Travel Credit Cards

No matter which type of traveler you are - business or personal - the right travel product can deliver to you rewards for spending on flights and hotels. With generous perks such as free checked bags or airport lounge access, a travel card can elevate your jet-setting experience. Whether you prefer earning miles or points, these offers from our partners have something for everyone.

See offers from our partners below.

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent, Good
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • New! Earn 10 miles per dollar on hotels when you pay with your Venture card at hotels.com/venture; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
Apply Now at Capital One's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
14.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

7,359 customer reviews

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Apply Now at Chase's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.24% - 24.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles

322 customer reviews

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive Free Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.
Apply Now at Discover's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% for 14 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR
10.99% for 14 months
Regular APR
13.24% - 24.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
See Rates & Fees

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent, Good
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • New! Earn 10 miles per dollar on hotels when you pay with your VentureOne card at hotels.com/venture; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 13.24%-23.24% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
Apply Now at Capital One's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
13.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

1,504 customer reviews

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent Credit
  • Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Apply Now at Chase's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.24% - 24.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$450
Credit Needed
Excellent Credit

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply Now at American Express's
secure site
Terms Apply
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
See Rates & Fees

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

9,099 customer reviews

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.24-24.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Apply Now at Chase's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Regular APR
16.24% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a calendar year for baggage fees at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, when available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply Now at American Express's
secure site
Terms Apply
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
See Rates & Fees

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

7,875 customer reviews

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 16.24% - 24.24% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
Apply Now at Bank of America's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
16.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points- a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, you can get a 25%-75% rewards bonus on every purchase.
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Flexibility to redeem for a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® or Merrill Lynch® accounts like checking, savings, and 529, for gift cards or use at the Bank of America Travel Center.
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Apply Now at Bank of America's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$95
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

Compare Travel Rewards Credit Card Offers

Updated: February 20, 2018

CreditCards.com's Best Travel Credit Cards of 2018:

  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Discover it® Miles
  • Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
  • Chase Sapphire ReserveSM
  • The Platinum Card from American Express
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
  • Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

What Our Experts are Saying

On the Chase Sapphire Reserve:

Chase has trimmed the Sapphire Reserve’s famously high 100,000-points sign-up bonus to 50,000 points, but “even with a cut in its ridiculously lucrative sign-up bonus, the Reserve remains the standard-bearer for serious travelers looking for a card to lighten their budget,” says Money Magazine's Taylor Tepper.

The Sapphire Reserve also lets cardholders transfer points on a one-to-one basis to “popular airline and hotel loyalty programs such as United MileagePlus, Southwest Airlines, Hyatt, Marriott and IHG Rewards,” says personal finance expert Holly Johnson.

“Flexibility is key when it comes to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card,” Johnson says. “You can transfer points to loyalty programs, use them to book travel directly with the Chase travel portal, or redeem for cash or gift cards.

“The Reserve card brings to the table everything a traveler wants,” says CreditCards.com Editor-in-Chief Daniel P. Ray. “You get airport lounge access, a $300 travel credit to take the sting out of the annual fee, money toward TSA and Global Entry. And let’s not forget that still-large sign-up bonus that puts travel dreams within immediate reach. ”

On the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard:

“Other cards might offer splashier bonuses and grab more headlines, but the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard should take a backseat to no card,” says CreditCards.com senior industry analyst Matt Schulz.

“What helps it stand out is the fact that it is chip-and-PIN compatible,” says Schulz. “For foreign travelers, that’s a big deal that even higher-end cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve can’t offer.”

With chip-and-PIN capability, cardholders don’t have to worry whether their card will be accepted. “This can really make a difference traveling internationally if you need to buy a train ticket or gas at an unmanned kiosk,” says travel expert Johnny Jet.

Full Details on Travel Credit Cards

A travel credit card with an ample sign-up bonus and generous rewards could help you pay for the vacation of your dreams -- without wiping out your pocketbook.

Some travel cards, for example, currently offer sign-up bonuses worth $750 or more in free travel. Other cards are loaded with headache-saving perks, such as premium travel insurance and faster security screening.

Travel rewards offers have invigorated the credit card market in recent years, with co-branded cards joined by general-purpose products for the traveler who likes to shop around for travel deals.

The result? A plethora of products that can be used to not only book and redeem flights and hotel stays, but redemptions for limousine rides and other forms of transportation, as well as condo stays and even your annual fee.

Here, we look at:

  • How do travel cards work?
  • Is it worth getting a travel rewards credit card?
  • Choosing a card based on travel tendencies
  • Maximizing travel rewards
  • What to think about when choosing a travel card

We explore how travel cards work, how to take full advantage of them and whether they are even worth your while:

How do travel cards work?

  • Earn miles. Travel cards vary in how you can earn rewards. Most have a sign-up bonus to give your points bank a jolt. Then, they might reward for such categories as travel and restaurants; or they might reward for all purchases.
  • Redeem miles. Some travel cards allow you to make travel purchases of your choosing, then you redeem in a portal where qualifying purchases pop up, including airline tickets, hotel stays and limousine services. Other travel cards offer a portal where you shop for your travel needs, with an improved redemption.
  • Spending. To maximize your miles, put items you planned to make anyway (that you already have the money to pay for) on your card. To further improve your rewards, use our Wallet app, which helps you select the right card for each purchase.
  • Paying. Pay on time and in full each month so that you don’t pay interest charges, which can rack up quickly when you carry a balance.
  • Annual fee. Annual fees shouldn’t be a deal breaker, provided you plan to take full advantage of the card.

Is it worth getting a travel rewards credit card?

Before jumping in and applying for a travel rewards card, know whether you are going to actually use it for its intention. The biggest drawback is the annual fee. While you want to mindful of it (it can run in the hundreds of dollars), a card with an annual fee can still be worth your while, provided you don’t carry a balance and you maximize spending. As a general rule, you want the rewards to counterbalance the cost of the annual fee. Also, the annual fee may be waived the first year, so pay attention to that.

For example, take a look at the Capital One Venture Rewards and VentureOne Rewards – one has an annual fee, the other not. However, the Venture Rewards’ fee is waived the first year, energizing the rewards those initial 12 months:

Capital One Venture RewardsRewardsCapital One VentureOne RewardsRewards
50,000 miles after $3,000/3-mth spend50020,000 miles after $1,000/3-mth spend200
2X miles, every dollar, every purchase ($500/mth spend for 12 mths)1201.25X miles, every dollar, every purchase ($500/mth spend for 12 mths)75
10X miles, hotels, hotels.com/Venture ($1,000/yr spend)10010X miles, hotels, hotels.com/Venture ($1,000/yr spend)100
$95 annual fee waived first year0Annual fee0
Earnings first year720Earnings first year375

Choosing a card based on travel tendencies

  • How much do you travel? How much you travel will help you decide whether to get a travel card with an annual fee or not. If you travel very occasionally, a card without an annual fee may be best.
  • Do you eat out often? Some travel cards reward for specific categories, such as worldwide travel or dining at restaurants.
  • Are you brand-loyal? If you have a particular hotel or airline brand you like, you might want to look at a co-branded card, such as one of the Amex Delta cards.
  • Do you travel or shop overseas? Most travel cards offer no foreign transaction fees, which is handy if you shop or travel overseas often.

Maximizing travel rewards

  • Choose well. Pick a card that you’ll actually use, both in spending and in redemptions.
  • Pile on the spending. While you don’t want to spend more than you can afford, you need to take full advantage of your travel card and use it as much as possible.
  • Use your points. Now that you’ve banked all those points, be sure to use them. In many cases, they don’t expire, but travel purchases might expire in the redemption portal after a set number of days.
  • Pay on time and in full. To ensure that you don’t carry a balance and incur interest charges (or late fees), always pay on time and in full.

What to think about when choosing a travel card (fees, rates, etc.)

  • Sign-up bonus. This is one of the biggest reasons for loving a card, but all points or miles are not equal. For example, the Chase Sapphire cards each offer 50,000 points for signing up after $4,000 spent within the first 3 months of card membership, but they also deliver boosted rewards for shopping for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Ongoing rewards. After the sign-up bonus, the better travel cards offer excellent rewards, sometimes higher points for all purchases, such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus with 2X miles for all purchases.
  • Benefits. Travel cards can offer access to airport lounges, auto rental collision waivers, trip interruption insurance and more.
  • Annual fee. Look at the annual fee and assess whether it is worth the card. Cards with richer offers often have annual fees, but that may be worth your while if it’s a card you will take full advantage of.
  • Rates and fees. If you are paying in full and on time, the card’s rates and fees should be of limited concern. That’s because you won’t be paying interest, so the rates won’t kick in, and you won’t be paying late, a primary reason for paying fees.

Recap: Our Best Travel Credit Cards

CardWelcome BonusBonus RequirementRewards Rate
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card50,000 MilesSpend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account openingUnlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card50,000 Bonus PointsSpend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Discover it® MilesMatch Mile For Mile: We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first yearAutomaticUnlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card20,000 MilesSpend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account openingUnlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Chase Sapphire ReserveSM50,000 Bonus PointsSpend $4,000 on purchases in first 3 months3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
The Platinum Card from American Express60,000 Membership Rewards® PointsSpend $5,000 within the first 3 months of account opening5x points on flights booked through the Amex Travel site
Chase Freedom Unlimited®$150 BonusSpend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account openingUnlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express25,000 Membership Rewards® PointsMake $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening the account3x points for flights booked directly with airlines, 2x points at US restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card20,000 Online Bonus PointsMake at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 daysUnlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card50,000 bonus pointsMake at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account openingUnlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases

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