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10 Best Travel Credit Cards to Get Right Now

Grace Pinegar
Grace Pinegar  |  October 31, 2019

Few things are better in life than jumping onto a Boeing 737 and flying away from whatever’s haunting you at home.

That’s right folks, I’m talking about travel. Travel can become pretty expensive rather quickly, but there are a few tricks to help afford a getaway here and there. One of those tricks? Picking out the right travel credit card for your needs. 

Choosing the right credit card for travel depends on what you want most out. Points? Perks? Frequent flier miles? In this article, I’m going to walk you through some of the best options on the market.

Best travel credit card

Wait a second, aren’t credit cards designed to make you spend money? How can they help you save? Well, you’re right. Credit card companies want you to spend money, as they get a kickback from each purchase you make.

However, many will incentivize that spend with points or perks. This is especially true of travel credit cards. These cards can get you free checked baggage with certain airlines, or access to members-only lounges.

The following credit cards are considered by experts as some of the best for frequent flyers.

Tip: If you're a frequent traveler, you'll want to be able to bank on the go. Learn more about mobile banking and how it can help keep your account secure. 

Related content: Mobile Banking and Mobile Payments →

1. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit

This card offers an introductory bonus of 20,000 miles (after spending $1,000 in the first three months of card ownership). Cardholders earn miles with every purchase: 1.25x miles on regular purchases, and 10x the miles on purchases made at thousands of hotels.

capital one venture travel card
 

Other features include:

  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles are unlimited and do not expire so long as the account remains open
  • No APR for the first year but after that, 13.74% - 23.74% variable APR will be applied
  • No blackout dates for flying or hotel stays

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

This card offers 60,000 rewards points upon opening (after you spend $4,000 in the first three months). It’s also great for those looking for a large sign-up bonus.

chase sapphire travel card

 

Other features include:

  • $95 annual fee
  • Regular APR of 17.74% - 24.74% variable
  • One reward point per dollar spent on regular purchases
  • Two rewards points per dollar spent on airfare and dining

3. Discover it Miles

This card is great for travelers because of Discover Match: a promise from Discover to match all the miles you’ve earned by the end of your first year. If you’ve earned 20,000 miles on your own, Discover will match it, bringing your total to 40,000.

discover miles travel card
 

Other features include:

  • 1.5x reward rate on all purchases
  • No APR for first 14 months
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR has a 13.74% - 24.74% variable
  • No blackout dates with travel
  • Discover will alert you if your social security number is found on the dark web

4. Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa Credit

This card offers you an introductory bonus of 25,000 points (if you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening). This can amount to $250 toward travel! Preferred rewards members have the opportunity to earn even more: 25%to 75% more points on every purchase.

bank of america travel card
 

Other features include:

  • No annual fee
  • 1.5x rewards points on all purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Points do not expire
  • No APR for the first 12 billing cycles
  • Regular APR of 16.74% - 24.74% on purchases and balance transfers

5. The Platinum Card from American Express

This card offers applicants an intro bonus of 60,000 points (after $5,000 spent in the first three months). It does, however, come with an annual fee of $550: the cost of being platinum. This gets cardholders airport lounge access, which could be well worth it, depending on how you like to travel.

american express travel card

 

Other features include:

  • 5x Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel
  • 5x Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
  • No regular APR
  • Credits for Uber rideshares and hotels

6. Capital One Spark Miles for Business

This card offers a whopping 200,000 bonus miles, in exchange for a lot of spending. To earn the first 50,000 miles, you must spend $5,000 within the first three months of the account opening. You can earn the other 150,000 miles by spending $50,000 in the first six months of account opening.

Capital One Spark travel card

 

Other features include:

  • Unlimited 2x miles per dollar on every purchase with no limits or restrictions
  • Miles won't expire for the duration of the account
  • Earn 5x miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel
  • No annual fee for the first year
  • $95 annual fee for every year after the first

7. Bank of America Premium Rewards Visa

This card offers 50,000 bonus points (after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days of account opening). Bank of America preferred members can earn even more rewards per dollar spent.

bank of america travel card

 

Other features include:

  • Unlimited 2 points for every dollar spent on travel and dining purchases
  • Unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on everything else
  • $95 annual fee

8. Chase Sapphire Reserve

This card offers 50,000 bonus points (to anyone who spends $4,000 within the first three months of account opening). It comes with a significant annual fee of $450 a year, but this gets you some luxury travel perks, such as access to 1,000+ Priority Pass airport lounges.

Chase Sapphire travel card

 

Other features include:

  • 3x points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit
  • 3x points on all restaurant dining
  • 1x points on all other purchases
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each year
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

9. Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

This card offers users 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of account opening. The five minute stand-up routines Southwest flight attendants regularly perform before takeoff? Well, those are just a free bonus.

Southwest Rapid Rewards travel card
 

Other features include:

  • Two points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases
  • One point per dollar spent on everything else
  • $69 annual fee
  • 3,000 bonus points after having the card for a year

10. Wells Fargo Propel American Express

This card offers 30,000 bonus points (to those who spend $3,000 in the first three months). It has no annual fee and no APR for the first 12 months.

Wells Fargo travel card

 

Other features include:

  • Earn 3x the points on eating out and ordering food
  • Earn 3x the points on travel
  • Earn 3x the points on gas stations and rideshares
  • Earn 1x the points on all other purchases

Oh, the places you’ll go

A travel credit card can help you go places you’ve never been before. But which is right for you? It depends on what you consider the most valuable asset. Some will want the ability to plop down in various airport lounges, while others just want a boost to help them take that dream vacation.

Whatever card you choose, take me with you!

Planning for a big trip? Use our savings calculator to help you get there.

Grace Pinegar
Author

Grace Pinegar

Grace Pinegar is a lifelong storyteller with an extensive background in various forms such as acting, journalism, improv, research, and now content marketing. She was raised in Texas, educated in Missouri, and has come to tolerate, if not enjoy, the opposition of Chicago's seasons. (she/her/hers)