Jet-setting Americans are missing out on hundreds of dollars of free travel annually by failing to take advantage of one simple thing: travel-focused credit cards. Collectively, Americans leave $22 billion worth of free travel expenses on the table per year, NerdWallet found in its recent 2018 Travel Credit Card Survey.
On an individual level, those who don't take advantage of travel rewards cards miss out on an average of $277 a year. That number is even higher for new cardholders who earn lavish sign-up offers.
These offers alone are worth an average of $450 after fees, NerdWallet reports. Combined with points earned throughout the first year, new cardholders receive an average of $901 in rewards.