What Can You Expect From a Beginner Travel Credit Card?

A travel credit card is a great way to save more on your travel purchases. However, if you’ve never had a travel credit card before, you should probably opt for a travel credit card that’s easier for beginners to manage. However, it can be difficult to determine what might be different between a beginner travel credit card and a more advanced card. Here’s what you might be able to expect from a beginner travel credit card.

  1. Low or No Annual Fee

A low annual fee is one of the hallmarks of a beginner travel credit card. That’s because a card with low or no annual fee will often allow you to try out the benefits of a travel credit card without having to worry whether you’re getting enough benefit from the card to justify the yearly fee. When you’re not well-versed in travel credit cards, you might want to just look for one with no annual fee.

  1. Low Baseline Rewards Rate

In a beginner travel credit card, you’ll likely only get 1X points on your general purchases, and points may be worth less than one cent apiece. That’s less than a 1% general rewards rate, which is very common for cards that are marketed toward beginners. Still, many beginner cards, like the Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card, offer significantly more when you actually book at participating hotels. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold card offers a whopping 14X points when you book with the hotel.

  1. Certain Trip Protections

Some trip protections may be included with a beginner travel credit card, although typically fewer than you’ll get with a more advanced card. These protections may include baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and trip delay reimbursement. With these, you’ll be able to cover any unexpected purchases that you may need to make due to issues with the trip or luggage. Check to see what protections are included with your credit card.

  1. Many Ways to Redeem Points

There are typically many ways that you can redeem your points with any travel credit card. Of course, the most prominent way to redeem points is typically to spend them on travel purchases; with a hotel card, you’ll usually be able to redeem points directly for a hotel stay, for example. However, there are often many other ways to redeem points, and it’s a good idea to look at all of them before you sign up.


A beginner travel credit card is a great way to start using credit cards for rewards. Especially because beginner travel credit cards typically don’t require that you pay an annual fee, you can get plenty of benefits with these credit cards. However, you need to make sure that you’re prepared for all the different ways that the credit card might be best utilized. With this knowledge, you’ll be prepared to find a great beginner travel credit card, so you can use it for a better price on your travel expenses in the future.