Save on Winter Travel With These Credit Cards

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— Whitney Tressel

Be here when the polar vortex returns! A trip to Mexico's Riviera Maya and other brag-worthy winter travel destinations can be more affordable when you use the right credit card, earning rewards points, statement credits, and getting the best exchange rate on foreign currency.

Savvy travelers know that using the right credit card properly can actually save them money on travel. With that in mind, our friends at CardHub have delivered another great report: Best Travel Credit Cards for Winter 2015-16. While lower fuel prices, a strong dollar, and more reasonable airfares are already making this an great time to save money on travel, this new report makes it clear that careful shopping for the right credit card can nab you as much as an extra $625 in savings.

Of course, Budget Travel does not recommend that you charge a vacation you can’t afford. A rule of thumb we’ve always suggested is: If you wouldn’t borrow money for your dream trip from friends or family, don’t borrow it from a credit card company! But, that caveat aside, using a credit card when you travel can be a smart choice: You’ll get the best available exchange rate for foreign currency, you’ll earn reward points for future purchases or trips, and you may be eligible for statement credits that can really add up.

A few of the credit cards that CardHub recommnends for winter travel include:

Citi ThankYou Premier: 50,000 bonus points, redeemable for a $625 travel statement credit, in return for spending $3,000 in the first three months; no annual fee in the first year ($95 thereafter) 

Barclaycard Arrival Plus: $400 travel statement credit for spending $3,000 in the first three months and effectively 2.1% cash back on all purchases when earnings are redeemed for travel-related expenses; no annual fee in the first year ($89 thereafter)

IHG Credit Card: 60,000-point initial bonus, redeemable for up to 12 free nights, for spending $1,000 in the first three months; one additional free night each year; complimentary Platinum Elite Status; no annual fee in the first year ($49 thereafter)

TALK TO US! What credit card to you prefer when you travel?

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