Best travel rewards credit cards

people jumping into a pool

Improve the way you travel by earning rewards that help you get to your perfect destination. By using the right rewards credit cards, you could not only save money on your trips over the year, but also take advantage of a range of travel-related perks. You may even qualify for a lucrative sign up bonus when opening a new account. Explore our top picks for travel rewards credit cards to help you on your next grand adventure.

Best for VIP perks:  Chase Sapphire Reserve®

chase credit card

The elevator pitch

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card offers a flexible way to accrue travel rewards without being married to specific brands for airlines and hotels. In fact, you even earn 50% more value in your points when you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform. 

On top of earning 1x points on regular purchases with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you also get 3x points when you use your card for travel and dining. You can really maximize your points if you frequently eat out and go on trips, both domestically and internationally.

Sweeteners:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in first three months
  • Up to $300 in statement credit travel reimbursements each year
  • No foreign transaction fees

Best for frequent travelers:  Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

capital one credit card

The elevator pitch

The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card gives users a solid 2x points on all purchases. With thousands of qualifying hotels, it’s easy to rack up points if you have any trips planned in the near future.

In the first year of opening your card, enjoy a $0 annual fee. After that, however, you’ll pay $95 each year to continue earning points with the Venture Rewards card. For cardholders who frequently travel abroad, you could potentially save big with no foreign transaction fees.

Sweeteners:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles by spending $3,000 in first three months
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre-check credit
  • Up to $100 application fee credit
  • Transfer miles to numerous Capital One travel partners

Best for frequent air travel:  The Platinum Card® from American Express

The elevator pitch

The American Express Platinum Card currently offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 rewards points when you spend $5,000 during the first three months of opening your new account. The annual fee is $550 but you get some substantial perks that make it worth it to frequent travellers. 

When you book through the Fine Hotels & Resorts Program, for example, you’ll get complimentary benefits that can average around $550 for a two-night stay (think complimentary breakfast, room upgrades and flexible check-in and check-out times). You also gain access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across the world.

Sweeteners:

  • Up to $15 a month in Uber cash each month (plus $20 in December)
  • Receive $200 annual airline credit
  • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre-check

Best for transferring points:  Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

chase credit card

The elevator pitch

Despite the annual $95 fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card lets you transfer your points to popular travel programs with a 1:1 points transfer. There are numerous airline and hotel programs that partner with Chase for this benefit.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred also currently offers a competitive sign up promotion, giving you 60,000 bonus points when you use your card for $4,000 in purchases within three months of opening your account. Earn even more each year by referring a friend. Each time someone you refer opens up a new account, you’ll receive 15,000 bonus points. The limit is five per year, which can certainly stretch your travel budget. 

Sweeteners:

  • Get 25% more when redeeming points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 2x points on dining and travel
  • No foreign transaction fees

Best for unlimited points:  Discover it® Miles

discover credit card

The elevator pitch

With no annual fee, no limit on your points accumulation, and no blackout dates, the Discover it Miles card gives you quite a bit of flexibility in how you spend your rewards points. You also get a first-year bonus that automatically matches all the miles you earned throughout the year, essentially doubling your points.

If you prefer money to travel redemption, you can also opt to get your points electronically transferred as cash to your selected account. It’s also easy to manage your Discover it Miles card if you lose it. Simply use the Freeze It on/off switch to stop any new purchases on your account until you can find the card.

Sweeteners:

  • Unlimited 1.5x miles
  • Free monthly FICO score
  • Free social security and new account alerts

Best for diverse triple-points: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

wells fargo credit card

The elevator pitch

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card stands out in that it offers 3x rewards in multiple categories, including dining, gas, rideshares, travel and even select streaming services. In the meantime, you also get 1x points on all of your other purchases, making it easy to accumulate points to use on your next trip.

It’s also a great card to have in your pocket because there’s no annual fee and your points never expire as long as you keep your account open. And as long as you book your flights through Go Far Rewards, you never have to worry about blackout dates.

Sweeteners:

  • Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months
  • No foreign currency conversion fees
  • Up to $600 in cell phone protection (subject to $25 deductible)

Best for high spending value:  American Express® Gold Card

american express credit card

The elevator pitch

The American Express Gold Card offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months.

This card also comes with competitive rewards tiers. Earn 4x points to dine at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets throughout the year. Plus you get 3x points on flights you book through Amex.com or directly through the airline. These points paired with other perks can easily make up for the $250 annual fee.

Sweeteners:

  • Up to $120 dining credit annually when you dine at eligible restaurants
  • Up to $100 airline fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fees