How to Save Money at the Beach With Credit Cards

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My friend Kevin from Credit Shout just came back from a one week vacation at the Jersey shore. Kevin, like me also reviews credit cards. Since I’m taking it easy this weekend, I’ve asked Kevin to write a guest post for me. Here is his short take on cards that can save you some money on the beach

Millions of people who live by the coast make the trek down to the beach for 4th of July weekend. Although the fourth is a time to celebrate, this year your pocket may feel a bit lighter and you may be looking to cut down on costs for your vacation.

Although I’ll be celebrating on the 4th at home, I recently got home from a trip down to the beach and found a few ways simple ways to cut down the costs of my trip using by taking advantage of the benefits of certain credit cards.

You can actually start saving money on your vacation this year before you even leave the gas station. If your driving down to the beach, when you go to fill up be sure to use a gas credit card that gives you cash back on all of your fuel purchases. Some of the best gas credit cards can save you up to 5% on all of your fuel purchases, and if your taking a long trip this can really add up, especially if you have a larger vehicle like an SUV or truck.

Another thing to be aware of is the different gasoline taxes imposed by different states. Both Mr Credit Card and I live in the same area. When you are traveling out of state, be sure to find out which state has the cheapest gas and fill up your tank in that state. In our case, gasoline prices are lower in New Jersey than in Pennsylvania. So I make it a point to fill up my tank only when I’m in New Jersey.

If you are looking to get a gas credit card I recommend looking into the Discover Open Road card. This card gives you 5% cash back on the first $100 in fuel purchases each month, and you can get 5% back on up to $1,200 in purchases each year.

Hopefully by now you already have your hotel accommodations sorted out but if for some reason you still need to book a hotel room for your vacation you can redeem points you’ve earned on a hotel rewards credit card such as the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. This card allows you to redeem points for 860 participating Starwood hotels and resorts in 95 countries including Sheraton, W Hotels, Westin and more with no blackout dates. With no blackout dates, you can redeem your points for free rooms at the peak of the season which is July and August at most beaches. (Mr Credit Card’s added comments: The best way to get cheap vacation packages (aside from reward points) is to book way in advance, or take advantage of any last minute deals). Doing tons of research also helps).

Finally, when you are on vacation you can use a cash back credit card such as the Discover More Card to earn up to 5% cash back at restaurants and on other misc travel related expenses. Here is a list of some of the best cash back credit cards. Hopefully by using some of this advice you’re able to relax a bit more this 4th of July knowing that your pocket isn’t quite as light as it could be, especially during these hard economic times. Mr Credit Card’s added thoughts: More often than not, your cash back credit card should also pay you a good rebate on gasoline as well.)

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