Best Travel Credit Cards

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Whether you’re paying for your hotel, or booking a flight, or just buying things in your destination, travel can be expensive. Luckily, there are plenty of credit cards out there willing to give you rewards and some much-needed assistance on your next journey.

That assistance can come in varying forms, whether it’s through air miles, rewards points on hotel bookings, or offering up free amenities. Either way, if you travel a lot, it’s best to get a card that focuses on giving you the kind of rewards you’ll use often enough.

There are a few different kinds of travel credit cards out there – ones that focus on airline rewards, others that save on hotels, and those that focus on both. For the sake of clarity, we went through some of the best all-purpose travel credit cards we could find to give you some recommendations on what to use for that family vacation or business trip.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

On Chase's home portal

700-750
Best for good credit

Highlight: $300 annual travel credit and 3x points on travel
  • $300 travel credit awarded each year

  • 3x points on travel worldwide

  • 3x points on dining worldwide

  • 1 point = 1.5 points when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Free Priority Pass Select membership for access to airport lounges

Intro APR

None

Variable APR

17.49% - 24.49%

Annual Fee

$450

Card Perks

Travel

Why It's Good

If you are purely talking about travel rewards, it's difficult not to include the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card in the conversation. It's targeted towards serial travelers.

Basically, it's for the kind of person we all wish we were.

If you're lucky enough to be jetting off every other month, then you can enjoy $300 travel credit on the anniversary of opening your account each year. You can also get 3x points worldwide on travel purchases and dining.

When it comes time to redeem those rewards, they are worth 50% more when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards scheme.

While traveling, this card allows you to do so in style. It comes with a free Priority Pass Select membership. This grants access to 1,000 airport lounges worldwide.

Unfortunately, this card isn't available to just anybody. Firstly, it has a slightly off-putting annual fee of $450. And, you need to have an excellent credit rating to even be considered in the first place.

If you can overcome these hurdles, you have the opportunity to earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $750 when redeemed on travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards scheme) if you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of the account opening.

This card clearly isn't for everyone. But, if you have a near perfect credit rating and love to splash the cash on travel it could be a very good option.

SunTrust Travel Rewards Credit Card

On SunTrust's  home portal

700-750
Best for good credit

Highlight: 3% unlimited cash back on travel
  • $250 intro offer

  • 3% unlimited cash back on travel

  • 2% unlimited cash back on dining

  • 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases

  • Airport lounge access

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Annual fee waived in year one

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months

Intro APR

None

Variable APR

12.74% – 22.74%

Annual Fee

$89

Travel Cash Back

3%

Why It's Good

If you want a straightforward cash back offer on travel, the SunTrust Rewards Credit Card could be a interesting option.

The card is clearly designed for regular travelers. For all "travel qualifying" purchases, you get straightforward 3% cash back. For "dining qualifying purchases" this is slightly lower at 2%. Both of these amount are unlimited. This simply means the more you spend, the more you can earn back.

The card doesn't have any foreign transaction fees, meaning you can actually use it while abroad on your travels.  You also get access to Mastercard Airport Experiences allowing entry to a number of airport lounges .

The introductory $250 cash back offer is great, but you have to  spend $3,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months to qualify.

So, if you travel a lot and spend big in the process (and are capable of qualifying for the $250 introductory offer) this card is worth exploring.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

On Chase's home portal

700-750
Best for good credit

Highlight: Reasonable annual fee, 2x cash back on dining & travel and no foreign transaction fees
  • 2x points on travel and dining expenses

  • $95 annual fee

  • 60,000 bonus point welcome bonus (with conditions)

  • 25% additional travel redemption through Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • 1:1 point transfer through Ultimate Rewards

  • No foreign transaction fees

Intro APR

None

Variable APR

17.24% - 24.24%

Annual Fee

$95

Main Reward

Travel

Why It's Good

When it comes to finding the best travel credit card, it helps to find a card that will actually pay you for spending on travel. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the ideal travel card for Chase customers, mostly due to its double-points rewards tier on travel and dining expenses. After all, you’re usually eating out when you travel – might as well get something back for it.

Like most Chase cards, though, the real advantage comes with its participation in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program – you can combine all your rewards points from all your Chase cards and use them on individual cards. For travel, the Sapphire is the way to go: you get 25% more points value through the system if you redeem them for travel expenses via the Sapphire.

 What’s more, you also get a huge signup bonus of 60,000 points, which is roughly equivalent to $750 worth of travel rewards (considering the Sapphire Preferred’s travel bonuses). Along with reimbursements for trip delays, interruption insurance and more, the Sapphire Preferred gives a lot of unexpected amenities to travel-minded cardholders.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card

On Capital One's One's home portal

700-750
Best for good credit

Highlight: Unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, 20,000 mile signup bonus
  • Unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on each purchase

  • 20,000 mile signup bonus

  • $0 annual fee

  • 0% intro APR for 12 months

  • 10x miles for Hotels.com bookings

Intro APR

None

Variable APR

13.49% - 23.49%

Annual Fee

$0

Cash Back

$1 = 1.25 miles

Why It's Good

More than anything, the VentureOne’s main focus is on giving you flexibility in your travel options. Instead of points or cash back rewards, the VentureOne just helps you collect miles on air travel – 1.25 for every dollar spent. If you fly a lot, this is the rewards system that might appeal to you most.

You can cash in these miles for other travel expenses, as well, with some incredible bonuses here and there – for example, spending your miles at Hotels.com will give you ten times their value. Also, the 20,000 mile signup bonus you get (when you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card ownership) is nothing to sneeze at.

 What’s more, there’s no annual fee and no interest for 12 months on the card, making it an incredible deal that travel-minded card users might not want to ignore. If nothing else, that Hotels.com bonus is pretty hard to beat, making it one of the best travel rewards cards out there for combined hotel and air expenses.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

On Chase's home portal

700-750
Best for good credit

Highlight: Lots points when you first sign up
  • $95 annual fee

  • 17.24%-22.24% variable APR

  • Reward type: points

  • 80,000 point sign-up bonus

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Employee cards for no additional cost

Intro APR

None

Variable APR

17.24% - 22.24%

Annual Fee

$95

Cash Back

$1 = 3 points

Why It's Good

More than anything, the VentureOne’s main focus is on giving you flexibility in your travel options. Instead of points or cash back rewards, the VentureOne just helps you collect miles on air travel – 1.25 for every dollar spent. If you fly a lot, this is the rewards system that might appeal to you most.

You can cash in these miles for other travel expenses, as well, with some incredible bonuses here and there – for example, spending your miles at Hotels.com will give you ten times their value. Also, the 20,000 mile signup bonus you get (when you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card ownership) is nothing to sneeze at.

 What’s more, there’s no annual fee and no interest for 12 months on the card, making it an incredible deal that travel-minded card users might not want to ignore. If nothing else, that Hotels.com bonus is pretty hard to beat, making it one of the best travel rewards cards out there for combined hotel and air expenses.


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