If You Don't Get One Of These Credit Cards, Then You're Paying Too Much For Your Summer Vacation

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Photo: Flickr / miguelavg

For summer travellers, the time to sign up for rewards cards is now.That’s because initial bonuses have increased between 20 and 90 per cent since 2011, according to CardHub.com, giving consumers the chance to shave as much as $500 off summer trips.

“Anyone with excellent credit who doesn’t take advantage of one of these offers is literally leaving hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the table each year,” says CardHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou.

The trick is checking to be sure the bonus is available after your first use of the card, he advises, otherwise you could wind up stuck with points you can’t apply to the trip at hand.

CardHub.com’s just released its top travel rewards cards of 2012. Here are the best initial sign-up bonus offers they found:

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred — Offers 40,000 bonus points equaling to $500 in airfare or hotel lodging, after cardholders spend $3,000 during the first three months. No annual fee during the first year ($95 every year after) and no foreign transaction fees for purchases made abroad.

2. British Airways Credit Card — Earn 50,000 miles after purchase and up to 50,000 more miles depending on first-year use, which could translate to a free round-trip business class ticket to Europe. No foreign transaction fees but there is a $95 annual fee.

3. Hilton honours Surpass Credit Card — Yields up to 60,000 points after $3,000 in charges — enough to score cardholders free nights at a Hampton Inn. The downside: $75 annual fee and 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

Don’t Miss: 8 insider secrets to booking cheap airfare >

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