With some of the year’s busiest travel dates fast approaching, the personal-finance website WalletHub today announced the results of its nationally representative 2021 Winter Travel Survey, along with its updated list of the Best Credit Cards for Winter Travel, plus key money-saving tips for domestic and international travelers. Applying for the right card now will give people enough time to earn up to $1,250 in free travel.
Please find key takeaways below, followed by commentary from WalletHub experts:
- Willing to Pay for a Safe Environment: More than 40% of people would pay extra to be on a 100%-vaccinated flight or stay at a 100%-vaccinated hotel/resort.
- No Travel Money: 30 million Americans can’t afford winter travel.
- Stay-at-Home Winter: 27% of people won’t travel due to fear of Covid this winter.
- New Cards for Younger Travelers: Millennials are 4X more likely than baby boomers to apply for a new credit card to save on winter travel.
- Credit Card Perks Worth the Cost: 1 in 3 consumers think it’s worth paying an annual fee to get a hotel or airline credit card with better perks.
- Best Credit Card for Winter Travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best credit card for winter travel because it currently has an initial bonus worth $1,250 in travel for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
Q&A with WalletHub
Do you think people are willing to pay extra to be on a 100%-vaccinated flight or stay at a 100%-vaccinated hotel/resort?
“More than 40% of people would pay extra to be on a 100%-vaccinated flight or stay at a 100%-vaccinated hotel or resort, according to WalletHub’s 2021 Winter Travel Survey,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “We’ve seen cities have success with vaccine mandates, and applying the idea to travel – at least as a specialized service where certain flights or hotel rooms are reserved for the vaccinated – could prove to be a moneymaker for airlines and hotel chains.”
Will we have a busy winter travel season?
“Yes, the winter travel season will be very busy, despite many people having good reasons for not going away. Approximately 30 million Americans say they can’t afford winter travel, according to a new WalletHub survey, and 27% of people – roughly another 20 million – won’t travel this winter due to fear of Covid,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “A quick getaway just isn’t as simple as it once was, thanks to the financial, physical and psychological fallout from the pandemic.”
Is it worth paying an annual fee for a credit card in order to get better perks?
“Whether or not it’s worth paying an annual fee to get better credit card perks ultimately depends on how much you have to spend and what you get in return, but 1 in 3 consumers believe it’s a worthwhile investment as far as hotel and airline credit cards are concerned,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “If you travel often, paying an annual fee for a hotel or airline credit card with better perks is more likely to be a good idea. Otherwise, there are a lot of good travel rewards cards with no annual fee.”
Why are millennials so much more likely to apply for a credit card to get winter-travel savings than baby boomers?
“Millennials are 4X more likely than baby boomers to apply for a new credit card to save on winter travel because they are more likely to travel during Covid and are more likely to need the savings,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Baby boomers tend to be more established financially, and they are more at risk during the pandemic.”
What tips do you have for people trying to save money on travel this winter?
“The best way to save on winter travel is to compare, compare, compare,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Compare prices for hotels, airfare, and any other transportation, accommodations or activities you have planned. Compare destinations to find the best value. And don’t forget to compare credit card offers, too. You could easily save $500+ with one of the best credit card sign-up bonuses.”