Rewards For Vacationers

Target promotions to summer travelers to increase credit card penetration.


Credit cards that offer rewards for gas, hotels, restaurants and foreign exchange will be more attractive to travelers now that summer’s here, according to a MarketWatch article on the top five credit cards for vacation travel.

While no credit union card are on the MarketWatch list, credit unions can offer credit cards with similar features. Much like cards designed for business travelers, credit cards designed for summer vacationers can offer discounts on airport lounge access or bag-checking fees and rewards for mileage.

Gas prices have been lower in recent weeks – infact the price has dropped for 13 consecutive days, according to AAA – but consumers are still faced with fuel prices that reflect “an implicit risk premium associated with geopolitical instability in the Middle East and North Africa,” according to AAA. So, motorists may appreciate more help paying for gas through credit card rewards, even though they’ve been feeling less pain at the pump.

Lower gas prices encourage more travel. This Fourth of July, AAA expects a record number of Americans to travel, with 42.3 million Americans traveling 50 miles or more from their homes. That’s a 4.9% increase over last year. More travelers means there are more consumers likely to respond to credit card rewards that help pay for their trips.

Discover’s Open Road card, named on the MarketWatch list, is one example of a card that caters to road trippers. The card offers 2% cash back on gas and restaurants and requires no annual fee.

More Americans also increasingly interested in traveling abroad. About one-third of the U.S. population now holds a passport, which is about twice the number of passports circulating in 2000, according to the U.S. State Department. (Although passports to Cananda and Mexico have only been required since 2007.)

Capital One’s Venture Card, also in the top five, has proven popular for its features that target these airline flyers. The card has no foreign transaction fees and offers two miles for every dollar you spend, with no limits on how many miles you can earn. It allows cardholders to travel on any airline at any time.