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3 Money Saving Tips for Summer Travelers

Not to brag, but I've broken out the grill and charcoal THREE times this week. I love summer, and with the weather warming up and the days getting longer, it's officially time to start planning those summer trips, be it on the ground or in the air.

For the frugal traveler looking to save some coin without sacrificing any good times, here are 3 money saving tips for summer travelers...

1.) Gas up with a cash back card

Road tripp'ers with visions of hitting the open road this summer would be wise to apply for a credit card that rewards gas purchases with bonus cash back. We recently read that gas prices were estimated to fall through June, but that doesn't mean gasoline is "cheap" by any stretch.

Lucky for consumers, there are some gas-friendly credit cards out there that can save summer travelers at the pump. Discover it® announced that beginning July 1st, cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made at gas stations through quarter 3 (September 30th) when they enroll. With gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon, that's a full 20 cents off per gallon of gas. Over the course of a road trip, that type of savings can really add up.

Another gas credit card, Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, offers members 3 percent cash back at US gas stations throughout the year. Apply ahead of time, carry your new gas credit card on the road, and be sure to use it when you gas up on your summer travels.

2.) Stock up on groceries, skip the fast food

Fast food is the easy, often greasy way out. And yeah, the drive-thru is pretty cheap, but over the course of your summer travels you're like to trim your budget – and, let's face it, your waistline – when you opt for the grocery store instead.

The aforementioned Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers a full 6 percent cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases made at grocery stores per year. 6 percent per dollar! When you combine the inherent savings of buying snacks at a grocery store versus a double quarter-pounder, plus the bonus cash back opportunities, and all of a sudden you've got some pretty good summer savings accruing in your account.

Your wallet – and your cholesterol – will be grateful when you opt out of fast food on your summer travels.

MONEY SAVING TIPS: Our picks for the 5 best credit cards for gas and groceries

3.) Book your flight with a bonus cash back credit card

Finally, if your summer vacation requires taking to the air this summer, you can earn some serious cash back when you book your flight with the right credit card.

For instance, if you're looking at flights above $500, credit cards like the Capital One® Cash Rewards - $100 Cash Back Bonus card can save you $100 with one swipe of the card so long as you make your purchase(s) of $500 or more within the first 3 months of account opening. Cardholders also earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases, and a 50 percent bonus on the cash back you earn every year.

Before booking your summer flight domestic or abroad, consider applying for a cash back card that rewards bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first 3 months for immediate savings of $100.

Discover it® - 5 percent cash back at gas stations starting July 1st

Beginning July 1st, cardholders that enroll in Discover's popular bonus cash back program will earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made at gas stations. Members earn 1 percent cash back on all other purchases, there's no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees for consumers traveling abroad.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express - 6 percent cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases

Our favorite credit card for gas and groceries is this card from American Express. Earn 6 percent cash back at US gas stations on up to $6,000 per year, and 3 percent at US gas stations and select department stores. Members can also earn 150 Reward Dollars after you make $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of Cardmembership.

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Jason Bushey's picture

Jason Bushey is the former Editor and Vice President of Creditnet. Jason is a Burlington, Vermont native who moved to sunny San Diego after earning a Bachelor's Degree in English and Political Science at the University of Vermont ('09). When he's not sharing his take on credit cards, administrating the Creditnet Forum or blogging about all things related to credit, you can probably find him cheering on the Green Bay Packers (He's an owner!) or running up and down the streets of SoCal.

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