Travel Credit Cards – 10 Best Credit Cards For Travel Rewards

Fact Checked by Gary McFarlane

A travel credit card is a sort of payment method that provides fascinating travel-related incentives and discounts. Travel credit cards offer a host of options and advantages that might help you save expenses on your next trip. The best credit cards for travel provide much more than amazing cash-back rewards; these cards also offer dozens of interesting features and rewards that may elevate your travel experience to a new height.

#1 Travel Credit Card in 2021 – Credit Soup

 

10 Best Credit Cards For Travel – Quick Overview

If you are in search of a reliable travel credit card provider, look no further, as we’ve compiled a list of ten of the most reliable providers you can find. The list is compiled with providers that can best meet customer requirements when it comes to convenience and rewards/perks.

  • Chase Saphire Card – Best for Rewards
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – Best for Low APR
  • Citi Premier Card – Best for Easy Approval
  • American Express Gold Card – Best for Quick Prequalification
  • World of Hyatt Credit Card – Best for No Credit Check
  • Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card – Best For Limited Credit Scores
  • Delta Skymiles platinum American express Card – Best For No Guarantors.
  • Marriott bonvoy boundless credit card – Best for Reporting to All Three Credit Bureaus
  • Bank of America travel rewards credit card – Best for Quick Approval
  • Hotels.com rewards credit card – Best For Limited Credit Scores

How We Rated & Reviewed the Travel Credit Cards

When compiling this list we’ve focused on the type of rewards and perks that come as part of each offer. Obviously, these cards do not charge any interest rates or late fees. Some of the other aspects that we’ve taken into consideration include free checked bags, priority boarding, in-flight discounts or freebies, airport lounge access, companion fares, and others.

10 Best Travel Credit Cards – Fully Reviewed

1. Chase Sapphire Card

As one of the best travel credit cards, Chase Sapphire benefits those who travel frequently with rewards that are known as Ultimate Rewards points. These points can be strategically redeemed in various ways. The best thing about a Chase Sapphire card is that its reward points can be clubbed with rewards earned through other Chase cards pretty easily.

The annual fee for a card like this is around $95. There is a $50 ultimate rewards hotel credit for users with 5x points earned for travel purchases made through the sapphire card. That is not all, this card also offers 3x points earned on dining and 2x points on all other expenses including some extra points. When you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises you get 25% more value. Though it is not easy to use the card it comes with great features, offers, and reward structure. One can also transfer the points to a variety of other loyalty programs. But some of Chase’s other cards that offer competitive rewards are not available for enhanced redemption value and transfer point options.

Pros:

  • Huge signup bonus
  • Rental car coverage
  • Rewards redemption is flexible
  • Bonus categories are available
  • Transfer partners easily

Cons:

  • Reward system might seem complicated
  • Credit check required
  • Allowed for those with good/excellent credit
  • Annual fee of $95

2. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards card is a simple yet the most popular travel credit card within the market. It earns 2 miles per dollar spent on anything eligible. The best thing about this card is that users are not limited to one airline or a hotel chain but are allowed to travel based on their convenience.

The one-time bonus of $60,000 is the reason why the Capital One Venture Rewards card has such a following. The reward rate is usually 2x the value of the purchase at an annual fee of $95. Users must have good or an excellent credit scores to make sure that this card is offered to them. Redeeming miles for credit only user statements against travel purchases are allowed without any restrictions or airline and hotel chains. Regular APR varies depending on various factors. It usually lies between 15.99% and 23.99%. Capital One Venture Rewards card offers more than 15 different loyalty programs with the option to earn and transfer rewards. There is no limit to earning points through eligible purchases.

Pros:

  • Flexible redeeming process
  • Sufficient reward rate
  • Signup bonus worth $60,000
  • No restrictions
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry.

Cons:

  • Annual fee
  • Credit score must be good or excellent

3. Citi Premier Card

The Citi Premier Card is one easy to earn but less valuable to burn kind of travel credit card. Spending $1 at hotels, gas stations, restaurants, and even supermarkets gives users 3 points. The rich ongoing rewards from Citi premier make it a good deal for international travelers.

With a variable APR that lies between 15.99% and 23.99%, this premier card is not available for those who have bad credit scores. The annual fee makes it a bit expensive but there are also bonuses worth $80,000 in the form of Thank You points once anyone spends $4,000 in purchases during the first 3 months of opening an account. Citi Premier Card is a serious contender among the most rewarding travel credit cards due to its easy usage, signup bonus, and annual hotel benefit. 80,000 points from Citi premier card are available for redemption as gift cards from thankyou.com.

Pros:

  • These rewards do not expire
  • Offers useful partners
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Unlimited points to be earned

Cons:

  • $95 annual fee
  • Asks for a good credit score

4. American Express Gold Card

The rose gold card from American Express allows foodies to earn dining rewards royalty. The reason why people prefer to use this card is that it offers high-value ongoing rewards at restaurants and even in US supermarkets.

In case you are a dining enthusiast, you must have heard of this card as the best credit card for travel. The American Express card in gold and rose gold variant is not only for 4x membership reward points but also for maximizing the annual credit available. Spending around $4,000 within 6 months of getting a new card gives you 60,000 membership rewards points. On other occasions, 4x reward points are available at restaurants whether you dine or go for a takeout/delivery. If a person can handle the annual fee for this card then they receive beneficial rewards on airfare and even at restaurants.

Pros:

  • Transfer partners are available
  • Flexible redemption of rewards
  • Bonus categories to earn more

Cons:

  • Complicated reward structure
  • The annual fee is worth $250
  • A good credit score is needed

5. World of Hyatt Credit Card

Hyatt is an easily recognizable name among global hotels but its rewarding credit card is not up to the mark considering its competitors. It is best suited for people who spend a lot of their time staying in Hyatt hotels whenever they travel. As long as your account is open, the World of Hyatt card will reward you with qualifying nights, luxury perks, and extra bonus points. You can get more bonus points for spending as low as $1 in any Hyatt hotel or restaurant.

It offers lavish benefits but what makes it one of the top travel credit cards is the reasonable cost of having World of Hyatt Credit Cards. Covering its annual fee are rewards and perks that include an automatic free night each year as a bonus reward for cardholders who spend every day. Hyatt fans love the complimentary “Discoverist” status as long as their account remains open. Any Hyatt hotel or resort belonging to categories 1-4 would host cardholders for a night each year as a complimentary bonus for spending frequently. If you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, you would receive 30,000 bonus points. More bonus points can be unlocked by spending $1.

Pros:

  • Bonus offers for new cardholders
  • Compliment stay annually
  • Luxury perks
  • Bonus categories are available

Cons:

  • Complicated reward structure
  • Annual fee
  • Redemption is limited

6. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card is a top travel credit card frequently used by frequent flyers of Alaska Airlines.

The main reason why we’ve included Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card in our list is due to West Coast flyers. They offer a generous award stopover policy and have several international airline partners. It offers valuable annual companion fare which makes the annual fee worth it for many cardholders. Some of the ways this card reduces travel incidental costs are by offering Alaska Airlines in-flight purchase rebates, Alaska Airlines lounge Club discounts, and a free checked bag when flying with the airlines.

With this card, you will get 50000 bonus miles along with Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ from $121. You can also access their airline partners which provide global reach to over 1000 popular worldwide destinations.

Pros:

  • Offers free bag checking for you and up to 6 guests.
  • It offers several discounts including 50% off lounge day passes.
  • It does charge foreign transaction fees.

Cons:

  • It charges a $75 annual fee.

7. Delta Skymiles Platinum American Express Card

The Delta Skymiles Platinum American express card is offered by Delta Airlines.

The card is ideal for Delta loyalists who need some assistance in reaching their elite status goals. Some of the useful perks that this card offers include free checked bag free on Delta flights and an annual companion pass.

With this card, you can earn 3x miles on purchases made with Delta or directly with hotels. You also earn 2X miles at restaurants worldwide which include U.S. supermarkets.

Pros:

  • Delta provides a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate on a yearly basis.
  • You will have fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
  • You will get a free checked bag.

Cons:

  • It charges a hefty $250 annual fee.

8. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

The Marriott bonvoy boundless credit card is applicable in over 7000 hotels participating in the program.

This card is an entry-level card that can assist individuals to enter into the Bonvoy program. It’s ideal for those who frequently stay at Marriot hotels and related chains.

It allows you to earn 125000 bonus points and 1 free night award if you spend $5000 on purchases within the first three months.

Pros:

  • You will receive an annual free night certificate of up to35000 points.
  • It provides automatic silver elite status.

Cons:

  • Marriot offers better cards than this when it comes to higher tier status.

9. Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

The Bank of America travel rewards credit card is a Visa travel card offered by Bank of America.

This travel card does not charge any annual fee and provides the ability to earn 1.5x points on all purchases. It also allows you to redeem points on your statement credit for travel purposes.

The card provides 25000 online bonus points after making a minimum of $1000 in purchases. Its use is not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.

Pros:

  • It does not charge any annual fee
  • It does not charge foreign transaction fees.
  • It allows you to earn 1.5 points per dollar with no limits on all purchases.

Cons:

  • It does not provide travel protections that are the norm with many other travel cards.

10. Hotels.com Rewards Credit Card

Hotels.com rewards credit card is issued by hotel.com.

Hotels.com rewards credit card offers a “stamp” valued at $110 toward a reward night within the Hotels.com loyalty program if you spend $500. It also provides cell phone insurance coverage and auto rental collision damage waiver.

Apart from the above benefits, the card offers trip cancellation and interruption coverage which pays up to $2000 per insured person.

Pros:

  • You will get silver membership exclusives including freebies at airports and other venues.
  • Purchases and balance transfers have 14.99% to 22.99% variable APR.

Cons:

  • The value of rewards is capped in some cases.

How do Travel Reward Credit Cards Work?

A travel rewards credit card will allow you to earn points or miles every time you use it. However, it also allows you to earn more points in specific categories. While some offer bonus points on any type of travel spending, others offer bonus points only when you use the cards in specified venues. The reward points earned have a fixed value which can be usually between 1 and 1.5 cents per point, allowing you to spend them like cash.

Are Travel Credit Cards right for you?

Depending on how frequently you travel, a travel rewards credit card may provide a range of benefits. They typically benefit people that are frequent travellers for work or leisure and have the financial power to use the credit card enough to earn significant bonuses and reward points. You can also compare cards from different issuers to determine whether a travel rewards credit card is worth it based on your spending preferences.

Advantages of Travel Credit cards

It is important to evaluate the advantages you’ll gain in addition to understanding how a card’s incentive system works. The following is a list of some of the most frequent credit card benefits.

Varied Accommodation Perks

Whereas yearly travel cards may seem like a loss of money in certain cases, they may be a huge gain in others, even for the most inexperienced travelers. In reality, some of the finest card perks are tailored to economic travelers and accommodations with minimal services. Whenever you pay the premium rate on a hotel credit card, you get a night’s stay voucher annually. Such vouchers are normally only redeemable at lodgings that cost up to a specific amount in points, which typically includes decent accommodations. This can be beneficial to travelers and backpackers who seek more of a budget-friendly solution while traveling.

Improved Credit Rating

Most of the best travel credit cards that provide high-end perks demand users to have strong to outstanding credit. If you’ve been trying to raise your credit rating, this might be the strategic move to apply for a personal travel credit card. However, it is important to check beforehand to see if it falls under the standard range for that particular card.

Access to Airport Lounges

Individuals, who need to fly regularly, might want to consider getting a travel rewards card exclusively for lounge access. These cards usually come with substantial annual fees but can be an advantage for a frequent traveler. Even at their most expensive, these cards might be a good deal if you need a peaceful spot away from the crowds when traveling.

Coverage on Trip delay or cancellation

If you have a travel rewards card containing trip cancellation or delay coverage and your vacation is canceled or shortened due to medical reasons, natural calamities, or another unforeseen incident, you might be compensated. This is essential to keep in mind when planning your vacation, since using the proper card might prevent you from taking a loss or credits.

Additional Possibilities

Even if they don’t choose premium travel experiences, travelers may redeem their points for money as well. Raise the value of your points by checking airline reward charts or include stopovers. Other strategies include arranging a single, longer hotel stay and taking day trips rather than planning two shorter stays. Market prices restrict your upside potential when you book with cash. Using redeeming perks with points might help you get more benefit out of your hard-earned rewards.

Some travel cards also provide points or miles for daily expenditures along with travel expenses, making it simple to gain points even though you don’t travel quite often.

Disadvantages of Travel credit cards

Fees per annum

Yearly fees can range anywhere from $95 to $695 with travel credit cards. These fees may be worthwhile if you utilize the card’s associated perks regularly. This goes by saying that people who don’t require the benefits regularly will pay an annual charge for no purpose. Apart from that, consider which perks are important to you while valuing credit cards. It’s tempting to get all excited about the idea of added perks and rewards on your vacation. For example, if all of your planned excursions are road trips, airline lounge access is irrelevant in that case.

Uncertainty in Value

Although some travel programs provide a fixed value to each point earned, this isn’t necessarily the situation always. You’ll need to spend time researching program alternatives and looking for a decent bargain to guarantee that you’re receiving adequate benefits from your rewards. Moreover, when you exchange travel miles or points for something other than travel, such as gift cards or cashback offers, the amount of your rewards is generally reduced. It’s something worth considering, particularly if you have a card with a hefty yearly subscription.

Blackout Dates

Certain travel cards include limits on how and when you may redeem your points, such as blackout dates. When compared to traditional cashback, travel incentives might be difficult to use. Both airline rewards and complimentary hotel stays may have restricted periods or limited availability. Flexibility is essential for redeeming your free vacation, which includes changing your travel arrangements or going with another airline, and more. This flexibility may not be a huge problem for some tourists, but it might be a major annoyance for others.

Alternative Types of Cards to Consider

Aside from top travel credit cards, users may choose from a variety of credit cards, with varied offers and perks depending on the demographics they serve.

0% intro APR credit card

With APRs ranging between certain percentages, credit card interest rates may be rather expensive in most cases. As a result, a credit card with a 0% initial APR might be a preferable alternative for individuals who want to make a large transaction and pay it off over time.

Cashback rewards credit card

Every time someone buys something using a cashback credit card, they would receive points. Statement credit, cashback offers, or gift vouchers are generally available as redemption options with these cards. Many cards pay a fixed rate for cash back, whereas others include bonus sections where you may receive even more.

Student credit card

Student credit cards are generally designated for university students with limited to zero credit records who are trying to establish credit from the scratch. Such cards may be simpler to acquire, but their credit limits are generally lower.

Balance transfer credit card

With Balance transfer credit cards users can transfer credit card debt from another card to the lenders or cards. These cards usually come with a 0% initial APR, valid for a certain period. These cards are specifically useful for individuals who are required to transfer high-interest debts.

Conclusion

When obtaining a travel credit card, it all comes down to how regularly you travel and whether you can charge the required amount to be qualified for the rewards. Since APR and charges may differ from one issuer to another, it is also something to take into consideration while applying for these cards.

Request Your Credit Card at our Top Rated Provider – Credit Soup

ALSO CHECK:

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Credit Cards For Fair Credit

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About Jayme Wium PRO INVESTOR

Jayme is a professional freelance writer specializing in personal finance, business, nutrition, botany and mental health. She has studied extensively in these fields and spends a considerable amount of her time creating content to help simplify complex concepts for the everyday person.