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Summer's disappearing fast, but if you're already missing those balmy days, there's one key thing you can do to brighten up the darker evenings: start preparing for next year! There's no better way to beat the autumn chill than getting excited for your next summer holiday, and surprisingly, there are plenty of credit cards out there that could help you pay for it.
The traditional, but still (arguably) the best, air miles cards can be a great way to help pay for next year's holiday, simply by spending as you normally would. In a nutshell, they let you collect air miles as you shop, with many offering generous bonuses when you open an account, hit certain spending milestones or refer a friend to the scheme.
You can use air miles to pay for upgrades, accommodation, experiences and even entire flights, with the perks available varying depending on the air miles scheme you're with. Many even offer lounge access when you hit a certain membership tier, getting your holiday off to the best possible start.
However, bear in mind that these cards can come with hefty interest rates, which means you should only use them if you're certain you can afford to pay off the balance each month. If not, the value of the air miles you gain will be wiped out by the interest payments, which won't get you any closer to paying for your holiday.
Bear in mind too that the card you choose will be tied to a certain air miles scheme, such as Avios if it's a British Airways card or the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club if it's a Virgin deal, with each having their own travel partners. Do your research and make sure you're saving miles with the company you're most likely to travel with in future.
Cashback credit cards are simple – instead of letting you accumulate points, they allow you to earn cold, hard cash that you can use for anything you like (though for the purpose of this article, we're assuming you want to spend it on your next holiday!).
These cards can let you earn something back every time you shop, and you may be surprised at how quickly it can accumulate. This is especially the case if you earn bonus cashback when hitting certain milestones, which a lot of these cards offer.
Earn cashback when you shop: compare the top cashback credit cards
Cashback cards are ideal for those financially savvy few who like to spend on credit to benefit from the rewards available before paying the balance off when they get paid. It can be a great system, provided you don't start accruing interest – as with air miles cards – otherwise the cashback earned will be tiny in comparison.
It isn't always about the air miles or cashback. Some cards have partnerships with hotel or travel chains, so if you're particularly loyal to a certain hotel brand, you may want to consider one of these reward credit cards to boost your spending power on your next trip.
They work in much the same way as the cards previously mentioned – shop as you normally would, and you'll earn points that can typically be converted into hotel stays or related experiences, and some will let you convert them into air miles. Again, the perks vary depending on the loyalty scheme you're with, so it's worth doing a bit of research depending on where you want to go.
Any one of these types of credit card could help you pay for next holiday, provided you use them wisely and don't get into debt for the sake of it. Simply spend, earn points and pay off the balance in full each month, and you could soon be on your way to covering next year's summer break!
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