Best Travel Credit Cards
With so many credit card options out there — most of them offering highly competitive perks — it can be difficult to choose when it's time to apply for a new one. For consumers who travel extensively, though, it's easier to cut down the field.
Travel cards offer rewards in the form of hotel or airline points. While a few of them also allow consumers to trade points for cash back, the travel benefits usually reap the better value. Here's a breakdown of some of the best travel credit cards on the market, divided by category.
Best Airline Card
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card gets high marks in this category. The rewards program is generous, with all purchases earning 1.5 percent in rewards. Travelers who spend at least $1,000 within 90 days of account opening will earn 20,000 bonus points automatically. Point redemption is simple — just apply your balance to the next statement credit in order to pay for your next flight on any airline.
There is no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees (a real plus for a travel card), and best of all, the points never expire. Interest rates are fairly standard, with a 12-month 0% introductory APR switching to the variable after that. Note that only those with excellent credit scores will qualify.
Best Hotel Card
If your extensive travel means you also spend a lot of time in hotels, give the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card a try. 50,000 points translate into either a $625 hotel credit, a $625 airline credit, or $500 in cash. While this could also be called an airline card, the hotel perk offers a better value, as $625 in hotel dollars are likely to stretch much further than the same money spent on air travel. Unlike the Bank of America card, though, the Chase Sapphire charges a $95 annual fee after the first year.
Best General Travel Card
While the above two choices have plenty to offer, Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite MasterCard is a great all-around option for travelers. Every dollar spent is worth 2 bonus points, so those who spend $1000 a month earn back 2000 points. Members are also eligible for up to 25,000 loyalty points every year. The points never expire, making the $150 annual fee well worth the money.
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