Travel credit cards can cover a lot of bases—bonus points, perks, and more. But not every card is right for every type of traveler. To help you find the best option, we’ve put together this list of the best travel credit cards on the market today. We’ll also help you learn what each card has to offer so that you can make your decision based on your personal preferences and needs.
American Express® Gold Card
The American Express® Gold Card offers a generous signup bonus and rewards program, but it has an annual fee that might be too high for some people. It’s perfect for people who can take advantage of the many benefits of this card.
Annual Fee: $250 (first year waived)
Signup Bonus: 40,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 in your first three months as a cardholder; 15% savings on purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue online for the first three months after account opening; and 5x points per dollar on airfare booked directly with airlines and all other purchases- travel credit cards.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great option for frequent travelers who want to earn rewards on their purchases.
The card offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. That’s worth $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (1 point = 1 cent). You’ll also get an annual travel credit that reimburses up to $300 per year and an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months- chase sapphire preferred.
Additionally, this card offers 2x points on dining and travel expenses as well as no foreign transaction fees so you can use it abroad without paying extra charges or converting your money into another currency.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is an excellent choice for travelers who want to earn rewards on their purchases, but who don’t want to pay an annual fee. The card offers a straightforward rewards program that allows you to earn two miles per $1 spent on all purchases, and one mile per $1 spent on hotel and airfare bookings. You can redeem your miles for travel statement credits or cash back into your bank account.
There are also no foreign transaction fees, so it won’t cost you extra when traveling outside of the U.S.. You also get access to other benefits like Price Protection and Return Protection—which reimbursements you if you find a lower price or return items purchased with the card within 90 days—and Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) coverage with every rental car booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is a card for frequent American Airlines flyers, as it earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 2 miles per dollar spent at gas stations, restaurants and on eligible American Airlines purchases. You also get 1 mile per dollar spent on other purchases. You can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is one of the best cards for travelers because it earns more than any other airline credit card (except Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®, which doesn’t have an annual fee). If you travel often with American Airlines or want to earn more than 1 mile per dollar spent on your everyday spending, apply now!
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most rewarding credit cards on the market. Earning points with this card can help you save money on travel, but it can also make your life easier in other ways. For example, you’ll be able to get access to airport lounges around the world and skip baggage fees when flying- travel credit cards. All that comes with an annual fee of $550—but if you use all of its features for just one week, you’ll have gotten more than enough value out of it!
This card offers many benefits that make it worth signing up for:
- Access to hundreds of airport lounges worldwide
- A $200 annual airline fee credit (good for baggage fees or seat upgrades)
- Additional Gold elite status at hotels like Kimpton and Hilton
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is an excellent travel credit card, and one of the best rewards cards on the market. It’s a great choice for people with good credit who want to earn points toward free flights, hotels, and other luxury travel experiences.
People with good or excellent credit should apply for this card if they want to earn 3X points on all travel expenses (including gas purchases) and 1X point everywhere else. If you’re an existing Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred customer (or are applying in a household where someone already has one of these two cards), you’ll also get 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in your first three months—an easy way to rack up upwards of $1,200 worth of free travel rewards!
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is a good travel rewards card for people who travel a lot and want to earn rewards without paying an annual fee.
This card offers 3X points on dining out and ordering in, as well as 3X points on travel-related expenses like hotels, airfare and more. You can also earn 1X point on all other purchases. The best part? There’s no annual fee.
With this card, you’ll get up to $500 cash back in your first year when you spend $3,000 within three months of account opening on purchases made with the card (that’s not including balance transfers). You’ll also get 30 days of zero interest if you make a purchase within 60 days or pay it off before the promotional period ends (and even then only pay the minimum payment due).
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card offers some of the most generous rewards out there, but it also has a higher annual fee than many other travel cards. You’ll earn seven points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels and resorts or at airlines, car rental companies, and restaurants. You can also earn 2 points per dollar on all other purchases made with your card- travel credit cards.
For every 60,000 points you earn with this card, you’ll get an additional point for every dollar you spend on purchases made with your card in any billing cycle (up to $10K). Points earned through the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card can be used toward stays at participating Marriott hotels or transferred to partner loyalty programs like Delta SkyMiles®, Southwest Rapid Rewards®, British Airways Executive Club® Avios Mileage Program®, and more. Points expire after 18 months from when they were awarded if they’re not redeemed for travel rewards within that time period—but fortunately there’s no limit on how much value you can get out of them beyond that 18-month mark!
Investigate these cards and their benefits carefully to be sure you get the most out of your money.
Before you start comparing the cards, take a moment to investigate the benefits of each one. Do they offer purchase protection, travel delay insurance, or baggage loss and damage coverage? Also compare their annual fees and foreign transaction fees. Look at how many points you’ll earn per dollar spent on each card (the sign-up bonus is not included in this figure). In addition, make sure that you understand what your credit score must be to qualify for these cards; if it’s too low or too high, some won’t let you apply.
Finally, check out whether there are any restrictions on who can use each card—for example some may be designed specifically for business travelers while others are marketed toward families looking for fun ways to spend their money abroad.
Now that you’ve read about the best travel credit cards, it’s time to get out there and start planning your next trip. With these cards in hand, you can take advantage of all kinds of perks, from airline miles to hotel points and more. Make sure to do a little research before making a final decision though—you don’t want to be stuck with an expensive card that doesn’t work for your needs!