Finding the money to travel is hard and if you haven’t been away for a while, you might be tempted to use a credit card to pay for a trip. In some cases, that’s not a problem and it’s the best way to fund your adventures. But if you get it wrong, you could end up in some serious financial trouble. So, how do you know whether it’s a good idea to pay for travel with a credit card?
What Are You Paying For?
This is the first thing you need to think about because you don’t want to end up borrowing loads of money on a credit card. If you just need the extra money to pay for the flights, that’s not too much of a problem. But if you haven’t got any spare cash at all and you’re going to be borrowing money for flights, accommodation, travel essentials and spending money, that’s a different story. All of those costs will quickly add up and if you borrow a massive amount on a credit card and you can’t pay it back, that’s when you’re going to get into trouble.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Using a credit card should be a last resort rather than an easy solution to funding your travel plans. That’s why you need to consider all of your other options first. Could you just wait a few months and save up the money you need to travel rather than borrowing it? It’s also worth looking at personal lines of credit. They’re the halfway point between a loan and a credit card. If you compare personal line of credit rates with credit card rates, you’ll find that they’re often cheaper. If you can find a cheaper way to borrow money, you should always do that instead of using credit cards.
Do You Have Insurance?
The biggest bonus you get by paying on a credit card is insurance. When you pay for something with a debit card, you don’t get guaranteed insurance on those payments. That means that if the trip is cancelled, the flights are delayed or the airline goes bust, you could lose all of your money. If you go on a package trip that you pay for in one go, they’re usually insured already so you don’t need to worry about it quite as much. However, if you’re paying for all of the different bits (the flights, the accommodation etc.) separately, you won’t have that insurance. In that case, it’s best to use a credit card even if you don’t need the extra money because you don’t risk losing your money.
Can You Pay It Back?
This is the most important thing to consider before making any decisions. If you borrow money on a credit card and you don’t pay it back, you’re going to get hit with a lot of high interest payments and this trip could end up costing you a lot more than you thought it would. Before you do anything, plan out exactly how you’re going to pay the money back so you can be sure that you won’t end up in financial trouble.
Borrowing money on a credit card to pay for travel isn’t always a bad idea, but make sure that you’ve thought about it carefully beforehand.