Home > Credit Card Reviews > 4 Credit Cards That Can Pay for Your Summer Vacation

Comments 0 Comments

[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

After a long winter, are you ready to start thinking about a summer vacation? If so, now is the time to start earning points, miles and cash back that you can use for your trip. Some rewards credit cards even offer sign-up bonuses big enough to pay for your airfare or hotel.

Of course, be sure to read the fine print carefully to find a card (and offer) that’s right for you. These bonuses usually have spending thresholds associated with them, meaning you’ll have to charge a certain amount to the card within a specified timeframe to earn the rewards. You generally have to pay those charges off before you get your points or miles, so any offer you opt for should have a spending threshold within your current budget.

It’s also not a good idea to sign up for every special offer you see. Each credit card application generate a hard inquiry on your credit report, which, like high credit card balances, can hurt your credit score. (You can see where you currently stand by viewing your credit scores for free every 14 days on Credit.com.)

With that in mind, here are four credit cards that can pay for your summer vacation. 

1. JetBlue Plus Card from Barclaycard 

JetBlue’s Plus card offers new applicants 30,000 points after spending $1,000 within 90 days of account opening. Points in JetBlue’s TrueBlue program are typically worth around 1.4 cents each towards JetBlue flights, making this sign-up bonus potentially worth around $420. And, since JetBlue is a discount carrier, these points may be enough for a flight to many popular vacation destinations, including Alaska, the Caribbean, and even parts of South America. The card features 6x the points for JetBlue purchases, 2x the points at restaurant and grocery stores and 1x the points elsewhere. There is a $99 annual fee for this card and it has a purchase annual percentage rate (APR) of 12.24%, 20.24% or 25.24%, based on creditworthiness. Cardholders do not pay foreign transaction fees. 

2. Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus offers new applicants 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Since miles are worth one cent each as statement credits towards travel expenses, this sign-up bonus is worth $700 towards your summer vacation. You earn double miles on all purchases and you can redeem your miles towards airfare, hotels, rental cars, and cruises, and receive 5% of your miles back to use towards your next redemption each time you do. There is an annual fee for this card of , and no foreign transaction fees. It’s purchase APR is .

3. Chase Sapphire Preferred 

With the Sapphire Preferred (see full review here), new cardholders earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. Another 5,000 points is offered to those who add an authorized user who makes a purchase within that timeframe. Those 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points can be pooled with airline miles or hotel points, or redeemed directly for travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel center. Since points are worth 1.25 cents each towards travel, this sign-up bonus can be worth $750. Cardholders earn double points for all travel and dining purchases and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. There is a $95 annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees. Its purchase APR is 17.49% - 24.49% Variable , depending on creditworthiness.

4. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Venture Rewards credit card (see a review here) offers new applicants 50,000 bonus miles once they spend $3,000 within three months of account opening. The bonus miles are potentially worth $500 in travel credits. Cardholders earn 2x the miles for every dollar they spend. The card has a $95 annual fee, waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees, Its purchase APR is between 17.24% - 24.49% (Variable) based on creditworthiness.

At publishing time, the Starwood Preferred Guest, Barclaycard Arrival Plus and Capital One Venture Rewards credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

Image: Kraig Scarbinsky

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team