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How To Find A Hotel Rewards Card That Is Right For You

July 21, 2013 by CreditCardsCo™

MBNA - The Toronto Dominion Bank

If you like to travel, a hotel rewards card is one that is going to save you money. How it saves you money depends on the card that you choose. Knowing how to choose the right card and what to look for can lead to a very informed decision that will save money.

A hotel rewards card can be quite useful when you travel a lot. However, not all of these cards are the same. While one card may offer you a free night, another may give you the opportunity to move your points to other loyalty programs or to upgrade your reservation. Because the cards can be so different, you will have to shop around and compare so you can find the best card for your needs. You will have to think about your preferences when traveling and also understand the limitations of the program, such as when points or redeemed rewards expire and the qualified room rates.

When you find the right card, it is very important that you get the most out of the card so that it is worth the use, the interest rate that you may be paying if you don't pay your balance off at once, and the amount of money that you charge on it to get the rewards. When it is worth it, a comparison of what you save and what you spend should show the savings being more than the spending.

The Infrequent Traveler

Even the infrequent traveler can benefit from a hotel rewards card. The most common benefit on these cards is the one where the points can be redeemed for airline miles or a free night. That free night can save upward of $100, depending on where you are staying. Airline miles can result in a free flight, which is a significant savings.

However, the infrequent traveler may also benefit from a card that allows them to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This is so they can make sure they are able to use the points that they have earned.

The infrequent traveler may also want to consider cards that have multiple reward opportunities, such as shopping rewards. There are many cards offered to Canadians that give them travel rewards, shopping rewards, merchandise protection, and many others. This is so the infrequent traveler doesn't necessarily have to use their points for a hotel stay.

It is also a good idea to look for a card with points that don't expire. If it is February and you do not intend on traveling for the rest of the year, you don't want to lose the points that you have earned. Instead, you want to have them for when you do travel. When points don’t expire, you can use them whenever you need them.

The Frequent Traveler

The frequent traveler is going to save a great deal of money. Again, they can receive one free night or more or they can redeem for airline tickets for free flights. If a frequent traveler is going to spend at least 10 nights a year in a hotel, there are elite benefits that include early check-in, bonus points, free Internet access, late check-out, and various other upgrades. The frequent traveler is going to find that their heavy credit card use pays off. If they are able to pay off their balances as they go, they are essentially getting their benefits for free, regardless of whether or not they have to pay an annual fee.

The frequent traveler will also benefit from cards that have multiple reward opportunities. When traveling, you can benefit from restaurant and shopping gift cards. You can also benefit from merchandise protection, such as extended warranties. This is a way in which the frequent traveler can save on every aspect of their trip, especially when they have saved a lot of points. If saving a lot of points is a goal, then you may wish to have a card that has no expiration on points.

Where To Stay

One determining factor of whether or not to sign up for a rewards card is whether or not the card will let you stay where you want to stay. If a card is not going to allow you to stay where you want to stay in the areas that you visit the most, you may not want to sign up for that card. That is something that the credit card companies know. This is why they will reward you for staying at the hotels of your choice.

However, there are times when staying at a large chain hotel can be more rewarding than the frequent stay. This is because the credit card company may have a partnership with a certain hotel chain, giving you even more rewards for staying there. Perhaps you will receive more points or you will receive more perks. These perks are incentives for staying at the hotels the credit card company has agreements with. In turn, you receive even more exclusive treatment.

Financial Impact

When determining whether or not to join a hotel rewards company, you may be wondering if it is worth the cost. The fact is that there is really no true financial impact from joining a hotel rewards program. The card may have an annual fee, but the annual fee may not be more than a free night's stay at a hotel.

What you don't want to do is overpay to stay at a specific hotel just because it is affiliated with the rewards credit card. This is a way in which the rewards can be outweighed by cost. If it is cheaper for you to stay at your preferred hotel rather than what is preferred by the rewards program, then you should do so.

Conclusion

Overall, a hotel rewards card is one that can save you a lot of money. The card you choose and the frequency of your travel is what is going to determine how much. By choosing the right card and using the right strategies, you can make sure your savings outweigh what you spend.

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