Travel Credit Cards Text

10 Best Rewards Credit Cards for Travel

It’s no secret these days that a travel credit card is a vital tool for frequent travelers. If you are tired of missing out on free offers and rewards for your travels, we’re here to help. It’s time to upgrade from cash or debit cards and use a travel credit card. You will earn rewards for your travels and enjoy purchase protection when purchasing in foreign countries and sweet perks like lounge access.

With so many market options, finding the right travel credit card for your needs can be challenging. To help narrow down your options, we’ve compiled a list of our top recommendations for travel credit cards. Based on years of travel experience and extensive research, these cards we’ve personally used or currently have and find to be the most valuable.


Disclaimer: The World Pursuit has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products and to bring you these best rewards credit cards for travel. The World Pursuit and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.


Cam And Tasha Antarctica

Hey Friends!

Have you ever encountered individuals discussing how they could travel the world for free with points? Using a travel credit card helps you build a strong credit history and score and earn travel rewards while paying for your everyday expenses.

In this guide of best rewards credit cards for travel, we have compiled information to assist you in choosing a travel rewards credit card that suits your needs. Whether you are a business owner, saving for your first significant trip, or frequently traveling internationally.


Find The Best Rewards Credit Card for Travel for you!

Many credit cards offer outstanding benefits, but it can be challenging to determine which is best for you. We have gathered our top travel reward credit cards and listed them here with their benefits.

You can browse through our favorite cards and their perks below or use the icons to navigate to a specific category.

Best For

New Traveler
Hotel Rewards
Frequent Travelers
Cash Back
Business Travelers
Flexible Rewards
Airline Rewards
Points Transfer
Before you choose, read about why you NEED a travel credit card

Best Travel Credit Cards


Chase Sapphire Prefered

Chase Sapphire Preferred Travel Credit Cards

You can’t go wrong with the Chase Sapphire Preferred if you’re looking for a travel credit card that offers excellent rewards and flexibility. We’ve had this card for years, and it’s been a staple in our travel rewards arsenal.

One of the biggest draws of the Chase Sapphire Preferred is its generous signup bonus of 60,000 points. These points can be redeemed in various ways, including credit for previous travel purchases, travel booked through the Chase portal, or transfer points to their many partners. The Chase Sapphire Preferred also has a lucrative point structure that makes earning points on everyday purchases easy. Most importantly, the manageable $95 annual fee is attractive.

60,000 points bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred

Benefits

  • 5x on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3x on dining
  • 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Ability to transfer points
  • Redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 1.25x multiplier for travel.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Primary CDW on Rental Cars
  • Discounts on DoorDash with a free DashPass subscription
  • Trip interruption and baggage delay insurance
  • Extended Warranty Protection

Sign Up Bonus

  • 60,000 Ultimate Rewards after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Annual Fee

  • $95

Pros

  • 2 x Points per $1 on Travel
  • 2 x Points per $1 on Dining
  • Point Transfer to Partners
  • Redeem points on Chase Ultimate rewards, and you get 25% more on travel redemption.
  • Primary insurance coverage on car rentals

Cons

  • $95 Annual Fee
  • No Loyalty Perks Like Hotel or Airline Cards

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is an excellent choice for travelers looking to earn rewards on their travel purchases. One of the standout features of this card is the generous rewards program, which allows cardholders to earn 2x miles on every purchase, every day. These miles can be redeemed for travel-related purchases, including flights, hotels, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses such as cruises and tours.

In addition to the rewards program, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card also offers several other benefits that make it a good choice for travelers. These benefits include no foreign transaction fees, $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®, a concierge service to assist with travel-related needs, and travel accident insurance. Capital One has a wide range of points transfer partners, which makes it a winning travel credit card. We love the 2 x miles on all purchases, making this a great all-around card.

75,000 Miles Bonus On The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Benefits

  • 2 x Miles on all purchases
  • 5x Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
  • $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or Plaza Premium Lounges.
  • Ability to transfer miles
  • Extended warranty
  • Travel accident insurance

Early Spend Bonus

  • 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Annual Fee

  • $95

Pros

  • Great early spend bonus of 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of the account opening.
  • 2x Miles On Every Purchase
  • Easy Reward Redemption. Cardholders can redeem miles to be reimbursed on previous travel purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Great Customer Support

Cons

  • Not Many Brand Perks
  • Annual Fee

Learn More About Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card


Capital One® VentureX® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture X Travel Credit Card

Capital One’s Venture X Rewards Credit Card is an excellent premium travel credit card with several terrific benefits. One of the standout features of this card is the generous rewards program, which allows cardholders to earn 2x miles on every purchase, every day. However, when booked through Capital One Travel, cardholders get 5x miles on airfare and 10x miles on hotels and rental cards.

These miles can be redeemed for travel-related purchases, including flights, hotels, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses such as cruises and tours. Cardholders also receive a $300 year in statement credit for bookings through the travel portal and a 10,000-mile annual bonus. Cardholders also receive a Priority Pass and access to the Capital One Lounges, which makes flying much more enjoyable, with easy lounge access around the globe. Capital One currently only operates a lovely lounge in DFW, with plans to open two more in IAD and DEN.

75,000 Miles Bonus On The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Benefits

  • 2 x Miles On All Purchases
  • 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary.
  • $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Unlimited lounge access to the Capital One Lounge and all Priority Pass Lounges worldwide
  • 10X miles on hotels and rental cars and 5X on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
  • Ability to transfer miles to 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Extended warranty
  • Travel accident insurance

Early Spend Bonus

  • 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Annual Fee

  • $395

Pros

  • 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Unlimited lounge access to the Capital One Lounge and all Priority Pass Lounges worldwide.
  • 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary.
  • Easy Reward Redemption. Cardholders can redeem miles to be reimbursed on previous travel purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Great Customer Support

Cons

  • To Make The Most of The Card Must Book Through Capital One Travel. This may not work for those who like to book travel directly.
  • High Annual Fee

Learn More About Capital One® VentureX® Rewards Credit Card


American Express Gold

The American Express Gold Card is a top-rated rewards credit card that offers numerous benefits for travelers and non-travelers. One of the standout features of this card is its generous signup bonus, 60,00 points. These points can be used to book travel, purchase gift cards, and even cover gas expenses, making it a flexible and versatile rewards program.

Additional benefits include no foreign transaction fees, which can save cardholders a significant amount on international trips. Cardholders also earn 4x reward points per dollar spent at restaurants and US supermarkets, making it an excellent choice for those who frequently dine out or shop for groceries.

Other benefits of the American Express Gold Card include exclusive discounts and offers through the Amex Offers program and a range of insurance benefits, including travel accident insurance and lost luggage reimbursement. The American Express Gold Card is highly recommended for travelers and non-travelers.

Benefits

  • 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide and US Supermarkets
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $120 Uber Cash
  • $120 Dining Credits at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations

Early Spend Bonus

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you have $4,000 spend in the first six months.

Annual Fee

  • $250

Pros

  • Great Welcome Bonus
  • Simplicity
  • 4x Points at restaurants and 4x points at supermarkets is excellent
  • AMEX Points transfer
  • Easy to redeem
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

Cons

  • High Annual Fee
  • Not Travel Specific Card

Learn More About The American Express Gold


Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve Best Travel Credit Cards

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a popular premium travel credit card with many benefits. One of the main reasons to consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is its generous rewards program, which allows cardholders to earn 3x points on travel and dining purchases and 1x on all other purchases. These points can be redeemed for travel-related purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal or transferred to airline and hotel partners for even more flexibility.

In addition to the rewards program, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® also offers several other benefits that make it a good choice for travelers. These benefits include a $300 annual travel credit, which can be used to offset travel-related expenses such as flights, hotels, and car rentals. Cardholders also receive a Priority Pass which makes flying much more enjoyable, with easy lounge access around the globe.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with standard benefits such as travel insurance (trip delay & cancellation), lost luggage reimbursement, and travel accident insurance. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is an excellent choice for travelers looking to earn rewards on their travel purchases and take advantage of various travel-related benefits.

60,000 Ultimate Rewards On Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Benefits

  • 3 x Points per dollar on travel (excludes $300 annual travel credit)
  • 3 x Points per dollar on dining
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit
  • Complimentary Priority Pass giving worldwide lounge access
  • Complimentary year of Lyft Pink
  • Ability to transfer points
  • Redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards® at 1.25x multiplier for travel.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Trip interruption and baggage delay insurance

Sign Up Bonus

  • 60,000 Ultimate Rewards after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. Worth around $900 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Annual Fee

  • $550

Pros

  • 3x miles per $1 on travel worldwide
  • Priority Pass Lounge Network
  • Redeem points on Chase Ultimate Rewards®, and you get 20% off travel
  • Primary insurance coverage on car rentals

Cons

  • $550 annual fee not waived the first year

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Travel Credit Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is a hotel credit card with an attractive signup bonus offer at one of our favorite hotel companies. After Marriott and Starwood merged, they gained a vast collection of properties, from business hotels to luxury resorts worldwide. We know a thing or two about the hotel brand as Titanium loyalty members.

Marriott is one of our favorite hotel networks to stay at after years of travel. Not only does the credit card offer the opportunity to earn rewards points that can be redeemed for stays at Marriott properties, but it also comes with several benefits such as automatic Gold Elite status, extra bed nights towards higher status, an annual free award, and bonus points on hotel spend. Overall, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is an excellent choice for travelers looking for a global hotel chain to remain loyal.

Benefits

  • 6 x points per dollar at participating Marriott Bonvoy Hotels
  • 2 x points per dollar on all other purchases
  • Annual free night stay, valued up to 35,000 points (each account anniversary)
  • 15 Elite Night credits towards Marriott Bonvoy status
  • No foreign transaction fees

Sign Up Bonus

  • 100,000 point signup bonus after $3,000 on purchases in the first three months

Annual Fee

  • $95

Pros

  • Excellent signup bonus
  • Great way to start a hotel loyalty program
  • Extensive hotel network
  • Annual Free Night Award

Cons

  • Limited to perks with Marriott Bonvoy
  • Not great for general travel

Gold Delta SkyMiles Business

Gold Delta SkyMiles Business

Delta is our favorite major airline in North America, so we love any card that scores us extra points. The Gold Delta SkyMiles Business has a great sign-up bonus that’s easy to earn when you spend $2,000 in the first three months. Earning points is also easy, as you earn double the points when flights are booked directly with Delta. It also comes with priority boarding and status that will put you on track for free upgrades.

40,000 Miles With Gold Delta Skymiles Card

Benefits

  • Priority boarding,
  • No foreign transaction fees,
  • 2x points on purchases made with Delta
  • Free Checked Bag
  • Sky Club Lounge Discount
  • Inflight purchase discount
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Extended warranty

Early Spend Bonus

  • 40,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first three months

Annual Fee

  • Waived First Year, $99 After The First Year

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Brand perks
  • Roadside assistance

Cons

  • Limited redemption options, as with most airline branded cards

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited is a credit card that offers a great rewards program for users who want a simple cashback card on everyday purchases. It helps that the card doesn’t require excellent credit, so it’s a great starting point for those new to rewards cards. One of the main benefits of this card is that users can earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, which can be redeemed for various rewards.

In addition to the cash-back program, Chase Freedom Unlimited allows users to earn 1.5 Chase Rewards points for every dollar spent. These points can be redeemed for cash or statement credits, gift cards, or even transferred to other loyalty programs. However, it’s worth noting that this card does charge a 3% fee on foreign transactions, which may not be ideal for those who frequently travel internationally.

Benefits

  • 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards for every dollar spent
  • 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase
  • Purchase protection
  • No minimum to redeem points
Early Spend Bonus
  • $200 after you spend $500 in the first three months on purchases
Annual Fee
  • $0

Pros

  • Simplicity
  • High rewards rate and no minimum redemption
  • Points transfer
  • No annual fee
  • Easy to redeem
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No brand perks
  • No bonus categories for earning points
  • Foreign Transaction Fees!

The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express Platinum Card

If you’re looking for the best premium travel credit card, it’s hard to do better than The Platinum Card® from American Express. We love the card for its added benefits, such as up to $200 annual airline fee credit, up to $200 in Uber credits, $200 in Statement Credits Each Year For Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection Bookings, and an array of lounge access options. It has so many benefits it’s tough to list everything.

On top of all this comes 5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. It’s one of the most impressive travel cards to date without considering the 80,000 bonus points after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first three months. The one downside to this card is the $695 annual fee. Due to this, we recommend it to frequent travelers or those who will be able to make use of the annual credits.

80,000 Membership Rewards® points With The Platinum Card® from American Express

Benefits

  • 5 x Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel
  • 5 X Membership Rewards® Points On Prepaid Hotels With American Express Travel
  • Up to $200 annual airline fee rebate
  • $200 Uber Cash Annually and Uber VIP
  • $200 in Statement Credits Each Year For Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection Bookings
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Up to $20 back each month on eligible subscriptions like SiriusXM or Disney+
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Roadside Assistance

Welcome Bonus

  • 80,000 bonus points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first three months

Annual Fee

  • $695 Annual Fee

Pros

  • Extensive lounge network that includes Centurion Lounge
  • All those credits
  • Perks at hotels
  • Concierge service
  • Fantastic Welcome Bonus

Cons

  • Hefty Annual Fee
  • 1 x point per dollar on all other purchases

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Card

The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Card is a step down from the Capital One Venture Card. This is the perfect entry-level card for those just dabbling in travel reward credit cards. There is no annual fee with this card and no foreign transaction fees. While it’s not as good as the Venture card, the signup bonus is still lucrative enough to entice travelers.

20,000 Miles On Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Card

Benefits

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles do not expire
  • 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel

Sign Up Bonus

  • 20,000 miles with $500 on purchases within three months from account opening.

Annual Fee

  • $0

Pros

  • Great for those new to travel credit cards.
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transactions fees
  • Great easy card to use.

Cons

  • Low rewards sign up

What to Know About Travel Credit Cards

It’s all about finding the best card for you! There is no one-size-fits-all travel credit card that will work for everyone. People have different goals, lifestyles, financial situations, and credit scores, so finding a card that works for you is essential. In general, we recommend sticking with low annual fee credit cards, as the premium travel cards with annual fees of $400+ tend to be most beneficial for frequent flyers and travelers.

When looking for a travel credit card, there are a few key things to consider: the welcome offer or signup bonus, category spending bonuses, special perks, and reward redemption options.


Welcome Offer

We love earning a welcome offer or signup bonus when we get a new travel rewards credit card. These introductory offers often provide a considerable mileage or points bonus once you meet a specific minimum spending requirement. This can often mean free flights, hotels, or even cash back.

To receive a signup bonus or welcome offer, you usually need to make a single purchase or meet a spending threshold within a specific timeframe, varying from $500 to $6,000 in the first 90 days. The most common minimum spending requirement is around $3,000 for premium travel rewards credit cards. Remember that welcome offers often change, so it’s always a good idea to verify before submitting your card application.


Category Spending Bonus

Many credit cards offer one point for every dollar spent, but our favorite cards often provide a category spending bonus on particular purchase categories, retailers, airlines, or hotel chains. This is particularly useful with branded cards such as airline or hotel rewards credit cards.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3x points per dollar on travel, and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless gives 6x points per dollar at participating Marriott hotels. If you use a particular company regularly, getting a branded card to earn more points is a good idea.


Special Perks

Airline Lounge
Inside the lounge with my Priority Pass

Travel credit cards often have great perks, such as free checked bags, priority boarding, airport lounge access, hotel room upgrades, and more. These perks can add a lot of value to your travels, so it’s worth considering which ones are most important when choosing a travel credit card.


Reward Redemption Options

It’s also important to consider the reward redemption options a travel credit card offers. Some cards allow you to redeem points directly for travel purchases, book through their portal, or transfer points to other loyalty programs. Look for a card with flexible redemption options that align with your travel goals.

When choosing a travel credit card, you must consider your personal needs and financial situation. Look for a card with a good welcome offer, category spending bonuses that align with your spending habits, special perks that add value to your travels, and flexible redemption options. With a bit of research and careful planning, you can find the perfect travel credit card.


If this post helped you pick out a travel credit card, we would be forever grateful if you applied through one of our links. We earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep our website running so we can provide free information.

Disclaimer: The World Pursuit has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. The World Pursuit and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.


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About Cameron

Cameron Seagle is one of the principal writers and photographers for The World Pursuit. He is a travel expert that has been traveling the world for the past decade. During this time, he established a passion for conservation and environmental sustainability. When not traveling, he's obsessed with finding the best gear and travel products. In his free time, you can find him hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, and snowboarding. His favorite countries are Scotland, Indonesia, Mozambique, Peru, Italy, and Japan.

You can learn more about Cameron on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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