One of the keys to my success of being able to travel places is having a great travel credit card. It is important to remember that there are different cards for different people. The key to success with these cards is picking the right one and using it wisely. Today we are going to discuss the best travel credit cards for every kind of traveler. Each card will be linked for more information.
The Starter Cards
Chase Sapphire Preferred: This card is a great all around travel starter card. This card lets you earn 2x the points on travel (air/hotel/rental car) and dining. The annual fee is $95 per year for this card currently.
Capital One VentureOne Card: This card is simple. You earn 1.25x rewards on all purchases. The best thing about this card is there is not an annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
The Platinum Delta AMEX: This is a card that I have in my wallet. I started with the gold and then upgraded to the platinum card because the benefits are fantastic in my opinion. You get 3x the rewards on Delta purchases and hotel stays. You get 2x on grocery stores and restaurants. My favorite feature is a guest travel voucher good for anywhere in the continental US and your first checked bag is free (this applies to up to 4 family members traveling with you on the same reservation). On top of that, you get a $100 statement credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry. The annual fee for this card is $250 and does not have foreign transaction fees. The fee is higher than other airlines but that companion voucher is a great asset combined with the rewards. I feel it outweighs the cost of the card. Watch the online applications for bonus offers. I received 60,000 miles with my initial offer!
Citi Mastercard for Platinum Select AA Airlines: If you are an avid American Airlines enthusiast with minimum/moderate travel, this could be a good card for you. You earn 3x rewards on American Airlines purchases (flights, baggage, seat upgrades etc) and 2x on gas statoins and restaurants. You will also receive a $125 gift certificate to use on flights yearly as well as your first checked bag for free. The annual fee for this card is $99 and does not have foreign transaction fees. Watch the online applications for bonus offers.
Capital One Venture Card: This is a great card if you are not an airline loyalist but do frequent the skies. You simply earn 2x rewards on all purchases and can apply your miles towards any line. This card has a $95 annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.
Marriott Bonvoy Visa: I find in the hotel industry that most travelers are die hard Marriott or Hilton fans. It was primarily one or the other. This card gives you 6x rewards on eligible Marriott purchases and 2x rewards on all other purchases. You receive a free night on your card anniversary that is valued up to 35,000 points. The card gives you automatic Silver Elite status in their rewards program with up to 15 elite night credits per year. The annual fee is $95 per year and does not have foreign transaction fees.
Hilton Honors AMEX: We’ve discussed one of the big players, now to the other. This AMEX gets you 12x the points on Hilton eligible purchases, 6x on restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores as well as 3x on everything else. You receive complimentary Hilton Gold Status and a free weekend night reward after you spend $15,000. The annual fee is $95 and there is no foreign transaction fee.
The Frequent Traveler Cards
American Express Gold Card: This is a great card if you are ready to take traveling to the next step from a starter card. The card gives you 4x rewards restaurants and groceries as well as 3x rewards with airfare booked directly with the airlines. You also get a $10 monthly statement credit when you utilize various eateries line Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris, Grub Hub and more. The card also features a $100 yearly statement credit for your airline of choice. The annual fee is $250 and does not have foreign transaction fees.
American Express Platinum Card: This is my favorite card in my wallet. You earn 5x rewards with air travel and hotels booked through AMEX Travel. The card also features a $200 airline credit (upgrades, bag fees, etc), a statement credit for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Precheck ($85) and complimentary access to Lounges like the Delta SkyClub, The Centurion Lounge and other lounges with Priority Pass. Another few benefits is $15 in statement credits for Uber ($200 annually), instant gold status for Marriott and Hilton as well as being able to transfer your AMEX points to your airline of choice. Delta has a great conversion of 1:1. There are many bonus point opportunities where I’ve been able to stack points with this card. It is so easy to build up a lot of points. The annual fee for this card is $550 and does not have foreign transaction fees.
Chase Sapphire Reserve: This card is the ultimate travel credit card according to many sources like The Points Guy. This card features 3x rewards on travel and dining. Additional benefits include 10x rewards on Lyft rides, $0 delivery fee on DoorDash (up to $120 annually) and an annual $300 travel credit. You can also earn up to 50% more in travel redemption rewards bonuses. The card also allows 1:1 airline/hotel points transfers, $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre Check, access to Priority Pass Lounges and other hotel perks. This card has a $550 annual fee without any foreign transaction fees.
There are a lot of options for credit cards with travel perks as you can see. You have to be honest with your travel assessment to pick which card is right for you. Some of these cards have additional bonus options like previous mentioned and I encourage to check out The Points Guy if you want to take a deeper dive into bonus options. Don’t be afraid of some of the annual fees being high. When you look at what they include, the cards generally pay for themselves. For example, I had my Platinum AMEX for less than a year and was able to purchase 5 round trip plane tickets to Europe in points! I couldn’t believe it myself.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. If you have any questions please post them below. I hope this list of the best travel credit cards for every kind of traveler helps you decide on your next card. Always remember to use credit wisely!
Looking for another great website to find your best credit card options? Check out Nerd Wallet too!
Trying to decide on your next beach vacation? Check out this review of the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort!