By helping you earn miles or points toward airfare and hotel stays, travel rewards cards can be a great way to make your next trip more affordable. Whether you are a frequent business traveler wanting elite perks or a family looking to save money, you should be able to find a travel rewards card that's right for you.
How to Choose a Travel Credit Card
Looking for a new travel credit card?
You have our sympathy. There is simply WAY too many offers to choose from now.
But how do you find the right one for you?
It turns out, you can narrow down your search dramatically by deciding which one of the following links matter the most to you:
Save Money on Travel and Dining: Chase Sapphire Preferred
This card is a good fit if you want a hot deal or you plan to transfer points to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners.
Is it worth the annual fee? Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred before you apply.
Travel Perks: American Express Platinum
This card is a good fit if you frequently travel and want Platinum benefits such as Airport Club Access, Platinum Concierge Service. Keep in mind, the travel-friendly benefits come at a price. There is a $450 annual fee and this is a charge card, not a credit card. In other words, you have to pay off your balance every month.
Is the Platinum Card worth it? Read our Platinum Card review before you decide.
Bonus Tip: If you frequently fly American Airlines, consider looking into the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card, which lets you transfer SPG points to AAdvantage. Plus, you get 5,000 bonus Starpoints when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to an eligible SPG airline transfer partner such as American Airlines, Delta, and Hawaiian Airlines.
Vacation Credit Cards
Airline Credit Cards
Plus, you can settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
And right now, if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, you'll earn 30,000 bonus miles. One-way award tickets for domestic travel within and between the continental U.S., Alaska and Canada start at 10,000 miles (plus taxes and fees).
To learn more, read our Delta credit card review.
Hotel Credit Cards
Starpoints are good at over 1,200 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries. Starwood has 7 hotel categories, with the lowest level (category 1) costing you 2,000-3,000 points/night, the mid-range hotels (category 4) hotels costing you 10,000 points/night, and the highest (category 7) taking away 30,000-35,000 points/night. In other words, those 25,000 bonus Starpoints alone can result in a free night’s stay at many Starwood properties.
What could hold you back from this tempting offer? There is a $95 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year). Read our Starwood Preferred Guest credit card review to help you decide if the fee would be worth it to you.
There are over 4,200 hotels and resorts worldwide that accept Hilton HHonors points. Hilton has 10 hotel categories, with category 1 hotels costing 5,000 points/night and category 10 hotels charging 70,000-95,000 points/night. Mid-range category 5 hotels are just 30,000-40,000 points/night.
Wait, There's More Than Just Rewards to Consider
Consider how you would like to book your reward travel: some cards require you to book through the card issuer’s website, while others have more flexible options. Be sure to review the card's terms and conditions to see whether it has blackout dates or other restrictions on redeeming points.
Most travel and airline credit cards require very good to excellent credit to apply. Like most rewards cards, travel and airline credit card offers tend to charge higher interest rates compared to other types of credit cards, so if you don't plan on paying your balance in full each month, consider a low interest credit card instead.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.
Disclaimer: The information for the Discover it® Miles and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card have been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Travel Rewards Benefits
Travel rewards credit cards not only help you save money on expenses, such as flights and hotel rooms, they also usually offers points (or miles) that can be redeemed toward other discounts or benefits. A travel-focused credit card might also provide additional benefits when it is used to pay for travel expenses.
The majority of travel rewards credit cards work like regular rewards cards, with cardholders earning a certain number of points for each dollar spent on purchases using the card. The difference is that cards focused on travel rewards usually offer bonuses, either when you use them to pay for travel-related expenses, or when you redeem points for travel savings. Some examples may include:
A Focus on Business
Many credit cards aimed at businesspeople also emphasize travel rewards, as work-related travel remains common despite today’s challenging economy:
Some cards bear the name of a travel-related company, such as an airline or hotel chain, and provide even better bonuses for purchases at that particular business. Potential perks include:
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