Top Credit Card For Travelers

If you love to travel, having the right credit card can open up a wide range of benefits for you. Not only do you earn points and miles for future trips, but you also get to enjoy generous sign-up bonuses and lots of premium travel perks and upgrades. These can include, waived baggage fees, travel insurance, priority boarding, and airport lounge access. 

Whether you are a frequent traveler or an occasional tourist, with the right card, you can easily take your trip from basic to bougie. 

In this article, we will explore some of the top credit card options for travelers. But first, let’s discuss how travel credit cards work.

How Do Travel Credit Cards Work?

These cards work via a reward system. They let you earn points or miles every time you use them. You can then redeem these points for travel-related purchases such as flights or hotel stays. Reward rates vary based on the card. Some might offer 2 points for each dollar spent on travel purchases while others may offer as much as 3 points per dollar. Some of the best travel credit cards typically offer juicy sign-up bonuses and limited-time offers.

Redeeming your points and miles for trips also varies by card. While some allow users to redeem their points for gift cards and cash back, the majority stick to exchanging points for travel purchases. To do this, you will need to book future flights or make hotel reservations via designated portals. You could also be required to transfer your rewards to the credit card issuer’s travel partners who would then book your flights and hotels.

Top Travel Credit Cards

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – $95/year

This card is perfect for travelers looking to transfer points from other Chase cards. It also offers an outstanding sign-up bonus. With this card, you earn 5 points per $1 you spend on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Travel purchases outside Chase Ultimate Rewards get you 2 points per $1. For dining expenses, you earn 3 points per $1. This includes delivery, takeout and online grocery purchases. When you redeem your points by booking your travel through Chase, you get 25% more at $1.25 per point. There are tons of other juicy benefits including lost luggage insurance, trip cancellation or interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver and many more. 

The Citi Premier Card – $95/year

With a triple point offering on multiple categories, this card is a great choice for regular travelers looking to get the most benefits from their daily expenses. Rewards are not limited to travel and dining expenses alone. You get 3 points per $1 spent on gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants as well. With annual hotel benefits and an exciting sign-up bonus, this card has become a top choice for most travelers. One feature we love most about this card is that there are no foreign transaction fees when you make purchases. Awesome, right?

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card – $0

If you are big on road trips, this one is for you. With it, you get to earn quadruple points on travel and gas purchases. This means 4 points per $1 spent at gas stations and other eligible travel purchases. This makes it perfect for road trips and everyday use. For streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Apple Music, Disney+ and the likes, you get 2 points per $1 spent. Grocery stores and dining purchases also get you 2 points per $1. Users get a sizable sign-up bonus and $0 annual fee for the first year with $95 for recurring years.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – $95/year

With flexible redemption options and a competitive sign-up bonus, this card has become one of the most popular credit cards for travelers. With this card, you earn 5 miles for every $1 spent on car rentals and hotels booked via Capital One Travel. Other purchases outside this earn you 2 miler per dollar. You can redeem your miles for any travel expense. There are no limitations, restrictions, or blackout dates on your travel. This card also makes you eligible for Global Entry and TSA Precheck application fee reimbursements.

The Platinum Card from American Express – $695/year

Looking to score luxury benefits and awesome travel perks? This card is for you. It has one of the highest annual fees in the market but it’s a great price to pay to get treated like a VIP when traveling. This high-end card offers 5 points per $1 spent on flights and hotels via eligible channels. Other benefits include a $200 annual Uber credit and $200 annual credit for airline fees. You also get VIP treatment at hotels and free access to airport lounges all over the world. A juicy welcome offer and Global Entry and TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement also make this card a solid choice for luxury travelers.

The American Express Gold Card – $250/year

The annual fee for this card may be on the high side but the perks outweigh it. Users earn 4 points per $1 at restaurants and supermarkets. You also get 3X points on airfare booked via or any eligible airline. This card features dining credits and a juicy welcome offer as well. Your points can easily be transferred to hotels and airlines whenever you want. Also, there are no foreign transaction fees.

The Chase Sapphire Card – $550/year

With lots of generous perks and enticing rewards, you are sure to get value for the $550 annual fee. Best suited for frequent travelers, this card offers a whopping 10 points for every $1 spent on Chase Dining purchases. When you book hotels or rent cars through Ultimate Rewards, you also get 10 points per dollar. Air travel purchases via Ultimate Rewards gets you 5 points per dollar. On the other hand, travel and dining purchases not booked with Chase gets you 3 points per dollar. Other benefits include a $300 annual travel expenses credit, a mouth-watering sign-up bonus, Priority Pass airport luggage access, and reimbursement for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck application fees.

With all the travel credit card options available, deciding which one to sign up for might be a bit confusing. We advise that you consider your circumstances, travel frequency, and monthly income before making a choice. You should also figure out the best ways to optimize the points and maximize the benefits available for each card.

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