What Credit Means For Your Vacations | Refresh Financial

What Credit Means For Your Vacations

World travel

Let’s get into something frustrating today, guys. I know, sounds like fun doesn’t it? You know though, if we don’t face the frustrating things head on, they only become more difficult, don’t they? On a scale of one to the Lost season finale, how frustrating is it to book travel without a credit card? Right? I mean, I’d be willing to go as far as saying it’s more frustrating than that abomination of a series finale, because booking travel without a credit card is near impossible.

If you want to vacation at all, you absolutely must have a credit card in your name. There really is no easy way around this unless you limit your globetrotting to just tenting it on forest services backroads for the rest of your adult life. Which isn’t so bad, really, but I know you wanna sit on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean sipping mojitos faster than Juan can bring them to you. I know you do.

While booking travel, credit enables you to:

1. Book online. Just a couple of decades ago, you had to hit up your nearest travel agent office to get your vacation booked, but now, you can do it from the convenience of your living room. If you don’t have credit though, it’s back to the travel agent with you, and even then, you’re going to encounter problems. Sure, you can set up a PayPal account or use Google Wallet, but that just ends up costing you even more and there’s no guarantee the vendor will accept these forms of payment, either.

2. Stay at a hotel. A vast majority of hotels the world over require you to put a credit card on file (even if you don’t end up paying your bill with it) just incase you incur more charges than expected. This is the hotel’s way of protecting itself from people who don’t settle their bill at the end of the stay. They will make exceptions for those without a credit card, but they will require a fairly large security deposit, which they hold until you leave. For people on a tight budget, this can seriously throw a wrench in the works.

3. Rent a car. Just like a hotel, car rental places cover their butts by taking your credit card information in case of scratches, dents or dings. You’re going to have a hard time renting a car without a credit card in your name. It is possible though, and again, just like a hotel, you’ll have to put a security deposit down if you rent without a credit card.

4. Book flights. While you may find your way around paying by credit when you first book your travel, if something happens, such as overbooking or flight cancellation, you might end up stuck somewhere until the airline can work it out. In a pinch, getting online and booking a flight is going to be your best bet, but it’s not always possible without a credit card. Navigating this problem without credit makes things infinitely more complicated.

5. Recover lost or stolen payment methods. If you carry around cash and you lose it or it gets stolen, that’s it, it’s gone. However, losing a credit card is as easy as making a phone call. You’ll have it replaced with lightning speed and you won’t be responsible for any purchases made on the card after it was lost. This adds an element of security to your travels that no other payment method can.

6. Not have to carry cash. Many places around the world accept the major credit cards, so carrying one around means you don’t have to make yourself vulnerable to lost or stolen cash.

7. Utilize the best exchange rates available. Whatever you buy with your credit card is paid for using the interbank exchange rate, which is, more often than not, the best rate possible.

8. Collect points. Depending on what credit card you have, you may have the ability to collect points on all your travel purchases. There are Aeroplan cards that reward you with future travel options. Air Miles credit cards do the same. You can get credit cards that allow you to collect hotel stay points, resulting in free stays when you collect enough points. There are so many different travel rewards cards available to you to choose from and each of them, when used wisely, can help you work towards free rewards in the future.

9. Deal with unforeseen circumstances. We’ve all had something go wrong on a trip. The worst, for myself, was when I was driving through San Jose and my transmission dropped out on the freeway. I wasn’t even twenty at the time, and had no credit to my name. With the replacement of transmission costing more than the car itself, I chose to leave it in California and find another way home. I had to rely on the generosity of many people in order to make my way to my original destination in San Francisco and then eventually make it back home on the Greyhound. It was difficult and stressful and would have been so much easier to deal with, had I travelled with a credit card.

If you don’t have credit and you want to travel, you know how frustrating and difficult all of this can be. The good news is that there is a way out of it and it’s not as daunting as it may seem. You can boost your credit. You can get back to a place where you’re travelling with credit cards once again. If you start with a Refresh Financial loan, you’re halfway there already. If you’re interested in rebuilding your credit to make travel easier, check out this piece we posted last week and be sure to sign up for your Refresh loan now!

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