Best Travel Credit Cards

credit cards in pocket

If you are a frequent flyer or you just like to travel a lot, then finding the best travel credit card to give you the most out of your adventure is super important. You’ll want to make sure that every purchase either earns points or miles that can be redeemed for travel expenses. You’ll want a card that offers perks and gives you the best value for your money.

Below you will find the best travel cards offering you flexible rewards that can be used without crazy blackout dates or a bunch of restrictions that other branded cards come with.

Top 14 Best Travel Credit Cards

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

#1 – Top Choice For Flat-Rate Rewards

This is one of the best travel credit cards available today, allowing you to earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases! No blackout dates and has offers a nice sign-up bonus with a lot of other perks!

Discover it® Miles

#2 – Top Choice For Flat-Rate Rewards + No Annual Fee

This incredible card allows you to redeem your rewards for travel, or get the cash back at the same rate! No annual fee + you’ll earn unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar spent on purchases. Bonus: Discover will match the rewards you earned in your first year.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

#3 – Top Choice For Bonus Travel Rewards And High-End Perks 

Don’t let the annual fee scare you, considering the value this card brings – you’ll recoup that cost in no time. There’s an impressive sign-up bonus, annual travel credits, airport lounge access, 3X points on travel and dining, and a 50% boost in point value when you redeem for travel booked through Chase!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

#4 – Top Choice For Flexibility, Point Transfers, And Huge Sign-Up Bonus

Earn 2X points on travel and dining – plus, points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel booked through Chase. The sign-up bonus is really good too!

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

#5 – Top Choice For Bonus Travel Rewards And No Annual Fee

With no annual fee and a great bonus offer, plus you can earn extra rewards in a variety of categories — this card is stellar!

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

#6 – Top Choice For Cashback On Travel Bookings

As a new cardholder, you’ll get the 0% introductory APR period, bonus rewards at grocery stores, and earn 1.5% cashback on all your purchases.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

#7 – Top Choice For Cashback On Travel Bookings

Activate the bonus cash back in quarterly categories like travel, restaurants, and drugstores – and you’re on your way to earning a lot of cashback! Don’t overlook the sweet bonus offer for new cardholders with a 0% intro APR period.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

#8 – Top Choice For Luxury Travel Perks 

If luxury is your dream, then with the extensive airport lounge access, hotel benefits, travel, and shopping credits – you’ll be riding on cloud nine! Did we mention the high rewards rate on eligible travel purchases and the incredible bonus offer for new cardholders? Yep, this has it all!

American Express® Gold Card

#9 – Top Choice For Big Rewards  

This card gives fantastic rewards for everyday spending at supermarkets, restaurants, and flights booked through amextravel.com. If you want hundreds of dollars a year in available dining and travel credits, then this card is for you. Plus, there’s an impressive bonus offer for new cardholders.

United℠ Explorer Card

#10 – Top Choice For Airline Travel Credit Card

Get rewarded while traveling with United Airlines and on eligible hotel stays. From a free checked bag to priority boarding – you’ll even score some lounge passes and other perks.

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

#11 – Top Choice For Hotel Credit Card

You can snag a great sign-up bonus, free nights, automatic elite status, and so much more from The World Of Hyatt Credit Card. If you travel a lot, this card is worth looking into! It’s also possible to earn points on non-Hyatt spending, and those points add up.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

#12 – Top Choice For Small Business (Big Sign-Up Offer) 

This is one of the biggest sign-up bonuses of any credit card we’ve seen in a long time – points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel booked through Chase, or you can transfer them to some of the hotel partners and affiliated airlines.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

#13 – Top Choice For Small Business (Travel Rewards)

Get ready to earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, plus no blackout dates when using points. There is an impressive great sign-up bonus as well.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

#14 – Top Choice For Small Business (Travel Perks)

Score big rewards on certain travel purchases, bonus rewards on non-travel, excellent sign-up bonus offer, airport lounge access, elite hotel status, and a ton more perks! Talk about luxury – this has it all!

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
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Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Specification: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Credit Card Type

Travel Rewards

Annual Fees

$95

Regular APR

17.24-24.49% (variable)

Rewards Rate

2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Discover it® Miles
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Discover it® Miles

Specification: Discover it® Miles

Credit Card Type

Travel Rewards

Annual Fees

$0

Regular APR

11.99-22.99% (variable)

Rewards Rate

1.5 miles per dollar on general purchases

Chase Sapphire Reserve
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Chase Sapphire Reserve

Specification: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Annual Fees

$550

Credit Card Type

Travel Rewards

Regular APR

16.99%-23.99% (variable)

Rewards Rate

1:1 general purchases, 3:1 travel and restaurants (excluding purchases covered by $300 travel credit)

Annual Bonus

$300 annual travel credit (applies to most travel purchases) and more

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Specification: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Fee

$95

Intro Rate

N/A

On Going Rate

15.99% – 22.99% Variable

Balance Transfer

15.99% – 22.99% Variable

Credits

Excellent-Good

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
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Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Specification: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Annual Fees

$0

Regular APR

14.49-24.99% (variable)

Credit Card Type

Travel Rewards

Rewards Rate

1 point per dollar on other purchases, 3 points per dollar on dining, travel and transit, gas station purchases and select streaming services

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Specification: Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Credit Card Type

Cashback

Annual Fees

$0

Regular APR

14.99%-23.74% (variable)

Cashback On Regular Purchases

1%

Rewards Rate

Up to 5%

Chase Freedom Flex℠
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Chase Freedom Flex℠

Specification: Chase Freedom Flex℠

Credit Card Type

Cashback

Annual Fees

$0

Regular APR

14.99%-23.74% (variable)

Cashback On Regular Purchases

1%

Rewards Rate

Up to 5%

The Platinum Card® from American Express
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The Platinum Card® from American Express

Specification: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Credit Card Type

Travel Rewards

Annual Fees

$550

Regular APR

Pay Over Time APR

Rewards Rate

1:1 general purchases, 5:1 eligible hotels booked with amextravel.com, 5:1 flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.

American Express Gold Card
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American Express Gold Card

Specification: American Express Gold Card

Fee

$250

Intro Rate

N/A

On Going Rate

See Pay Over Time APR

Balance Transfer

N/A

Credits

Excellent-Good

United℠ Explorer Card
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United℠ Explorer Card

Specification: United℠ Explorer Card

Credit Card Type

Travel Rewards

Annual Fees

$0 Intro for First Year, then $95

Regular APR

16.49% to 23.49% Variable

Rewards Rate

Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and eligible delivery services including GrubHub, Caviar, Seamless and DoorDash, Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel stays, Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases from United

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card
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The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

Specification: The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

Credit Card Type

Travel Rewards

Annual Fees

$95

Regular APR

15.99%-22.99% (variable)

Rewards Rate

1 point per dollar on other purchases, 2 points per dollar on restaurants, directly purchased airfare, local transit, commuting and gym and fitness club memberships, 4 points per dollar on Hyatt hotel purchases (on top of 5 base points per dollar earned by regular World of Hyatt members)

Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
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Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Specification: Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Annual Fees

$95

Credit Card Type

Travel Rewards

Regular APR

15.99-20.99% (variable)

Rewards Rate

1:1 general purchases, 3:1 travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone services and advertising purchases ($150,000 combined purchases yearly)

How Do You Choose The Best Travel Credit Card?

First, you want to think about what matters most to you – do you fly often or do you take more road trips? Are hotels your thing, or do you like more flexibility? Here is a list of things to consider:

  • How Often You travel
  • Flexibility
  • Hotel Or Airline Perks
  • Earning Rate
  • Sign-Up Bonus
  • Annual Fee
  • APR

After considering all of those things, you will have a better understanding of what you are looking for when choosing your travel rewards credit card.

What Are My Options When Redeeming Points And What About Perks?

There are a lot of choices when it comes to redeeming your points for rewards, and it’s important to know what the value of your points is before deciding. Some of the best travel credit cards will offer you more incentives to spend those points with their brand. Here are some of your options:

  • Book Travel
  • Cashback, Gift Cards, Or Even Merchandise
  • Statement Credit
  • Transfer Points To Loyalty Partners
  • Travel Credit

Here are some of the perks:

  • Airport Lounge Access
  • Free Checked Bags
  • Priority Boarding
  • Free In-Flight WiFi Or Discounts On Food
  • Companion Fare
  • Free Hotel Nights
  • Upgrades
  • Early Or Late Check-Ins

As you can see, there are a lot of options and you just need to know what matters most and what will work best for you!

Note: Most of the best travel credit cards do charge annual fees that range from $90 all the way up to $450 or more for premium cards with extensive perks. Take the time to figure out what card will best fit your budget and travel needs. For a lot of people, the annual fee is recouped in the first few reward earnings.

Does The Sign-Up Bonus Add Value?

Travel credit cards offer some of the biggest sign-up bonuses we’ve ever seen, however; you must take into consideration your spending habits. Cashback credit cards usually just require $500 to $1,000 in spending over three months to receive the cashback bonus – but travel cards, they usually have much higher thresholds like $3,000 to $5,000.

Here are a few other things to consider when choosing your best travel rewards credit card:

  • Interest Rates
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Points Redemption Periods
  • Annual Fee
  • Worldwide Acceptance
  • Travel Protection (Car Rental Insurance, Trip Cancellation Coverage, Lost Baggage Protection)

If you plan on taking advantage of all the perks offered with your travel reward credit card, then they often make up for the annual fee charged on a card. Take free checked bags with an airline – you just got your annual fee money back + more savings! Free hotel nights always outweigh the cost of an annual fee on a hotel travel credit card.

How To Make The Most Out Of My Travel Reward Credit Card

  1. Think about when you will be making your next big purchase and apply for the card with the best sign-up bonus within the amount of your purchase.
  2. Use the options available for redeeming at a higher rate by shopping the exclusive offers to get discounts and earn even more rewards.
  3. Offer to pay when dining with friends or colleagues at restaurants, it’s an easy way to collect even more points while your friends and colleagues pay you back.
  4. Redeem those rewards for travel instead of cash back, gift cards, or merchandise to get the most value.
  5. Join affiliated loyalty programs to rack up more points while flying or staying overnight in an affiliated hotel for pleasure or business.
  6. Look into all perks to make sure you are utilizing everything that is available to you with your travel reward card. Such as free upgrades, insurances, and protections.

Wrapping Up

When deciding which best travel reward credit card will work for you, just take a look at the Pros and Cons listed below and apply that to your decision making!

Pros

  • Big Sign-Up Bonuses
  • Perks Like Free Checked Bags, Discounted Food, Free Hotel Nights
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees – Saving You Big $$$$
  • Loyalty Programs – Incentives To Earn At A Faster Rate
  • Redemption Values

Cons

  • Annual Fees
  • Spending Limits For Sign-Up Bonuses
  • Restrictions On Redemption
  • Higher Interest Rates

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