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(Last Updated On: 11/04/2021)

Traveling by train is an enchanting experience that offers dozens of rewards. Trains bring you closer to the landscape: you won’t see a flock of sheep grazing or breathe in the aroma of a field of tulips from the middle seat of an Airbus. Trains can whisk you to the outskirts and deposit you in the center of a city in no time. You can stretch out and relax and converse from a comfortable distance with fellow travelers when you ride the train. Some would say train travel is its own reward because every time we ride a train, we help sustain a vital industry and vibrant tradition. But today we’re here to talk about another kind of reward—one that can help you to take more train rides and see an even wider swath of the world or how to make a train adventure even more budget-friendly. They’re the kind of rewards issued by travel credit card companies. And collecting them can be a smart strategy for funding the vacations you dream of taking.


1. How To Make A Train Adventure Even More Budget-Friendly: Travel Credit Cards Are Different

People typically keep traditional credit cards in their wallets for a couple of reasons. Sometimes we carry a credit card simply to avoid having a lot of cash in our pockets—a practice that can be risky, particularly when we travel. Credit cards also help us pay for purchases we can’t afford to pay for all at once, be they necessities or nice-to-haves. That first practice is a perfectly fine way to use a travel credit. In fact, the best way to earn rewards from your travel credit card is to use it often, particularly for large purchases. But the second practice can be dangerous when using a travel credit card. Why? Because, while the average interest rate charged by the credit card industry as a whole—and you can find many that charge less—is 14.52%, some travel credit cards charge upwards of 25%. And many charge hefty annual fees on top of that. Carrying a high balance on a travel credit card will rack up your interest charges in no time. So the first rule of using a travel credit card is never to charge more to it than you can afford to pay off in a single billing cycle.

Munich to Salzburg Train Prices

Vienna to Salzburg Train Prices

Graz to Salzburg Train Prices

Linz to Salzburg Train Prices


2. The Benefits Of Using A Travel Credit Card

Travel credit card companies are anxious to have your business. They compete with other companies to earn it. Offering a unique and robust reward program is the chief way they distinguish themselves in the marketplace and attract customers.

Perks run the gamut. Some companies reward you with frequent flyer miles. Let’s say you’re a New Yorker planning a tasting tour of Bordeaux, the first part of your journey is likely a flight to Paris—which is likely to be the largest single expense of your trip. (That is unless you’re tasting some very rare vintages!) The frequent flyer miles you earn can buy that airline ticket for you. Some travel credit card companies include annual companion tickets as part of their reward structure, so you can bring a friend along on an adventure. Other companies offer rewards that can make your flight more pleasant, from first-class upgrades to exclusive access to airline lounges in airports worldwide. Discounts at hotels and restaurants also figure into some travel credit cards’ reward structure.

Paris to Marseilles Train Prices

Marseilles to Paris Train Prices

London to Paris Train Prices

Marseilles to Clermont Ferrand Train Prices


3. How To Make A Train Adventure Even More Budget-Friendly: Our Pick Of The Perks

The most flexible perk you can earn is cashback on your purchases. The best travel credit cards pay 2% back on all of your purchases. Some increase their cashback percentage to as much as 6% in select categories, including airfare, dining, and hotel purchases. If you use your travel credit card routinely—even to pay for everyday items like groceries and gas—cash rewards can add up quickly and be used to offset any travel expense you like, including your next train pass. But once again, it only makes sense to use your travel credit card this way if you a prepared to pay off your balance every month.

Basel to Interlaken Train Prices

Geneva to Zermatt Train Prices

Bern to Zermatt Train Prices

Lucerne to Zermatt Train Prices


4. Tips For Choosing A Travel Credit Card

Travel credit cards often use some kind of point system to calculate the rewards you earn and these systems tend to be complicated. Also, some cards impose a minimum purchase requirement before you can earn any points at all. For example, you may be required to make $1000 or more in purchases over a three-month period before you begin to earn points. Putting an airline ticket on your travel credit card is an easy way to meet the minimum. But you can also meet it by using your card for a few months to pay for everyday expenses. Just be sure to keep track of your purchases to make sure you’re on the way each month to reach your spending goal.

Your best bet is to compare each of the cards you’re considering apples to apples. You might want to create a spreadsheet for this purpose to be sure you’re capturing all of the features of each card and doing a fair comparison. Be sure to include interest APRs, minimum purchase requirements, cashback percentage, and annual fees your card charges in your calculation.

Vienna to Budapest Train Prices

Prague to Budapest Train Prices

Munich to Budapest Train Prices

Graz to Budapest Train Prices


Train Adventure Even More Budget Friendly


5. How To Make A Train Adventure Even More Budget-Friendly: One Last Recommendation

Wanderlust can be an irrepressible urge. As travel experts, we urge you to use credit responsibly. Also, we ask you to consider your responsibility to the planet. Making travel choices that have a low environmental impact, such as traveling by train instead of by automobile to explore your next destination, is one way to travel while being true to the principles of sustainability.

Offenburg to Freiburg Train Prices

Stuttgart to Freiburg Train Prices

Leipzig to Freiburg Train Prices

Nuremberg to Freiburg Train Prices


Here at Save A Train, we will be happy to help you plan your vacation in Europe by train. 



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