As fall moves in and the threat of colder weather is on the horizon, many of us fantasize of a vacation to escape the winter blues. We gaze at photos of sun-kissed tropical beaches or daydream of a leisurely stroll through a historic neighborhood…but we hesitate to take steps to make it happen. It’s time to make fantasy become a reality.

We have all caught the bits and pieces of credit card advertisements geared to the traveler. You’ve wanted to take a closer look, but which card will work for you?

Many sites out there profess to cut through the vague details and get to the point, but one clearly stands out above the rest: Nerdwallet.

Nerdwallet is a great site for everything credit card-related, but we’re focusing on what they have to offer to the potential traveler. When taking a look at their site, it’s helpful to know your credit score when beginning the search for the best travel perks.

Know Your Score

If you know your score, skip ahead. If you don’t know what your credit score is, the U.S. government provides great information on how to find out what yours is here.

What’s Your Goal?

What type of travel perk are you trying to get? It can be confusing when you’re first looking, so try to narrow the search by deciding what is the best benefit for you—whether it’s airline miles, general travel or hotel perks.  

Nerdwallet allows you to click on the credit cards you’d like to compare and the site navigates you to a side-by-side comparison of the cards. The site can filter choices available to you depending on your credit score. If you know your score, it can save you time and hits to your credit if you are applying for a card for which you may be ineligible.

Generally, travel cards are available to those with good or excellent credit. Nerdwallet defines a good score as between 690 and 719, and an excellent score at 720 or higher. The better your credit, the more choices of credit cards you have available to you.

Also worthy of mention are the consumer reviews of each card available on this site. You don’t have to take the credit card companies’ word for their service; you can see what other people are experiencing before you leap into business with your card of choice.

With travel cards there are good, better and best times to apply to maximize your perks. Again, Nerdwallet hits it out of the ballpark with their discussion about the pros and cons of when to apply for travel credit cards in their 2016 Travel Credit Card Study.

Back to Real Life?

If it’s time to come back home and see where you can save with everyday purchases, we’ve found yet another credit card site that cuts the red tape and spells it out for you clearly and easily. Be sure to check in with us next week.

 

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