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For those who are constantly around the world, whether for work or pleasure, travel credit cards are the best alternative to save and improve their travel experience due to the rewards that derive from their use.
Of all the financial products that exist, credit cards for travel represent one of the most versatile and convenient options : in addition to being perfect to cover unexpected expenses, they open the doors to a world of benefits that are not available to travelers who count with a basic credit card. Basically, travelers who choose this option can have access to discounts or special credits on hotels or air tickets, among other advantages that derive from their constant use, such as the accumulation of miles for other trips or rewards to redeem in certain places or destinations..
Simply put, the best credit cards for travel are those that maximize profits; that is, those whose conditions of use derive in greater advantages for the client, reducing the associated costs, including interest rates. Those that allow the accumulation of benefits or redeemable rewards are also very good options, because they allow the client to have a reservation, beyond the basic benefits, that they can use when it suits them best.
What are the 5 best credit cards for travel in the United States?
Defining the best travel credit card options can be particularly difficult considering the fact that each traveler’s particular needs are often different, as are their reasons for traveling and how often they travel. However, from the point of view of the benefits offered by these cards, it is possible to determine which may be the five most convenient for average travelers :
1. Capital One Venture Rewards – Best Credit Card for Traveler Rewards
- This card offers 2 travel miles for every dollar spent, plus unlimited 5 miles on hotel reservations and car rentals through Capital One Travel.
- After spending $4,000 during the first 3 months, the customer can earn a bonus of 75,000 miles.
- Miles earned from accumulated purchases can be used to pay for hotel rooms, cruises, flights, car rentals, restaurants, culinary events, sporting and musical events, among others.
- This credit card also offers $100 in credit, which can be used at TSA security checkpoints at airports.
- To enjoy all its benefits, customers must make an annual payment of $95.
2. Chase Sapphire Preferred – Best credit card to secure flights or get refunds for canceled flights
- With this travel credit card, customers can earn 60 thousand points after spending $4,000 during the first 3 months.
- Points earned translate to $750 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards for either cash, gift cards or merchandise offered by Chase.
- With the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, you do not need to pay for transaction fees outside of the United States.
- Offers insurance for luggage and airline tickets and if the client’s flight is canceled or they cannot travel due to illness, they could receive a refund of up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per trip.
3. Wells Fargo Autograph – Best Credit Card for Earning Travel Points
- Offers an additional 30,000 reward points when the customer spends $1,500 on purchases in the first 3 months. The 30,000 points are worth $300 cash.
- In addition, it offers 3 points for each purchase in restaurants, gas stations, public transport, flights, hotels, among other establishments.
- The card has no annual fee and there is no limit on the points accumulated.
- The Wells Fargo Autograph also does not require foreign currency conversion fees.
- Smartphone protection against damage or theft is available for $600.
- During the first year, customers do not have to pay interest.
4. Bank of America Travel Rewards – Best Credit Card for Foreign Currency Exchange
- With this option, customers can earn up to 1.5 points per dollar spent anywhere (between 1.87 and 2.62 if the customer is part of Preferred Rewards).
- Does not require paying an annual fee or charges for foreign transactions.
- Points earned can be used to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, car rentals, or baggage fees.
- Offers 25,000 bonus points after spending at least $1,000 in the first 90 days, which translates to $250 to spend on travel.
- The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card offers 0% interest for the first 12 billing cycles for purchases, that is, during the first year. Then apply a variable interest rate.
- Does not require an annual fee.
5. Citi Premier – Best Credit Card to Earn Bonus Points
- This card offers 80,000 points with the opening of the account that will be available if the client spends at least $4,000 in purchases during the first 3 months.
- These points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards. At the same time, the customer will be earning up to 3 points for every dollar spent at gas stations, airline tickets or hotels and 1 point for all other purchases.
- Citi Premier does not charge foreign transaction fees, but does charge an annual fee of $95 which is relatively high compared to other options.
- Does not offer travel insurance like other options on the list.
What is the best credit card for the average traveler?
Although credit cards for travel can become an ally inside or outside the country, it is important to consider that it is a specific product for a specific type of client. In that sense, although they offer many advantages, these advantages can be restrictive for clients who do not have the characteristics that they demand.
For example, frequent travelers (for pleasure or business) represent the ideal client for this type of card since their profile allows them to make the most of the advantages offered by this product, reducing expenses on each of their journeys (which are usually be many) while accumulating benefits. In contrast, occasional travelers may be affected by annual fees, low usage benefits, and possible interest accrual, as well as redemption terms, which may be limited to a certain location or to a certain location time-frame.