What do you plan to do during the Christmas holiday? Traveling is a perfect way to spend your time. You get an opportunity not only to bond with your family members and friends but also to learn more about the universe. Travelling is said to be a perfect way to reduce stress. At times traveling to other parts of the world is necessitated when attending business meetings, visiting friends, or when going out shopping. As the adage goes, failure to plan is planning to fail; you must plan your trips adequately.
This ensures you don’t run out of resources. You can make your traveling experience memorable by getting yourself a travel credit card. This card offers you valuable rewards when traveling for business engagements or pleasure. Although you can consider other types of financing for major projects, it is not advisable to take unsecured loans for travel. That is why a card comes in handy.
There is no admissible excuse as to why you should lack a travel card. No one hates rewards. If you are new to travel cards, you might feel overwhelmed in choosing the right card. However, worry no more. This article has identified the best travel cards that every traveler should have in their pockets.
How do travel cards work?
Before we reveal the list of the best travel cards to use, let us give you brief information about how travel cards work. In layman’s language, a travel card is a credit card that is specifically designed to address the needs of every traveler. A normal credit card will give you rewards in form of cashback points which you can redeem for gift cards or merchandise. However, in the case of travel cards, the situation is different.
This is because they work on a point-based system. You earn point or mile for every dollar you spend. Therefore, after earning these points, you can redeem them on any number of items such as airfare, hotel expenses, and discount on cruises.
You might get surprised to hear that there are people in this world who never pay for their airfare. Instead, what they do is to accumulate and redeem travel rewards. You can look at comparison between credit cards and unsecured loans to understand the differences as well.
How to Choose the Best Travel Credit Card
There are numerous travel credit cards available; they range from general to airline and hotel only travel cards. For that reason, you should exercise a lot of care and diligence when choosing the travel credit card that works for you.
If you have to consider all choices, it may be a challenge to settle on one. Here are some of the factors you have to consider to choose the best travel card that helps you get most rewards.
1. Sign up bonuses
Generally, you should choose a travel card that offers you a massive sign-up bonus. Go ahead and unravel how long the deal lasts. Obviously, you want a deal that lasts long. Also, look out how many points you get after every spending and when they can be redeemed. In most cases, you get this bonus after spending a certain amount. Thus, ensure that the amount set for you to earn the bonus is low and resonates with your day to day spending.
2. Rewards And Points Earned
Look out for the card that gives you more points for every spending. Ideally, most cards offer you one point for every dollar spent. However, some cards tend to give out an extra point when you shop with specific retailers.
For example, American Express Platinum Edge Credit cards offer three bonus points for all eligible purchases. How awesome is that? You should ensure that the card you choose has a reward system that is geared to your spending habits.
3. Annual Fees
Well, no one likes paying the annual fees. Therefore deciding on whether to pay an annual fee is vital. Unfortunately, paying annual fees is necessarily evil, and you have to do it. Travel cards have different yearly fees rates.
The main goal of having a travel reward card is to maximize the value of the card. This is possible from the points you get on purchases relative to the annual fee of the credit card. Therefore, understand the benefits you seek to reap and choose the card that helps you reach the desired goal.
Comparison table for the Best travel cards
|Credit card||Travel rewards rate||Bonus value||Annual fee|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||2x on travel 2x on dining||$1200||$95|
|Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card||1.25x points on all purchases you make||$280||0|
|The Platinum Card® From American Express||5x on airfare booked directly||$1200||$550|
|Hilton Honors American Express Cards Surpass® Card||12x on Hilton purchases, 6x at US restaurant, US supermarkets, and US gas stations, and 3x on everything else||$750||$95|
|Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card||3x on eligible delta purchases and hotel stays, 2x on restaurant and US supermarkets, 1x on all other spendings||$1200||$250|
|American Express® Gold Card||3x points on flights booked directly with airlines and 1X points for all other purchases.||$700||$250|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||3 points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants and 1X points on everything else||$1000||$550|
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card||3x points on dining out and ordering in; gas, rideshares and transit; flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals; and popular streaming services.||$280||0|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||One-time credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA check.||$700||$95|
|Td First ClassSM Visa Signature® Credit Card||3x points for every dollar spent on travel and dining and 1x for all purchases||$500||$89|
If you are new to travel cards, then Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is for you. It has one of the valuable sign up bonuses in its class of mid-tier travel card. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the lite version of its big brother, Chase Sapphire Reserve®. The card earns you 2x points on travel and dining. You only pay $95 annual fees, and you won’t incur any foreign transaction fees.
Are you asking you about the bonus rate? Well, this card will earn you a solid 60000 bonus after spending at least $4000 on purchases in the first three months of membership. You reap numerous benefits when you redeem your points for travel through the Chase portal. For example, you get a 25% bonus, which makes your points worth 1.25 cents each.
Earlier on, we did indicate that this travel card is good if you are new to earning travel rewards. The card allows you to earn 5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022. This must good news if you are Lyft rides enthusiast considering this is 3x points addition to 2X points you earn on travel. Indeed this is a perfect choice if you still cannot justify why you should pay high annual fees.
- No foreign transaction fees
- Excellent bonus rate
- Sumptuous rewards system
- Annual fee rate of $95
This card offers you 1.25x points on all purchases you make. Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is a great choice for beginners since it does not impose annual fees and foreign transaction fees. You earn 20000 miles once you spend $1000 in the first three months.
Definitely, this is an excellent choice for those who spend less than $12343. You can redeem miles to offset travel expenses. This card is unique in that you can transfer miles to one of the 12 capital one loyalty programs.
Well, this card lacks perks, such as travel credits. But that’s expected considering you are not paying annual fees. However, you still enjoy valuable protections such as; travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, purchase security, and extended warranty.
- No annual fee
- Points are freely transferable to other travel loyalty programs
- Low early spend bonus
This is arguably one of the best cards when it comes to lounge access. Once you have this card, you can access American express global lounge collection, which includes Centurion Lounge, Priority Pass, Airspace and Escapes Lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs. You can earn 60,000 membership rewards points after spending $ 5,000 in the first three months.
Again, you can earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly with the airlines or Amex travel. That’s not all; The Platinum Card® From American Express can earn you 5x points on prepaid hotels booked through Amex.
Using this card while you are in the USA, you get to enjoy UBER VIP status and free rides up to $15 per month plus $20 in December.Annually, you will have saved $200, that’s quite a huge sum of money that you can channel to other uses. The annual fee for this card is $550.
- Wide range of benefits
- 60,000 membership rewards points
- High annual fee
You can hardly talk about hotel rewards without mentioning this card. As you might be aware, the Hilton hotel is among the top hotel brands in the world. For that reason, Hilton Honors surpass Amex ensures you earn rewards as you upgrade your overall hotel experiences.
In the first three months, you are eligible for earning 125,000 bonus points if you make purchases worth $2,000. The reward rate of this card is unique and sumptuous. You earn 12x on Hilton purchases, 6x at US restaurant, US supermarkets, and US gas stations, and 3x on everything else.
With only $95 annual fee, you get complimentary Hilton gold elite status and a free weekend night after you spend $15000 on eligible purchases. How awesome is that?
- 125,000 bonus points if you make purchases worth $2,000
- An array of perks to ensure your stay is more rewarding
- Annual fee rate of $95
This is a travel card that is worth considering. It ensures you get more rewards as you travel. You can earn up to 100000 bonus points – 80000 bonus miles after making eligible purchases worth $3000 during the first three months of acquiring the card. Also, you get 20,000 bonus miles during your first anniversary. How fantastic is that?
Are you asking yourself about the reward rate? Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card enables you to earn 3x on eligible delta purchases, and hotel stays, 2x on restaurant and US supermarkets, 1x on all other spendings.
The card offers you global entry/TSA application fees of up to $100, an annual companion certificate for a main domestic cabin round trip ticket each year, and other elite perks such as free checked bag and priority boarding.
Once you hit the Medallion status, you earn 100000 Medallion ® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $25000 in all eligible purchases. You also get additional 10,000 MQMs after spending $50000 in a calendar year. That’s not all; you get Medallion Qualification Dollar waiver once you spend $25000. You reap all these benefits by making an annual fee of $250
- Numerous benefit perks
- The best choice for airline travel rewards
- Enhanced bonus categories
- High annual fee
With an annual fee of 250, you get 4x membership rewards when you dine worldwide and shop at the United States of America’s supermarkets for all eligible spending amounting to $25,000 per year. You get 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines and 1X points for all other purchases.
Once you get the card, you can get 35,000 membership rewards points after you spend $4,000 on eligible during the first three months from account opening. If you are a recipient of this card, you get up to $100 to cover your airfare with the participating airlines, $120 to cover restraint charges, and $100 in hotel credits when you book hotel rooms only you do it through the hotel collection with American express travel. The value of the membership reward depends on how you choose to redeem them. This is because you can use them for a variety of reasons.
- Strong reward program
- Numerous benefits perks
- You incur no cost for purchases made outside the US
- No introductory APR period
- 250 annual fee
If you are a frequent traveler, then make this card part of you. It has excellent reward perks. The uniqueness of this card is supported by the fact that the card comes loaded with extensive travel protection benefits. You hardly get to see this on other cards. These benefits include; trip cancellation/ interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, emergency medical plus more.
Once you get this card for the first time, you are capable of 50,000 ultimate reward points after making $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. The reward rate is quite awesome; this is because you earn 3 points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants and 1X points on everything else.
The card gives you $300 annual travel credit. However, instead of limiting the travel credit to incidental airline fees, just like most cards do. This card ensures you can use travel credit to offset numerous travel expenses such as airfare, hotel, car rentals, transit, plus many more. Once you become a recipient of this card, you are bound to make an annual payment of $550.
- $300 annual travel credit
- 50,000 ultimate reward points
- No introductory APR
This is one card that gives you enormous benefits without incurring annual fees. Once you spend $1,000 eligible purchases in the first three months, you are guaranteed of 20, 000 bonus points. That’s not all; having this card places you at an advantageous position. It ensures you gaining points as you spend your dollars.
For example, you earn 3x points on dining out and ordering in; gas, rideshares and transit; flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals; and popular streaming services. This makes the card ideal for every traveler. You only earn 1x points on all other purchases you make. Your points must be past 2,500 for you to redeem them.
- No annual fees
- No fee charged on purchases made outside US
- Minimum redemption amount of 2500 points
You won’t pay annual fees during the first year, but you are bound to incur annual fees of $95 at the start of the second year. This card guarantees you 50000 bonus miles once you spend $3000 in the first three months.
You can redeem these points to cater to cater your travel expenses either by using statement credit or booking travel through Capital One’s Reward Centre. You incur zero foreign transaction fees. The good thing about this card is that you get a one-time credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA check.
To ensure you get memorable travel experiences, you can use this card to access exclusive sport and music events. These events include; the New York City Wine, Food Festival, and the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
- No annual fees during the first year
- one-time credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA check
- No introductory APR
This is one card that offers you an introductory APR. The card gives unique travel rewards that you hardly get anywhere and a relatively low 14.99%. You earn 25000 bonus miles after spending $3000.
You get 3x points for every dollar spent on travel and dining and 1x for all purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees, and annual fees are waived during the first year.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 25000 bonus miles
- No additional travel credits
In order to get the most from a travel card, it is good to familiarize yourself with the various travel cards available. Understand the benefits you get and the cost you incur. Keenly look out for the bonus rate, annual fees, reward rate, and added perks. These are some factors that will help you make a good choice.