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.
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Updated: February 20, 2018
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.
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:
We explore how travel cards work, how to take full advantage of them and whether they are even worth your while:
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 Rewards||Rewards||Capital One VentureOne Rewards||Rewards|
|50,000 miles after $3,000/3-mth spend||500||20,000 miles after $1,000/3-mth spend||200|
|2X miles, every dollar, every purchase ($500/mth spend for 12 mths)||120||1.25X miles, every dollar, every purchase ($500/mth spend for 12 mths)||75|
|10X miles, hotels, hotels.com/Venture ($1,000/yr spend)||100||10X miles, hotels, hotels.com/Venture ($1,000/yr spend)||100|
|$95 annual fee waived first year||0||Annual fee||0|
|Earnings first year||720||Earnings first year||375|
|Card||Welcome Bonus||Bonus Requirement||Rewards Rate|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||50,000 Miles||Spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening||Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||50,000 Bonus Points||Spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening||2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases|
|Discover it® Miles||Match Mile For Mile: We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year||Automatic||Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day|
|Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card||20,000 Miles||Spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening||Unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day|
|Chase Sapphire ReserveSM||50,000 Bonus Points||Spend $4,000 on purchases in first 3 months||3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases|
|The Platinum Card from American Express||60,000 Membership Rewards® Points||Spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of account opening||5x points on flights booked through the Amex Travel site|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||$150 Bonus||Spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening||Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase|
|Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express||25,000 Membership Rewards® Points||Make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening the account||3x points for flights booked directly with airlines, 2x points at US restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets|
|Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card||20,000 Online Bonus Points||Make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days||Unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases|
|Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card||50,000 bonus points||Make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening||Unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases|
See the online credit card applications for details about the terms and conditions of an offer. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's web site.
* For additional rates, fees and costs see issuer's website for detailed pricing and terms.