I am by no means a financial advisor, but I have personally found the benefits of having a credit card that works for you to be a wonderful help in making your travel plans come to fruition (my NOLA flight was covered by using points!). You're spending money on groceries, a metro card, out on a Saturday night anyway...might as well get something back for dem dollars.
Of course, this comes with a major caveat: don't get yourself into debt you cannot handle. If you apply for a credit card and use it actively, stick to this rule: set up an auto-pay plan and pay it off at the end of each week or month, and only use it for purchases you would have made anyway. Hefty credit card payments that squash travel plans aren't a good look.
There are a wide range of credit cards that will give you points for what you spend, but I recommend finding travel-specific card that will get you miles, has a solid sign-on mile bonus, and has low (or no!) international transaction fees.
I have a Capital One Venture card, which I am a fan of. Here's the rundown:
- 2x miles on every purchase
- $0 annual fee for your first year
- 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 in your first three months
- No foreign transaction fees
While this card is a solid option, there are, of course, many others. Do your research on the purchase APR, transfer APR, and annual fees after the first year to decide which option will work best for you. A few others I'd suggest taking a look into are Chase Sapphire Preferred, Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite, and American Express Premier Rewards Gold cards.
Have any travel cards you use and love? Go crazy in the comments section, y'all.