Smart Money: ‘Is a Travel Credit Card Right for Me?’

Sean PylesJul 12, 2017

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

This episode, Dayana and Sean dive into the world of travel rewards credit cards — whether or not you should get one, how to use them and the caveats along the way. NerdWallet credit card reporter Greg Karp goes along on the journey.

Figure out if you're a good candidate. You may be if you pay off your balance every month, travel multiple times a year and have good to excellent credit.

Even if you are a good candidate, you might be able to get a better value from a cash-back card. In a , we found that to be the case for many consumers.

Don't get fooled by a big sign-up bonus. Use it, but know that once you blow through that, it'll take a while to earn enough points for another flight.

And, speaking of points — be aware that the value of points can vary widely from one rewards program to the next. When redeeming points, try to get 1 cent or more for them. (.)

Work that "earn and burn." Use your card at places that give you the most value for your dollar — like getting double points at restaurants. Then burn those points where you get the most value — such as flights and hotels. Some cards require you to use points so they don't expire, so check your terms and conditions.

Send us your questions! Email us at . You can also text or leave us a voice message at 901-730-6373 (that's 901-730-NERD). 

On a similar note...
Dive even deeper in Personal Finance