Travel Credit Cards: A Beginner's Guide

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

If you're a frequent traveler, travel credit cards are the types of cards you're going to want to look into. They say that travel is its own reward, but for those who own travel credit cards, the rewards can go much higher. From signup bonuses to dining and flight rewards, there's no shortage of ways that credit card companies are looking to make your next getaway even more memorable. But are travel credit cards really the best deal for you? The short answer is yes, because no matter how you travel, there's a travel credit card out there that's the perfect fit for you.

Best Card for Earning Airline Miles

Many travelers want to maximize their airline miles but don't want to be tied to one particular airline. These types of travelers often use their cards for travel-related purchases and dining out. If that sounds like you, you'll want to take a closer look at the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. With this card, you earn Ultimate Rewards, which can be used at a wide range of different travel-related brands including Southwest Airlines, Marriott and more. Because you get to pick and choose how best to allocate your rewards points, you'll enjoy greater flexibility when and where you travel.

Chase Sapphire Preferred
Double points on travel and dining
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Travel
Annual Fee
$95
Credit Level
690
850
Excellent and Good Credit
Highlights
  • 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in your first 3 months
  • 2X points on travel and dining purchases
  • 1X point spent on all other purchases
  • 25% more value when redeeming car rentals, hotels, cruises and airfare through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • No travel restrictions or blackout dates
  • Ultimate Rewards points make it easy to transfer points across Chase cards

Best Card for Domestic Travel within the U.S.

If you travel often within the states, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier credit card could be right for you. Since Southwest Airlines includes 85 different airports around the country (and 11 within the Caribbean) you'll have a lot of potential destinations to choose from. The card itself gives you the most Rapid Rewards points for what you spend on direct Southwest Airlines purchases. All other purchases also accumulate Rapid Rewards at a lower rate.

Best All-Around Travel Credit Card

If you're just looking for a good, all-around travel credit card that's geared toward moderate spenders but still helps you earn rewards and miles, you'll want to take a closer look at the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Out of the travel rewards cards offered by Capital One, this one is particularly good for those who spend a lot on travel on their credit card. With this card, you earn Venture miles in exchange for dollars spent. The "Purchase Eraser" is also a nice perk—the term given for using your points to pay down your travel bills.

Capital One Venture Rewards
Unlimited 10X miles on hotels
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Travel
10×
Annual Fee
$95
Credit Level
690
850
Excellent and Good Credit
Highlights
  • Named "The Best Travel Card" by CNBC in 2018
  • 50,000 bonus miles after 3k in spend in the first 3 months. (That's roughly $500 in travel credit)
  • Unlimited 2X miles per $1 on each purchase
  • Unlimited 10X miles on thousands of hotels
  • Up to $100 credit on TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry applications
  • $0 annual fee the first year 

The Verdict

There you have it, travellers! If you need a new travel credit card to rack up points for your favorite hobby, there’s likely one for you on this list. With one of these travel cards, you can earn points while you unlock new adventures across a number of airlines and hotel chains. Don’t get left in the dust, get a new travel card that meets your lifestyle needs, today.

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