One of the main points of going after credit card bonuses and maximizing your rewards is to make vacation more affordable. That’s why travel credit cards are usually the most sought after in the hobby. Whether you earn points for airlines and hotel chains, or currencies like Membership rewards or Ultimate Rewards, bonuses usually translate into hundreds and thousands of dollars in savings. It enables most people to elevate their travel experiences, or just take vacations that they wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise.
But not all Americans are crazy about travel credit cards. A U.S. News survey found that 54% of Americans are already planning their next vacation, but many are not using a credit card to pay for it. Nearly half (45%) of respondents are not planning on paying for their upcoming trip with a credit card. That’s a lot of cashback or credit card rewards left on the table. What’s more, 61% do not have a travel credit card at all, and 70% would not open a credit card to help pay for a vacation.
But the survey also shows why using travel credit cards is a great idea. Of those who use a travel credit card, 49% have redeemed $1,051 or more in rewards over the past year.
- One-third of respondents are planning to spend less than $500 per person on their next vacation. Twenty-three percent plan to spend between $501 and $1,000, and 14% plan to spend between $1,001 and $1,500. Eleven percent plan to spend $3,001 or more per person, with respondents 65 or older accounting for the largest proportion of these big spenders.
- Twenty-seven percent of respondents who paid for the trip on a credit card plan to pay it off within a month of booking, and 12% plan to pay in one to three months. Of people 55 or older, 36% will pay off their trip within a month of booking, compared with only 24% of respondents ages 18-34 and 18% of those ages 35-44.
- Nearly one-third (31%) of individuals planning a vacation are not shopping around to save money on travel costs.
- Eighteen percent of respondents have (or would) open a credit card to help pay for a vacation using the sign-up bonus and/or rewards.
- The most appealing travel rewards include: cash back (19%), a free night at a hotel (18%) and free domestic flights (15%).
- Of those who say hotel upgrades are the most appealing credit card perk, 63% were women. At the same time, 65% of those who find flight upgrades most appealing are men.
Related: Credit Card Offer and Bonuses