My time in the credit card industry was a learning experience. I spoke with hundreds of customers each week explaining to them their terms and conditions of their contracts while servicing their accounts. By doing this I learned to sift through the credit card jargon and discovered how to use my own cards more effectivley. Not surprising, I learned the traits that successful cardholders have. But more importantly, I learned not everyone should have credit cards, especially travel rewards cards. I believe anyone who wants to use Travel Rewards Cards can learn. Heck, this is the point of my blog. I want to inspire more people to travel for less on rewards. With that said, not everyone should use travel rewards cards until they have some basic skills.
The majority of people can obtain some type of travel rewards card. Even if their credit isn’t the best they still could get a lower tier card. Whether they get a lower tier card like the United Mastercard or a higher tier card like the Hyatt Visa Sginature, if they’re not careful, trouble could ensue. There are certain skills that effective travel rewards cardholders have.
Discipline is a rewards traveler’s best weapon. Discipline allows a rewards traveler to meet bonus mile guidelines and avoid unnecessary fees. It is also utilized to implement a strategy and pull off a plan. Organization isn’t far behind. If you’re serious about traveling cheaply on rewards then you’ll probably have multiple cards. This means you have to know the in’s and out’s of each card and rewards program. Also, adaptation should be present in a person. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. When that happens it’s important to stay flexible and keep your eye on the prize.
People who are disorganized, bad with money, and aren’t good at planning shouldn’t be trying for the next big bonus miles offer. If you’re not organized you risk becoming confused about your cards. This could lead to losing out on money saving opportunities. Or even worse being charged unnecessary fees. Furthermore, people who have had problems with debt in the past may want to steer clear of rewards cards. Certainly people with current debt problems shouldn’t even be getting credit cards let alone trying to get travel rewards cards. If you’re one of the above, it’s important to get your situation under control. Once you have it under control then you can begin to acquire the traits necessary to be a successful “Rewards Traveler.”
Traveling on rewards can be a fun way to travel for less that could potentially save you $1000′s of dollars (I know it has for me). However, If you don’t have discipline, organization, or a plan, then I recommend you acquire those skills before you start. If not, you’re in for a bumpy ride that could wreck your credit and leave you still dreaming about sipping magarita’s on the beach.