Maximize Your Summer Adventures with Credit Card Benefits

Maximize Your Summer Adventures with Credit Card Benefits

As the days get longer and warmer, many Americans are gearing up for summer travel. According to NerdWallet’s 2024 summer travel report, almost half of Americans are planning a summer trip that will cost an average of $3,594. While 83% of travelers plan to use a credit card to cover part of their vacation expenses, 20% won’t pay off the balance in full, leading to high-interest debt that can linger for months.

The summer wedding season also contributes to travel debt, with 31% of wedding guests taking on debt for travel and accommodations. Despite the potential financial strain, 75% of Hopper users are planning to spend the same or more on travel this summer, aiming to get “more bang for their buck” by maximizing their travel budget.

While airfares have decreased by 5.8% from last year, other costs associated with air travel, such as checked baggage fees, have increased. Major airlines like United Airlines, American Airlines, and JetBlue Airways have raised their baggage fees, adding to the overall cost of air travel.

It’s important to note that carrying a balance on a credit card to pay for a vacation is not a wise financial move. Carrying a balance can increase your credit utilization ratio and ultimately hurt your credit score. Additionally, the average credit card interest rate is over 20%, adding to the expense of your purchase.

To mitigate travel costs and avoid carrying a balance on your credit card, consider booking your summer travel plans soon, being flexible with your travel dates to find cheaper flights, and saving on food costs by opting for more affordable dining options. Additionally, leverage credit card rewards that offer benefits on dining and travel expenses, but be sure to apply for the card well in advance to receive the benefits.

Smart planning and budgeting can help you make the most of your summer travels without accumulating high-interest debt that lingers long after the vacation is over. By implementing these strategies, you can enjoy a memorable and affordable summer getaway without breaking the bank.