Best travel credit card perks for family vacations

December 15, 2021

Credit card travel rewards can benefit you long after your trip is booked – here’s how.

If you’re an avid traveler, you’re probably familiar with using a travel rewards credit card to rack up points. But the points and perks don’t stop once everything is booked. Here’s why that travel rewards credit card should earn a spot in your wallet once your trip begins.

Don’t pay foreign transaction fees

When traveling outside of the U.S., some credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee on every purchase. These fees typically equal approximately 3 percent of the charge. Find a card with no foreign transaction fees and you’ve got that 3 percent back in your pocket to spend on delicious pasta in Italy or shopping sprees in France.

U.S. Bank offers a variety of travel credit cards.  Visit to find a card that best suits your travel needs.  

Quicker, more secure payments

Innovative technology, including contactless functionality, continues to make credit card payments easier and more secure for travelers. With some cards, you just tap your physical card or mobile device for quick transactions.

All U.S. Bank cardholders can use ApplePay®, Samsung Pay, Google PayTM, LG Pay for digital payments. 

Get through security faster

Some credit cards can help breeze through airport security lines. Your card may reimburse application fees for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry with up to $100 in statement credits once every four years. 

Earn more points

Collecting rewards on your trip doesn’t end once you click “confirm booking.” When you use a travel rewards credit card during a trip, you might accumulate double, triple, or quadruple points on eligible purchases. All of these points can be redeemed for future travel, so you can start planning your next adventure . . . now.

Score discounts

A good vacation can get expensive, so when you can save on any aspect of your trip, it’s a plus. Depending on your credit card, discounts may be available on rental cars and hotels. Some perks could include reimbursement for travel related purchases.

Be protected

No one wants to think about the worst-case scenario when on vacation. But it pays to be prepared for anything. Many travel rewards credit cards offer peace of mind with fraud protection and travel and emergency assistance.

In the event that a card is misplaced or stolen, U.S. Bank cardholders have added protection through our Mobile App. If needed, the lock function lets you temporarily turn off purchases to your credit card. You can also set travel notifications so we know when and where you are traveling to prevent card fraud and payment declines when you’re away from home.

When a rewards credit card might not make sense

The benefits of a rewards credit card are clear, but when should you think twice before applying for one?

First and foremost, you want a rewards card to be an asset to your finances – not a liability. If you worry you’ll overspend simply to earn rewards, skip the card. “No matter what rewards you get back, they’re never going to outrun the amount of money you owe to the credit card for the purchases you’ve made,” Crowley says.

Second, watch out for higher-than-average interest rates. Most rewards cards come with higher rates than their non-rewards counterparts, shares Crowley. So, if you’re planning to transfer a balance or carry one from month to month, he recommends exploring non-rewards cards with low introductory or long-term interest rates as a better option.

Third, find out if your desired rewards card comes with an annual fee. Crowley points out, however, that a card with that fee might still be a good fit for your wallet. “Customers just want to make sure that they’re getting the right value exchange in return for the amount of annual fee they’re going to pay,” he says.

Finally, Crowley says, be aware of hurdles to redeeming your points. Some cards let you cash in any number of points, while others will require you to redeem rewards only in increments of $25. Know which system your card uses and whether its rules will work with your spending habits.


See and do more for less on your next trip. Here are smart ways to spend less on your next vacation. 

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