Believe it or not, summer has unofficially started. And if you're planning a summer vacation, it's time to commit. This is especially true if you're hoping to take a vacation around July Fourth, which falls on a Thursday this year. According to Skyscanner, Fourth of July weekends are one of the busiest times to travel.
Here are some tips to get you started.
Book with the card that will earn you the most points
If you aren't partial to any particular hotel or airline, you might want to try the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. It has an annual fee of $95, and the sign-up bonus is as follows: Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Don't overpay for a rental car
If you need to rent a car during your Fourth of July excursion, avoid overpaying by doing some research now. Search for coupon codes and check to see if any of your existing membership services — like Costco, AARP or AAA — partner with car rental companies for discounts.
Get a boost
If you don't already own a travel rewards credit card, try one that gives you a heap of points simply for signing up and hitting the minimum spend, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Here's the card's sign-up bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Be sure to have some large-but-in-budget purchases lined up before you apply for the card.
Go where the deals are
Have no idea where to go? That can work in your favor. If you have no specific location in mind, you're free to simply go where the best deals are. Use Google to maximize your travel booking, or a new site called Escape, or check out NerdWallet’s travel deals of the week to keep your summer travels affordable.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: 5 new ways to maximize your travel booking on Google NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards This new website will help you find a cheap flight