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Study: Best Travel Credit Cards for 2013
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If you have one luxury in your yearly budget, it should be a vacation. You get some relaxation, some fun, and a lifetime of memories all in an all-too-short amount of time. Plus, you get a much needed break from work – something some employers actually want their employees to take. In fact, over the past two decades, the average number of paid vacation days companies give their workers has increased by two days, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Fortunately, there are always deals to be had for coming up with affordable travel plans, including credit cards that reward consumers for using them either while traveling for work or for getting away from work.
We scoured our database of credit cards for the ones that offer the best deals for travelers and came up with a list of three cards that stand out from the crowd. When used correctly, any one of these cards should help you make a dent in your total travel bill.
To determine the best credit cards for travel, we considered three main factors for how users…
We started by looking at how fast you can earn rewards. The average travel credit card earns 1% (worth 1 cent per dollar spent). We excluded all credit card travel rewards worth 1% or less from consideration. We also considered how lucrative the introductory sign-up bonuses are since we love deals.
Next, we looked at how flexible the cards are with reward redemption. There is no point accumulating miles or points if you can't use them to fly when you want and where you want. We excluded all credit cards without a flexible redemption program. Keep in mind, if you fly only business and first class, it is often a better value to use airline miles (e.g.: AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles). At CreditDonkey, we fly economy and avoid buying in-flight meals.
Finally, we looked at the fees. Generally, the more generous the reward structure and sign-up bonus, the higher the annual fee. Is it worth it? In general, yes if you plan to use the card frequently. No, if it is just going to gather dust. At CreditDonkey, we don't recommend you sign up for a credit card just to qualify for the promotion – the ideal card will be one you’ll want to use beyond the promotional period and will meet your everyday needs.
We did not look at interest rates. Travel credit cards are best suited for consumers who pay their balance in full each month. Otherwise, the interest costs will usually exceed any reward points you earn. If you plan to carry a balance, consider a credit card with a low interest rate instead.
1. Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® - Earn 2x on All Purchases
Why We Like Barclaycard Arrival:
2. Blue Sky from American Express®
Why We Like Blue Sky:
3. U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card
Why We Like U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards:
Of course, the best travel credit card for any particular consumer depends on how you use your credit card and where you want to go. A frequent international traveler should consider only credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. For the occasional traveler, look for the credit card that lets you earn rewards fast at a fair cost.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the company whose products are featured on this site. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.
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