Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Useful travel finance sources

Planning a vacation can be as stressful as it is exciting. Once the destination has been carefully chosen, all the details of going on a trip need to be addressed: transportation, activities and sightseeing, packing, budget, etc. One of the most often overlooked aspects of travel is having a reliable, secure credit card available for last-minute or unforeseen expenses.

Why having a travel credit card is important In these tight economic times, many people prefer to deal exclusively in cash. However, when traveling, having a credit card at the ready for emergencies can be an invaluable resource. Overseas travelers especially can benefit from the great exchange rates offered by most major credit card companies. They’re generally safer than cash or traveler’s checks, too, because users aren’t held responsible for unauthorized charges should the card become lost or get stolen; credit cards are also a lot easier than cash to carry around. Reward cards that offer points or cash back on purchases can also yield great returns when traveling.

Finding great deals on credit cards Believe it or not, social networking is a fantastic way to find the best deals on travel credit cards. While sites like Facebook and Foursquare can provide connected users with exclusive offers, Twitter is fast emerging as the outlet of choice for card issuers to roll out new programs, promotions and discounts. Say, for example, that someone planning a vacation is looking for a deal on a Green Dot card and decides to follow Green Dot cards on Twitter. By clicking on the issuer’s favorites tab, the user might find the hashtags that could yield exclusive offers, free tickets, contests and more. Aside from hashtags, card issuers also provide valuable information and links via their Twitter feeds, helping card holders keep up with the latest news, merchant deals and discounts, rewards and more. Most of the major credit card companies are now providing the same or similar content on Twitter.

Many credit card companies are also using Twitter and other social networking sites to allow users to link their accounts for even greater savings from specific merchants. A simple retweet can earn card holders significant discounts on products or purchases, bonus membership points, extra rewards and more. Linking an account with the social network makes the process of redeeming these offers effortless for the user. Once the hashtag has been retweeted, the offer is automatically loaded onto the user’s card and is ready to be applied as soon as the user makes the corresponding purchase.

As social networking continues to gain momentum, credit card companies are always looking for new ways to interact with customers and merchants certainly want in on the action, too. Now is a great time to find credit card deals and exclusive offers via Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites. Before making travel plans, it’s a smart move to check out what the major credit card companies are offering to their Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

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