Travel Rewards credit cards are not universal. They fall into several broad categories.
These categories include airline rewards credit cards, designed to offset costs with specific airlines or partner airlines, hotel credit cards, which are designed to offset hotel and related expenses, and even cashback credit cards, which provide accelerated cash back for categories of travel-related purchases such as gasoline and AI.Price as well as restaurant shopping.
If you travel often, you can take advantage of all these types of cards. And if you run your own business, you can trust many consumer travel credit cards to small business credit cards that have extra features and benefits for small business owners.
What gets interesting and confusing is when you start looking beyond these features. Before you sign up for a new card, think about how to use the card and how you can optimize your points to get the most out of the rewards program, especially if you pay an expensive annual fee. It’s also important to make sure your monthly balance is paid in full on time, since many of these cards have high interest rates.
The good news is that if you choose a card from this list, you’ll receive rewards of more than $2,000 over the next five years.
Best credit card reviews travel rewards.
Prefer Chase Sapphire.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card was formerly the full travel rewards card of choice, but the annual fee has since been increased from $450 to $550. Although new perks have been added, it has become increasingly difficult to recommend the Reserve to more regular travelers. We now recommend the Chase Sapphire preferred card as the best travel incentive card for most people.
Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are one of the easiest rewards to use as well as travel. Chase’s selection of transfer partners, including United, Hyatt, Marriott and others, is great for U.S. travelers.
You can also take advantage of various redemption options if you’re not yet ready to leave, such as using points for eligible purchases through Pay Yourself Back. With Chase Sapphire preferred cards, points are awarded at 1.25 cents each. Cardholders can also use points to pay for statements, gift cards, prizes, etc.
The annual fee for the Sapphire Reference is $95, 5 points for trips purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 2 points for all other travel purchases, 3 points for meals away from home, online grocery purchases (except Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs) and streaming service selection. For everything else, you get 1 point per dollar.
IHG ® rewards Premier credit cards.
Spend at least $3,000 on eligible purchases during the first 3 months of your card to earn 140,000 rewards points and one free night. This is worth a free stay of more than 10 days in the lower tier of the IHG estate.
This bonus is worth it to win more than 10 days on cheaper IHG properties. IHG operates nearly 6,000 hotels and resorts in about 100 countries.
American Express ® Gold Card .
One of the great benefits travelers have access to is the annual statement credit. Cardholders can get $120 dining credit at restaurant rates ($10 per month at Smooth, Groovehub and other participating restaurants, registration required) and $100 hotel credit when booking rooms through American Express Travel Hotel Collection.
As a welcome bonus, new cardholders can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards ® points by purchasing a new $4,000 card within the first six months of card activation.
With the American Express Gold card, you make reservations directly with the airline or amextravel.You can earn 3x Membership Rewards® points for airfare booked on com, 4x Membership Rewards® points for meals and supermarket purchases in the United States (up to $25,000 per year, 1 time later) and 1x Membership Rewards® points for everything else. Certain conditions apply.
Membership Rewards ® point values vary depending on the redemption method used by the cardholder. At retailers like Amazon, you can use it in a variety of ways, from paying with points to paying with gift cards or statement credits to booking travel. (For more information on how point values are calculated, see)
Buy the Sapphire Reserve ® card .
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card provides a $300 annual travel credit card that covers travel purchases such as hotels, airfare and car rentals. When fully utilized, Sapphire Reserve’s $550 annual fee can be effectively reduced to $250.
Capital One Ventures rewards your credit card.
You can redeem points when you purchase a trip with your credit card or when you book a trip through Capital One’s rewards center. You can also redeem your points for real money in the form of a check, but if you go that route, your points are worth 0.5 percent.
Travelers traveling abroad can take advantage of no foreign transaction fees. In addition, cardholders can get a one-time credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. You can also use your Venture Rewards card for access to exclusive sports and music events, as well as premiere culinary events, including the New York Wine and Food Festival and the iHeart Radio Music Festival.
Disadvantages include: Introduction There is no 0% APR period. And Capital One states on its website that this card is for people with excellent credit scores.
The American Express® Platinum card gets one of the highest annual card rewards of $695, but it’s still worth it if you can take advantage of all the statement credits and generous bonus offers.
You can book directly through your airline or purchase a flight through Amex Travel (earn 5x points on purchases of up to $500,000 a year, starting Jan. 1, 2021). This card offers the best purchase protection in addition to trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, making it a great option for expensive purchases (and don’t forget to check if you can take advantage of the AMEX offer* for bonus points or cashback).
The Platinum card offers more airport lounges than any other personal travel rewards card. In addition to the priority pass** membership, you can use the AMEX Centurion Lounge and Delta Sky Club (when using Delta).
Citi Premier ® card.
The Citi Premier ® card is one of the few travel rewards cards that includes purchases at gas stations in the travel category, earning 3 points per dollar. So it’s the perfect choice for travelers heading to or around their destination.
City Premier also adds two broad non-travel categories, restaurants and supermarkets, to the 3x point category. It’s a great value-add for anyone who eats out.
Check your mileage ® .
The Discover it Miles card offers unlimited 1.5 x miles per dollar on every purchase. But for more consumers, Discover offers a nice bonus that’s hard to beat. Matching miles to all miles earned during the first year (for new card members during the first year only). If you drive 35,000 miles in the first 12 months, Discovery can get 35,000 miles. That’s a total of 70,000 miles, or $700. (We calculate that the average card user will earn about 32,777 miles in the first year.)
With this card, there’s no blackout date when you pay for a travel purchase with the card. You can also easily redeem your miles with a credit card and make a deposit into your bank account for travel, restaurant or gas station purchases. The best part is that even if your account is closed, your earned miles won’t expire. (If your account is closed, find your account credits along with your reward balance.)
Capital One Ventures X.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card was introduced late last year. If you buy $4,000 (at least $750 in travel) within the first three months of opening your account, you’ll receive a huge welcome bonus of 75,000 Bonus Miles.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card has many reward benefits that offset the annual fee of more than $395, which is cheaper than other reward travel cards.
Cardholders receive up to $300 per year in Capital One, Priority Passes and access to Capital One airport lounges (also authorized users), a 10,000-mile bonus (equivalent to $100 per trip) on each anniversary of account opening, and Visa Infinite travel and shopping benefits.
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