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Last Updated: November 12, 2019

Looking for the best travel credit card of 2019? We’ve got your back!

Whether you want to travel the world for pennies on the dollar, need a card without foreign transaction fees, or are looking for some sweet perks and benefits, the best credit cards for travel can help! And trust us, we should know!

Since 2013, our family has used travel rewards to see the world at a fraction of the cost. In that time, we’ve visited well over 30 countries and overseas territories. From Paris to Las Vegas, Cancun to Venice, we’ve traveled the globe using points and miles – booking flights and hotels for practically free!

We want to help you do the same.

Below, you’ll find our list of the 15 best travel rewards credit cards this year.  We’ll review each card’s most important benefits, explain how you can use them to earn points and miles, and mention any other perks you might like. We’ll also review their annual fees and answer other concerns you may have.

Thanks so much for your support! Enjoy the list and happy travels!

(Disclosure: Club Thrifty has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. If you apply for a card using our links, Club Thrifty and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses, and recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. Read our full disclosure statement here.)

Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards: Our Top Picks

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – The Chase Sapphire Preferred is our pick as the best travel credit card for beginners. In fact, it’s almost always the first card we recommend. This card offers a huge signup bonus of 60,000 Chase points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Those points are good for $750 in travel or can be transferred to over a dozen travel partners for even more value. You can also redeem them for cash or gift cards, so you’re never stuck with points you can’t use. Read our review | Learn how to apply

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – If you’re looking for simplicity, add the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card to your wallet. This card includes a 50,000 point welcome bonus worth $500 in travel credits that can be used with any airline or hotel. Simply spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, and the points are yours. Then, book your travel using the card and redeem the credit on your next statement. It’s that easy! Learn how to apply

15 Best Travel Credit Cards of 2019

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Best for Beginners

Chase Sapphire Preferred CardIf you’re new to travel credit cards and don’t know where to start, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

This is by far our favorite rewards card to recommend because the points are so versatile. It also carries a smaller annual fee than many premium cards. So, if you don’t have it yet, we think this is the top rewards card for beginners, period.

Here’s a quick rundown of the top Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits:

  • Signup Bonus: 60,000 points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of opening the account
  • Signup bonus worth $750 in travel when booked through Chase portal
  • Points transfer 1:1 to over a dozen partner loyalty programs
  • Earn 2x points on travel and dining expenses (1x points on everything else)
  • Complimentary primary auto rental coverage
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No blackout dates or restrictions
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Learn how to apply here

Currently, you can earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points when you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening an account. Those points are worth $750 in free travel when booked through the Chase portal.

If you don’t want to use the points for travel (and I don’t know why you wouldn’t!), you can also redeem them for $600 in cash or turn them in for a gift card instead. (Please don’t do that! Get a cash back card instead.)

So, why is this our favorite travel rewards card for beginners? We’re glad you asked!

As we mentioned above, this is a great way to earn our favorite rewards of all – Chase Ultimate Rewards points. These points transfer at a 1 to 1 ratio to over a dozen of the world’s top airline and hotel brands – including Marriott, IHG, Hyatt, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Air France/KLM (Flying Blue), JetBlue, and more.

Pretty sweet, right?!?

Just so you know, we’ve transferred points to several of these partners, and it always works like a charm. The $95 annual fee is also reasonable and the points you’ll earn the first year more than cover the cost of carrying the card.

So, if you’re new to points and miles and want to get the most bang for your buck, we highly recommend making the Chase Sapphire Preferred the first card in your wallet!

Read our full review | Learn how to apply

 

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card: Best for Simplicity

image of capital one venture cardLooking for a travel card that offers simple ways to redeem your points while still providing a ton of value? The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card may be a great match!

With the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, you’ll earn 50,000 points when you make $3,000 in purchases within 3 months of opening your account. Redeem those points for a statement credit worth $500 toward travel expenses. The $95 annual fee is also waived for the first year, so it won’t cost you anything to try it out.

Here are some more of the card’s top benefits:

  • Welcome Bonus: 50,000 points for making $3,000 in purchases within 3 months
  • Welcome offer worth $500 statement credit toward travel
  • Points transfer to 15 airline transfer partners
  • Earns 2 points per dollar spent
  • Earns 10 points per dollar spent at select hotels through the Capital One portal
  • Up to $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck
  • Points can be used with any airline or hotel; no blackouts or restrictions
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $95, waived for first year
  • Learn how to apply here

We love how flexible the Capital One Venture Rewards Card is. After earning your points, simply use your card to make a travel purchase. Then, redeem your points as a credit for any travel brand, any time.

With the recent addition of airline partners, Capital One took this card to the next level. You can now transfer points to 15 different airline partners for even more possible value.

So, if you love versatility, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card definitely deserves your consideration.

Learn how to apply here

 

Wells Fargo Propel American Express: Best No Annual Fee

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card LogoLooking for a the best travel rewards card with no annual fee? Take a look at the Wells Fargo Propel American Express!

After getting a nifty makeover, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express is back and better than ever. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Signup Bonus: 30,000 points after making $3,000 in purchases the first 3 months ($300 value)
  • $0 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earns 3x points on travel (flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals)
  • Earns 3x points on dining
  • Earns 3x points on gas station expenses, rideshare trips, and other transit options
  • Earns 3x points on select streaming services
  • Earns 1x points on all other spending
  • 0% APR on purchases the first 12 months
  • Learn how to apply here

With the Wells Fargo Propel AMEX card, you’ll earn 30,000 bonus points when you make $3,000 in purchases during the first three months you have the card. These points, known as Go Far Rewards points, are worth a flat $0.01 each toward travel, cash back, and more when redeemed through the Wells Fargo portal.

Honestly, those are some superb benefits for a travel credit card without an annual fee! Even better, you can stretch your points further by pooling them with points from a card that provides a higher point to cash value (like the Wells Fargo Visa Signature).

Quite simply, we think the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card is the best travel credit card with no annual fee on the market. With a signup bonus worth $300 and 3x earning on some of our favorite categories, this card certainly deserves consideration for your wallet.

Learn how to apply here

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card: Best for Frequent Travelers

Chase Sapphire Reserve CardIf you travel frequently, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is definitely a card you should consider. Overall, we rate it as the best travel credit card on the market…with a few caveats, of course.

Here’s a look at some of the top Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits:

  • Signup Bonus: 50,000 points when spending $4,000 in the first 3 months ($750 value)
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Earns 3x points on travel and dining
  • Get 50% more value on travel through Chase portal
  • Free Priority Pass Select membership to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide
  • $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck
  • No blackout dates or restrictions
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Learn how to apply here

The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a 50,000 point signup bonus when you spend $4,000 during the first 3 months you have the card. Because your Chase points are worth 50% more through the Chase portal, this card’s signup bonus is also worth $750 toward travel.

Like the Sapphire Preferred, the Chase Sapphire Reserve also offers important travel protections – including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, primary rental car insurance, and more. Additionally, the card offers no foreign transaction fees, $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck, and a whopping $300 annual statement credit you can use toward travel expenses.

The biggest drawback is obviously the $450 annual fee. With that said, the annual $300 travel credit effectively makes that fee just $150. So, if you travel a lot, you’ll likely get that back through the card’s lounge access, additional earning potential, and more.

Read our full review | Learn how to apply

 

The Platinum Card from American Express: Best Premium Benefits

American Express Platinum CardWhen it comes to best travel credit cards offering premium benefits, it is hard to beat the Platinum Card from American Express!

This card offers a whole host of awesome (and expensive) benefits, including:

  • Welcome Offer: 60,000 points after making $5,000 in purchases the first 3 months
  • $200 annual airline fee credit
  • Up to $200 annual credit toward Uber rides
  • 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through AMEX travel portal
  • 5x points on prepaid hotels booked through AMEX travel portal
  • Access to “Global Lounge Collection”
  • Complimentary benefits at Fine Hotels & Resorts ($550 avg. value)
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Learn more about this card here

In addition to the fact that this card earns a boatload of Amex Membership Rewards (our second favorite type of travel rewards), it also comes with some very nice benefits. Our favorites are the $200 airline credit, the $200 Uber credit, and the airport lounge access!

Unfortunately, the $550 annual fee is probably going to scare some people off. With that said, if you travel a lot, the credits and benefits offered by the Amex Platinum Card are likely enough to be worth the fee.

Learn how to apply here

 

Citi Premier Card: Best for Citi ThankYou Points

Citi Premier Card imageOffering a 50,000 point signup bonus and access to the Citi ThankYou Points program, the Citi Premier Card remains one of the best credit cards for travel on the market.

Want to know more? Here’s a list of some of the card’s top benefits:

  • Signup Bonus: 50,000 points when you make $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Signup bonus worth $625 in airfare (or $500 in gift cards) through Citi ThankYou travel portal
  • 3x points on travel/gas stations
  • 2x points on restaurants/entertainment
  • 1x points on everything else
  • Points transfer 1:1 to participating airline programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $95, waived for first 12 months

Although Citi ThankYou Points aren’t nearly as valuable as they used to be, they can still be transferred to over 10 airline loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio. You can also redeem your 50,000 bonus points for $625 in airfare (with any airline) when you book using the Citi ThankYou Travel Center.

The Citi Premier Card does come with a $95 annual fee, but – since it is waived for the first 12 months – it’s also one of the best travel cards with no annual fee…at least for that first year. The manageable annual fee is also why we’d choose this card over the more expensive Citi Prestige Card.

So, while there are other cards on this list we’d try first, the Citi Premier is still a card to keep on your radar.

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card: Best for Cheap Flights

southwest rapid rewards plus credit cardOne of the best travel credit cards for getting cheap flights is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card.

Southwest Airlines has long been known for its discount flights, and – by earning Southwest Rapid Rewards points – you can make those flights even cheaper. If you’re on a budget, it’s a great option to fly either domestically or to several spots in the Caribbean. In 2019, Southwest also added flights to Hawaii, making it a more affordable vacation idea for budget-conscious travelers.

The Southwest Visa Card comes in several different variations, but we think the best value is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card because it has the lowest annual fee. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Signup Bonus: 40,000 points when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of opening
  • 2x points on purchases at Southwest, 1x points on everyday spending
  • 3,000 bonus points on your card anniversary
  • Earn points toward Southwest Companion Pass
  • No seat restrictions or blackout dates
  • Annual Fee: $69
  • Learn how to apply here

Although some of the other Southwest Visa cards come with bigger benefits, they also come with higher annual fees. Most importantly, all the consumer cards typically offer the same signup bonus, which is why we tend to like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card over the others.

Unlike some airline cards, the amount of points you’ll use to book a flight with Southwest is based on the actual fare price. So, if you find flights on sale, it takes fewer points to book the flight. This might not seem like a big deal, but once you’ve tried other airline programs, you’ll realize why it’s such a nice perk.

Read our full review | Learn how to apply

 

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express: Best for Delta

image of Gold Delta SkyMiles credit cardFor those looking for a good airline credit card for travel miles, the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express fits the bill. Here’s a look at what it offers:

  • Welcome Offer: 30,000 miles after making $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • $50 statement credit on Delta purchases in the first 3 months
  • 2x miles on Delta purchases, 1x miles on other purchases
  • First checked bag is free for you and traveling companions
  • Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding
  • Annual Fee: $0 for first year, $95 after that

As with many of the best travel rewards credit cards, the Gold Delta SkyMiles card offers a nice welcome offer for meeting a relatively small minimum spending requirement. As an added bonus, you can also earn a $50 back (statement credit) when you make a Delta purchase within the first 3 months of opening your card. With the card, you’ll earn 2x miles on Delta purchases along with 1x miles on everything else.

Of course, when you fly with Delta, this card offers some pretty nice perks too. You’ll enjoy one complimentary checked bag for you and your traveling companions, which is up to a $240 value on round trip flights for family of four. You’ll also get priority boarding, which is always nice.

To top it off, there is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year. After that, the card costs just $95 a year to keep it.

So, if you’re planning an international or domestic trip with Delta, this is one card you don’t want to miss.

Learn how to apply here

 

United Explorer Card: Best for United Airlines

image of the united explorer credit cardAre you a frequent traveler with United Airlines? If so, the United Explorer Card may be one of the best travel rewards credit cards for you.

Let’s take a peek at what it offers:

  • Signup Bonus: Up to 65,000 miles; 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in first 3 months; Additional 25,000 bonus miles after spending $10,000 in first 6 months
  • 2x miles on United purchases, restaurants & hotel stays; 1x miles on all other purchases
  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck Credit (up to $100)
  • 25% back on inflight purchases (United flights)
  • First checked bag is free
  • Priority boarding
  • 2 one-time United Club passes on account anniversary
  • Annual Fee: $95, waived first year
  • Learn how to apply

The United Explorer Card currently offers a limited-time signup bonus of up to 65,000 miles. Earn 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 on the card in the first 3 months that your account is open. Then, you can earn an additional 25,000 miles after spending $10,000 in the first 6 months. Not bad, right?

As a United Airlines customer, you’ll also enjoy priority boarding and get your first bag checked free. Each year, you’ll get two United Club passes (good for one use each) on your account anniversary – which is also pretty sweet. Additionally, the card provides a credit of up to $100 when use your card to apply for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.

To top it off, the card comes with an introductory annual fee of $0. After that, it adjusts to a reasonable $95 a year. So, if you regularly fly with United, this could be a very nice card to add to your wallet.

United Explorer Card: Learn How to Apply

 

Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard: Best for Admirals Club

citi aadvantage executive world elite mastercard imageIf you’re somebody who flies a lot with American Airlines, the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is definitely a card you should consider. Whether you travel domestically or internationally, this card offers some great perks to frequent flyers.

Here’s a quick rundown of the basics:

  • Signup Bonus: 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • Admirals Club membership and complimentary lounge access
  • First bag checked free for you and up to 8 companions
  • 2x miles on American Airlines purchases, 1x miles on everything else
  • 10,000 AAdvantage Elite Qualifying Miles after making $40,000 in purchases annually
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $450

In addition to the huge signup bonus, the biggest benefit to this card is access to the Admirals Club. If you’re a frequent flyer, you already know how cozy these lounges can be. They also provide snacks and drinks, so it could end up saving you money on food.

With that said, the obvious elephant in the room is the $450 annual fee. That’s a pretty hefty fee to pay for an airline card, especially when you can get the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard for a lot less. Of course, that card doesn’t come with lounge access, so you’ll have to decide how important that perk is to you.

If you like the extra perks and want to fly in style, the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard may be the best travel credit card for you.

 

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: Best for Marriott Stays

image of the marriott bonvoy boundless credit cardFor years, both Marriott and SPG offered some of the best hotel credit cards for rewards on the market. With their relatively recent merger, we all knew changes were in store for both rewards programs. So, we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

The new Marriott Bonvoy program doesn’t disappoint.

As in the past, the new Marriott program has several credit card offerings available. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is our favorite of the bunch. Essentially, this card replaces the now defunct Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card, and we think it’s a winner.

Here are a few of its highlights:

  • Signup Bonus: 75,000 points after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • Free night award (up to 35,000 points) each year on your account anniversary
  • 6x points on spending at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2x points on other purchases
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status
  • 15 Elite Night Credits every calendar year
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Learn how to apply

As you can see, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card offers 75,000 bonus points when you make $3,000 in purchases the first 3 months after opening your account. That’s a heck of a lot of points to use at Marriott properties worldwide.

You’ll also earn 6x points for spending at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2x points on other purchases. With the card, you’ll be granted Silver Elite Status and can reach Gold Status if you spend $35K on the card each year.

Here’s our favorite part: Each year on your account anniversary, you’ll earn a “free night award.” Use this award and stay for free at Marriott properties around the world (35,000 point/night max). How sweet is that?

If you’re looking for a solid hotel card with great benefits and a huge signup bonus, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card definitely deserves a look!

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: Learn How to Apply

 

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card: Best for Occasional Hilton Stays

Hilton Honors Ascend CardAre you looking for a good co-branded hotel card that earns Hilton Honors points and can help you stay for less? Consider applying for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card!

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Welcome Offer: 125,000 Hilton Honors Points after $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earns 12x points on Hilton eligible purchases
  • Earns 6x points at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations
  • Earns 3x points on all other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • “Weekend Night Award” available when you spend $15,000 in calendar year
  • Eligible for Hilton Diamond Status after spending $40,000 in calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Learn how to apply

Right now, this card offers a massive welcome bonus of 125,000 Hilton Honors points when you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months your account is open. You also earn a sweet 12 points per dollar on eligible Hilton purchases, while spending at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations will net you a nifty 6 points per dollar. All other purchases are worth 3 points per dollar.

Keep in mind, Hilton offers a robust rewards program with several credit card options to choose from. While an argument could be made for any of these cards, if you only stay with Hilton occasionally, we’ll give a very slight nod to the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card.

Although the Hilton Aspire card comes heavy on the benefits, it also carries a hefty annual fee. Sure, the Surpass Card won’t automatically upgrade you to Hilton Diamond Status or grab you a free weekend night (not without spending big bucks on the card, anyway), but you won’t have to drop $450 on an annual fee either.

If you regularly stay with Hilton, the Aspire card may be a better fit. For the rest of us, Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card and its $95 annual fee is often the better value.

Learn how to apply here

 

IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card: Best for IHG Hotels

image of IHG Rewards Club Traveler credit cardIf you’re a fan of IHG hotels – like Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Intercontinental, Kimpton, Crowne Plaza, and more – the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card may be for you!

IHG has over 5,500 hotels located around the world, and this card is a great way to earn tons of points toward free stays. Here’s a quick look at what this card has to offer:

  • Signup Bonus: 60,000 points after making $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Free award night when you use points to stay for 4 nights or longer
  • 15x points at IHG hotels
  • 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants; 1x point on other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Learn how to apply

For a limited time, the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card is offering an 60,000 point signup bonus with $2,000 minimum spending requirement to meet in the first 3 months. So, if you’ve been considering this card, now is the time to get it.

When you book with points, you also get a free night on stays of four nights or more. Spending on the card also earns a decent return, especially on IHG hotel stays.

Although it can’t go pound for pound with the very best travel credit cards, the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card is a solid way to earn free and reduced stays at IHG properties. Since Chase points also transfer to IHG, consider using this card in combination with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve to get the most value.

IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card: Learn How to Apply

 

Chase Ink Business Preferred: Best Travel Credit Card for Business

Chase Ink Business Preferred CardDo you own a business? If so, you can earn even more points and miles with a business credit card.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred is our top travel rewards credit card for businesses. You’ll earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to any of Chase’s travel partners at a 1:1 ratio. Let’s take a look at the card’s key features:

  • Signup Bonus: 80,000 points after making $5,000 in purchases over the first 3 months
  • Redeem your bonus points for $1,000 in travel through Chase portal
  • 3x points on first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories
  • Unlimited 1x points on all other spending
  • Points worth 25% more when used through portal
  • Employee cards at no cost
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Learn how to apply

Let’s start with the biggie: You can earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months your account is open. That’s worth a whopping $1,000 in travel when you redeem those points through the Chase portal!

Additionally, you’ll earn 3x points on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business expenses. So, what are those expenses? If you use the card for shipping purchases, internet/cable/phone, or advertising on social media or search engines, you could be earning a ton of points!

So, if you’re looking for the best travel rewards card for your business, look no further than the Chase Ink Business Preferred. It’s the card we use and the first one we recommend to our fellow business owners.

Read our full review | Learn how to apply

 

The Business Platinum Card from American Express: Best Premium Business Benefits

AMEX Platinum Business CardIf you’re looking for a card with all the bells and whistles, the Business Platinum Card from American Express is the best travel credit card for you.

Like the personal version of the card, this card is packed with premium benefits that you’re bound to love. Here’s a quick look at some of the top features:

  • Welcome Offer: Up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points after meeting minimum spending requirements (limited time only)
  • 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels through AMEX portal
  • Earns 1.5x points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1M points/year)
  • Get 35% of points back when used to pay for flights (up to 500K/year)
  • Access to Global Lounge Collection
  • Up to $200 annual credit with Dell
  • Complimentary 1-year Platinum Global Access from WeWork
  • Annual Fee: $595
  • Learn how to apply

For a limited time, the Business Platinum Card from American Express is offering a welcome bonus of up to 100,000 points. You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points for spending $10,000 on qualifying purchases in the first 3 months. You can earn an additional 50,000 points by spending another $15,000 in the same time period.

Of course, there is more to like – including the 5x points you’ll earn on prepaid hotels and flights booked through the AMEX portal. When you use your points to pay for flights, you’ll get 35% of your points back (up to 500K points per year)

When you fly, you’ll get free entry to their Global Lounge Collection, which is pretty sweet. There’s also an annual $200 credit you can use toward computer costs with Dell.

Although the Business Platinum Card from American Express comes with a pretty large annual fee, the benefits may outweigh the cost. Compare it with other business cards by using the link below.

Learn how to apply

 

Best Travel Credit Cards: Final Thoughts

Whether you want to explore the sites in London or book a trip to Disney World, the best travel rewards credit cards can help you do it for less. Many of these cards earn points and miles with some of the world’s top airline and hotel loyalty programs. Others let you to take a travel statement credit, allowing you to travel with any brand you choose.

Even better, some cards provide more than just free travel. Select travel rewards cards earn special perks like free checked bags, airport lounge access, and credits toward Global Entry and TSA Precheck applications. Some cards even come with important protections like travel insurance and rental car coverage.

Don’t forget to bookmark this page! We’ll continue to update this list with the most current information and more of the best travel rewards credit cards when they become available.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the best travel credit cards for 2019! Again, we’d really appreciate your support by using our affiliate links to apply. Thanks for reading, and happy traveling! Best Travel Credit Cards Pin - picture of airplane on runway

> Compare all the best travel credit cards here

 

(Disclosure: Club Thrifty has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. If you apply for a card using our links, Club Thrifty and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses, and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. Read our full disclosure statement here.)

 

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FAQs


How does a travel credit card work?

A travel rewards credit card earns points (a.k.a. miles) every time you use the card to make a purchase. These points can be redeemed at a later date to pay for various travel expenses. This may include airfare, hotel stays, car rental fees, excursions, and more. In some cases, your points and miles may also be redeemable for cash or gift cards.

To earn points, simply make a purchase using your card. Typically, you’ll earn about one point per dollar spent, although several cards provide additional points for spending within certain categories (like travel). Many cards also offer bonus points to new members who meet certain spending requirements.


How do I choose the best travel credit card?


Not all travel rewards cards are a good fit for every traveler. The best travel credit card for you depends entirely on your own particular situation and travel goals.

For example, if you are partial to a certain airline or hotel, grabbing their co-branded credit card may provide valuable benefits you’d be able to enjoy by frequenting that brand. On the other hand, if you aren’t brand loyal, choosing a travel credit card that offers flexible points may be a better fit.


How much is a point or mile worth on a travel credit card?


The value of points and miles varies by the card you use and the way in which your points are redeemed. Because of this, it is always important to compare apples to apples when choosing a travel rewards credit card.

In general, the best travel credit cards offer point values that average between one and two cents per point. Depending on how you redeem your points, you may be able to obtain more or less value from them.


What kinds of travel rewards credit cards are there?


There are two basic types of travel rewards cards to be aware of – each with their pros and cons.

Co-branded travel credit cards earn points and miles for use with a single brand. They may also provide cardholders with certain perks while frequenting the brand. Examples of co-branded cards include the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card.

Flexible travel rewards credit cards earn points and miles that can be used across multiple brands. In some cases, you may redeem your points in the form of a statement credit. Other cards let you to transfer points to partner loyalty programs, allowing you to stretch your point values even further. Examples of flexible rewards cards include the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Amex Platinum, and Capital One® Venture® Rewards cards.


What credit score do I need to get the best travel credit cards?


To qualify for the best travel rewards cards, you’ll need a credit score in the good to excellent range. Typically, this means having a credit score of at least 700 or more – although this does not guarantee that you’ll be approved.