With more than 56 per cent of the Australian population now owning a passport, it is no surprise the Australia Government recorded more than nine million trips overseas at 2017 financial year end. A whopping 61 million passengers were carried on flights around the country in 12 months, totaling $71 billion in revenue as at 30 June 2018. These figures are increasing each year as Australians continue their love affair with travel.

According to Roland Bleyer, founder and CEO of Creditcard.com.au – a site which provides the most comprehensive comparative information for credit cards in Australia – “most travellers use their credit card to purchase travel. In fact, many people will seek to use points and other benefits accumulated to purchase their travel,” Roland added.

“That’s why credit cards connected to airlines are growing in popularity. Cards such as the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Credit Card offers zero interest for the first 14 months and enable users to earn velocity points on purchases and also receive a $129 Virgin gift voucher each year. Qantas and Jetstar offer a range of options as well. Many provide bonuses including bonus points to encourage you to select their card over others in the market. Because so many people purchase travel and other related expenses for end of year getaways, it is important to make sure you are getting the best return for your spend – points or bonus points, and where possible use points you have accumulated to reduce your cost.”

Roland has some good advice for people when it comes to credit cards. Choosing the best card for bonus points comes down to where you shop the most, and which cards offer the most bonus points, as well as introductory bonus points, which can be anywhere from 5000 points to 20,000 points just for signing up with the card. “While it is important to get as many benefits as possible from your spend, there are also some things to be wary of,” Roland said.

“There are five things to look at. First, use the card to buy everything you can on it to maximise the benefits generated through the card. Next, pay off the balance in full each month to avoid paying any interest, then make repayments on time and even set up automatic payments to ensure you never get charged interest. Fourth, use the card to spend in rewards partner stores where possible to multiply points bonuses, and finally, use bonus points before they expire or build up if there is a limit.

“If you are thinking about travel at the end of the year, or looking to do more travel in the future, look at whether your existing credit card is structured to maximise benefits for you or not. If it is not, then you need to look at other credit card products. By changing to a better suited card, you could significantly increase the benefits you generate from your travel spend. My advice is hurry, and get yourself sorted – ideally before you book, or if you have already booked, before you travel.”

Creditcard.com.au is a market leader in online credit card comparison. It is user friendly and includes a simple to use search engine which enables users to search credit cards by a number of different of fields and requirements. It is considered to be one of the best places for free and objective information about all the credit cards available in Australia.