partners.

Redemption of Reward Points: Travel credit cards allow conversion or redemption of reward points into air miles or travel points which can be redeemed for certain tickets or bookings. However, some redemptions prove more beneficial only when done with partner network.

Lounge and Concierge Benefits: Another benefit of travel credit cards is they come with Airport Lounge Accesses at many airports across the world. Certain cards also come with concierge services for assisting with your bookings, etc.

Cashback Offers: Travel credit cards also come with cash back offers on certain spends with partner stores or sites.

Accident and Other Insurance Covers: Many credit cards also offer travel insurance and insurance on the loss of your credit card. Also, certain premium cards also offer life/accident insurance.

Additional Reading: What Are The Travel Perks Available On A Credit Card?

Individuals go in for travel credit cards to be able to reap benefits out of usage of the card. However, we have seen that lot of people are very enthusiastic while applying for a travel card, but do not use it in the right way and end up losing out on their benefits.

What are the major mistakes that people make with travel rewards credit cards? Want to know more? Read on to find out.

Not Claiming The Welcome Benefits

The card issuers attach welcome benefits to the card. However, many times, they are attached to a certain spending. In other words, this means that when you get the card, it calls for certain amount of spending within a certain period of time, say 1 month or 3 months. So, if you do not spend the stipulated amount then you end up losing your benefits.

Hence, it is good that when you apply for a travel credit card, take note of how you can be eligible for welcome benefits and make sure you fulfill those conditions.

Not Earning Reward Points in the Right Way

Reward points are the main benefits of a travel credit card. These points are awarded based on spending at various partner sites and outlets. As we mentioned earlier, spending at certain designated partners helps you earn points faster.

For Ex: On a Standard Chartered Yatra Platinum Credit Card that comes with good travel related benefits, you get 10% cash back on travel bookings made through and can also earn 4x rewards whenever you spend at, and 2x on all other purchases other than on fuel.

However, instead of using the card to the maximum on the partner site, if you end up using on other sites, then you end up losing the benefits and do not earn reward points.

So, while going in for travel credit cards, it is very important to do your research beforehand if you would really put the card to use with the partnership deals offered by the card. Taking our example above, if you are more of a MakeMyTrip user, then you won’t get much reward points from the Standard Chartered Yatra Platinum Credit Card.

Not Putting Your Reward Points To The Best Use

Travel credit cards work excellently for those who can put the rewards to best use.  The reward points can be used to buy air or train tickets as the reward points can be converted into air miles on certain airways.

Certain cards that come with co-branding like Air India SBI Signature Card gives you 30 points for every Rs 100 spent on buying Air India tickets through Air India website. In addition, renewal of the card every year earns you 5000 points. However, if you are not a frequent flyer on Air India, this card may not prove useful for you.

On the other hand, for those who are not particular about the airline, but look at value deals, a card like Citi India - PremierMiles Card may be more beneficial as it offers a wide range of choice for airline bookings.  By using PremierMiles Card, you can earn 10 Miles on every Rs.100 spent on flight tickets and hotel stays on bookings made at & select partners; and redeem miles for flight tickets across 100+ airlines at & select partners.

Not putting your reward points to the best use is also one of the major mistakes people often commit while using a travel credit card.

Additional Reading: Importance of Having a Travel Credit Card

Not Making Use Of Lounge And Other Benefits

Frequent flyers end up spending a lot of time transiting in and out of airports across the world. To be able to relax before catching the next flight definitely comes across as a boon to the travel wary. Many travel cards come with complimentary lounge access for a certain number of uses, but at the same time, there are cards which offer unlimited access. 

However, many individuals totally forget about this benefit and end up paying for lounge access which can prove very expensive. It is good to go through the benefits and the conditions attached to them when you receive the card so that you can make the best of them.

A good idea is to save the benefits chart on a file on your cloud storage like Google Drive or DropBox so that you can have access to it any time.

Missing Out On Insurance Benefits

Many cards cover you for loss of card and damages incurred due to the loss till your certain limit. In addition, travel credit cards also come with insurance cover for accident and death cases.

These are some of the examples of various insurance covers

  • Emirates Standard Chartered Credit Card comes with Complimentary air accident insurance up to Rs. 1 crore 
  • HDFC Regalia Card offers insurance cover on air accident of Rs. 1 crore and in case of any medical emergency during travel outside India, the card offers a medical cover up to Rs. 15 lakhs

It is very important that you are well aware of the various benefits available through the card and the conditions attached to it. They are generally conditions like minimum amount of spend, usage criteria, etc.

Many of the users of travel credit cards completely ignore this benefit offered by the cards.

Travel Credit Cards come at a joining fee and also a renewal fee, so it is very essential that you make use of all the benefits offered by that card.  Also, you should do a good research of all the benefits offered by various cards before signing up for a particular travel credit card.

Check out our offering of Travel Credit Cards catered for every traveler profile.