Should You Get a Travel Rewards Card in 2023?

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Be sure to pack your travel rewards cards next year!

Key points

  • Inflation and demand have driven up travel costs, and this is expected to continue into 2023.
  • Travel rewards can be redeemed for free flights and hotel stays, greatly reducing your travel expenses.
  • The perks that come with many travel cards can also enhance your travel experience.

Although it may be hard to believe, 2023 is right around the corner. And given the state of the travel industry, now might be the time to start considering your travel for the coming year.

For rewards lovers, a big part of this strategy will involve credit card. But it’s not just credit card collectors who should consider travel rewards cards in 2023. No, with travel costs rising as much as the cost of, well, everything else, we could all use a good way to travel cheaply.

Travel costs are expected to continue to rise

The travel industry is currently experiencing a drop in costs. First, there is inflation. Like everywhere else, the increased costs experienced by airlines, hotels and other travel providers are passed on directly to the consumer.

Then there is the second success: demand. Since the end of most COVID-19 precautions over the past year, travel request soared. This not only caused all those headline-worthy delays we’ve all heard about, but it also allowed travel suppliers to raise their prices.

Worse still, just about every expert is certain that these two issues (inflation and high travel demand) continue until 2023. The bottom line? Don’t expect travel costs to drop anytime soon.

Points and miles can save your budget

One of the best ways to lower your travel costs is to offer travel rewards. The points and miles you can earn with your subscriptions can be turned into free flights and hotel nights, eliminating much of your travel expenses.

The key to getting the most out of your travel rewards is to plan ahead. If you know which airline you’re most likely to fly, for example, you can consider co-branding airline credit cards. With these cards you earn miles directly from this airline. Similarly, if you know the hotel brands in which you are likely to stay, their co-branding hotel credit cards can earn you loyalty points for free stays.

If your upcoming travel plans are still a little on hold, consider cards with transferable points. These cards allow you to earn points that can be transferred to various travel partners, including airline and hotel brands. These cards offer the most flexibility in how you use your rewards.

Benefits that make traveling a pleasure

While saving on travel costs is a great reason to get a travel rewards card, there’s also something else to consider: the perks. Many travel cards, especially high-end cards, offer tons of perks that can make your trip much more enjoyable.

For example, if the thought of sitting in a crowded airport terminal makes you cringe, consider a trip card with access to the airport lounge. Even a busy airport lounge can be a significant improvement over the sardine-like situation that tends to happen outside the door.

Hotel status is another popular travel card benefit. This can easily net you valuable extras like free breakfast, premium wifi, and room upgrades. Oh, and don’t overlook less flashy perks like guaranteed room availability or late check-out that can make your trip easier.

Travel can be hectic and expensive at the best of times. Everything indicates that 2023 will not be a “best-of-times” travel year. If your plans for 2023 involve travel, consider a new travel rewards card for the new year.

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