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Credit cards for travel

Credit card with travel perks and waive fees can save you money on your next vacation.

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Whether you’re a regular traveler or planning a rare getaway, you need to find the right credit card for hotel, flight purchases and everything else. But you’re in danger of spending too much of your budget on currency conversion and foreign transaction fees.

This guide compares credit cards that are the best for travel and why you should find the right one for your next vacation.

Compare travel credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
75,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
20,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1.25x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
$0
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a Delta purchase in the same timeframe
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a direct Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
2x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
50,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
3x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2x on travel and 1x on all other purchases
$0
50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening.

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Compare different types of travel credit cards


Credit cards for travel

How a credit card are useful for travel

  • Live exchange rates. You could benefit from fluctuating exchange rates that change daily when USD depreciates against the currency of your destination.
  • Travel now, pay later. Some credit cards can provide up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and 0% introductory APRs when you open a new card. So you can spend, but save on interest and fees.
  • Rewards. Earn points for flights and cash back with rewards programs.

Things to note when using credit cards for travel.

  • Avoid cash advances. Using your credit card to get cash from an ATM can cost your high fees and interest rates. There is usually no interest-free days on cash advances.

No Currency Conversion Fee Credit Cards

One of the biggest fees you’ll pay when you travel are foreign exchange fees. These are fees that your credit card charges for each purchase you make while you’re out of the country — usually 3% of your purchase. This can really add up, especially if you plan on using your card a lot on your trip. There are lots of cards out there that waive that fee.

Name Product Foreign transaction fee Annual fee Purchase APR Filter values
None
$0
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
None
$0
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.24%, 20.24% or 24.24% variable)
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
None
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Earn 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a direct Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
None
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.99%, 22.74% or 25.24% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
None
$0
17.99% to 24.99% variable
50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening.

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Credit cards with travel benefits

Cards with travel rewards are designed with the traveler in mind can make you feel better about using your credit card for big purchases on your trip. There are many cards that offer 2x or 3x points on hotels, flights and other adventures on your trip. Use your points for cash back, your next flight or hotel stay and so much more.

High-end cards can get you access to exclusive airport lounges and hotel and flight upgrades. These cards often have high annual fees, so be sure you can make it worth it.

You’ll also find cards with travel insurance, covering you for missed flights, accidents or illnesses while you’re away. But credit cards are the best option for travel insurance. Find out more about the benefits of travel insurance with our guide.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
75,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
20,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1.25x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
$0
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a Delta purchase in the same timeframe
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a direct Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
2x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
50,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
3x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2x on travel and 1x on all other purchases
$0
50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening.

Compare up to 4 providers

Intro APR

Credit cards that offer an interest free introductory period are great to get right before your trip. It makes the idea of “buy now, pay later” really work for you. Often credit cards offer a year or more of 0% APR, giving you the chance to pay down your balances after a big trip. But be careful — once your period is up, you’ll pay the high APR on your remaining balance.

Name Product Purchase APR Balance transfer APR Annual fee Filter values
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.24%, 22.24% or 26.24% variable)
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.24%, 22.24% or 26.24% variable)
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 12.99% to 20.99% variable)
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 12.99% to 20.99% variable)
$0
An 18 months 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
$95
Earn $250 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
$0
Earn 3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases. See Rates and Fees.
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
$0
Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent, then earn 1.5% cash back after that.

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No annual fee credit cards

These no-frills cards don’t cost anything to have. If you only use your card for emergencies and small purchases no annual fee cards are a great pick. These card often offer no-interest days when you open an account, and you can find cards with low APRs. You won’t find travel benefits — like no foreign transaction fees — or rewards that other cards offer.

Name Product Annual fee Balance transfer APR Purchase APR Filter values
$0
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
Earn 3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases. See Rates and Fees.
$0
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.24%, 22.24% or 26.24% variable)
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.24%, 22.24% or 26.24% variable)
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
$0
17.74% to 26.74% variable
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
$0
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.24%, 22.24% or 26.24% variable)
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.24%, 22.24% or 26.24% variable)
Earn $150 after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
$0
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent, then earn 1.5% cash back after that.

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Gold and platinum credit cards

Find you use your credit card for most purchases? Gold and platinum credit cards offer greater perks like higher credit limits, rewards and complimentary insurance. If finding exclusive airport lounges and hotel upgrades are important to you, the high annual fees could be worth it. Annual fees for these cards range from $150 to $500 a year, and often you need a stellar credit score to qualify.

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
N/A
$550
Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & fees
3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
18.99% to 25.99% variable
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
See Rates & Fees
$250
35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1.5% for cash back
16.99% variable
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1% for cash back
16.99% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.

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Bottom line

Choosing a credit card your your vacation depends much on your spending habits and how much you plan to use your cards. You’ll find the most savings with cards that waive foreign transaction fees. Always compare credit cards to find the best deal before opening a credit card.

Frequently asked questions about travel credit cards

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