The best travel credit cards to have in your wallet
Every credit card today has awards attached to them, and if you use them right, they can be very profitable. Some of them have points for merchandise, some for online things, and some for travel or airlines miles. You, as a consumer, have to pick the credit card that best suits your needs, based on your lifestyle. But if you are considering a miles card, we’ve taken some of the guesswork out of determining which is the best card.
After reviewing the points systems, the rewards, and the annual fees, among other things, these are the top picks for 2019. Note that while looking at credit cards, ones that are specific to an airline were not included on this list. If you consistently fly only one airline, their credit card is most likely the right one for you.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
This card is high on the list partially because of its flexibility. Kipling’s Personal Finance (June 2018) named it “Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption.” This card has a $95 annual fee, but it is waived the first year. There are no blackout dates and no foreign transaction fees, so this is perfect for those looking to go abroad. You earn 50,000 bonus point after spending $4,000 on purchases.
Some additional perks include:
- Dining and travel earn 2X the points; 1 point for every dollar spent on other purchases.
- If you book your travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, your points are worth 25% more when used for hotels, airfare, cruises, and car rentals.
- Points transfer to both airline and hotel loyalty programs 1:1
Capital One Venture Rewards Card
Named 2018’s “Best Travel Card” by CNBC, the Capital One card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. For those that don’t travel as frequently, you don’t have to worry about your miles expiring with this card. You can earn as many miles as you’d like and take the whole family on vacation. You receive 20,000 bonus miles on this card once you’ve spent $1,000, and again with this card, there are no blackout dates. You can also:
- Fly with any airline
- Stay at any hotel
- Transfer your miles to 12 leading loyalty programs in the travel industry
- Earn 1.25X miles for each and every purchase
- Earn 10X miles on certain hotels
Discover It Miles
Another card with no annual fee, Discover focuses on the miles with this card. With their intro offer, Discover promises that at the end of the first year, they will match all earned miles. If you’ve earned 20,000 miles, they’ll give you an additional 20,000 miles. A handy feature since you may be traveling – you can freeze your account any time from your phone with their mobile app. This prevents any unwanted purchases or cash advances.
In addition, Discover It Miles includes:
- For every dollar spent, earn 1.5x miles. This is on any purchase.
- Enjoy no blackout dates on your travel
- Free SSN alerts – When using your card to sign up online, Discover will monitor sites for risky activities
Bank of America Premium Rewards Card
This card is perfect for Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients, as they receive bonuses of up to 75% on purchases. Redeem your points for credit on your statement or deposit money into your Bank of America account. This card does have a $95 annual fee but does not charge foreign transaction fees. Other perks on this card include:
- 50,000 bonus points from this card after you make $3,000 in purchases.
- Earn 2X points for each $1 spent on travel and dining; 1.5X points for every $1 spent on other purchases
- Points do not expire
- Valuable travel insurance options