The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the disruption of many industries, of which the travel industry has been hit the most. As the government imposes restrictions on mass gatherings, the travel part becomes nearly impossible. Those having premium travel credit cards and that too with an annual fee should understand how they can make the most of the card benefits during the lockdown, especially when there is no scope of future travelling. Here we will talk about how you can manage to make the most of your premium travel card during and after the crisis.
Earning Reward Points During Coronavirus Crisis: Do’s and Don’ts
All you need to do is just focus on earning flexible travel rewards, air miles, hotel points, cashback and other rewards and wait to redeem the same when everything turns normal. However, there are some do’s and don’ts that you can follow to make the most of your spendings during the coronavirus crisis.
|Go for a credit card that provides great welcome bonuses. Make sure to meet the minimum spending requirement as per your card’s policy to reap the maximum benefits||Don’t go for too many bonuses offers at once. The bonuses might seem lucrative, but you should reach the minimum spending value with required spending only|
|Take advantage of your credit card’s category bonuses. If your credit card offer bonus points in specific categories, this is the time to make sure you’re maximizing those offers||Do not buy stuff that you don’t need especially in this time of crisis. Your travel credit card actually rewards you on spending more but you plan your budget accordingly|
|While coronavirus has put a full stop on making travel bookings, it is true that there will be huge discounts on travel once the crisis ends and you can take full advantage of upcoming low prices on airfare, hotels etc.||Do not pick up too many cards or create a rewards strategy you can’t keep up with. Avoid late or no payments as you could cause considerable damage to your credit score|
|Even if you decide to book tickets for sometime later, you should only go for airlines with no change fees||Do not plan any travel for a few months after the end of the crisis. It is advisable to wait for some time to ensure your safety at first|
|You should check if the promotional offers on your card could offset the annual fee||Do not book hotels or rental cars with no cancellation policy or refund|
Strategies to make the most of your Premium Travel Credit Card
The question arises as to how are you supposed to make the best use of your premium travel credit card when you are stuck at home and not going anywhere? While you are spending less than the usual, there are still many ways to make the most of your premium travel credit card even without travelling anywhere.
1. Maximize your Spendings and Bills
You can use your rewards credit card for paying your regular bills and for buying essentials. In this way, you can earn rewards using your credit card for necessities.
2. Use your card for Online Shopping
Use your rewards credit card whenever you shop online to earn extra reward points. As your premium travel card is unlikely to be used during the crisis, it is better you use it for earning reward points online.
3. Opt for Shopping Portals
Remember to use airlines and rewards shopping portals whenever you make a purchase. Such portals will reward you extra points when you click through before you shop or book anything online.
4. Earn more rewards on Dining
You can also sign up for dining programs that can help you earn more reward points whenever you pick-up food for takeout.
What to do if your Trip is Cancelled Due to COVID-19?
If your upcoming plans were cancelled or changed due to COVID-19 or you are thinking about rescheduling your upcoming travel plan, here is what you can do about it-
Check if your card provides Cancellation Protection
However some credit card issuers have cut back on their travel protection perks in recent years, there are still many cards available in the market that offer benefits if your trip is cancelled or cut short by sickness, or other covered situations. You need to check whether your card provides any such benefit and if so you can easily avail cancellation protection.
Check with your Travel Provider
The first and foremost thing you should do is to see if there are any refund policies or change and cancellation waivers being offered by your travel provider. Majority of the providers offer fee waivers and full refunds for cancellations.
Should you Cancel Your Credit Card during COVID-19 Crisis?
Keeping in consideration the current travel restrictions, it might feel difficult to justify paying the annual fee for your Premium Travel Credit Card. Not only are you unable to take advantages like airport lounge access, travel discounts etc. — but you also are uncertain about the future travel plan.
The decision to keep or cancel your card is a personal choice. However, if you can comfortably pay the annual fee, it is worth it to keep a travel credit card open and continue earning bonus reward points. If you have many credit cards with annual fees at your disposal, now could be the time to see where you can downscale.
In case you decide to cut back on annual fees, consider downgrading your credit card to a zero annual fee credit card instead of cancelling it, so you can maintain your credit score and history. If you cancel a credit card, your total credit limit will decrease, which will, in turn, will increase your credit utilization ratio, which in turn will impact your overall credit history.