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Best Credit Cards For Travel Perks of January 2023 (Ranked!)

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Among the various things I like to do, traveling is at the top of the list. Whether swimming in the hotel pool in Singapore, gazing at the cherry blossoms in Tokyo, climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower, or skiing in the Colorado Rockies, I want to experience everything this world has to offer.

Today’s generation largely thinks the same way. One of the downsides is that traveling can be expensive. Having always to eat out, plane tickets, hotel rooms, and taxi cabs can add up quickly. In addition, there are a lot of other unexpected expenses that tend to arise when you travel.

The good news is that there is a way for you to save money while traveling the world. This comes in the form of travel reward credit cards

Credit card companies know that people who spend money also like to travel. Therefore, almost every major credit card company has developed a travel rewards credit card specifically designed to help you save money when you travel the world.

At the same time, there are lots of credit cards for travel perks from which to choose. How can you ensure you choose the right travel reward credit card to meet your need? We have compiled a list of the top options for the best credit cards for travel perks available. Check out our list below! 

Best Credit Cards For Travel Perks

Methodology: What Make Up the Best Credit Cards for Travel Perks?

Because so many options are available for the best travel credit card, it is important to look closely at how we decided to rank the best travel reward credit cards. Some of the criteria include: 

  • The sign-up bonus for your travel rewards credit card is one of the most important factors, as some credit cards give you enough points for free plane tickets immediately
  • We took a close look at how easy it is for you to rack up points that can be converted to travel rewards points
  • The ability to redeem rewards points in a variety of ways, either through booking directly or transferring to partners, while also being able to book a hotel and rental cars, flights, and other travel needs
  • We also considered the conversion rate and value of the points per dollar or miles per dollar when you are converting your points into dollars for plane tickets and hotel rooms
  • The ease of qualifying (reasonable credit score thresholds) for the travel rewards credit card was also a major factor
  • We took a look at the annual fees, if there is one, while also comparing them against the annual travel rewards
  • We also considered additional travel perks and benefits such as early boarding, free checked bags, lost luggage insurance, and access to airport lounges 

List of the Best Credit Cards for Travel Perks

Finally, we compiled all of these criteria to provide you with a list of the best travel reward credit card options. 

1. Best new premium travel credit card: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a great new premium travel credit card that comes with lots of perks. With this card, you’ll get 100,000 bonus miles for purchases made at least six months after account opening. The bonus miles are worth about $1,850, which can be used to cover travel expenses like airfare, hotels, and car rentals.

Plus, you’ll enjoy unlimited, free, and easy access to the Capital One premium network of lounges and more than 1,200 Priority Pass lounges around the globe.

Some of the quick highlights of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card include: 

2. American Express® Gold Card

american express gold card

If you love to travel, one of the cards you must consider is the American Express Gold Card. American Express has a number of popular travel cards, so it is important to look at all options from American Express, including the Platinum Card® from American Express and their various Blue Cash options.

For a well-rounded traveler, it is important to look at everything the gold card provides. Some of the quick highlights of the American Express Gold Card include: 

  • You will earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points once you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases and the first six months after opening an account
  • You will receive 4x Membership Rewards® points on restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x).
  • You will receive 3x points on flights that are booked directly with airline companies or through the travel website via American Express
  • There is an annual fee of $250 
  • 16.74% to 23.74% variable rate on eligible charges, see more about the “Rates & Fees
  • There is no foreign transaction fee 
  • You do need to have good to excellent credit to qualify for this card 
  • Terms Apply

This card is an outstanding choice for anyone who loves to travel and eat out regularly. Even though the annual fee is a bit hefty, it is a small price to pay for the ease with which you can rack up reward points

You can redeem reward points in numerous ways once you rack up enough. Even though redeeming your points for Amazon purchases is possible, many cardholders love using them to pay for their vacations.

Some other perks you will enjoy with this card include room upgrades at hotels, travel discounts, added amenities, and an opportunity to enroll in other rewards programs designed specifically for cardholders. Some of the main benefits of this card include (terms apply): 

  • This card allows you to rack up points quickly with easy point multipliers 
  • You can receive up to $120 and dining credits on eligible purchases from partners (enrollment is required for these benefits)
  • You can receive up to $100 in certain hotel credits (enrollment is required for these benefits)
  • There is no foreign transaction fee 

Some of the drawbacks of this card include: 

  • It can be challenging to get approved for this card 
  • There is no introductory APR 
  • The annual fee is $250 

The American Express Gold Card is one of the top travel cards available. 

See Related: Best Travel Credit Cards

3. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Credit Card Art

Even though many people are familiar with Capital One through their entertaining commercials, they also offer one of the top travel reward credit cards. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card travel benefits, reward opportunities, and point multipliers.

Credit cardholders can redeem their points for travel purchases by booking plane tickets and hotel rooms through the reward center on Capital One’s website. Alternatively, cardholders can convert their points directly into cash as a statement credit or a check. 

Some of the main features of the Venture Rewards Credit Card include: 

  • You will receive 5x the miles through hotels and rental cars that are booked through the rewards site 
  • Cardholders will receive 2x miles for every dollar spent on other purchases 
  • Earn 60,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • There is an annual fee of $95 
  • 15.99%, 20.99%, or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness at a variable rate
  • There is no foreign transaction fee 
  • There is no introductory APR

Even though the APR on this card is a bit high, cardholders will also receive a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck program, which is extremely helpful for those who travel regularly.

Furthermore, this card will also provide users with access to a wide variety of sporting and music events all over the world.  A few of the main benefits of this card include the following: 

  • Cardholders will be able to redeem their miles for additional perks directly to the Capital One Rewards Center 
  • Cardholders receive five times the miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One’s website 
  • There is a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application credit every four years 

Some of the drawbacks include the following: 

  • There is no introductory APR 
  • The APR on this card can be a bit high 
  • There is a $95 annual fee that comes with the card 

Those who use the card regularly might be able to call Capital One and ask them to waive the annual fee.

4. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

One of the most popular travel cards in the world is the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. For those who are looking for a travel credit card that provides an outstanding welcome bonus with a relatively low annual fee, Chase Sapphire Preferred may be the way to go.

Chase has long been a favorite among people who travel regularly, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred is just the latest travel rewards credit card in this long line. Some of the main features of this card include: 

  • This card has one of the world’s best credit card signup bonuses, with 60,000 points after $4,000 in spend within the first 3 months.
  • These 60,000 bonus points are worth $750 in travel credits when they are redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal 
  • Credit cardholders receive double points on travel and dining reward rates to 3x points not 2x points all over the world 
  • The annual fee is $95 
  • 18.24% – 25.24% variable APR
  • There is no foreign transaction fee 

In addition to the litany of features above, many people like the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card because it is metal.

It has a little bit of added heft when people use it. In addition, Chase Sapphire Preferred members will also receive 5% cashback on purchases made through Lyft

Some of the main benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card include the following:

  • Points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card are worth 25 percent more when they are redeemed directly through the Chase rewards website 
  • Points can be transferred easily to a wide variety of other travel programs, such as IHG Rewards Club or Marriot Bonvoy
  • There are additional travel protections that come with the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit cards such as lost luggage insurance and insurance on rental cars
  • Ability to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points in cash back
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Doesn’t require a very high credit score
  • Great sign-up bonus

Some of the drawbacks of using this card include the following: 

  • There are no additional rewards that are specific to hotels 
  • There is a $95 annual fee 
  • There is no introductory APR 

Despite this, the regular APR on the Chase Sapphire Preferred is significantly lower than on other travel credit cards. Combined with the outstanding signup bonus the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card provides, it is easy to see why so many people love it. 

See RelatedHow to Earn Airline Miles without a Credit Card

5. The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express is a top-tier credit card with excellent travel perks. These include airline fee credits, global lounge access, statement credit on prepaid Fine Hotels and Resorts, and elite status with hotel chains.

This travel rewards credit card also comes with a high annual fee, but the benefits can be well worth it for frequent travelers. Some of the main features of The Platinum Card from American Express include: 

  • Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
  • 5x points on flights booked directly with American Express Travel or airlines (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year)
  • 5x rewards on prepaid hotels booked via American Express Travel, and 1x points on general purchases
  • A sign-up bonus of 100,000 points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new credit card in your first 6 months from account opening
  • Insurance for rental cars booked with a credit card and travel insurance such as lost luggage insurance. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.
  • Up to $200 annual statement credits on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • No foreign transaction fees “See Rates & Fees

Some of the main benefits of The Platinum Card from American Express include: 

  • Ability to redeem points in a variety of ways through American Express Membership Rewards
  • Automatic premier status with Hilton HHonors and Marriott Bonvoy
  • Select American Express offers and discounts on eligible purchases
  • Exclusive American Express private events and parties
  • Excellent flexibility to redeem points or transfer to travel partners

Some of the drawbacks of The Platinum Card from American Express include the following: 

  • Steep annual fee of $695; however, the fee is easily covered by the travel perks and credits “See Rates & Fees
  • Not as good of points per dollar value as Chase Ultimate Rewards

See Related: How to Maximize the Amex Platinum Travel Credit

6. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

chase sapphire reserve credit card

For those who love the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card but travel so much they are looking for something extra, the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is something to consider.

This is one of the best travel rewards credit cards among those who engage in luxury travel regularly. In addition to providing a better points multiplier stand, a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card provides an annual statement that credit cardholders can apply to qualifying expenses.

Some of the main features of the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card include the following: 

  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve provides 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
  • This sign-up bonus is worth $750 when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Cardholders will receive 3x points on eligible purchases at dining and restaurants all over the world, including food delivery services, and 3x points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit.
  • Earn up to $300 in annual travel credit
  • The annual fee is $550
  • 16.99%–23.99% variable APR
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Great sign-up bonus

In addition to the features above, there are a number of other benefits of using this card. Up to a $100 statement credit will help travelers cover the cost of applying for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry programs.

In addition, the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card allows cardholders to enroll in something called Priority Pass Select, which gives cardholders access to various airport lounges, free Wi-Fi, free snacks, and free beverages.

Even though the annual fee is extremely high, those who travel regularly might find these added cards worth it. Furthermore, the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card gives individuals access to upgrades at certain hotels, complimentary meals, special discounts, and other amenities.

Combined with the fact that cardholders can redeem their credit card points at a bonus rate through the Chase Ultimate Rewards website, it is easy to see why so many people are willing to swallow the annual fee to enjoy this card. 

Some of the main benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card include the following: 

  • Earn up to a $300 annual travel credit for eligible travel purchases 
  • There is also a $100 application credit that can be applied for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry applications every four years 
  • This credit card provides cardholders with access to airport lounges in more than 500 cities all over the world 
  • There are special benefits available for luxury hotels and resorts 
  • Ability to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points in cash back

Some of the drawbacks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card include the following: 

  • The annual fee is incredibly high 
  • There is also a high balance transfer fee 
  • Likely, a high credit score is required to be accepted
  • There is no introductory APR period

The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card remains one of the world’s most popular travel credit cards due to its added amenities and perks that offset the high annual fee.

FAQs

Which credit cards have travel benefits?

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, and The Platinum Card from American Express are some cards that offer the best travel benefits and travel perks.

Are travel rewards credit cards worth it?

Travel rewards credit cards are definitely worth it to you if you travel frequently.

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

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