Travel Credit Cards

Travel Rewards credit cards are great for earning points or other great benefits towards airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, cruises, and more.

Intro (Purchases)
N/A
Intro (Transfers)
N/A
Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
16.99% - 23.99% Variable
Credit Recommended
Good/Excellent
Intro Rewards Bonus
50,000 bonus points

Highlights

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Balance Transfer Fee
$0
Annual Fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Foreign Trans Fee
None
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Product Type
ConsumerCard
Credit Recommended
Excellent, Good

Highlights

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Get a metal Venture Card when you apply today
See additional details for Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Intro (Purchases)
0% for 12 months
Annual Fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
$0
Foreign Trans Fee
None
Regular APR
12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
Credit Recommended
Excellent, Good

Highlights

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.99%-22.99% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn

Annual Fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Foreign Trans Fee
None
Regular APR
17.99% (Variable)
Product Type
BusinessCard
Credit Recommended
Excellent, Good
Intro Rewards Bonus
50000 Miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Highlights

  • Earn 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, every day
  • Plus, a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account, and there are no categories to limit where or what you buy
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • There's no limit to the amount of miles you can earn
  • Redeem miles for travel, cash back, gift cards and more
  • No foreign transaction fees and fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
See additional details for Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Intro (Transfers)
0% 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)
Foreign Trans Fee
0%
Annual Fee
$89 - waived first year
Regular APR
16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable
Product Type
Consumer
Credit Recommended
Excellent

Highlights

  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. There is a fee for balance transfers.

Intro (Purchases)
0% for 9 months
Annual Fee
$0
Foreign Trans Fee
None
Regular APR
13.99% - 21.99% (Variable)
Product Type
BusinessCard
Credit Recommended
Excellent, Good

Highlights

  • Earn 1.5 miles per $1 on every purchase, every day
  • Plus, a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account, and there are no categories to limit where or what you buy
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.99%-21.99% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • Get online Quarterly and Year-End Summaries
  • There's no limit to the amount of miles you can earn
  • Fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions



Travel rewards credit cards allow you to earn travel rewards for using your credit card. They’re extremely useful for people who fly a lot, as well as people who stay at hotels often. Some travel credit cards even allow you to earn extra rewards points for staying at hotels or purchasing airline tickets. These points can be redeemed for travel rewards such as airline miles that will be extremely useful for consumers who travel frequently. Read on to learn about all the exciting perks travel credit cards offer.

What is a travel rewards credit card?

A travel rewards credit card offers rewards points for every dollar spent. These rewards points can be redeemed for travel rewards such as airline miles or hotel rooms. Users can normally earn 1 point per every dollar spent, but in some cases, it’s possible to earn more points through special promotions.

There are different types of travel rewards cards to suit your individual travel needs. For example, some cards allow you to earn extra airline miles when you fly with a certain company. Others let you earn bonus points for staying with a certain hotel chain. By finding a travel rewards credit card that aligns with your personal spending habits, you can save a lot of money and take advantage of excellent perks.

Travel rewards credit cards may also allow you to earn points on normal purchases, even if you aren’t traveling. You probably won’t be able to take advantage of special promotions like point multipliers with regular purchases, but you still may be able to earn rewards.

How do travel rewards programs typically work?

Rewards programs can work in different ways depending on the credit card company. Travel rewards credit cards allow you to redeem your rewards points for airline miles, hotel rooms, and other rewards that are useful for people who travel often. You’ll typically reserve your reward in the form of a voucher. Rewards points can be redeemed online using the company’s website. You can normally view your points balance and take a look at special promotions where you can earn extra rewards from the same place.

If you allow your rewards points to build up over time, you may be able to redeem them for enticing prizes such as a round-trip flight to a foreign country. You can choose to spend your rewards points as you go for a small discount off every flight, or to let them build up so you can redeem them all at once for much bigger rewards.

Who should consider a travel rewards card?

Travel rewards credit cards are great for a wide variety of users. They’re an excellent choice for anyone who plans on traveling often. If you fly a lot or stay in hotel rooms regularly, you could be earning points for each transaction and saving up for free flights and rooms. Even if you don’t travel often, you could still enjoy earning rewards back on every purchase while traveling if you sign up for a travel rewards credit card.

Travel rewards credit cards are also a great choice for both large and small businesses. If you manage a business and your employees travel regularly, you could benefit from giving them travel rewards credit cards to use on business trips. If your employees are paying for their business travel expenses with regular credit cards, you’re missing out. By using travel rewards credit cards they could be saving the company a lot of money with every trip.

If you have good credit and enjoy traveling, you could benefit greatly from a travel rewards card. You’ll be able to rest assured that every purchase is bringing you closer to getting a discount on your next trip, and you’ll save some money each time you travel.

What type of credit is typically required to be approved for a travel rewards card?

Your credit should generally be above 600 if you plan on applying for a travel rewards credit card. If you have have a detailed credit history, a reliable source of income and a decent credit score you’ll be much more likely to be accepted. Credit card companies like to see that you have a history of paying your bills on time, and they need to know that you have a reliable source of income so you aren’t spending more than you can afford to pay off.

Paying your credit card bills on time for two years or more will help you build a detailed credit history. Your loan payments are also taken into account by credit card companies. Having a good credit score of at least 670 is also extremely important. You don’t necessarily need to meet all of these requirements at once, but if your credit score isn’t high enough, it’s unlikely you’ll be approved for a good travel rewards credit card.

Do travel rewards cards typically have annual fees?

Annual fees are determined by the specific travel rewards credit card and the credit card company. It’s possible to find a travel credit card without an annual fee. However, you might want to consider that cards with annual fees sometimes offer better rewards and allow you to earn travel rewards at a faster rate.

For cards with excellent rewards, higher annual fees are common. It might be worth it to pay the annual fee if you frequently spend a lot of money on travel. You’ll be able to earn extra points with every purchase, and your rewards points might rack up much faster than they would with a card with no annual fee.

Whether you want a card with no annual fee to earn some extra points now and then, or a serious travel rewards card with an annual fee that will let you earn rewards at a lightning fast rate, there’s something for everyone.

How can you save money with a credit card that offers travel rewards?

If you travel regularly and spend a substantial amount of money on flights and hotel rooms, a travel rewards card will help you save money with every single purchase. You’ll even be able to earn rewards to redeem towards your next trip with regular purchases. Every time you buy groceries or make a small purchase, you’ll be earning miles towards your next flight.

If you have a favorite airline that you prefer to fly with, you may even be able to get a special rewards credit card that will earn you extra points with them. For example, if you always fly with a certain airline you may be able to get a card that will give you 1 reward point per $1 spent on normal purchases and 5 rewards points per $1 spent with your favorite airline. There are deals like this with specific hotels as well. This is a great chance to be rewarded by doing business with your favorite airlines or staying at your preferred hotels.

Travel rewards credit cards offer plenty of chances to save money, because you’ll be able to get rewards points on every travel purchase. You’ll find yourself earning travel rewards at places you didn’t even think possible, such as the mall or the grocery store.

When presented with a travel rewards credit card offer, what should you consider?

You should consider some different factors when you receive a travel points credit card offer.

The interest rate of any credit card is important, and you should always become familiar with the APR before accepting a credit card offer. If the interest rate is something you’re not comfortable with, you shouldn’t allow yourself to be tempted by travel rewards. You should also make sure the credit card doesn’t have a steep annual fee, because this could end up costing you a lot of money in the end if you aren’t prepared.

Balance transfers are another factor you should consider. If you’re interested in transferring your old balance to this new card at a lower interest rate, you want to find a card with the best deal on balance transfers. For example, some travel rewards cards will offer you 0% APR on balance transfers for up to a year. Make sure you keep an eye out for offers like this before you accept the first offer that comes your way.

You should also keep an eye out for “rewards categories” that allow you to earn extra rewards on certain purchases for the quarter. Rewards categories will enable you to you to rack up extra rewards and earn points at an increased rate. For example, a travel rewards credit card may alternate between categories such as gas and flights and allow you to earn additional points on all purchases in this category.

When considering any credit card offer, keep an eye out for cards with lower interest and better rewards. Don’t accept the first card that comes your way simply because it has appealing rewards. There are many other factors to consider.

If you carry a balance, is a travel rewards card worth it?

A travel rewards card might not be the best choice for someone who carries a balance. Good rewards programs often go hand-in-hand with high APR, and this is something that you want to avoid if you carry a balance. If you’re looking to do a balance transfer, you’d be better off finding a card that offers low APR before you search for a card with travel rewards. Many credit card companies even offer 0% APR on balance transfers for the first year. By searching through many different credit cards, you may even be able to find a card that offers travel rewards along with 0% APR. However, you should prioritize low interest over travel rewards if you have to choose one or the other.

What types of credit card travel rewards programs are typically available?

There are plenty of rewards cards available, so you should be able to “shop around” and find the perfect travel rewards card for your individual needs. There are cards that focus on airline miles for rewards, hotel rewards, and even gas rewards. If you prefer to travel with a certain airline or stay at a specific hotel, you may even be able to find a travel rewards card that will let you earn extra points for doing business with them. There are countless different travel rewards programs available on the market today.

How can I maximize my travel rewards?

Being aware of rewards categories is a great way to maximize your travel rewards. If your credit card company is offering 5x points for all purchases made with a certain airline, you could specifically choose this airline for your next vacation. If they’re offering extra points for staying with a particular hotel, you could make sure to stay with them on your next trip.

It’s not unusual for rewards categories to change every few months. You can keep up with the changing categories by looking at your credit card company’s website regularly. You can usually view the categories ahead of time so you can plan your travel purchases around them.

Will I get a bonus for signing up for a travel rewards credit card?

Many travel miles credit cards offer incentives for signing up. Sign-on bonuses are becoming increasingly common, and if you keep an eye out for the best offers, you could end up with $100 or more just for signing up with the card and using it regularly.

There are also exciting deals such as no 0% APR for a year on purchases and balance transfers. Shopping around and researching all available options is the best way to ensure you’ll be able to take advantage of all the great offers out there.

If you keep an eye out for the best bonus offers, you could potentially earn hundreds of dollars in cash back or quickly save up for the trip of your dreams. Credit card companies frequently offer exciting incentives to draw in customers with high credit scores. Having a higher your credit score means you'll be eligible for better offers.

Why should I choose a travel rewards credit card over a regular cash back rewards credit card?

This decision depends entirely on your lifestyle. While airline miles and other travel rewards may be a great choice if you travel a lot, a regular cash back credit card is a much more sensible option for someone who prefers to stay home. Travel rewards cards are the best option for someone who travels frequently because they give extra points on airline miles, hotels and other categories a frequent traveler will appreciate. While a cash back credit card may only give you 2% back on flights, a travel rewards card might give you the equivalent of 5% back. Cash back rewards cards offer more freedom, but travel rewards cards offer more earning potential for someone who travels frequently.

How can I apply for a travel rewards credit card?

?Once you’ve found a travel rewards credit card that suits your needs, you can easily apply for on the company’s website. Applying online is the best way to get a quick reply.

You may have also received a travel rewards credit card offer in the mail. If you have good credit, you may even be pre-approved for certain travel rewards credit cards. If you’re interested in an offer you received, you can fill out the forms sent to you by the company and complete the application process. You may also be able to respond to an offer online.

Can I get a better rewards credit card based on my credit score?

Having a high credit score will make it easier to get accepted for credit cards with the best rewards. Even if your credit score isn’t excellent, you may still be able to qualify for decent rewards credit cards. However, credit card companies tend to reward people with high credit scores by offering them additional rewards and sign-on bonuses.

What is APR and why is it important to find a card with low APR?

APR stands for annual percentage rate. This is the interest rate you’ll pay each year on your travel rewards credit card. When applying for a new credit card, you should try to find one with low APR so you can save money on interest. Over the years, high APR will add up and end up costing you a lot of money. It's important to find a card with low APR because you could end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in extra interest if you choose a card with high APR.

Do I get to keep my travel rewards points indefinitely?

Your credit card company has policies in place to determine how long you can keep your rewards points. You may be able to store rewards points indefinitely, or they may have a policy that limits how long you can save them without making a purchase. It’s a good idea to spend your travel rewards semi-regularly so you don’t have to worry about losing your hard-earned points.

What happens to my travel reward points if I miss a payment?

If you miss a payment, you may not be able to earn rewards points for the corresponding month. It’s unlikely that the credit card company will deduct rewards points you’ve already earned in previous months as punishment for missing a payment. Still, you should avoid missing a payment if possible. This will ensure that you won’t lose your rewards points or be subject to late fees.

Can I get a travel rewards credit card if I have poor credit?

It can be difficult to qualify for a travel rewards credit card if you have poor credit. If your credit score is below 625, your application might not be accepted. If your credit score is exceptionally poor you may have to settle for a secured credit card instead, and these rarely have rewards programs. If your goal is to qualify for a travel rewards credit card, you should focus on raising your score using a secured credit card before you apply. By properly managing your bills and raising your credit score, you'll be eligible for a travel rewards credit card in no time.

Can I pay my credit card bill with travel rewards?

You won’t be able to pay your credit card bill with travel rewards. However, if you’re interested in paying your bill using rewards points you may be able to qualify for a cash back credit card instead. With a cash back credit card you may be able to pay off your entire credit card bill with rewards points, but with a travel rewards card you generally have to convert the points to airline miles or a similar travel reward.

Are there limits to how much I can earn in rewards per month?

You may encounter limits to the amount of rewards you can earn per month. In some bonus categories where you can earn rewards at an increased rate, there may be a cap on rewards. For example, you may be able to earn 5x points on all hotels, but only up to 2,000 points.

If you’re willing to pay an annual fee, you might be able to find a card with no monthly limit on rewards. Cards with annual fees are generally less restrictive and less likely to have caps on rewards points.

Are there other benefits to travel rewards credit cards besides the rewards points?

Even without the rewards points, travel rewards points can help simplify your life. Making large purchases is much easier with a credit card, and you won’t have to worry about carrying cash around. You can also set auto-pay for your bills with your travel rewards credit card, so you don’t have to worry about paying your bills on time every month.

Do I have to report travel rewards on my income taxes?

The IRS normally considers credit card rewards to be a discount rather than income. Therefore you usually aren’t required to report rewards on your income taxes. However, this policy varies between credit card companies. You should check with your credit card company before filing taxes so you don’t omit any important information.

Are travel rewards cards a good choice for small businesses?

Travel rewards cards are a great choice for small businesses because they allow your employees to earn rewards while traveling for work and making purchases with their company cards. Earning rewards on business expenses can end up saving you a lot of money. If your employees fly frequently, they can use their travel rewards credit cards to earn airline miles and save money. Sometimes, credit card companies even design special travel rewards programs for small businesses. Companies realize that travel rewards are a huge incentive for small businesses to sign up for their cards, so they’re eager to provide excellent service and offer a lot of options.

Are my travel rewards transferable? Can I share them with friends or family members?

Rewards usually can’t be shared with friends and family members, and are considered non-transferable. If you want to share travel rewards with friends or family members, you should redeem the points first and then let them go on their trip. Transferring your points to a different account is normally not possible, so the best approach is to redeem your rewards first and then give them to a friend or family member as a gift. Some credit card companies even offer vouchers for this purpose.

Can my family member use my travel rewards card to make purchases?

Your travel rewards credit card can only be used by the cardholder and authorized users. Some credit card companies only allow family members to be added to the account, but others will allow you to add friends. To add an authorized user, you can simply fill out a form online in most cases.

Why do companies offer travel rewards? How does it benefit them?

Credit card companies are always looking for new ways to keep their customers happy. Travel rewards are more useful than traditional cash back rewards for some people. Credit card companies try to come up with the best rewards programs so they can attract more customers and beat their competition, and travel rewards are a great opportunity for this.

What if my rewards credit card is lost or stolen?

It’s important to contact your credit card company right away if your travel rewards card is lost or stolen. This allows them to cancel your old card to prevent fraud. A new card will be mailed to you right away, and you won’t be held accountable for any fraudulent purchases made on your card.

Is it a good idea to have more than one travel rewards credit card?

In some situations it may be beneficial to have more than one travel rewards credit card. For example, if you have one card for your favorite airline and another to take advantage of all the other rewards categories, this could end up saving you money. Some people can benefit from having multiple cards to earn extra rewards points, but it’s important to be responsible. Make sure you’re comfortable with the idea of managing two credit cards and paying all your bills on time before you commit to two travel rewards cards.

Will applying for a travel rewards card impact my credit score?

Applying for a travel credit card will cause an inquiry to show up on your credit score. One inquiry is unlikely to cause any issues. Your credit score to drop slightly when multiple inquiries show up in a short amount of time, but you can avoid this by not applying to a lot of different credit cards in a short time period.

If you stagger your credit card applications, companies will be much less likely to think you have risky spending habits. You should only apply for credit cards you know you’ll use frequently to avoid pulling too many inquiries on your credit report.

Should I close my travel rewards credit card if I’m not using it?

You shouldn’t necessarily close your account if you aren’t using it. If you have had an open account for a long period of time, it generally helps your credit score.

Am I automatically enrolled in a travel rewards program by signing up for a card or do I have to sign up manually?

You may be automatically enrolled in a travel rewards program simply by signing up for the card, but this depends on your credit card company. Some companies automatically sign you up for their rewards program from the moment the card is activated. However, others may require you to call their customer service team to activate your rewards.

If your credit card frequently changes bonus categories, you may also have to activate your rewards categories each quarter. You can normally activate your rewards on the company’s website to take advantage of new categories.

If my card is lost or stolen will I lose my rewards?

Most companies will have no problem with transferring your travel rewards to a new card if your card is lost or stolen. If your rewards points are fraudulently spent, most credit card companies will reimburse them at no cost.

Customers with questions that were not addressed on this list can contact our customer service team. Our representatives will be happy to answer any questions.

*See online credit card application for details on the terms and conditions