Planning a Big Trip This Year? Make This Important Move

by Maurie Backman | Published on Aug. 17, 2021

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Two smiling people holding hands and walking down a small side street in Tokyo, Japan.

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If you're gearing up for a nice vacation, this one move is essential.

Many people spent the bulk of 2020 stuck at home. Given the many pandemic-related restrictions coupled with an air of economic uncertainty, it just wasn't a great time to travel. The latter part of 2021, however, is shaping up to be very different.

Many people have now managed to get a coronavirus vaccine, and travel restrictions have largely been lifted, at least within the U.S. As such, you may be itching to head off on an awesome adventure at some point this year. But before you plan your next big trip, here's an important step worth taking.

Set yourself up to snag a great credit card offer

There's been a huge uptick in booked flights and hotels as Americans get out and travel, which has driven the cost of vacations up. And if you're on a budget, that may prove problematic.

That's why it's important to book your trip with the right credit card. Some credit cards offer generous cash back or travel rewards for things like hotels and flights, while others offer money-saving perks like free checked bags on airlines.

But to qualify for the best credit card offers out there, you'll need a good credit score. And so before you make your travel plans, it may pay to spend a little time bringing up your score if it could use work.

How can you boost your credit score quickly?

First, check your credit report for errors. Unfortunately, credit report mistakes are pretty common. If there's information on your record that's working against you, getting it corrected could work wonders for your credit score.

You may, for example, see a delinquent debt that you've already paid off, or a loan balance that was never yours to begin with. Those are the sort of errors to correct at once. You can visit to get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major reporting bureaus.

Next, see if you can pay off a chunk of existing credit card debt. Doing so will lower your credit utilization ratio, which plays a big part in calculating your credit score.

Finally, pay all of your upcoming bills on time. Your payment history is actually the single most important factor in calculating your credit score, and being timely with bills could help raise that number.

Get ready to reap the benefits of a great credit card

Opening the right credit card and using it to book your trip could save you a ton of money and put extra cash in your pocket in the course of your travels.

Remember, too, that many credit cards offer generous sign-up bonuses. These give you a lump sum of cash for spending a certain amount of money shortly after opening your account. If you'll be booking travel, you may have an easy time meeting those spending requirements.

It pays to position yourself to get approved for the best offers out there. And boosting your credit score could be your ticket to doing just that.

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