Traveling the world is a dream for many students, but the cost can often be a major barrier. However, with the right travel credit card, students can explore the world on a budget. Travel credit cards offer a range of benefits, including rewards points, travel insurance, and no foreign transaction fees. In this article, we will explore the top travel credit cards for students, their features, and how they can help students save money while traveling. Whether you are planning a semester abroad or a summer vacation, these credit cards can be a valuable tool in your travel arsenal.
1. Benefits of Travel Credit Cards for Students
Travel credit cards offer a wide range of benefits that can help students save money while traveling. Here are some of the key benefits:
- Rewards Points: Many travel credit cards offer rewards points for every dollar spent. These points can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, and other travel expenses, allowing students to save money on their trips.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: When using a regular credit card abroad, students may be charged foreign transaction fees for every purchase. Travel credit cards, on the other hand, often waive these fees, saving students money.
- Travel Insurance: Some travel credit cards offer travel insurance as a perk. This can include coverage for trip cancellation, lost luggage, and medical emergencies, providing students with peace of mind while traveling.
- Access to Airport Lounges: Certain travel credit cards provide access to airport lounges, where students can relax, enjoy complimentary food and drinks, and access Wi-Fi before their flights.
- Concierge Services: Some travel credit cards offer concierge services that can assist students with travel planning, booking reservations, and providing recommendations for their destination.
2. Top Travel Credit Cards for Students
Now that we understand the benefits of travel credit cards, let’s explore some of the top options available for students:
2.1. Discover it® Student Cash Back
The Discover it® Student Cash Back card is a great option for students who want to earn cash back on their purchases. With this card, students can earn 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter, such as gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and more. Additionally, they can earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. The card has no annual fee and offers a unique feature called Good Grades Rewards, where students can earn a $20 statement credit each school year for maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
2.2. Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is an excellent choice for students who want to earn travel rewards. With this card, students can earn unlimited 1.5 points for every dollar spent on all purchases. These points can be redeemed for flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more. The card has no annual fee and offers a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles on purchases. Additionally, Bank of America customers can earn an extra 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when they have an active Bank of America checking or savings account.
2.3. Capital One® Journey® Student Rewards
The Capital One® Journey® Student Rewards card is designed specifically for students who want to build credit while earning rewards. With this card, students can earn 1% cash back on all purchases. Additionally, they can earn a 0.25% cash back bonus each month they pay their bill on time, for a total of 1.25% cash back. The card has no annual fee and offers access to a higher credit line after making the first five monthly payments on time. It also provides access to CreditWise®, a free credit monitoring tool that helps students track their credit score and learn about credit.
3. How to Choose the Right Travel Credit Card
With so many travel credit cards available, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your needs. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a travel credit card:
- Rewards Program: Look for a card that offers rewards that align with your travel preferences. If you prefer cash back, choose a card with a generous cash back program. If you want to earn travel rewards, look for a card with a flexible rewards program that allows you to redeem points for flights, hotels, and other travel expenses.
- Annual Fee: Consider whether the card has an annual fee and whether the benefits outweigh the cost. Some cards may waive the annual fee for the first year, while others may offer enough rewards to offset the fee.
- Foreign Transaction Fees: If you plan to use your credit card abroad, make sure to choose a card that does not charge foreign transaction fees. These fees can add up quickly and significantly increase the cost of your trip.
- Additional Benefits: Take into account any additional benefits offered by the card, such as travel insurance, airport lounge access, and concierge services. These perks can enhance your travel experience and provide added value.
- Credit Building: If you are a student looking to build credit, consider a card that is designed for students and offers tools to help you monitor and improve your credit score.
4. Tips for Maximizing Your Travel Credit Card Benefits
Once you have chosen the right travel credit card, here are some tips to help you maximize its benefits:
- Use the Card for Everyday Expenses: To earn rewards points or cash back, use your travel credit card for everyday expenses such as groceries, gas, and dining out. Pay off the balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.
- Take Advantage of Sign-Up Bonuses: Many travel credit cards offer sign-up bonuses, such as a large number of bonus points or a statement credit after spending a certain amount within the first few months. Take advantage of these bonuses to jumpstart your rewards earning.
- Redeem Points Wisely: When redeeming your rewards points, look for opportunities to maximize their value. For example, booking flights or hotel stays during off-peak times or taking advantage of special promotions can stretch your points further.
- Plan Ahead: If you have a specific trip in mind, plan ahead and research the best redemption options for your destination. Some credit card rewards programs have partnerships with specific airlines or hotel chains, offering better redemption rates.
- Monitor Your Account: Regularly check your credit card account to ensure that you are earning the rewards you expect and to take advantage of any special offers or promotions.
Travel credit cards can be a valuable tool for students who want to explore the world on a budget. With benefits such as rewards points, no foreign transaction fees, and travel insurance, these cards can help students save money and enhance their travel experience. By choosing the right travel credit card and following some simple tips, students can make the most of their credit card benefits and create unforgettable travel memories. So, start planning your next adventure and take advantage of the opportunities that travel credit cards have to offer!