Credit Cards and Travel In North America



 


If you live in Canada and are planning a trip to the United States it is very important that you start planning your financial means for paying your expenses. Credit cards, with the various benefits they offer, could help you by not only making it easier to pay but also providing you with all kinds of rewards.

Travelling between Canada and the United States should be easy. These are two countries and two communities that are very similar in many regards and since they share a border it should only make sense that citizens from either side should have ready access to the other. If you travel between these two countries, though, you should also plan accordingly and use the right credit card to help you.

Plan A Budget

Of course, one of the most important things you should do when you plan a trip to the United States is to also plan your budget. After all, you are going to be in another country which utilizes a different currency. The proximity to your home country might make it a little easier to gain access to Canadian dollars at a local back, but that is still no excuse for being fully prepared.

What you will need, then, is to make a list of all the reservations you will need to make as well as account for any smaller, daily contingencies you might need. This includes:

  • Magazines and snacks for the airport
  • Rental car insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Taxi, restaurant, and other service tips
  • Cash for lost or forgotten items
  • Hotel laundry and dry cleaning

These can seem like small purchases here and there, but at the end of the day (and at the end of your vacation) they will quickly add up.

Understand Your Card Features

What is great about credit cards is that some of them already have provisions that will help you in terms of things like rental car insurance and travel insurance. Basically, when you make reservations with your card you could get automatic travel insurances that will definitely give you some peace of mind while you travel. Other basic card features can include automatic currency conversion, cash advance options, and, of course, reward points.

Understand Your Card Benefits

Many credit cards come with some kind of rewards program. These are often the best kinds of cards for people who travel a lot. Rewards benefits can vary but they all aim to serve with a reward for using your card in various ways throughout the year. Rewards benefits include:

  • Travel points (ie Frequent Flyer miles)
  • Shopping discounts
  • Access to exclusive travel or shopping features
  • Cash rebates
  • Gift card benefits

The more often you use your card, the sooner you could capitalize on these rewards. As you travel, then, you will enjoy not only the convenience of using your card in place of cash, but also you will earn more benefits in a short amount of time.

At the same time, every card is different so you might want to use one card for its generous Frequent Flyer benefits and a separate for its cash-back option for the daily expenses.

While it is generally not recommended that any person have more credit cards than they can handle, it could be beneficial to consider this option and have a plan for how you will use each card. This includes, also, how you intend to pay your cards off - how long it will take, how much you can afford to pay each month, etc.

Keep Records

Something that many people over look in their daily life is how well they keep track of their credit and debit card spending. While most small purchases may not ultimately affect your future financial outlook in the day to day, the budget you may have set aside for your vacation is limited. Keeping track of what you spend, then, is crucial because you need to know if the rewards you are getting are worth the money that you are spending.

Conclusion

Using the right credit card when you travel between Canada and the United States is very important. It could be just the thing to ensure you get the best travel experience for your money while also giving you access to other exclusive benefits.






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