A travel must-have: a credit card (+ two free options)

We have a couple of credit cards we use for for travelling. That may sound weird for the Dutchies, because we are not used to be able to pay with credit cards in our home country. In our culture it’s not common to life on credit, but we would recommend you to do so when travelling. During your trip a credit card is basically a must-have. We’ll explain you why a credit card is a travel essential and what you should look into.

#1 To book your tickets

A credit card is an accepted payment method for pretty much each flight. Many Dutch ticket providers accept iDeal or Paypal payments, but not all of them. And foreign companies don’t usually work with those methods as well. That’s why we always use our credit card to pay for our tickets.

#2 And your hotel room

Booking your hotel online? Use your credit card! Most sites don’t even accept any other means of payment. We always prefer Booking.com for our stays because this allows you to change or cancel your booking shortly before arrival free of charge. And Booking is one of those sites where you need a credit card. Sometimes not even to pay for your stay – because you often pay at the hotel upon arrival – but as a deposit.

Tip: when booking your first stay with Booking.com – so the first stay using that email address – you can get a 10% discount with this link!

#3 For all your payments abroad

A credit card is almost always accepted. We are used to pay with our maestro debit card in the Netherlands, but we can’t always use it abroad. Sometimes we can use our maestro card for weeks while our credit card remains unused in our wallet. Only to use it for every payment on our next destination where maestro won’t get accepted.

Tip: research which means of payment are accepted on your travel destination. And of course, don’t forget to switch your maestro debit cards on world coverage, so you can pay with them outside of Europe!

#4 For free airline tickets

Earning free frequent flyer miles for free upgrades or flights? There’s a much easier way to collect them than flying: with your credit card! There is only one card for us Dutchies to collect points – which we can exchange for frequent flyer miles – with our creditcard payments. How it works? We wrote an extensive blog post in Dutch about this amazing travel hack.

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#5 For free lounge access

One more cool travel hack! Some credit cards give you free access to airport lounges worldwide with your credit card. So you can start your flight completely relaxed with a snack or drink in comfortable chairs. Do you wanna know more? We explained all options for Dutchies in this blog!

#6 For your car rental

Renting a car is practically impossible without a credit card. Your rental company will always ask you for a deposit for the insurance deductible, damages to the car, traffic fines, etc. You won’t pay this deposit in cash, but with your credit card. So make sure to check in advance which deposit the company demands and make sure your credit card limit is high enough.

#7 For free travel insurance

Many credit cards have a travel insurance for the credit card holder and his family members. This often works automatically, but sometimes you have to activate it yourself. And there’s not just a travel insurance! Actually all of your credit card purchases are insured against theft, loss or damage for a fixed period.

Tip: look into your insurance policy. Please make sure the credit card insurance is sufficient for you before you cancel your own travel insurance.

#8 For a safety backup

Did your wallet get stolen? Did you lose your debit card? Make sure you always store your credit card in a different place. Even after theft or loss of your main debit card, you still have another card to pay for your food and hotel.

Tip: two options for a free credit card for Dutchies

The costs for a credit cards very widely. But we have found a way to use all credit card benefits for free. And we would love to share this with you. Just note that at least the second option only works for other Dutch travellers.

#1 Revolut.

Revolut is one of the new options on the Dutch market. To attract new customers, they offer many benefits and attractive discounts. So if you request a credit card from Revolut you get it free of charge. Other advantages of Revolut?

  • You don’t live on credit because it’s a prepaid credit card.
  • You should have to transfer money into your account first, which means that you are not at risk of high interest costs.
  • You don’t pay exchange rates up to £ 5.000 per month.
  • The other costs for withdrawals and overseas payments are also relatively low.
  • Your expenses are tracked in the easy Revolut app.
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#2 American Express Gold.

The Amex card has great advantages as well, but this one is not free of charge. You pay € 16.50 per month. But if you request your card via an existing customer, your first year is completely free of charge ánd you get a big welcome bonus. We are still in our first free year and benefit fully from all the benefits without any costs. As existing customers we can welcome new Dutch customers free of charge with our friends link. Some great benefits of Amex?

  • Free access to airport lounges worldwide.
  • Earn frequent flyer miles for free flights and upgrades (check our Dutch blog on this).
  • A travel voucher of €75,-
  • Upgrades at 500 connected hotels.
  • A welcome bonus from 10,000 to 20,000 points.

Please read all the terms and conditions of the credit cards in advance. We can highly recommend the information of the Dutch Consumentenbond to all Dutch travellers (review on Revolut and more general information including Amex).