How Travel Credit Cards Can Help Cover Your 2022 Road Trip

New benefits offered amid the pandemic, along with existing rewards for hotels, can help save money on road trips.
Sam KemmisSep 24, 2021

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With international air travel still largely restricted (or at least onerous, given the COVID-19 tests you’ll likely need to take), you might want to skip hopping on an airplane and hit the highways instead this year.

While air travel regularly hits pandemic highs, many still aren’t keen on traveling. A March 2021 survey from RV rental marketplace RVshare found that 54% of respondents said they are unlikely to fly to their destination this summer. Cruises aren’t exactly any more appealing for many, and unless you’re a billionaire, you’re probably not heading to space this summer either.

That leaves a road trip as one of your best options for travel.

Yet despite their budget-friendly reputation, road trips can get costly in a hurry. The price of hotels and takeout food alone can quickly add up, especially for families. Yet the alternative — playing one more game of Uno at home — simply may not do.

Unless you’re planning to camp, you’ll need to find a place to sleep. Thankfully, many travel credit cards' points can be transferred to hotel rewards programs and used to book rooms.

The best transfer partner depends on your situation, specific card and lodging preferences. It also depends on the value you can expect to receive from your points, as not all hotel rewards points are created equal. Here’s how :

Given the options, here are some of our favorite transfer opportunities:

Gas prices increased a lot this year. While that’s a bummer for your budget, look on the bright side: more opportunities to earn spending rewards. The most lucrative gas credit cards offer the equivalent of 3% or more in rewards. You may opt to earn rewards as cash back, or other cards allow you to earn rewards in currencies, like hotel points.

For example, the earns 6 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations, with an annual fee of . Terms apply (see ).

If you have a go-to card for gas station purchases, now is a good time to double-check that it actually offers the best return on spending.

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Travel credit cards have rushed to offer perks that will keep customers around through the pandemic and on, so check out any news on your particular cards before hitting the road.

New card benefits are popping up often, so it’s worth doing a little research to ensure you’re getting the most from your card.

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