It’s always wise to take stock of your travel assets at year’s end. Travel assets?
If you have frequent flyer accounts, hotel loyalty accounts, or credit or debit cards that earn points that you can apply to various companies for free stuff, you have travel assets.
But are you using them wisely?
About 175 million Americans carry more than one credit card, and many of those accrue points or miles good for a variety of free items and services—mostly travel. But do you know which cards you should use when?
Each year, I update a list of my cards’ benefits.
A Chase card gives me three points for travel and restaurant charges. My airline cards give me a free checked bag on domestic flights, priority boarding, and double miles when I book travel on the card’s affiliated airline.
Some cards don’t charge a fee for foreign transactions. Some offer primary—as opposed to secondary—coverage for car rentals. My Citi American Airlines card monitors the price of items I purchase; if Citi’s computers find a cheaper price for the same item anywhere within 60 days of my purchase, I’m refunded the difference.
Compile that info each year—you could save thousands in 2017.
— Rudy Maxa