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Travel Cards

Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Compare travel credit cards from our partners and apply online
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.


Travel Rewards Credit Card


Airline Miles for Beginners


Warning: Foreign Transaction Fee


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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

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    Chase Sapphire Preferred
    Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
  • Here's the deal: If you spend over $1,334 per month on your credit card, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you'll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. Travel purchases include airfare, hotels, cruises, rental cars, and train tickets. Restaurants include fast food.

  • Now here's our favorite part: You can transfer points at 1:1 to a leading frequent travel program such as United MileagePlus and Marriott Rewards.
    • Airline partners include Southwest, British Airways, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic, United, and Singapore Airlines.
    • Hotel transfer partners include Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, and the Ritz-Carlton.

  • There is an Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95.

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.

Tip: How to Meet Your Credit Card Minimum Spending Requirements

Travel Perks: American Express Platinum

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    American Express Platinum
    Apply for The Platinum Card from American Express
  • Here's the deal: the Platinum Card from American Express, a CreditDonkey advertiser, offers 40,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new card in your first three months.

  • With Airport Club Access, you get complimentary access to 3 airport lounge networks: Delta Sky Club, Centurion Lounges, and Airspace Lounges.

    Plus, you also get Priority Pass Select at no additional cost. When you enroll in Priority Pass Select, you can access over 600 participating airport lounges worldwide.

  • You earn Membership Rewards points, which you can transfer to over a dozen frequent traveler programs.
    • Airline transfer partners include Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, and Virgin America.
    • Hotel transfer partners include Hilton, Best Western, and Starwood.

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

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Travel Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

Barclaycard Arrival
Apply for Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard
Barclaycard Arrival: Do you like to travel but hate the thought of an annual fee? The Barclaycard Arrival earns miles you can use for your next vacation. Think of it as your vacation credit card. You can redeem the miles for statement credits toward flights, hotels, car rentals, and even cruises.

Plus, right now, if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days, you'll earn 20,000 bonus miles. 20,000 miles is enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit.

To learn more, read our Barclaycard Arrival review.

Airline Credit Cards

Gold Delta SkyMiles
Apply for Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
Delta Credit Card: Do you like to fly Delta? With a Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card from American Express, you get to check your first bag free on every Delta flight. That is a potential savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of 4.

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

Starwood Preferred Guest
Apply for Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
Starwood Preferred Guest: Want to score free hotel stays? With the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express, if you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months, you'll earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints.

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.

American Express Hilton
Apply for Hilton HHonors Card from American Express
Hilton HHonors (No Annual Fee): Want to score free hotel stays but don't want to pay an annual fee? With the Hilton HHonors credit card, if you spend $750 in purchases within the first 3 months, you'll earn 50,000 bonus Hilton HHonors points.

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

International Travel
For overseas travelers, consider using a credit card with no foreign transaction fee to help save money while traveling abroad. Most credit cards have a foreign transaction fee of 3%, which applies to purchases you make overseas.

Airline
If airfare is your biggest concern, look for an airline credit card to help you earn free flights. Several of these cards include great introductory deals such as bonus miles toward free flights or special perks such as free checked baggage.

Hotel
To save on hotel expenses, consider applying for a hotel credit card promotion. Special offers may include bonus hotel points toward free hotel stays.

Gas
A gas credit cards can help stretch your budget. Read our guide to see how using credit cards can help drivers save money.

Redeeming Points
Some travel rewards cards give you airline miles or hotel points with a particular company’s frequent traveler program, such as United Mileage Plus or Hilton HHonors. Other cards give you points that you can use only with the credit card issuer’s reward program.

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.

Best Credit Cards for International Travel

The best credit cards for international travel have no foreign transaction fees, chip technology and worldwide acceptance. Read this before you take off.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Read ReviewApply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named a 'Best Credit Card' for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Sleek metal card design
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • $0 foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance when used at a chip card reader
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value – that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Travel confidently with premium Travel Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Delay Reimbursement and more
Travel Rewards Benefit: Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.
1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value - that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
Airline Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value – that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
Our Review: Do you like to travel? Travel credit cards can help you earn flights and hotel stays. Our favorite is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It has a huge bonus point offer and premium travel benefits. But the card has a $95 annual fee. Read on to see if the Sapphire Preferred is worth it... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
Read ReviewApply for Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
At Barclaycard's Secure Site
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, currently 16.24% or 20.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsHotel RewardsTravel RewardsCar Rental RewardsTravel Accident InsuranceEmergency Assistance
Travel Rewards Benefit: Use miles for a statement credit toward any airline purchase to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates. Easily redeem your miles for statement credits toward flights, cruises, car rentals, hotels and more. (Redemptions start at 10,000 miles for $100 toward qualifying travel purchases made in the last 120 days)

Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
Airline Rewards: Earn 2X miles on all purchases.
Hotel Rewards: Redeem your miles toward hotel stays.
Our Review: Is this 2x miles credit card worth the $89 annual fee? Read on to see how the Arrival Plus compares with top travel rewards credit card... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/A
0% for 12 months (must be completed within first forty-five days of account opening)
16.24% or 20.24%* Variable
$89 - Waived first year

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
Read ReviewApply for Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Get 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • Receive free in-room, premium internet access. Booking requirements apply.
  • Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
  • Get free nights at over 1,200 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries with no blackout dates. Some hotels may have mandatory service and resort charges.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Hotel RewardsAirline RewardsHotel RewardsTravel RewardsBonus Airline RewardsNo Limits on RewardsCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase Protection Return ProtectionTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud Liability
Airline Rewards: Transfer Starpoints to more than 30 airline frequent flyer programs, mostly on a one-to-one basis.
Redeem Starpoints® for free flights with SPG Flights with no blackout dates.
Hotel Rewards: Get free nights at over 1,200 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries with no blackout dates. Some hotels may have mandatory service and resort charges.
Our Review: There’s a new version of the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card, and with the updated perks comes an increased cost: the annual fee has been bumped from $65 to $95. Read on to find out if the SPG card should still be worth considering in 2016... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
15.49% - 19.49% variable
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard
Read ReviewApply for Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard
At Barclaycard's Secure Site
  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on travel & dining and 1X miles on all other purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR currently 16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsHotel RewardsTravel RewardsCar Rental RewardsNo Limits on RewardsDining RewardsTravel Accident InsuranceEmergency Assistance
Travel Rewards Benefit: Earn 2X miles on travel purchases.

Use miles for a statement credit toward any airline purchase to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates. Easily redeem your miles for statement credits toward flights, cruises, car rentals, hotels and more. (Redemptions start at 2,500 miles for $25 toward qualifying travel purchases made in the last 120 days).

Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
Airline Rewards: Earn 1X miles on all other purchases.
Hotel Rewards: Redeem your miles toward hotel stays.
Our Review: Is this the best travel rewards credit card with no annual fee? Read on for the pros and cons to the Barclaycard Arrival... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/A
0% for 12 months (must be completed within first forty-five days of account opening)
16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24%* Variable
$0


Read Review
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsTravel RewardsBonus Airline RewardsNo Expiration on Rewards$0 Fraud Liability
Our Review: Discover it Miles credit card rewards users with 1.5x miles and no annual fee (a rarity among travel credit cards). Even more appealing, as a promotion, the card will match the miles you earn at the end of your first year... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 12 months
10.99% for 12 months
11.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
$0

The Platinum Card from American Express
Read ReviewApply for The Platinum Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Get 40,000 points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $200 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees with your Platinum Card.
  • Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors(TM) Gold Status.
  • Get reservations with Platinum Card® Concierge to enjoy an exquisite dining experience with the #AmexPlatinum Dining Program. Learn more.
  • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsAirline RewardsHotel RewardsPoint RewardsTravel RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitConciergeEventsCar Rental Insurance Extended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn ProtectionTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityIdentity Theft Assistance
Our Review: Is the Platinum Card from American Express worth the $450 annual fee? Read this in-depth review to help you decide... Read full review
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Personal Charge Card
$450


Read Review
Point RewardsTravel RewardsDining Rewards
Our Review: If you’re looking for an all-purpose rewards credit card that offers a mix of travel perks, the Citi ThankYou Premier card deserves a look. This card offers triple reward points for travel, double reward points for dining and entertainment, and a long list of travel protections. Read on to see if the card is worth the $95 annual fee (waived for the first 12 months)... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
14.24% - 23.24%* (Variable)
$95; fee waived for the first 12 months*

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:

  • Some cards let you earn double or even triple points or cash back for each dollar spent on airfare or gas, in addition to awarding bonus points when you sign up.

  • Other possibilities include receiving credits to cover incidentals such as baggage fees, access to special lounges at airports, or concierge services to help trip planning.

  • Some programs may require fewer points to redeem award flights or hotel stays, particularly if you book through the card issuer’s travel website.

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:

  • You may be able to receive a discounted companion airplane ticket when purchasing one at a high enough fare rate.

  • You may also be able to easily transfer points and miles between your credit card and particular frequent flyer programs.

  • Other benefits can be perfect for business travelers, including reduction or elimination of foreign transaction fees and additional car rental insurance.

Corporate Tie-ins

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:

  • Some cardholders may be able to take advantage of special benefits or avoid certain fees when booking with the selected airline or hotel chain, in addition to earning bonus points or miles.

  • Blackout dates or other restrictions may not apply when booking with the appropriate card.

  • Just remember to be aware that some of the benefits of these cards are only awarded at the particular company’s properties or flights.


Articles on Travel Rewards

    Best Credit Card for European Travel

    Deals
    If you’re looking for a credit card that can take you to Europe and back, you might need to look past what’s already in your wallet. Let’s do a quick inventory: any credit cards with a small chip located on the left-hand side? Put aside any that ...

    How to Travel the World

    By Leah Norris - Tips
    Thinking of taking a trip around the world? It’s not cheap to travel anywhere these days. The cost of airfare alone can be enough to make you think twice about traveling internationally to one location, let alone take a multi-country journey. ...

    How to Save Money While Traveling

    By Leah Norris - Tips
    Planning a vacation? Hotel and transportation costs are high enough without the added costs of food, entertainment, and attractions. But, there are some easy ways to save money during your trip without sacrificing experience.
    Best Adventure Travel Blogs

    Best Adventure Travel Blogs

    July 23, 2016 - By Michelle Kaiser - Reviews
    Are you game for an adventure? You can go on one without even leaving your seat with the best bloggers who write about their travel adventures.
    Best Travel Food Blog

    Best Travel Food Blogs

    June 16, 2016 - By Michelle Kaiser - Reviews
    Do you think the best way to experience the world is through your stomach? We can't always just hop on a plane, but we can get a taste of other cultures through travel food blogs. Read on for the top blogs to get your mouth watering.
    Best Family Travel Blogs

    Best Family Travel Blogs

    February 8, 2016 - By Michelle Kaiser - Reviews
    These are the best bloggers who have chronicled how they travel with multiple kids and explain how you can too.
    Best Budget Travel Blog

    Best Budget Travel Blogs

    December 14, 2015 - By Michelle Kaiser - Reviews
    Travel the world on the cheap by following the top 50 budget travel bloggers. Get practical insights into saving money every time you take a trip.

    3 Mistakes People Make with Their Travel Credit Card

    Tips
    A travel credit card can be your next BFF (a loyal, rewarding one) or it can become an frenemy, by making you feel guilty that you're not using all of its benefits. There are many mistakes you can make along the way — starting with choosing one ...

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How to Choose a Credit Card with Rewards

So you've decided you want to earn rewards for your spending but aren’t sure how to pick the right card?

About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.