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Compare travel credit cards

Earn miles, perks and other rewards with a card designed for travelers.

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Compare cards with travel rewards

Data updated regularly
Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
4x at restaurants including delivery and Uber Eats; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points) and 3x points on directly-booked flights
$250
Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 with this upper-mid tier travel card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $750 through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries.
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on up to $1,000 on groceries until April 30, 2021, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn a signup bonus worth $750 plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries with this popular travel card.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
75,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 in combined purchases in the same timeframe
10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 combined in the first 6 months, 5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases. Starting January 1, 2021, your 5x points on flights will be capped on up to $500,000 annually (then 1x points).
$550
One of the most valuable premium travel cards, featuring two welcome offers worth up to $4,500, multiple travel credits and unrivaled lounge access. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get a generous $300 in annual travel credits, 3x points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus on point redemptions with Chase's premier card.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3x at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2x for all other purchases
$450
Earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 or more within your first 3 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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Travel cards offer perks and miles to make life more rewarding for jet-setters. But if you don’t fly often, you may find better rewards with a cashback card.

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Let’s break down how travel credit cards work

A travel credit card offers rewards for travel purchases — typically points or miles, but sometimes cash back. Like a rewards card, you can redeem these points or miles for certain goods. In the case of travel cards, this usually includes hotel stays, flights or other travel expenses.

Travel cards also offer a variety of travel perks, such as airport lounge access or travel credits. And you tend to get what you pay for: No-annual-fee cards tend to offer fewer high-class benefits than annual-fee products.

Compare & apply for a card

Find a card that best suits your travel and flight preferences. Once you choose a card, you can apply like any standard credit card.

Earn miles

Now that you have a card, use it to make purchases that best help you earn miles toward your account. For a cobranded card, this typically includes purchases through the travel company.

Redeem miles

With enough miles in your account, you’re ready to cash in on a travel reward. Book a flight, hotel stay or other reward through your credit card online account.

When is a travel card worth it?

So long as you put your travel expenses on your card, a travel card often proves its worth. Here’s an example of what you can expect to earn back or save based on a short holiday trip within the US using a Chase Sapphire Reserve, putting aside the card’s annual fee.

TravelCostRewards earned
Round trip flight for two$300 (normally $600, but 300 removed thanks to card’s statement credit)900 points
Meals$150450 points
Hotel stay for 2 nights$4001200 points
Priority pass meal credit (both ways)-$116
Total rewards
Points earned2,550 ($38.25 when redeemed through the Chase travel portal)
Money saved$416

Is it still a good time to open a travel credit card?

Yes. While travel overall might have dipped since the beginning of the pandemic, providers have been adjusting their travel cards to ensure continued value even without regular travel. Many travel cards, for example, have added everyday rewards categories, such as groceries and gas. In fact, some travel cards have become more valuable as a result.

Common perks of travel credit cards

You asked, we listened: Top 5 common questions

Travel credit cards offer a dizzying variety of perks and benefits. Here are the five most common questions we receive on the subject.

  1. How much is a travel card mile worth? The value of a travel mile ultimately depends on the individual loyalty program.
  2. What credit score do I need for a travel card? Generally, you need a good credit score or better to qualify for a travel card. The more perks and benefits a travel card has, the greater the credit score you’ll need.
  3. What kinds of travel cards are there? The most common travel cards include airline, hotel and general travel. However, there are even cards dedicated to cruises and rail travel.
  4. How many points or miles do I need for a free flight/stay? The number of points or miles you need for a travel redemption depends on the point value as well as the pricing of a flight or night’s stay.
  5. Is a travel card annual fee worth it? A travel card’s annual fee often corresponds to the number of perks and benefits you can get from the card. If you can take advantage of all of a card’s features, a large annual fee could be worth it.

Ask the experts

Dorothy Harpool
Lexi Hutto
Eliot Buchanan
Lee Huffman
Richard McGrath
Alexa Fox profile picture
Joseph R. Stasio Jr.

Bottom line

If you consider yourself a jet-setter, you could get a lot from a travel card. There are a variety of options for whatever you’re looking for.

Before you start your search, consider whether you want to pay an annual fee, what you typically spend on and which travel benefits you’re looking for. Take your time to compare different products, and you’ll likely find a card that’s perfect for you.

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