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Travel credit cards

Compare more than 100 credit cards designed for travelers.

1 - 5 of 36
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
Earn unlimited 1.25x miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
$0
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 6 months
4x Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.; 4x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x), 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
$250

Rose Gold is here to stay. Card Members can choose between a Gold or Rose Gold Card.

Earn up to 4x points on select purchases and enjoy a bevy of travel perks with this upper-mid tier travel card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

2x miles on every purchase, every day, 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5x miles when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
$95
Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months ​from account opening.
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
10,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in your first 6 months
2x miles at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other eligible purchases
$0
Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 6 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
The Platinum Card® from American Express
80,000 points after spending $6,000 in your first 6 months
5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 5x points on directly-booked flights on up to $500,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on other eligible purchases
$695
80,000 points after spending $6,000 in your first 6 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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The best travel credit cards of 2022

Finder reviewed more than 100 travel cards and picked the best of the best to help you easily choose the card that best suits your financial needs. Check out our best travel card picks for a breakdown of the big winners of 2022.

How do travel credit cards work?

A travel credit card offers rewards for travel purchases — typically in the form of points or miles. Redeem these points or miles for specific travel goods or services, including 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 usually offer fewer high-class benefits than annual-fee products.

  • Compare and apply for a card. Find a card that best suits your travel and flight preferences. Once you choose a card, you can apply for 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.

3 types of travel credit cards

While “travel credit card” is a catch-all term for any kind of credit card that earns rewards on travel, there are generally three major types of travel cards. Here’s a quick breakdown of how they differ and who should get each type of card.

1. Airline credit cards for frequent flyers

An airline credit card typically earns additional miles on purchases for a specific airline rewards program. Depending on the card and annual fee, you can also expect airline-specific perks as well, including priority boarding or free checked bags.

Get an airline credit card if you:

  • Have a preferred airline.
  • Like the card’s perks.
  • Only plan on redeeming your card rewards back into travel with that airline.

2. Hotel credit cards for those dedicated to a particular hotel brand

A hotel credit card typically earns additional points on purchases for a dedicated hotel rewards program. Like an airline card, it also offers additional hotel-related perks depending on the card, such as anniversary points, free fourth nights or early check-in and late checkout.

Get a hotel credit card if you:

  • Have a preferred hotel brand you enjoy.
  • Plan on mostly redeeming your credit card rewards on hotel stays.
  • Want the card’s additional hotel perks.

3. General travel cards for travel perks and more

General travel cards aren’t tied to a specific airline or hotel. Instead, they may earn points on any type of travel purchase. You can redeem the points you earn on any redemption option offered through the card, though your points might be worth more when redeemed on travel. These cards usually earn fewer points compared to a hotel or airline card but make up for that in earning and redeeming flexibility. General travel cards are also more likely to come with more general travel perks, such as airline lounge access or travel insurance.

Get a general travel card if you:

  • Tend to travel with a variety of airlines and hotels.
  • Don’t always want to redeem on travel.
  • Enjoy more general travel perks.

5 ways to narrow down your travel card options

You want to look at the nitty-gritty features of two or more credit cards when comparing which one best fits your needs. Here are a few perks you can compare and what you can look for.

  1. Annual fee. Generally speaking, the more you pay for a travel card each year, the more features or benefits it offers. But to make that annual fee worth it, you need to make sure the included benefits are something you will use.
  2. Earning rates and reward program value. The more points you earn per dollar spent, the better. But reward programs can value those points differently, so you’ll want to research each card’s rewards program closely before you make your decision.
  3. Travel credits. Does one of the two cards come with a larger travel credit than the other? Is one card’s travel credits easier to use? Or does it have fewer restrictions?
  4. Travel insurance. Travel card travel insurance coverage tends to vary wildly from one card to the next. See which of the cards you’re comparing offers wider coverage or covers a larger amount.
  5. Companion passes. An airline companion pass allows you to bring a partner with you on a scheduled flight for little to no cost. These are insanely valuable and can easily sway a decision between two cards.

Travel credit cards pros and cons

Pros

  • Earn additional points or miles toward your next flight. Travel cards are one of the most efficient ways to earn bonus miles toward your next reward flight or hotel stay.
  • Travel perks. Most travel cards offer additional travel perks on top of reward earnings. Examples include free checked bags on flights or getting a free night stay when you book four or more nights at a hotel.
  • Plenty of options. Travel cards cater to all sorts of travel, whether flights or hotel stays or cruises. Travel cards may also cover multiple types of travel options, giving you plenty of choice in how you earn and redeem your rewards.

Cons

  • Can get pricey. The highest-tier travel cards can cost upwards of $700, thanks to their array of perks and features.
  • May be limited by location. Depending on where you live, you might not find all travel cards worth your time simply because you don’t live near a corresponding airline.
  • Reward options can be limited. Your points or miles redemption options can vary greatly from travel card to travel card.
  • Planning needed to maximize value. Generally, travel cards require a bit more work than a cashback card to get the most value out of it.

How do travel credit cards with no foreign transaction fees work?

These credit cards let you avoid extra charges when you make purchases in a country outside of the US. They also typically offer points or miles, as well as bonus rewards in select categories.

In comparison, most travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees of around 3% of each purchase made overseas or online at an international store. While you’ll still earn rewards, foreign transaction fees can eat into their value.

Example: How much can I save using a travel credit card with no foreign transaction fees?

Say you’ve spent $5,000 on your credit card for an overseas trip. With a card charging a 3% foreign transaction fee, you’d be stuck with a $150 fee for your spending. With a card that offers no foreign transaction fees, you wouldn’t have to worry about this cost.

    Travel credit cards with no foreign transaction fees: Common mistakes

    Watch out for these pitfalls so you make the most of your credit card:

    • Withdrawing cash. Even if a card offers no foreign transaction fees, you’ll still pay cash advance fees when you withdraw money. Each transaction will accrue interest at the cash advance APR, which is typically higher than the purchase APR.
    • Forgetting to factor in currency conversion. Typically, transactions you make in a foreign currency are converted to US dollars at the applicable currency exchange rate. This could mean you won’t know exactly how much a transaction costs in US dollars before it shows up on your account. Make sure you consider this to avoid exceeding your credit limit.
    • Not paying off your balance in full. If you carry a balance on your credit card beyond your grace period, you’ll accrue interest on your purchases.

    It’s a good time to open a travel credit card

    After COVID hit in 2020, most of us withheld from traveling for most of the year. But once vaccines became more widespread and the pandemic was contained a bit more in 2021, 2022 is looking like a better for travel credit cards.

    Airlines, in particular, are eager for cardholders to get back to the skies, and many travel cards are sporting big incentives for new cardholders to do just that. These include big new signup bonuses to get you in the air even faster or additional reward categories to help you build even more miles.

    Depending on the airline, you may even find the costs of award flights lower than average as well. It’s tough to say if this bigger value will continue beyond 2022, so now is a perfect time to pick up a travel card if you’ve been on the fence.

    Alex Miller, founder and CEO of UpgradedPoints.com agrees. “Right now, travel credit card bonuses are at quite a high, in an attempt to woo travelers back into the industry and to fly with a particular airline or stay with a particular hotel brand,” says Miller. “The travel industry is recovering quickly, and while COVID still lingers, most schools of thought currently don’t see a need for further lockdowns, so travel is likely to pick up and continue on an upward trajectory, making for increased usefulness for travel credit cards.”

    Jeffrey Zhou, CEO of Fig Loans, tells Finder that right now is the perfect time to get a travel credit card. “Credit card rewards take a while to accrue, and it is reasonable to assume that by the time you will have saved up the required points to take a trip, there will be plenty of places to travel without having to worry about the pandemic.”

    Compare credit cards by credit score and card type

    Common perks of travel credit cards

    • Travel insurance
    • Global Entry and TSA Precheck credits
    • Travel credits
    • Trip deplay insurance
    • Car rental insurance

    Ask the experts

    Dorothy Harpool
    Lexi Hutto
    Eliot Buchanan
    Lee Huffman
    Richard McGrath
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    Joseph R. Stasio Jr.

    Finder’s points and miles valuations

    If you want a rough idea of how much each travel program’s rewards points are worth, check out our points and miles valuations. These are a rough average of the value of each program’s points. Naturally, you may find more or less value depending on how you redeem them.

    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 credit cards, and you’ll likely find a card that’s perfect for you.

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