Top Picks: Best Travel Rewards Cards
By Gerri Detweiler
Personal Finance Expert
Travel can be expensive with fuel surcharges and baggage fees. Let one of these cards help you defray some of the cost. Some cards emphasize air travel, while others offer more reward perks on hotels and car rentals.
Remember that aside from travel rewards, a card must also give you all the power of a top-notch credit card. We've taken the guesswork out of choosing the best travel rewards cards with these top expert picks. Simply choose the one that will help you earn rewards for the types of travel goods and services you use most.
Not sure if you want miles, merchandise or cash? If you have excellent credit, you don't have to choose with the Chase Sapphire Card (25K). You earn 1 point for every dollar you spend and 2 for every dollar when you buy eligible airfare booked through Chase's online booking tool. For a limited time, earn $250 in rewards after you spend $3,000 within in the first three months after opening your account.The good news: This is one of the most flexible reward cards around and there is no annual fee - which is rare for a rewards card.
The bad news: Chase charges a hefty penalty APR of 29.99% if you miss a payment.
This generous rewards program allows members to earn 2 miles for every dollar they spend. Miles can be redeemed for travel-related goods and services such as airfare, hotel bookings and car rentals. Miles can be used for free travel on any airline with no blackout periods. And there is no limit to the amount of rewards cardholders can earn. Miles do not expire. The card offers an 11.9% - 19.9% variable APR.The good news: This is one of the few credit cards that doesn't charge a foreign currency transaction fee.
The bad news: This card is only available to those with at least a 750 credit score.
With no annual fee, cardholders earn 1 mile for every dollar spent, allowing them to accrue miles good toward flights, hotels and car rentals or gift cards. Your miles can be applied to the cost of your travel bookings. You can earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on travel-related expenses up to $3,000. In addition, you earn 1,000 bonus miles each month that you make a purchase during the first year, up to 12,000 miles. The card comes with a 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers during the first six months, after which a 10.9% or higher variable APR applies, depending on your credit rating.The good news: The penalty APR is as low or lower than some cards' regular APR.
The bad news: The APR is variable, which means the rate is tied to the prime rate; if the prime rate goes up, so does your APR. Discover is also not as widely accepted as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Card Comparison Chart
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card See Complete Details Apply For This Card
|Credit Required||Excellent - Good|
|Highlights||Earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on one of the few cards that doesn't charge a foreign currency transaction fee.|
|Annual Fee||$0 intro for first year; $59 after that|
|Balance Transfer||13.9-20.9% (V)|
|See Complete Details|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card|
Apply For This Card