Best Travel Category Credit Cards 2019 | Calculate Rewards

Best Travel Category Credit Cards 2019

Get a list of credit cards that earns bonus points, miles, and cash back on the travel category. Calculate total rewards based on your spend and compare.


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The travel category is one of the most popular bonus categories when it comes to credit cards. This is because it provides the ability to earn rewards across multiple sub-categories that fall under 'travel' such as airfare, car rentals, parking costs, tolls, and more. If you're a frequent traveler, I strongly consider picking up at least one card that features the travel of category.

American Express

American Express features one credit card that features the category of travel and that the newly revamped AMEX Green Card. It earns 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent on both travel and restaurant purchases worldwide. For anyone looking to earn Membership Rewards Points on travel, the AMEX Green is a must have.

American Express considers travel purchases to be:

  • Airfare
  • Hotels
  • Cruises
  • Car Rentals
  • Campgrounds
  • Trains
  • Taxicabs
  • Rideshare Services
  • Tours
  • Ferries
  • Tolls
  • Parking
  • Buses
  • Subways
  • Third Party/Discount Travel Websites
American Membership Rewards
Membership Rewards Points Value
Learn about the cash value of Membership Rewards Points and the different ways they can be redeemed.
Membership Rewards Credit Cards
List of all American Express Membership Rewards Point earning credit cards and calculators for each.
Transfer Membership Rewards Points
Get the list of airline and hotel partners you can transfer your points to and calculate the transfer of points as well.

Chase Bank

All three of Chase's Ultimate Rewards Point earning cards earn bonus points on the travel category. The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred both earn 3 points per $1 spent while the Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2 points per $1 spent. Those who hold at least one of three cards will also be able to convert cash back earned with Chase's 4 cash back cards into Ultimate Rewards Points at a 1 cent for 1 point ratio. This makes the Ultimate Rewards Program a superb choice for those looking to create a solid combination of Chase credit cards.

Chase considers travel purchases to be:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Timeshares
  • Car Rental Agencies
  • Taxis
  • Buses
  • Trains
  • Limousines
  • Cruise Lines
  • Travel Agencies
  • Travel Sites (3rd Party)
  • Ferries
  • Toll Bridges
  • Parking Lots
  • Garages
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Ultimate Rewards Points Value
Learn about the cash value of Ultimate Rewards Points and the different ways they can be redeemed.
Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards
List of all Ultimate Rewards Point earning credit cards and calculators for each.
Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points
Get the list of airline and hotel partners you can transfer your points to and calculate the transfer of points as well.

Citi Bank

Citi has one card that features travel as a category and that card is the Citi ThankYou Premier Card. This card earns 3 points per $1 on travel and 2 points per $1 on both dining and entertainment. For anyone earning ThankYou Rewards Points, it's one of the best cards in the program for earning rewards. I recommend taking a look at the Premier Card as well as the ThankYou Rewards program in general.

Citi considers travel purchases to be:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels
  • Car rental agencies
  • Travel agencies/travel aggregators/tour operators
  • Gas stations, commuter transportation
  • Ferries
  • Commuter railways
  • Subways
  • Taxis/limousines/car services
  • Passenger railways
  • Cruise lines
  • Bridge and road tolls
  • Parking lots/garages
  • Campgrounds and trailer parks
  • Timeshares
  • Bus lines
  • Motor home/recreational vehicle rentals
  • Boat leases and rentals
Citi ThankYou Rewards
ThankYou Rewards Points Value
Learn about the cash value of ThankYou Rewards Points and the different ways they can be redeemed.
ThankYou Rewards Credit Cards
List of all ThankYou Rewards Point earning credit cards and calculators for each.
Transfer ThankYou Rewards Points
Get the list of airline partners you can transfer your points to and calculate the transfer of points as well.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank has one credit card that earns big on travel purchases which is the Altitude Reserve Card. It earns 3 points per $1 on travel purchases and 3 points per $1 spent on mobile wallet spending which includes Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and other mobile wallets. The card is also packed with several premium travel benefits such as a $325 annual travel credit, complimentary Gogo In-flight WiFi Passes, Priority Pass, and much more. Those who own U.S. Bank FlexPerks credit cards will also be able to transfer FlexPoints to Altitude Points at a 1:1 ratio.

U.S. Bank considers travel purchases to be:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels
  • Car Rentals
  • Taxicabs
  • Limousines
  • Passenger Trains
  • Cruise Line Companies
U.S Bank Rewards
U.S. Bank Rewards Program
Learn about the cash value of U.S. Bank Rewards Points and the different ways they can be redeemed.
U.S. Bank Rewards Credit Cards
List of all U.S. Bank Rewards Point earning credit cards and calculators for each.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo offers one credit card that features the category of travel and that card is the Wells Fargo Propel AMEX Card. It earns 3 Go Far Rewards Points per $1 spent on travel, dining, gas, and streaming services. Pair it with the Wells Fargo Visa Signature and you'll get a 50% point boost on airfare redemptions. What's even better is that both cards have no annual fee.

The Wells Fargo Propel is an American Express credit card. Travel for the Propel is defined as the following by American Express:

  • Airfare
  • Hotels
  • Cruises
  • Car Rentals
  • Campgrounds
  • Trains
  • Taxicabs
  • Rideshare Services
  • Tours
  • Ferries
  • Tolls
  • Parking
  • Buses
  • Subways
  • Third Party/Discount Travel Websites
Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards
Go Far Rewards Points Value
Learn about the cash value of Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards Points and the different ways they can be redeemed.

Costco

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card earns 3% cash back on travel purchases. The card also earns 4% cash back on gas, 3% on restaurant, and 2% back on Costco purchases. While the card itself doesn't have an annual fee, you will need a Costco membership which is $60 annually. All cash back earned with the Costco Anywhere Visa is offered as a check annually during the month of February.

The Costco Anywhere Visa is a Citi credit card. Citi considers travel purchases to be:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels
  • Car rental agencies
  • Travel agencies/travel aggregators/tour operators
  • Gas stations, commuter transportation
  • Ferries
  • Commuter railways
  • Subways
  • Taxis/limousines/car services
  • Passenger railways
  • Cruise lines
  • Bridge and road tolls
  • Parking lots/garages
  • Campgrounds and trailer parks
  • Timeshares
  • Bus lines
  • Motor home/recreational vehicle rentals
  • Boat leases and rentals

Sam's Club

The Sam's Club Mastercard earns 3% cash back on travel purchases. The card also earns a whopping 5% cash back on gas and 3% cash back on dining. The card doesn't have an annual fee, but it does requires you to have a membership with Sam's Club. As with the Costco Anywhere Visa, cash back earned with the Sam's Club Mastercard is rewarded annually during the month of February.

Synchrony considers travel purchases on the Sam's Club Mastercard to be:

  • Airlines
  • Rental Cars
  • Hotels
  • Passenger Rail Travel
  • Bus Lines
  • Cruise Lines
  • Timeshares
  • Travel Agencies
  • Third Party/Discount Travel Sites
  • Tour Operators

Rewards and Card Value Calculator

You can use this rewards calculator to calculate how many points, miles, or cash back you can earn based on your spend per category. This calculator will also give you the dollar value of the cards based on rewards earned and how much each benefit is worth to you minus the fees.

All category spend entered in the first column will carry over to all credit card pages on the site. This means you don't have to re-enter the same information over again. You can use the Copy functions under the Options menu within the Categories & Bonuses section.

Travel Category Credit Cards

You can select any two travel credit cards from the table below that you wish to compare by selecting the radio buttons on the far left of each row. This will update the Travel Credit Card Comparison Calculator located under the table. If you want to compare any of the travel credit cards featured below against other cards outside of what's listed, you can click on a card to visit that card's specific calculator. Don't forget that you can also compare groups of credit cards with the Credit Card Comparison Tool!

Travel Category Credit Cards
#1 #2 Card Name
AMEX Membership Rewards
AMEX Green Card
3x Travel, Restaurant
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase Sapphire Reserve
3x Travel, Dining
Chase Sapphire Preferred
2x Travel, Dining
Chase Ink Business Preferred
3x Travel, Shipping, Internet, Cable, Phone Services, Advertising
Citi ThankYou Rewards
Citi ThankYou Premier Card
3x Travel; 2x Dining, Entertainment
Bank of America Travel Rewards
Bank of America Premium Rewards Card
2x Travel, Dining; 1.5x Everything Else
U.S. Bank Rewards
Altitude Reserve Card
3x Travel, Mobile Wallet Spending
Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards
Wells Fargo AMEX
3x Travel, Dining, Gas, Streaming Services
Store Rewards Cards
Costco Anywhere Visa
4% Gas; 3% Restaurant, Travel; 2% Costco
Sam's Club Mastercard
5% Gas; 3% Travel, Dining; 1% Sam's Club
Capital One Walmart Mastercard
5% Walmart, Walmart Mobile Apps; 2% Walmart (In-Store), Walmart/Murphy Gas Stations, Purchase of Gift Cards At Walmart, Travel, Dining
Military Cards
NFCU Flagship Rewards Card
3x Travel; 2x Everything Else
PenFed Pathfinder
3x/4x Travel
Rail/Transportation Cards
Amtrak World Elite Mastercard
3x Amtrak; 2x Travel
Credit Card
This calculator will calculate the cash value of the selected credit card(s) based on spend, benefits, and fees. You can compare this card against any another rewards card side-by-side by clicking on the Compare A Card button.
Currency Worth
This is the cash value of points and miles used in these calculations. You can click on the amount to change the value or you can select View Rewards As to calculate your rewards when transferred to partners.
View Rewards As...
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0 Cent(s)
View Rewards As...
This section allows you to view your rewards as if you transferred them to a partner. Select a transfer partner below and the calculator will alter the calculator to reflect the transfer ratio and the reward currency of the receiving program. This only applies to the currency of the selected card. Not all programs have transfer partners. I also do not have the cash value of points and miles for all transfer partners.
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Edit Value
Enter the cash value of these rewards in cents per point/mile. You can enter the value as X.XX cents or 0.0XXX cents. The maximum value allowed is 15 cents ($0.15) and the minimal value is 0.1 cents ($0.001).
Loyalty/Rewards Programs
Covers hotel loyalty status, status with bank rewards programs, and few others. These are added automatically based on card selection, but can be manually added as well.
/ Loyalty Programs
Add/Remove Loyalty Programs
Select which loyalty programs you want to include in the calculations. You will be able to select your status with the program and it will calculate additional points/bonuses based on what you enter in the calculator.
Loyalty Programs
Other Bonuses
All card card specific bonuses will be listed here. These are added automatically based on the selected card(s).
Categories Spending
Enter how much you spend in each category listed. You can click on the amount to edit the value. You can use +/- Categories to add and remove categories from the list and Options to copy spend between columns and clear all spend.
/ Categories
Options
Add/Remove Categories
Select which categories you want to appear in this calculator. You can search categories by typing in a keyword below. De-selecting categories will remove them from this calculator. Categories are changed once you hit 'Update'.
Currently Selected:
Deselect All
Clear Spend
This will clear the spend in all of the categories in both columns. This will also clear all saved values.
Copy Spend
Copy Right will take the spend from the left column and copy it to the right column. Copy Left will take the spend from the right column and copy it to the left column. The spend amount ($) and unit of time (month, day, quarter) will be copied over.
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Reward Bonuses
This section holds sign up bonuses, loyalty bonuses, and bonus bonuses. Most bonuses here will be listed automatically based on certain criteria. You can click 'Extra Bonus' if you wish to enter your own bonus amount.
Extra Bonus
Any additional bonuses you wish to add such as a sign up bonus or point bonus for adding authorized users
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Total Earnings
Sum of all rewards above this line.
Cash Value of Earnings
Based off of currency worth.
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Calculator Continues Below
Monetary Bonuses/Perks
This is a list of cash perks and bonuses associated with the selected card(s). Some perks will be listed here automatically. You can click on 'Perk Bonus' if you want to add additional value for the card.
Perk Bonus
Enter how much you value any unmentioned perks this card offers.
$0
Annual Fees
This section contains the annual fee and authorized user fee (if applicable) to hold on to the listed card(s).
$0
Edit Fees
Edit the annual fee and authorized user fee of the Card (if applicable).
Annual Fee: -
Auth Fee: -
Grand Total
The total estimated value you can get out of this card and the amount of return for your spend.
Total Card Value
The value of the card when everything is taken into account.
$0
Total Return
The percent you are earning per dollar spent on this card.
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Page Last Updated: 2019-10-29

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About These Calculators: These calculators are provided to help you estimate the value of points, miles, and cash back you can earn with various rewards programs and using reward earning credit cards. These calculators are meant to provide an estimate of rewards earned and are not meant to reflect the exact amount of points you may receive. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of any credit card before you apply as benefit and perk changes may not be reflected immediately on this website.


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