Are travel credit cards worth it?
That depends on how frequently you travel. Your ability to pay off the balance on a monthly basis and whether you can afford to charge your trip to qualify for the rewards are also key factors. Using your travel rewards card to facilitate the bulk of your purchases helps you earn miles quicker. Some cards also grant a bonus when you redeem those rewards for travel.
How do travel credit cards work?
In a nutshell, travel credit cards allow you to earn points, rewards, or miles on your travel-related expenses. Some credit cards – like the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card – fall into the fixed value category where each mile is worth 1 cent toward travel. Other cards feature a transferrable pool of points where you can use them in a partner program.
Is a travel credit card right for me?
If you travel frequently, you aren’t brand-loyal (or like to keep your options open), and you can pay off travel-related expenses in full and on time each month, then one of the best travel credit cards could help you save money and earn rewards on your next trip!
Resources for frequent travelers
The science of mastering rewards with your travel credit card is more of a journey than a destination, and even the savviest cardholder still has things to learn along the way.
In addition to rewards, many credit cards also provide travel insurance to help you protect yourself as you ramble around the globe.
The following section offers useful information to help you maximize the benefits of your travel credit card — not just the rewards points, but also insurance and other features that can improve your travel experience.
Do you need additional travel insurance?
Although it’s easy to brush off travel insurance as an unnecessary expense, you should always give it a second look. With all the upheavals that can unravel your travel plans, not to mention your own personal health, you might be wise to purchase a simple travel insurance plan — or at least pay for your trip with a credit card that offers this benefit for free. Your best option might be a combination: buying a travel insurance policy that supplements the coverage provided by your credit card and fills in the gaps.
Research the best travel credit cards
Below is a directory of the most popular travel credit cards. I used this directory as a starting point for my research and analysis on travel cards. The directory is updated weekly to reflect any new changes, to add new cards, and to remove expired cards.
The travel credit cards directory is a sub-directory of rewards credit cards. This directory highlights the most important features specific to travel cards and displays all important information about each card.
Travel credit cards directory
The travel rewards credit card directory lists every travel credit card and high level information for each of the cards, so you can make quick comparisons. In order to rank and value each of these cards, certain features were weighted accordingly based on overall importance to the prospective cardholder.
Sort, filter, or search for what matters most to find the best travel credit card for you.
Perks Tier Level
Sign up Bonus Tier Level
Rewards Tier Level
Good Signup Bonus
Great Ongoing Rewards
No Annual Fee
No Foreign Transaction Fee
The best travel credit cards for 2018
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card : Best overall
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card : Great for flexible travel rewards
- Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card : Best flat-rate travel rewards on a budget
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express : Best hotel card
- Discover it® Miles : Best no annual fee travel card
- Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business : Best business travel card
- Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card : Best for Bank of America customers
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card : Best airline credit card