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Travel credit cards help you earn rewards and enjoy exclusive benefits as you see the world. If you’re looking for a solid travel rewards credit card, we recommend checking these out.
Consumers generally need good or excellent credit to qualify for the best travel credit card deals, and those who do qualify have a lot to look for. For example, most people have to decide on the type of travel rewards credit card they want, including flexible travel points, hotel rewards, or airline miles. It’s also important to compare cards based on benefits, including elite status with hotels, airport lounge access, annual travel credits, and more.
Best Credit Card Travel Rewards Program
As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to move toward a solution, now is a great time to start collecting rewards. A side-by-side comparison of the best travel credit cards is the best way to find the right rewards credit card to get you started.
Best Travel Credit Cards
Quick Tip: You’ve come to the right time to start looking for rewards cards, as many points and miles cards are becoming more flexible about how cardholders earn and redeem rewards.
Experts have compared dozens of the best travel credit cards to find options with great value and many benefits. We compared cards based on rewards schemes and introductory bonus offers, and looked for cards with high travel benefits to match their annual fees. The travel credit card deals that made our rankings offer the best value for 2022.
The best travel credit cards vary widely, with some offering flexible points for travel while others allow you to earn loyalty points for hotels or airline miles. Consider what rewards you can get and how to use them when comparing offers.
Some travel rewards credit cards offer shared travel points that can be used for flexible payments with airlines, hotels and other travel suppliers. Credit cards at this location even allow you to transfer your points to frequent flyer or hotel loyalty programs.
The Best Travel Credit Cards Of June 2022
Co-branded travel credit cards allow you to earn points that work within a specific airline or hotel’s loyalty program. If you are a frequent traveler who is loyal to a particular brand, the best travel credit cards in this category may be a good choice.
We compile and rank our list of recommended credit cards based on publicly available information from card issuers and other reputable sources, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We analyze and compare more than 55 pieces of information, such as annual fees, interest rates, rewards, benefits, and more, for approximately 2,500 cards to assign a score for each card feature.
Ratings are then ranked and weighted based on the most relevant features for each card category (cash back, business, etc.). They determine the best offers for each type of user or card category. As card information and welcome offers change regularly, we review this list at least monthly and update our ratings and recommendations as necessary. Learn more about the data collection and ranking process.
When annual fees are all over the place and cards have different rewards, comparing the best travel credit cards can be overwhelming. Still, you can narrow your options by thinking about how you typically spend, where you like to travel, and which cardholder benefits you want most.
Best Travel Reward Credit Cards For 2022
Some of the best travel credit cards have annual fees of more than $500, but if you use them, they offer benefits that are worth significantly more. There are also many travel rewards credit cards with annual fees under $100, as well as card options with no annual fee. There’s nothing wrong with paying the annual fee for a rewards credit card, but you need to make sure the value of all the benefits you get is worth it.
Several travel rewards credit cards offer sign-up bonuses of $1,000 or more, but you’ll need to make sure you can meet the minimum spending limit requirement. Make sure any card you’re considering offers a sign-up bonus that you can find and that fits your regular spending habits.
Also, compare the best travel credit cards based on the rewards they offer for everyday spending. Ideally, you’ll get a card that offers more points or miles in the categories you spend the most.
If you’re willing to pay an annual fee, you can consider cards that offer travel perks like airport lounge access, annual travel credits, or elite hotel status.
The 5 Best Credit Card Rewards Programs In 2022
Finally, decide whether you’re interested in cards with travel insurance benefits, then compare the options accordingly. Some of the best travel credit cards offer protection benefits like trip interruption and cancellation insurance, baggage insurance, primary or secondary rental car coverage, and more.
The links in the table below will take you to our partner site, CardRatings.com, where you can compare and apply for your credit card of choice.
Getting the most out of your travel rewards credit card works best when you start with the right card in the first place. With this in mind, you’ll need to take a closer look at the different types of credit cards, as well as their rewards programs.
The best travel rewards credit cards allow you to earn points that can be earned for almost any trip, even if the rewards you earn don’t work the same way. Some cards only allow you to earn points that work with a specific hotel loyalty program, while others offer airline miles that work only with one airline or within an airline alliance. However, there are also flexible travel credit cards that allow you to use your points for any trip you pay for with your card. Some even let you transfer your points to airline and hotel loyalty programs, opening the door to better purchases and helping you get more bang for your buck.
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When you sign up for a Travel Rewards credit card, you’ll be eligible to earn a sign-up bonus as well as points or miles for every dollar you spend. Some types of points can be converted to cash, while others are only good for airline tickets or hotel stays. Point values also vary, but when you go to redeem them, you’ll usually get at least one cent per point or mile.
Before you sign up, research the different types of travel credit cards and their programs so you know what you’re getting into.
General travel credit cards aren’t tied to a specific airline or hotel, making them more flexible than other options you’ll find. These cards generally work best for people who aren’t committed to specific travel plans or travel brands. Flexible travel credit cards are perfect for consumers who want the ability to earn cash back or return statement credits if desired.
Co-branded airline cards allow you to earn airline miles with a specific airline or airline alliance. For example, you may be able to earn good Southwest Rapid Rewards points for flights on Southwest Airlines, but you can earn American AAdvantage miles and redeem them for flights with American and other Oneworld Alliance airlines.
Best Travel Credit Cards In 2022: Top Airline & Hotel Reward Cards
Co-branded hotel cards allow consumers to earn hotel points in a specific loyalty program, such as Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy or World of Hyatt. Some cards in this space give cardholders automatic elite hotel status, while others offer free nights or annual travel credits that are good for their property portfolio.
1. Do you want to pay an annual fee? If you don’t like paying a high annual fee on a travel rewards credit card, this can help narrow down your options significantly. We recommend paying the annual fee only when you know the benefits are worth it. 3. Do you travel outside the US? If so, you’ll want to look for a travel rewards credit card with no foreign transaction fees. This way, you can avoid paying an extra 1% to 3% (on average) for purchases abroad.
4. Are you loyal to an airline or hotel brand? If you love a particular airline or hotel brand, a co-branded travel credit card may be right for you. If you don’t care where you stay or how you get there, a general travel credit card is better for you.
5. Which travel benefits are you most interested in? Check the cards for the perks you want, whether they include airport lounge access, annual travel credits, elite status, free checked bags on select flights, or more.
Top 5 Credit Cards For Travelers
If the travel rewards credit card you’re considering offers a sign-up or welcome bonus, make sure you can meet the minimum spending limit within the specified time frame. Remember that credit card sign-up bonuses are offered in addition to the points and miles you can earn through regular spending.
If you’re having trouble choosing a specific travel credit card, consider combining several different cards that work well together.
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