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The 14 Best Travel Credit Cards

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These are some of the best credit cards to help you travel like a pro.

A travel rewards card offers rewards to consumers with miles or points. This is a godsend for frequent travelers as each point racked up may be used for travel-related purposes such as flights, experiences, or hotel room discounts.

The trick to securing a lucrative travel credit card is to choose one that fits your lifestyle. Otherwise, the annual fees and high interest rates may dent your budget, leaving you with a credit card you’d hardly use.

A great travel credit card takes you on free trips, comes to the rescue in travel-related emergencies, and won’t charge you fees once you use it overseas.

TL;DR: Top Picks by Category

Looking to get the quick lowdown on the best travel credit cards? Here is a quick breakdown of our favorite cards for travel by hotels, airlines, perks, and more.

Category Our Pick
Premium Travel Card The Platinum Card® from American Express
Flexible Travel Card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Airline Credit Card Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Hotel Credit Card Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
0% APR Credit Card Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Know, however, that the best travel credit card is relative to the user – which means that the perfect credit card does not exist, but there are cards for traveling that are perfect for the user’s lifestyle.

To aid you in your travel hacking endeavor, I’ve compiled a list of tips, best practices, and the best travel credit cards. You’ll likely have a number of credit cards, so I created a free spreadsheet to help you track your rewards points, credit inquiries, and accounts.

It’s completely free to use and takes 5 seconds to download.

What We Cover

Best Travel Credit Cards

There are many travel credit cards in the market, but we’ve condensed the list to the best of the best. Here are our favorites:

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

chase sapphire reserve credit card

Recommended Credit Score: 720-850

Annual Fee: $550

Sign-Up Bonus: 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening

APR: 22.24%–29.24% variable rate

Rewards and bonuses: Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.

Earn 3x points on restaurants and 10x points on Chase Dining purchases with Ultimate Rewards®

Why it’s good: With great bonus rewards, a sizeable annual travel credit, airport lounge membership, and a Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit, among others, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is easily one of the best travel credit cards.

Its versatile rewards may be used for 1:1 transfers to hotels and airlines, booking travel, airline tickets, lounge access at all Priority Pass lounges, and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Despite the steep annual fee, a great sign-up bonus cements its place as one of the best elite travel cards – a perfect choice for serious rewards collectors.

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Art

Annual Fee: $95

Sign-Up Bonus: 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening

APR: 21.24%–28.24% variable rate

Rewards and bonuses: Earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining, and 2X points on all other travel purchases. No foreign transaction fees and no blackout dates.

Why it’s good: If you’re looking for a more affordable version of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, the Preferred Card is the second-best option. The relatively small annual fee and lower credit score requirements make it a good choice for the regular traveler.

Although the card offers fewer travel benefits than Chase Sapphire Reserve®, the earnings rate and sign-up bonus make it one of the best. This travel credit card also offers access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program, which provides access to many travel-related redemption options.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is ideal for those seeking a more comprehensive travel rewards card. After spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, you can earn 60,000 bonus points plus 2X points on travel and 3X points on dining purchases.

This card also offers additional perks such as up to $50 in the form of a statement credit towards eligible purchases at a hotel or rental car booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 25% bonus points when redeeming points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal (making each point worth 1.25 cents), exclusive events access, no foreign transaction fees, and primary rental car insurance – making its rewards rate even more attractive!

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is perfect for those looking to maximize travel rewards. It offers higher rates and extra benefits than many other cards. Make your travels count with this great option!

3. American Express® Gold Card

american express card

Recommended Credit Score: 670-850

Fees:

  • Annual Fee: $250
  • Intro Offer: 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases on your new card in your first 6 months of card membership.
  • APR: 120.99% to 28.99% variable rate on eligible charges for Pay Over Time feature
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: This card has zero foreign transaction fees.
  • See Rates and Fees

Rewards and bonuses (Terms Apply): Get 4x points (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x) at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants, up to a $120 dining credit, up to a $120 Uber Cash, 3x points on flights booked on amextravel.com or with the airlines directly, and 1x points on other purchases. Enrollment is required for dining and airline credits. 

Why it’s good:  The many travel perks, annual airline fees, and dining credits, as well as earning structure, make the American Express® Gold Card a wise choice for travelers who can easily cover travel expenses with its annual fee.

This travel credit card is remarkably versatile: you can transfer your Amex Membership Rewards® points to various hotels and airlines, as well as use your points to book a flight via AmexTravel.

See Related: Amex Gold vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

4. Citi Prestige Credit Card

Citi Prestige Card

Annual Fee: $495

Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening

APR: 16.74%-24.74% variable rate based on your creditworthiness

Rewards and bonuses: Get 5x points on restaurants and air travel, 5x points on restaurants, lounge access, and hotels. This card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

Why it’s good: A great card for travelers who love to dine, the Citi Prestige Card offers great rewards for dining and airfare, as well as a competitive rewards rate for cruises and hotels. With a steep annual fee, it’s not for everyone, but the generous sign-up bonus makes it all worthwhile.

The card also offers a $250 airline statement credit, a free hotel stay on your fourth night, as well as airport lounge access. You can use your Citi ThankYou points on airline partners or for booking travel directly. Citi ThankYou Points do not expire, and there is no limit to the number of points you can earn.

5. The Platinum Card® from American Express

amex platinum card

Recommended Credit Score: 700-850

Fees:

  • Annual Fee: $695
  • Intro Offer: 80,000 points after you spend $6,000 on purchases with your new Card in your first 6 months of card membership.
  • APR: 20.99% to 28.99% variable rate on eligible charges for the Pay Over Time feature
  • Transaction Fees: This card has zero transaction fees.
  • See Rates and Fees

Rewards and bonuses (Terms Apply): 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. 

Why it’s good: The Platinum Card from American Express is crafted from metal and glistens with sophistication, but what makes it one of the best travel credit cards is its whopping welcome bonus and great earnings bonus on airfare when booking via American Express Travel.

With a steep annual fee, you get what you pay for monthly Uber credits, airline fee, statement credits monthly, credit, Hilton Gold status, airport lounge membership, and points you can transfer to hotels, airlines, and more.

6. AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

American Airlines AAdvantage Credit Card

Recommended Credit Score: 690-850

Annual Fee: $99

Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 points after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days

APR: 0% introductory APR for the first 15 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening. After that (and for balance transfers that do not post within 45 days of account opening), a variable APR will apply, 20.99%, 24.99%, or 29.99%, based on your creditworthiness.

Rewards and bonuses: Get 2x miles for all eligible American Airlines purchases and 1x miles for all other purchases. You can earn miles on partner airlines, including Cathay Pacific, Qantas, British Airways, and Hawaiian Airlines. Enroll in the Flights Cents program to round up each purchase to the nearest dollar for more rewards.

Why it’s good: This travel credit card offers one of the best sign-up bonuses compared to other airline co-branded cards in the market.

If you’re a frequent flyer with a serious goal of saving up miles for larger trips, this card offers great features (the Flight Cents program can boost your miles-earning potential).

See Related: Cheap Destinations to Travel To

7. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

Recommended Credit Score: 700-850

Annual Fee: $95

Sign-Up Bonus: 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 6 months from your account opening

APR: 20.99% to 27.99% variable rate based on your creditworthiness

Rewards and bonuses: Get an additional Free Night Award every year on your account anniversary, 6x points at over 7,000 participating Marriot Bonvoy Hotels, 2x points for all other purchases, and up to 15 Elite Night Credits per calendar year. No foreign transaction fees

Why it’s good: This is a great card for serious travelers who stay in hotels often with its massive sign-up bonus and various hotel perks and bonuses.

Top-notch benefits include a free stay at a hotel once a year, a variety of redemption options, travel concierge, and automatic elite status.

This card is also perfect for families to travel hack, as Marriott Bonvoy offers some of the most family-friendly hotels and resorts around the world.

See Related: Our Favorite Black Friday Travel Deals

8. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Credit Card Art

Recommended Credit Score: 670-850

Annual Fee: $95

APR: 20.99% – 28.99%, based on your creditworthiness at a variable rate

Sign-Up Bonus: 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Rewards and bonuses: Get up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry/TSA Precheck. Choose to fly on any airline or stay in any hotel with no blackout dates. Zero foreign transaction fees.

Why it’s good: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has a high rewards rate, versatile rewards redemption, a great sign-up bonus, and zero foreign transaction fees.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a top travel credit card. You’ll receive a 75,000 points sign-up bonus when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

Plus, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases with no foreign transaction fees. You can redeem your miles for statement credits, gift cards, travel, and more!

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card also offers additional benefits like a $100 statement credit every four years for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees. Enjoy access to Capital.

One’s best prices guarantee gives you a refund on eligible prepaid hotels if you find a lower price elsewhere. Transfer your points to airline and hotel partners such as Avianca, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, and Singapore Airlines!

This card is ideal for frequent travelers due to its generous rewards rate, flexible redemption options, and extra travel perks – making the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card an excellent choice for those seeking great rewards!

See Related: How to Book a Flight Without a Credit Card

9. Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card: Best No-Fee Card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit card design
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card / Bank of America

Recommended Credit Score: 670 or higher

Annual Fee: No annual fee

APR: 18.24% – 28.24%

Sign-Up Bonus: 25,000 online bonus points once you spend at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days

Rewards and bonuses: Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spend, earn 25%-75% more

Why it’s good: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is ideal for those seeking a no-fee card with great rewards and redemption options. This card grants unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases without any annual or foreign transaction fees. Each point is worth 1 cent, which can be redeemed as statement credits. Plus, the card offers 25,000 bonus points and easy rewards redemption.

No need to keep track of complicated bonus categories – the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card provides a generous rewards rate on every purchase that can be used for flights, hotels, rental cars, and more! And there’s no annual fee either – so you can save money while maximizing your rewards.

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card also comes with additional benefits and perks such as exclusive discounts from certain hotels and rental cars plus access to special events. Spend at least $1,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening to receive an extra 25,000 bonus points too!

For beginner travelers looking for maximum travel rewards without paying any fees, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is an excellent option with its generous rewards rate, no annual fee, and added benefits & perks!

10. Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card: Best for Luxury Travel

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card Design
Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card / Wells Fargo

Recommended Credit Score: 670 or higher

Annual Fee: No annual fee

APR: 20.24%, 25.24% or 29.99%

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points once you spend 1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Rewards and bonuses: 3X points for dining, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans

Why it’s good: The Wells Fargo AutographSM Card is ideal for those seeking a luxurious travel experience. This card offers unlimited 3x points on eligible purchases such as restaurants, gas stations, and transit, plus up to 3x rewards on travel – making it an attractive option for those who want to earn rewards from their luxury travels. Plus, you can get a sign-up bonus of up to 20,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months from account opening.

The Wells Fargo Autograph Credit Card also provides various other benefits like cellphone protection, rental car coverage, and Visa Signature access with exclusive events and services. You’ll even receive up to 25% extra points when using your travel card! Additionally, this card has no annual or foreign transaction fees, making it great for international travelers. Plus, there’s a 0% introductory APR 12 months from account opening, so you can make large purchases immediately without worrying about interest payments.

The Wells Fargo Autograph Credit Card is perfect if you’re looking to maximize your rewards on luxury trips but remember that many factors should be taken into consideration when selecting the best travel credit card – including reward rates, fees & bonuses, foreign transaction fees; international acceptance; and perks offered by the card issuer.

11. Citi Premier® Card: Best for Flexible Redemption

Citi Premier® Card
Citi Premier® Card / Citi

Recommended Credit Score: 670 or higher

Annual Fee: $95

APR: 21.24%- 29.24%

Sign-Up Bonus: 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months

Rewards and bonuses: 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel, and hotels.

Why it’s good: The Citi Premier® Card is a great choice for those seeking flexibility in redemption. After spending $4,000 within the first three months, cardholders are rewarded with 60,000 bonus points and no foreign transaction fees. Plus, 0% intro APR for 15 months and a $95 annual fee make this card even more attractive. Triple points on air travel and hotels, as well as double points on all other eligible purchases, add to its appeal.

The Citi Premier® Card offers an additional perk – a $100 annual hotel savings benefit for single-stay bookings of at least $500 (excluding taxes and fees). This can really add up over time! Furthermore, cardholders have access to exclusive experiences plus Citi’s best prices when booking through thankyou.com.

Regarding redeeming rewards, the Citi Premier® Card has plenty of options: cashback; travel purchases; gift cards; 1:1 point transfers to airline or hotel partners; flights or hotels booked through Citi’s travel portal; items from their online store – you name it!

12. U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card: Best for Airline Miles

U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Credit  Card
U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card / U.S. Bank

Recommended Credit Score: 670 or higher

Annual Fee: $0 for the first year and $95/year.

APR: 21.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points by spending $2,000 in the first 120 days

Rewards and bonuses: 5X points in on prepaid hotels and car rentals, 4X points on travel, and 2X points at groceries, dining, and streaming services.

Why it’s good:

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® is ideal for those seeking a travel rewards card with airline miles. With 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in eligible purchases within 120 days of account opening and no annual fee, this card makes it easy to accumulate miles quickly—earning 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases.

Benefits include a $100 statement credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fees, an annual travel credit, and a balance transfer fee waiver. Points can be transferred to various airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio or used to book flights and hotels through U.S. Bank’s travel portal, plus access exclusive experiences.

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® credit card offers a generous sign-up bonus with no foreign transaction fees – perfect for maximizing airline miles!

13. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Best for Premium Travel

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card / Capital One

Recommended Credit Score: 700 or higher

Annual Fee: $395

APR: 22.24% – 29.24%

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months

Rewards and bonuses: 10,000 bonus miles on your first anniversary, $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, and get $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®

Why it’s good: The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the perfect choice for premium travel rewards. With an annual fee of $95 (waived for the first year), this card offers 75,000 points intro offer and 2 miles per dollar spent.

You can use your points to book flights, hotels, rental cars, and other eligible purchases – or redeem them as statement credits or gift cards. You’ll also benefit from Capital One’s Best Prices guarantee when booking flights and hotels through the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

New cardholders who spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening will receive 60,000 bonus miles, which can be used for statement credits, gift cards, or travel purchases. Plus 10x miles on hotel and rental car purchases and 2 miles per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases!

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is ideal for frequent travelers who want to maximize their travel rewards without foreign transaction fees. So what are you waiting for?

14. Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Best for Cash Back

Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card
Chase / Chase

Recommended Credit Score: 670 or higher

Annual Fee: No annual fee

APR: 0.49%–29.24%

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months

Rewards and bonuses: Earn 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstore purchases. Earn 5% on travel purchases and 15% on all other purchases.

Why it’s good: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card is excellent for those seeking cash-back rewards on everyday purchases. This card offers 1.5% cashback on all purchases, 5% cashback on travel bookings made through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and 3% cashback on dining and drugstore acquisitions. The card has no annual fee and provides flexible redemption options for statement credits and gift cards.

New cardholders who spend $500 within three months of account opening will receive a generous sign-up bonus of $200! Furthermore, users can use the refer-a-friend program, which allows them to earn up to $500 per year.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is ideal for those looking to get money-back rewards from regular shopping trips – it’s also a great stepping stone towards the Chase Freedom FlexSM! With its zero annual fee, rewarding sign-up bonus, and convenient redemption choices, this card helps maximize your rewards potential!

Travel Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

Travel credit cards with no annual fee are best for people who don’t want to spend too much money but don’t want to miss out on great deals. If you want to save money, then definitely get a card that has no annual fee.

The best part is that you can use this card anywhere in the world, and it won’t cost you any extra. You can use it to buy groceries and plane tickets to walk into your favorite store.

If you mainly use your card in one area of the world, it’s best to find a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. I prefer to maximize the sign-up bonus, but that usually comes at the expense of a high annual fee. If you prefer a no-annual-fee credit card, consider one of these top travel cards.

What Are Travel Rewards Credit Cards?

A travel rewards card offers rewards to consumers with miles or points. This is a godsend for frequent travelers as each point racked up may be used for travel-related purposes such as flights, experiences, or hotel room discounts.

The trick to securing a lucrative travel credit card is to choose one that fits your lifestyle. Otherwise, the annual fees and high interest rates may dent your budget, leaving you with a credit card you’d hardly use.

A great travel credit card takes you on free trips, comes to the rescue in travel-related emergencies, and won’t charge you fees once you use it overseas.

How Do Travel Rewards Credit Cards Work?

The amount of rewards earned varies depending on the type of card held. Generally speaking, travel rewards cards have higher rewards rates than cash back or other rewards.

For instance, some top-tier travel rewards cards grant up to 5X points or miles on dining and traveling expenses. Additionally, certain credit cards present sign-up bonuses – an excellent method to kickstart your earning potential!

Selecting the right travel rewards card to meet your needs may seem intimidating. Thus, it is essential to consider all the features and advantages each card offers.

Rewards rates, annual fees, sign-up bonuses, foreign transaction fees, international acceptance, and perks should all be considered when making this decision. Moreover, it is important to comprehend how points and miles work to maximize your earnings potential.

By understanding how travel reward credit cards operate and selecting the correct one according to your requirements, you can fully take advantage of their benefits while maximizing your gains!

How Do You Select The Best Travel Rewards Card?

There are a few things to consider when determining which travel credit card is best for you. First, look for cards with high rewards on travel spending with a lower base rate for other expenses (commonly 1%). Other cards offer the same rate for all your spending.

The best travel credit cards offer a wide array of useful protections and perks when you travel. These perks may include accident insurance, travel insurance, premium concierge services, lost luggage insurance, emergency assistance, rental car coverage, reduced service fees and discounts, or free checked bags.

Hot tip: Select cards with protections that apply to you. Travelers who frequently rent cars will need a card with great rental coverage. If you always bring expensive items, opt for a card with lost baggage protection.

How we chose our list of top travel rewards cards

Our list of the best credit cards for travel is ranked and includes only the best based on their traveler-friendly features.

  • The card must offer a high reward rate for travel spending with a lower base rate for other expenses (commonly 1%).
  • Then, each card listed must have a wide array of protections and perks that will be useful when you travel. The best credit cards offer a variety of abilities to provide travelers with protection and benefits.
  • Finally, each travel rewards card offers extremely flexible travel rewards programs, so you have as many options as possible when using your travel rewards points.

Some credit cards provide benefits that others cannot. Play the long game, treat your travel rewards like real assets, and always optimize.

How to Choose the Best Travel Credit Card

Choose the Best Travel Credit Card

Selecting the best travel credit card requires getting into the nitty-gritty of the card’s features, rewards, and bonuses. Before choosing the best for you, take some time to see how these features stack up.

1. Know the difference between co-branded and general credit cards.

  • Co-branded credit cards: These credit cards are issued by a hotel chain or an airline. As such, the rewards on these cards may only be redeemed in the establishments they represent. Perks and bonuses may include priority boarding for airlines, free checked bags, or upgrades and bonus amenities in your accommodation.
  • General credit cards: these are more versatile and may be used for various travel expenses. Points or miles collected may be converted to book a trip or redeem points for a credit on your account.

Hot tip: Consumers who frequently use a single airline or book from a single hotel group may opt for a co-branded travel credit card. Otherwise, a general travel credit card offers many more features and flexibility.

2. Look for cards with higher rewards and great sign-up bonuses.

Select one with 1.5% to 2% of your total spending rewards when looking for the best travel credit card. In most cases, the larger the annual fee is, the better the reward rates and the sign-up bonuses are for the credit card.

Sign-up bonuses are points you earn when spending a certain amount within the first few months of owning the card. This is one of the best ways to build a large travel rewards balance. Cards with great sign-up bonuses can easily win you a free round-trip flight.

Hot tip: look for cards with high rewards and great redemption processes. You’ll find cards with high rewards on travel spending with a lower base rate for other expenses (commonly 1%).

Other cards offer the same rate for all spending. Avoid cards that offer less than 1 cent per mile or points you redeem.

3. Pay special attention to travel perks and protections.

The best travel credit cards offer many useful protections and perks when you travel. These perks may include accident insurance, travel delay insurance, rental car coverage, concierge services, lost luggage insurance, and emergency assistance. Co-branded hotel and airline cards may offer upgrades, priority boarding, discounts, and free checked bags.

Hot tip: Select cards with protections that apply to you. Travelers who frequently rent cars will need a card with great rental coverage. If you always bring expensive items, opt for a card with lost baggage protection.

See Related: How to Earn Airline Miles without a Credit Card

4. Consider applicability for international travel

Consider whether your travel card is accepted overseas if you often travel internationally. Your card’s payment network determines whether it may be used overseas or not.

Mastercard and Visa, for example, are accepted widely around the world. Discover and American Express, not so much.

Hot tip: Never pay foreign transaction fees. It’s best practice to look for a card without foreign transaction fees. Some cards charge extra fees when you purchase outside the United States. These fees usually amount to 3% of your total purchase.

5. Consider your credit score situation

Most travel credit cards are only available for consumers with good credit scores (650 or above). If you have less, you may be declined.

Get your credit score for free by using CreditKarma. It takes minutes, and you’ll have a full credit report. This will help you understand your likelihood of approval for certain travel credit cards.

See Related: How to Maximize the Amex Platinum Travel Credit

6. Learn About Rewards Rates

The reward rate is the most crucial factor when looking for a travel reward card. This percentage reflects how many rewards you will gain for each dollar spent on eligible purchases.

Different cards offer varying rates for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and dining. Some provide a flat rate across all purchases, while others may grant bonus points in specific areas like travel or dining. Additionally, some cards give higher rewards when buying through their portal.

When assessing rewards rates, such as the value of the points per dollar, compare those of various cards and pick one that best suits your spending habits and travel goals. Also, consider what type of reward is offered – cash back or points/miles. Cashback can be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards or other benefits, whereas points/miles can be used to pay for flights, hotels, and other forms of travel.

Plus, they can be transferred to airline/hotel partners too! Consider how many points/miles are earned per dollar spent – some offer 2+ while others have additional bonuses in certain categories. By understanding the value of these rewards, you’ll get maximum benefit from every dollar spent!

7. Know the pros and cons of each travel rewards credit card

Before getting a travel rewards card, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of having one versus other options. Hotel and airline credit cards can lead you faster to elite status, opening a variety of perks and bonuses.

if your travel plans are flexible, your airline card redemption values can be very useful. On the other hand, general travel cards can offer travel redemptions and options such as a gift card or a statement credit.

On the other hand, travel credit cards also have their drawbacks. Travel cards are more likely to have annual fees than cash-back credit cards. Travel loyalty programs can also be very restrictive when redeeming your points, with rules that are very complicated and hard to understand.

Hot tip: When deciding between cash-back and travel credit cards, see how the benefits stack up for your lifestyle. Travel cards may be more lucrative if you’re into traveling and exploring the world.

What are the pros and cons of getting a travel rewards credit card?

Pros of a Travel Rewards Credit Card

There are many reasons why people choose to get travel credit cards. One of the main reasons is the potential for big travel rewards points or cashback on purchases. People also like that they can use it to book a flight and as a regular credit card for everyday expenses.

Another pro is that these cards provide protection in case your trip gets canceled. So if anything unexpected happens, like the airline going bankrupt or you’re injured at the airport, an insurance plan will help cover your costs.

Cons of a Travel Rewards Credit Card

Earning all the travel rewards you want can sometimes be difficult. It also depends on where you’re looking to travel and how much you want to spend because these points are not usually worth as much for international flights.

Another con is that you’re not guaranteed to be able to use your points towards the travel rewards of your choosing, although some cards provide this option.

Travel credit cards usually include perks and benefits, such as free checked bags and discounts when booking a hotel or using roadside assistance. You’ll have to decide which cards best suit your travel needs.

If you use travel credit cards, pay off the balance monthly because they usually have a higher APR than regular credit cards. You shouldn’t ever carry a balance on these credit cards for any reason due to the interest rate involved.

They also have foreign transaction fees. Most credit cards have a 3% charge for purchases made abroad, so this is something to consider if you don’t plan on using your card outside the country.

Who should apply for travel rewards credit cards?

Travel rewards cards are great for people who are disciplined with their credit card use and have a fair to great credit score.

This will allow you to get a variety of different types of travel credit cards, so you can build up rewards through a number of programs.

Since travel credit cards are best for people with good credit standing, these individuals will receive the best rates for purchases and travel. You should apply for a travel credit card if you:

  • love to travel
  • often travels domestically or internationally
  • are confident that you will be able to pay off their credit card balance each month fully
  • would like to improve your credit score

What are some of the best travel rewards credit card options for frequent travelers?

If you travel frequently and want to accumulate travel reward points quickly, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is probably best for you.

There’s a signup bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first three months of opening an account, and this card will also give you two miles per dollar spent on every purchase. These miles can be redeemed when booking travel through their rewards portal or at over 150 travel sites.

You’ll also get the best price guarantee each time you book a hotel through a portal and an insurance policy for travel accidents, trip cancellations, or car rental theft and damage.

Another excellent travel credit card option is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You’ll earn 50k bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account.

What’s the best travel credit card for beginners?

If you are starting and do not have an established credit score, applying for a low-interest credit card is best. This will allow you to establish your credit while taking advantage of the company’s lowest rates. One of the best cards for building your credit with a low interest rate is the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard.

This credit card comes with 150,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. You’ll also earn 2x miles per dollar spent, and 10% of redeemed rewards will be refunded for travel purchases at any travel partner airline.

Making the Most of Your Travel Reward Card

Now that you’re familiar with the various types of travel credit cards and the top picks for this year, it’s time to discover how to get the most out of your travel credit card.

To maximize your benefits, you must accumulate points and miles, comprehend the travel protections available, and take advantage of partner programs.

By utilizing these strategies and knowledge wisely, you can ensure maximum value from your rewards while enjoying unforgettable experiences and saving money in the long run! Follow these tips to squeeze every drop out of your travel reward card!

Maximize Earning Potential

To get the peak performance from your travel reward card, it’s essential to maximize your earning potential. This involves taking full advantage of your card’s rewards and benefits – such as gaining points for hotel stays and car rentals, capitalizing on sign-up bonuses, and avoiding foreign transaction fees.

Moreover, you can also look for opportunities to earn extra points by using certain cards for particular purchases. For instance, you may get double or triple points when utilizing a card with an airline or hotel loyalty program.

Finally, keep track of your credit score, too, since this can affect the amount of points you can gain. By following these tips, you’ll ensure you get the most out of your travel reward card and enjoy every bit of your travels!

Use Points and Miles Strategically

Now that you understand how to get the most out of your travel reward card let’s explore ways to use points and miles strategically. Redeeming points and miles is one of the key methods for maximizing a travel rewards credit card’s value.

Depending on the program, you may be able to redeem points for flights, hotels, and car rentals or even cash back. Additionally, you could transfer points to partner programs such as airline and hotel loyalty programs for extra value.

It is essential to research different redemption options and comprehend the worth of each option before cashing in your points. Moreover, you should also be aware of various redemption options from your particular program. For instance, some programs might offer bonus points for travel or dining purchases or allow you to convert points into air miles.

You can maximize your rewards by understanding the distinct values associated with each type of redemption, plus taking advantage of bonus points and miles.

Furthermore, it is important that you are conscious of the expiration date related to your earned points and miles; some programs will have a hard expiration date, while others will permit extending it by using those same rewards. By being mindful of expiry dates and utilizing bonus offers effectively, you can maximize the value of these benefits, thus getting the maximum benefit from this credit card.

When selecting how to redeem your earned rewards, you must also compare the cost incurred if booking directly versus through an issuer. In a few cases, booking through an issuer may provide more value, so it would be wise to compare both options before deciding.

Also, keep an eye on any blackout dates or restrictions linked with particular programs; researching and being aware of all possible redemption options helps get the best return on investment from these awards.

Take Advantage of Travel Protections

Regarding travel rewards, it’s essential to comprehend the various types of travel protections available and how to benefit from them. Most travel credit cards provide a range of travel safeguards, such as lost luggage insurance, trip cancellation insurance, and rental car insurance.

Moreover, some cards offer extra advantages like access to hotel collections when booked through the issuer, entry or TSA PreCheck, hotel loyalty programs access, and more. It is important to understand the different types of travel protections available and how they can be used to maximize your advantage with your reward card.

For instance, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers several travel protections, including lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation insurance, and rental car insurance. This card provides up to $100 in statement credits annually for dining or traveling purchases.

By taking full advantage of these safeguards, you can ensure that your reward card works hard for you while ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey, too! Furthermore, suppose you use your card regularly for traveling expenses each year. In that case, you may gain additional perks such as entry or TSA PreCheck privileges, plus access to hotel loyalty programs.

By making use of all the different types of travel protections available, you can get the most out of your reward card while having an unforgettable experience on every single trip!

Consider Partner Programs

Regarding travel rewards credit cards, partner programs are a must-have. Many of these cards offer partner programs that let you earn extra points or miles when you make purchases with their partners. For instance, airline and hotel partner programs can give you bonus points or miles when booking travel.

These partner programs are an effective way to maximize your travel rewards card. By taking advantage of them, you get not only additional points or miles, which can be redeemed for free trips or other rewards, but also special offers and discounts from the program itself!

Maximizing the value of your travel rewards credit card is easy if you take advantage of its partner program – it’s a surefire way to make the most out of all your travels!

What are the best strategies to maximize travel rewards?

One of the best strategies for maximizing travel rewards with credit cards is using your credit card points on travel. For the best results, you want a card that offers no foreign transaction fees. You can also get many travel reward points with hotel and airline credit cards, as they often lead much quicker to elite status and offer lots of perks.

If you are flexible about the dates of your travel plans, airline credit cards can be very useful for maximizing the value of existing purchases and redemptions.

The best travel credit cards also offer great travel protection, so make sure that whichever card you pick meets your needs and priorities when you travel!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Best Credit Card For International Travel?

The best credit card for international travel is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. It has no foreign transaction fees and bonus points for travel and dining purchases.

This card also has a 1:1 point transfer to major airline programs. You can also get bonus points from hotels too.

What is the best credit card for travel points?

The best credit card that I have found is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You will earn 2x points per $1 on all travel and 3x on dining purchases. This includes flights, hotels, car rentals, and taxis.

You also earn 1x point per $1 on all other purchases. You can earn no limit to how many Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

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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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