Gain Independence From Travel Expenses This July Fourth

We get it! More of you – actually 31 percent more – plan to travel this summer according to a new Capital One survey, the Rewards Barometer. While you’re psyched for your upcoming trip and likely started to share your plans with friends on Facebook, you may not be as happy about getting hit with extra fees and mounting costs at every click of the mouse while finalizing your vacation.

This Independence Day, free yourself to focus on that beachside margarita or that epic theme park ride because you didn’t “break-the-bank” on your travel budget by using those credit card miles or points you stockpiled during the cold days of winter. Now, more than ever, travelers are enjoying that triumphant feeling of saving by using their rewards to cover some or even all of their summer getaway costs.

But even savvy travelers have their limit on what they are willing to give up to save a few bucks, and legroom is one of those sticking points. Two-thirds of travelers surveyed would opt to fly direct instead of taking a cheaper flight with a layover, which can eat into that first coveted vacation day. Who wouldn’t rather spend a few extra hours on the beach instead of pacing the corridors of the airport?

Whether it’s beachside in the majestic Florida Keys or island hopping in Greece, location is the top priority when making summer 2013 travel arrangements. With the right rewards program, you can book a trip to just about any destination on your travel “bucket list.” If you’re looking to avoid the July Fourth crowds, and opt for a trip across the pond, make sure you read the fine print and watch out for foreign transaction fees. Otherwise you may feel like having your own Boston Tea Party when you check your statement and up to 5 percent in fees is tacked onto your overseas souvenirs. Luckily, Capital One rewards cards don’t charge any foreign transaction fees, so you can bring home all of the English tea you want. No matter which destination is on your “travel bucket list,” you should have the freedom to earn and redeem rewards whenever and however you want.

The Rewards Barometer surveyed how customers accumulate and redeem credit card rewards, specifically relating many of the findings to how people use those rewards for travel. The survey was conducted earlier this spring among U.S. adults who currently hold a rewards credit card.

What destination is on your travel bucket list this summer?