Nothing beats a card that maximizes your return on rewards redeemable towards travel. Review the best travel credit cards and calculate which cards can earn you the most rewards based on your spend.
Best Travel Credit Cards
If you're looking to build up your rewards towards travel, there's no shortage of credit cards to do so. The best travel rewards credit card for you will depend on the type of spend you plan on running through the card, the benefits you're looking for in a travel card, and how you plan on redeeming your rewards.
This page details our top picks for the best travel credit cards from our partners. There's also a Rewards Calculator at the bottom of this page that you can use to estimate which travel credit cards can earn you the best average return on your spend.
The cards on this page are updated periodically. New cards are introduced from time to time and the benefits of current cards could change at any time. If you're looking for credit cards based on other criteria, you can check all of our best credit cards lists.
You can also use our Credit Card Finder Tool to search by spend across all credit cards in our database.
Best For Restaurants & Big Supermarket Spenders
The American Express Gold Card is one of the best credit cards on the market and is a great option if you're looking to build rewards points towards travel.
The card offers 4X Membership Rewards Points at restaurants and on U.S. supermarket purchases, 3X points on airfare booked directly with an airline or through the American Express Travel Portal, and 1X points on all other purchases.
The American Express Gold Card also offers up to $120 in annual Uber credits and up to $120 in annual dining credits, both broken up into $10 per month.
Points earned with the card can be redeemed for an easy 1 cent towards airfare via the American Express Travel Portal, but you also transfer points to AMEX's airline and hotel partners for a chance to squeeze some superb value out of your rewards. Transfer partners includes Delta Airlines, Marriott, Hilton and more.
- Rose Gold is back. You can now choose between Gold or Rose Gold.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
- $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- Get up to 12 complimentary months of an Uber Eats Pass subscription when you enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
Best For Flexible Travel Rewards
The Capital One Venture Card is the best travel rewards card if you're looking for flexible rewards that you can put towards just about any kind of travel purchase.
The card earns an unlimited 2X Venture Miles on all purchases. These miles can be redeemed for 1 cent in value towards travel purchases made to the card which gives it a lot more flexibility than most of the top travel cards in the market.
You also have the option to transfer Venture Miles to Capital One's airline and hotel partners which can give you a chance to obtain more than 1 cent in value. Partners include JetBlue Airways, Wyndham, Choice, and many more.
With Venture Miles being able to be applied towards travel purchases, there's no blackout dates to worry about. It's as simple as using your card and erasing the travel purchases from your card once they post.
- Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
- Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
- Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- Redeem on travel—including flights, vacation rentals, car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
- No foreign transaction fees
Best For Earning Across Popular Everyday Categories
The Citi Premier Card is a great well-rounded credit card for earning points across popular everyday and travel categories.
It earns 3X Citi ThankYou Rewards Points on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, air travel, and hotel purchases which makes it easy to earn points at home and earn points when on the road.
Points earned with the card can easily be redeemed for 1 cent each towards travel or you can transfer them to Citi's airline partners which includes JetBlue Airways and a load of international airlines including Etihad, Singapore, and Qantas.
Don't forget to pair the this card with the Citi® Double Cash Card or Citi Custom Cash℠ Card to truly maximize the ThankYou Rewards program. Cash back earned with both of these no-annual fee cards can be converted to ThankYou Points which can then be transferred to airline partners when you hold the Citi Premier Card!
- Annual $100 Hotel Savings Benefit
- No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best Beginner Rewards Card For Travelers
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is one of the best credit cards if you're new to dealing with rewards points.
It earns 2X Ultimate Rewards Points on both travel and dining purchases and offers a 25% boost to point value when redeeming them towards travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This gives you an easy redemption value of 1.25 cents.
As with just about every Chase credit card, it offers superb travel insurance which includes Trip Cancellation Insurance, Trip Interruption Insurance, and more. That makes this a money saver in the event something stops you from traveling.
If you're big on travel, love to dine out, and plan on redeeming your points for high value, the Chase Sapphire Reserve will probably offer you more value. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is typically the best if you plan on redeeming points for lower value (~1 cent) or plan on transferring points to partners for standard redemption values (Hint: Use the calculator at the bottom of this page to find out which is best).
- Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Best For Airport Lounge Access & Delta Travelers
The Platinum Card® from American Express is at the top of the list when it comes to luxury travel.
It offers a very long list of benefits, but it is mostly known for the American Express Global Lounge Collection which grants access to: American Express Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass Lounges, Delta SkyClub Lounges (when flying Delta), Airspace Lounges, and Escape Lounges.
Other top benefits of the card include $1,400 in credits between Uber, Equniox, CLEAR, Saks Fifth, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, digital entertainment purchases, airline incidentals, and AMEX Travel prepaid hotel purchases. The Platinum Card also grants complimentary elite status with both Marriott and Hilton. (Enrollments required for select benefits and offers).
While The Platinum Card gets most of it's value from it's long list of benefits, the card also delivers a fantastic return of 5X Membership Rewards Points on airfare booked directly with airlines and on airfare or hotels booked through the American Express Travel Portal.
Points earned with the card can be redeemed with American Express for a value of 1 cent each towards airfare or be transferred to AMEX's airline and hotel partners.
- Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
- New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
- $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
- $695 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
Best Overall Travel Card For High Value
If you spend a great deal on travel and dining, you can't get much better value than what the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers.
It earns 3X Ultimate Rewards Points on travel after earning your $300 travel credit, 3X on dining, and 1X on all other purchases. Points can be redeemed at a value of 1.5 cents each (that's a 50% point value bonus) towards travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Along with being able to redeem points for a high return through the portal, points can also be transferred to Chase's airline and hotel partners such as United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Hyatt, and IHG.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is also stacked with benefits which includes $300 in annual travel credits, Priority Pass Select Membership, up to a $100 statement credit towards a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, and top-notch travel insurance.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best No-Annual Fee Card For Flexible Rewards
The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card offers flexible rewards at a no-annual fee price.
The card earns 1.25X Venture Miles on all purchases with no cap on how many miles you can earn. Miles earned with the card can be redeemed for 1 cent each towards travel or be transferred to Capital One's airline and hotel partners.
- $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
- Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
- Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn.
- Use your miles to fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime.
- Transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
Best Flexible Travel Card For Those With Large Savings/Investments
Bank of America rewards those who bank and invest with them and their partners by providing additional benefits which includes bonus points.
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card earns 2X Travel Rewards Points on travel and dining purchases and 1.5X points on all other purchases.
Depending on how much your relationship with Bank of America, you'll be able to earn up to a 75% point bonus. That means you can earn as much as 3.5X across travel and dining and 2.625X on all other purchases.
Another big plus is that this bonus applies to other consumer cards that Bank of America offers including their cash back credit cards (you're look at up to 5.25% cash back with those!) and several of their travel cards.
Points earned with the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card can be redeemed for 1 cent each. That makes this a great, flexible card as you'll be able to easily cash in your rewards towards just about anything.
- If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
- Get up to $100 in Airline Incidental Credits annually and TSA Pre✓®/Global Entry Statement Credits of up to $100, every four years
- Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill® accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
- No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
Best Travel Credit Cards Summary
|Credit Card||Annual Fee||Best For||See All Available Offers|
|American Express® Gold Card||$250||Best For Restaurants & Big Supermarket Spenders||Learn More|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||$95||Best For Flexible Travel Rewards||Learn More|
|Citi Premier® Card||$95||Best For Earning Across Popular Everyday Categories||Learn More|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred®||$95||Best Beginner Rewards Card For Travelers||Learn More|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||$695||Best For Airport Lounge Access & Delta Travelers||Learn More|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||$550||Best Overall Travel Card For High Value||Learn More|
|Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card||$0||Best No-Annual Fee Card For Flexible Rewards||Learn More|
|Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card||$0||Best Flexible Travel Card For Those With Large Savings/Investments||Learn More|
Best Cards By Spend Calculator
The Best Cards By Spend Calculator will give you an idea of which travel credit cards will offer you the most rewards based on your spend.
Results will be sorted by net return which is the average value of the rewards earned, plus annual credits, and minus annual fees.
Do note that results will consist of all top-rated travel credit cards from our partners meaning that the results may include credit cards that are not listed above.
The results below are estimates on how much you can earn based on the spend you entered in the fields above.
Rewards Calculator - Learn more about the card, dive deeper into calculating rewards, and compare the results side by side other cards featured on the site.
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