Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards April 2024

Leisure and business travelers can use travel rewards credit cards to turn miles logged into other things — including more travel.

Disclaimer

We may get compensation if you visit partner links on our site. We may not cover every available offer. Our relationship with advertisers may impact how an offer is presented on our website. However, our selection of products is made independently of our relationship to advertisers. All information about the American Express EveryDay® credit card has been collected independently by Kiplinger. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. We calculate a typical annual reward for each card, assuming $34,000 spent annually and less any annual fee. Interest rates, fees, rewards and other terms listed in this article are subject to change. Before you apply for a credit card, check its current terms and conditions with the issuer. Rates and sign-up offers were checked as of April 1, 2024.

A travel rewards credit card can be an excellent companion whether you travel often or just take the occasional vacation. With every purchase, you can use a travel card to collect points or miles that you can redeem for flights, hotels, or other travel bookings. Many travel rewards cards come with extra benefits, too, from free entry into airport lounges to statement credits toward application fees for TSA PreCheck and other programs that expedite security screening at the airport. 

You may notice that our list of the best cards differs from many other reviewers. That's because we crunch the numbers on a wider variety of cards, such as those issued by credit unions and smaller banks.

If you’d rather have a card that offers cash back or another type of reward, see our article on the best rewards credit cards. If you just want a smoking-hot sign-up bonus for new cardholders, jump to our current travel credit card bonus deals list.

Know what kind of travel card you want? Jump to these sections, below to see our top three picks in each category. 

Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

With these cards, you reap points or miles without paying an annual fee. You will still need to consider foreign transaction fees if you plan to do a lot of international travel.

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<a href="https://oc.brcclx.com/t?lid=26733598" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"">Chase Freedom Unlimited® 

Sign-up bonus: Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through <a href="https://www.chase.com/travel" data-link-merchant="chase.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases. After your first year or $20,000 spent, the rewards rate reverts to 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

You can trade the Ultimate Rewards points you earn at a rate of a penny each for cash back, gift cards or travel bookings. 

This card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, so consider one of our other travel winners for trips abroad. 

Chase cards also offer excellent <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/credit-cards-that-cover-rental-car-insurance" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="chase.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"">rental car insurance.

  • Interest rate: Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% to 29.24%.
  • Annual fee: None.
  • Foreign transaction fee: A hefty 3%, so for trips abroad, look to our other winners that charge no such fee.
  • Rewards (after first year or $20,000 spent)
    • Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, the rewards program portal that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more.
    • Earn 5% total cash back on qualifying Lyft rides through March 2025.
    • Earn 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, including takeout and eligible delivery service.
    • Earn 1.5% on other spending.
  • Redemption: Redeem points at a rate of a penny each for cash back, gift cards or travel; points do not expire.
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.  After your first year or $20,000 spent, the rewards rate reverts to 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Member FDIC
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<a href="https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/travel/" data-link-merchant="discover.com"" target="_blank">Discover it® Miles 

This card acts as a hybrid travel and cash back card. All purchases earn 1.5 miles per dollar, and the redemption options are flexible. You can exchange miles at a rate of a penny each for statement credits on travel purchases, cash back, account credits to pay your card bill, and purchases with Amazon and PayPal. 

The card offers a generous sign-on bonus, doubling your miles earned after the first year. Other nice-to-have perks include free access to your FICO score and online privacy protection. The card does not provide free travel insurance, access to airport lounges or similar travel perks.

  • Interest rate: 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then 17.24 to 28.24% variable APR.
  • Annual fee: None.
  • Foreign transaction fee: None.
  • Rewards: 1.5 miles per dollar spent on purchases.
  • Sign-up bonus: A match of miles earned after one year, doubling your rewards.
  • Redemption: Unlike a co-branded credit card, the miles earned on the card can be used to cover travel purchases made at any airline, car rental or hotel over the past 180 days; miles may also be redeemed for statement credit to pay your bill.
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<a href="https://go.redirectingat.com/?id=92X1679927&xcust=hawk-custom-tracking&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.americanexpress.com%2Fus%2Fcredit-cards%2Fcard%2Famex-everyday%2F&sref" data-link-merchant="SkimLinks - americanexpress.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">American Express EveryDay® 

Sign-up bonus: 10,000 points if you spend $2,000 in the first six months.

Amex EveryDay provides a way to earn Amex’s Membership Rewards points without paying an annual fee. You get two points per dollar on up to $6,000 of supermarket purchases per year and one point per dollar on all other spending. If you make at least 20 purchases on the card in a billing period, you get a 20% bonus on the points you earned on those purchases. 

You can trade points at a rate of 1 cent each for flight bookings through Amex Travel or certain gift cards (points are worth less for most other redemption options). You can also transfer points to a partner travel loyalty program, including Delta SkyMiles, Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy. The card charges a 2.7% foreign-transaction fee, so it’s best for domestic travel

<a href="https://go.redirectingat.com/?id=92X1679927&xcust=hawk-custom-tracking&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.americanexpress.com%2Fus%2Fcredit-cards%2Fcard-application%2Fapply%2Fprospect%2Fterms%2Famex-everyday-credit-card%2F25330-10-0%23FeeTable&sref" data-link-merchant="SkimLinks - americanexpress.com"" data-link-merchant="SkimLinks - americanexpress.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">See rates and fees.

  • Interest rate: 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then 18.24% to 29.24% variable APR.
  • Annual fee: None.
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.7%.
  • Rewards: Two points per dollar on up to $6,000 spent at supermarkets per year, then 1%; two points per dollar on certain prepaid travel purchases through Amex Travel; other spending gets one point per dollar, and each month that you make at least 20 purchases with the card, you get a 20% points bonus on those purchases.
  • Redemption: The best way to redeem points includes booking flights through Amex Travel at a rate of a penny per point or transferring points to loyalty programs including Delta SkyMiles (at a ratio of one Amex point to one SkyMile), Hilton Honors (1:2 ratio) and Marriott Bonvoy (1:1).
  • Intro offer: Earn 10,000 points if you spend $2,000 in the first six months.
  • Terms apply

Best Travel Cards Worth the Annual Fee

With a high payback on travel spending and some perks on the side, these cards make the annual fee worth paying.

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<a href="https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/venture/" data-link-merchant="capitalone.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 

Annual fee: $95 

Sign-up bonus: 75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 in the first three months. 

Capital One Venture offers five miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars that you book through Capital One Travel and two miles per dollar on all other spending. Miles are worth a penny apiece if you redeem them for statement credits on travel purchases or travel bookings through Capital One, or you can transfer miles to partner airline and hotel loyalty programs. Extra perks include two free yearly visits to Capital One’s own airport lounges or Plaza Premium lounges (though the lounge-pass benefit expires in January 2025), as well as reimbursement of the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, which provide expedited airport security screening.

For details on this bonus offer and how to use bonus miles, read <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/rewards-credit-cards/capital-one-venture-rewards-credit-card" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="capitalone.com"">Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Launches $750 Bonus Offer.

  • Interest rate: 19.99% to 29.99% variable APR for purchases.
  • Balance transfer fee: $0 at the Transfer APR, 4% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer to you.
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Foreign transaction fee: None.
  • Rewards: Five miles per dollar spent on hotel stays and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; all other spending earns two miles per dollar; limited airport lounge access and other benefits apply.
  • Redemption: Redeem miles at a rate of a penny each for statement credits on travel purchases or to book a new travel reservation through Capital One. Or transfer miles to any of more than 15 travel loyalty programs.
  • Sign-up bonus: 75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 in the first three months. That's worth $750 when used to book travel or reimburse travel expenses.

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<a href="https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/citi-premier-credit-card" data-link-merchant="citi.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Citi Premier® Card 

Annual fee: $95 

Sign-up bonus: 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months. 

Earn 10 Citi ThankYou® Points per dollar on hotel and rental car bookings through June 30, 2024, and three points per dollar thereafter. You also collect three points per dollar on dining, supermarket, gas station and air travel purchases and one point per dollar on other spending. 

Points are worth a penny each when you trade them for travel bookings or gift cards, or you can transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs. Once per year, cardholders also get $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more booked through Citi’s ThankYou program.

  • Interest rate: 21.24% to 29.24% variable APR for purchases.
  • Annual fee: $95.
  • Foreign transaction fee: None.
  • Rewards: Get three points per dollar spent in a range of categories: restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel and hotels; all other spending earns one point per dollar. Once a year, get $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, through thankyou.com.
  • Redemption: Points are worth a penny each if you redeem them for gift cards or travel bookings through the Citi ThankYou program; you can also transfer points to partner airline and hotel loyalty programs; there are no blackout dates and points do not expire.
  • Sign-up bonus: 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months. That's a $600 value when redeemed for travel or gift cards. And earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal, on ThankYou.com or by calling 1-800-Thankyou (TTY: 711) and saying “Travel”. Offer is valid through 11:59 PM ET 6/30/2024. 

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<a href="https://www.usbank.com/credit-cards/altitude-connect-visa-signature-credit-card.html" data-link-merchant="usbank.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card

Annual fee: $95, waived the first year.

Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points if you spend $2,000 in the first 120 days.

This card delivers five points per dollar on hotel and rental car bookings through U.S. Bank’s travel portal; four points per dollar on other travel purchases and at gas and EV charging stations; two points per dollar on grocery store, restaurant and streaming-service spending; and one point per dollar on other spending. 

You can redeem points at a rate of a penny each for travel, gift cards, cash back, merchandise and other options. Cardholders are also reimbursed for the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and receive four free yearly visits to Priority Pass Select airport lounges. 

  • Interest rate: 21.24% to 29.24% variable APR for purchases or balance transfers.
  • Annual fee:  $95, waived the first year.
  • Top rewards rate: Five points per dollar on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center.
  • Other rewards: Four points per dollar on other travel purchases and at gas and EV charging stations; two points per dollar on grocery store, restaurant and streaming-service spending; and one point per dollar on other spending.
  • Redemption:  Redeem points at a rate of a penny each for travel, gift cards, cash back, merchandise and other options; cardholders also get reimbursement of the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, four free yearly visits to Priority Pass Select airport lounges, and a $30 annual credit if you make 11 months of purchases with eligible streaming services.
  • Sign-up bonus:  50,000 points, worth $500, if you spend $2,000 in the first 120 days.

Best Cards for Flexible Travel Redemptions

Redeem points for travel bookings or transfer them to a broad range of partner airline and hotel loyalty programs.

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<a href="https://www.biltrewards.com/card" data-link-merchant="biltrewards.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">BILT Mastercard®

The BILT Mastercard from Wells Fargo rewards you with one point per dollar on rent payments (up to 100,000 points each year), and you bypass the transaction fees that usually apply when you pay rent with a credit card. Read our dedicated article on the <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/bilt-credit-card-rent-payments-earn-big-rewards" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="biltrewards.com"">BILT credit card for the full skinny.

If you enable <a href="https://www.biltrewards.com/editorial/post/bilt-protect" data-link-merchant="biltrewards.com"" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="biltrewards.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">BiltProtect, your rent payments are drawn directly from your linked bank account, and you earn points on the payments without using your available credit. Keeping your credit line clear of rent payments can help lower your credit-utilization ratio (the amount of available credit that you use), and that’s good for your credit score. 

You also earn three points per dollar on dining, two points on travel and one point on other purchases. The BILT card takes honors in this travel category because you can transfer points that you earn with it on a one-to-one basis to 16 different transfer partner programs, including those of American Airlines, Marriott, United Airlines and Hyatt. 

This card is great for renters, but be sure you can pay your balance in full every month. 

  • Annual fee: None
  • Interest rates: 21.49%, 24.49%, or 29.49% variable APR.
  • Top rewards rate: Three points per dollar on dining.
  • Other rewards: Get two points on travel, one point per dollar on rent payments (up to 100,000 points each year), and one point on other purchases.
  • Redemption: Transfer points that you earn with it on a one-to-one basis to 16 different transfer partner programs, including those of American Airlines, Marriott, United Airlines and Hyatt. Or you can redeem your rewards toward a down payment on a property, in which case points are worth 1.5 cents each.
  • Rent Day bonus: On the first of each month, or "Rent Day," the card will double your rewards, in addition to the one point you receive for paying rent. So, instead of getting three points on dining purchases, you get six points for every dollar you spend on that day, and so on. The card also offers a surprise benefit each Rent Day, such as transfer bonuses to airlines or extra points for purchasing sporting event tickets.
  • Trip cancellation, interruption and delay insurance. Get up to a maximum of $1,800 for a trip delay. Get up to $5,000 for non-refundable fares booked with your card.
  • Sign-up bonus: None.
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<a href="https://oc.brcclx.com/t?lid=26691130" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 

Annual fee: $95.

Sign-up bonus: 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months. For our review of this bonus offer, read <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/chase-sapphire-preferred-credit-card-bonus-offer" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"">Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Launches $750 Bonus Offer.

This card boasts a strong network of travel transfer partners, including Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt. 

Cardholders earn <a href="https://www.chase.com/personal/credit-cards/ultimate-rewards" data-link-merchant="chase.com"" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, redeemable for travel bookings through Chase at a heightened value of 1.25 cents per point on Chase Travel℠ or for cash back or gift cards at 1 cent per point. 

You earn five points per dollar on travel that you purchase through Chase Travel℠ (two points per dollar on other travel spending); three points per dollar on restaurants, online grocery purchases and select streaming services; and one point per dollar on other spending. Plus, you get $50 in statement credits annually for hotel stays booked through Chase. On each yearly anniversary of opening your account, you get a 10% points bonus on total purchases made the previous year.

  • Bonus offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠. For details, read Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Launches $750 Bonus Offer.
  • Rewards: Five points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠ and two points per dollar on other travel spending; three points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online groceries; and one point per dollar on other spending. 
  • Other benefits: Get $50 annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more. And on each yearly anniversary of opening your account, you get a 10% points bonus on total purchases made the previous year. Chase offers excellent travel benefits, including rental car insurance and general travel insurance.
  • Redemption: Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel. You also get an extra 25% back when you use points to donate to certain charities; to learn more, read Is Chase Pay Yourself Back Worth It?
  • Interest rate: 21.49% to 28.49% variable APR for purchases and balance transfers, and 29.99% variable APR on cash advances.
  • Annual fee: $95.
  • Foreign transaction fee: None.
  • Member FDIC

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<a href="https://creditcards.chase.com/travel-credit-cards/marriott-bonvoy/boundless" data-link-merchant="creditcards.chase.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Annual fee: $95. 

Sign-up bonus: Three Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months. Certain hotels have resort fees. For details on this $1,050 offer, read <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/marriott-bonvoy-bonus-offer" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="creditcards.chase.com"">Marriott Bonvoy Bonus Offer: Three Nights Free.

Though Bonvoy points are less valuable than those of some competitors, the card provides ample ways to rack up a large bank of points. Cardholders get up to 17 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels; three points per dollar on up to $6,000 in combined spending annually at grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants; and two points per dollar on other spending. Points don’t expire if you make a purchase on the card every 24 months. 

Marriott Bonvoy points are redeemable for stays at Marriott properties, but you can also transfer them to the frequent-flier programs of 39 airlines, including American, Delta, Southwest and United. Plus, you get 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 points you transfer. (Note, however, that most airlines require three Bonvoy points per mile.) Among the card’s benefits are Silver Elite status with Marriott and a one-night hotel stay each year.

  • Interest rate: 21.49% to 28.49% variable.
  • Annual fee: $95, or if you prefer to pay no annual fee, check out the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.
  • Foreign transaction fee: None.
  • Rewards: Earn up to a total of 17x bonus points by layering reward categories. Earn six Marriott points per dollar spent at Marriott properties, ten points for being a Marriott Bonvoy member, and one point if you are a Silver Elite Status member.
  • Other rewards: Earn three points per dollar on up to $6,000 spent yearly at grocery stores, gas stations and dining, and two points per dollar on all other spending. 
  • One free night per year: Earn a free one-night Marriott stay per year after each account anniversary, valid for a one-night hotel stay at a property with a redemption level up to 35,000 points; note that certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Redemptions: Marriott Bonvoy points are redeemable for stays at Marriott properties, but you can also transfer them to the frequent-flier programs of 38 airlines, including American, Delta, Southwest and United; plus, you get 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 points you transfer; among the card’s benefits are Silver Elite status with Marriott and a one-night hotel stay each year; points expire if your account is inactive for 24 months.
  • Welcome offer: Earn three Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card.

Best Cards for Luxury Travel Rewards

Frequent travelers can more than overcome the high annual fees on these cards by taking advantage of a bevy of perks. 

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<a href="https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/venture-x/" data-link-merchant="capitalone.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card 

Annual fee: $395. 

Sign-up bonus: 75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 in the first three months. If you are in the market for a business card, the <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/business-credit-cards/capital-one-business-card-intro-offer" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="capitalone.com"">Capital One Venture X Business card has a welcome offer worth between $1,500 to $2,775.

You can rack up points quickly with this card, and it has a lower annual fee than most premium cards. Cardholders receive 10 miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, five miles per dollar for flights reserved through Capital One Travel, and two miles per dollar on all other spending.

You can redeem miles at the rate of a penny each for statement credits on travel purchases or travel reservations through Capital One. Cardholders get a $300 annual credit toward travel bookings through Capital One, 10,000 miles on each yearly account anniversary, reimbursement of the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and free access to Capital One’s airport lounges, as well as lounges in the Priority Pass and Plaza Premium networks.

Hot tip: You can also earn <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/rewards-credit-cards/capital-one-venture-rewards-credit-card" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="capitalone.com"">75,000 miles on the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit card (after spending $4,000 in the first three months). But that card only has a $95 annual fee, while this card's annual fee is $395. It all comes down to the perks that you value.

  • Interest rate: 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR for purchases.
  • Balance transfer fee: $0 at the Transfer APR, 4% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer to you.
  • Annual fee: $395
  • Foreign Transaction fee: None.
  • Rewards: Earn 10 miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, five miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and two miles per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Other benefits: Perks include 10,000 bonus miles on your account anniversary each year, an annual credit of $300 for bookings made through Capital One Travel, free entry to more than 1,300 Priority Pass and Plaza Premium airport lounges, complimentary access for you and two guests to Capital One’s airport lounges, and President’s Circle status with Hertz.
  • Redemption: Redeem miles at a rate of a penny apiece for statement credits on travel purchases or travel bookings through Capital One, or transfer them to partner airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Sign-up bonus: 75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 in the first three months.

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<a href="https://oc.brcclx.com/t?lid=26691132" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Annual fee: $550. 

Sign-up bonus: 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

This card provides the kind of travel perks you would expect from a high-end card, such as access to VIP airport lounges and hotel room upgrades, but with some thoughtful additions. Sapphire Reserve offers industry-leading <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/credit-cards-that-cover-rental-car-insurance" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"">rental car insurance benefits, for example, which are especially valuable for international travel. 

The card earns <a href="https://www.chase.com/personal/credit-cards/ultimate-rewards" data-link-merchant="chase.com"" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be transferred to the loyalty programs of popular airlines such as United, Southwest and JetBlue. 

Cardholders get 10 points per dollar spent on hotels and car rentals purchased through the rewards travel portal and five points per dollar for flights booked through Chase Travel℠. You also earn 10 points per dollar spent on purchases with <a href="https://www.chase.com/personal/credit-cards/education/rewards-benefits/dining-rewards-guide" data-link-merchant="chase.com"" data-link-merchant="chase.com"" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Chase Dining — which provides reservations at participating restaurants and access to special dining events — three points per dollar on other travel and dining purchases, and one point per dollar on the rest of your spending. 

You will also get a $300 annual credit for travel purchases and up to $1,200 per year in partner benefits, such as subscriptions to delivery services, luxury hotel upgrades and discounts on Peloton purchases. Exchange points at a high rate of 1.5 cents each for travel booked through Chase Travel℠ or for 1 cent per point for gift cards or cash back.

  • Interest rate: 22.49% to 29.49% variable APR.
  • Annual fee: $550; $75 for each authorized user.
  • Foreign transaction fee: None.
  • Rewards: Note that points are not earned until after the first $300 is spent annually on purchases in the travel category. The first $300 spent goes towards the $300 Annual Travel Credit. 
    • Earn five total points on flights and ten total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. 
    • Earn three points on other travel and dining and one point per $1 spent on all other purchases. 
  • Other benefits: An annual statement credit of up to $300 for travel purchases (purchases that qualify for the credit do not earn points until the $300 travel credit has been applied), a Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounge access, perks at properties in the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, 10 points per dollar on Lyft rides through March 2025, at least a year of free membership to DoorDash's delivery subscription service, and a $10 monthly statement credit toward purchases from home delivery service Gopuff.
  • Redemption: Points are transferable to partner airline and hotel loyalty programs, or trade points at a healthy rate of 1.5 cents each when you redeem them for travel bookings through Chase Travel℠, or for statement credits against purchases in rotating categories through Chase's Pay Yourself Back program (including Airbnb, dining, charitable donations, and other categories).
  • Sign-up bonus: 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months, for a total value of $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

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<a href="https://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/pdp/the-platinum-card-from-american-express/?aid=d7da4e43&tid=a5c94a31662f4f9abed073210cd0dc33" data-link-merchant="bankrate.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Platinum Card® from American Express 

Annual fee: $695. 

Sign-up bonus: Up to 80,000 points if you spend $8,000 in the first six months.

Frequent travelers can offset the card’s hefty annual fee by taking advantage of its bountiful perks and valuable points structure. For example, you can get yearly credits of up to $200 for incidental fees with one airline you choose, $200 for select hotel bookings through Amex, $189 for membership with the CLEAR airport security screening program, $200 in Uber Cash (for Uber Eats orders and Uber rides) and $155 for a Walmart+ membership (which provides free shipping from Walmart, among other benefits). 

Travelers enjoy access to a range of airport lounges, including Amex’s Centurion lounges as well as those in the Airspace, Delta Sky Club, Escape, Plaza Premium and Priority Pass Select networks. Plus, you get up to $100 in fee reimbursement for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. 

Cardholders earn five Membership Rewards points per dollar for flights booked with airlines or through American Express (on up to $500,000 per year spent) and on prepaid hotel bookings through Amex; two points per dollar spent on other qualifying Amex Travel reservations (such as cruises); and one point per dollar on other spending. Exchange points at a rate of a penny each for flights booked through Amex or for certain gift cards (points are worth less for most other redemption options).

Terms Apply. <a href="https://oc.brcclx.com/t?lid=26689075" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" data-link-merchant="bankrate.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">See rates and fees.

  • Interest rate: Pay over time 21.24% to 29.24% APR, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • Annual fee: $695, plus $195 for up to three authorized users and $195 per card for each user beyond three.
  • Foreign transaction fee: None.
  • Rewards: 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 and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Annual Hotel Credit: $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $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®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • Cruise benefits: Cardholders can receive exclusive benefits through the Cruise Privileges Program, available on cruise bookings of 5 nights or more with participating cruise partners; qualified cardholders can also get two rewards points per dollar when booking through the American Express travel portal. 
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $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 is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll. 
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content.  Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
  • Other benefits: Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • Redemption: There is no option for cash back; the greatest value comes from booking travel with points, and from the many discounts and other perks.
  • Intro bonus: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first six months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Terms apply: See Rates & Fees

Best Dedicated Airline Cards

If you’re loyal to a certain airline or hotel chain, you may be a good candidate to use a credit card that provides points or miles from your preferred loyalty program. Such cards often provide perks such as complimentary checked baggage or free hotel stays each year, too. See whether our picks of the top airline and hotel rewards cards are a good match for you. And note that if you would rather not pay an annual fee, many of the hotels and airlines mentioned here offer no-fee cards, too, but they come with fewer perks.

Traveling with a friend or loved one? Check out our assessment of the best airline credit card bonuses that come with a free ticket.

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<a href="https://oc.brcclx.com/t?lid=26689043" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Annual fee: $350

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first six months of Card Membership. 

This mid-tier card from American Express has a strong earning rate. You'll rack up three miles per dollar on Delta and related flights, two miles per dollar on restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, and one mile per dollar on all other qualified purchases. You also get an annual companion ticket, 15% off when booking Delta flights with award miles and a 20% credit for Delta in-flight purchases. Cardholders get their first checked bag for free.

Read more at <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/delta-skymiles" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"">Earn Delta SkyMiles Worth up to $720.

  • Intro offer: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first six months of Card Membership. For details on this card and related cards, read our article Earn Delta SkyMiles Worth up to $720.
  • Interest rate: 20.99% to 29.99% variable APR for purchases. See rates and fees.
  • Annual fee:  $350.
  • Rewards rates: Earn three miles per dollar on Delta purchases and purchases made with hotels. Earn two miles per dollar on restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S. and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn one mile per dollar on all other qualified purchases.
  • Other rewards: Card Members save 15% when booking Award Travel with miles on Delta flights when using delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • Free baggage check: Check and stow your bag with ease: First Checked Bag Free + Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta Flights.
  • Other perks
    • $120 Rideshare Credit: You can earn up to $10 back in statement credits each month on U.S. rideshare purchases with select providers. Enrollment required.
    • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive $100 back for Global Entry or $85 back for TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Official Enrollment Provider.
    • $150 Delta Stays Credit: Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Members can earn up to $150 back annually on eligible prepaid Delta Stays bookings on delta.com.
    • Get a discount of up to $50 on flights for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.
    • Receive a round trip domestic, Caribbean, or Central American First Class, Delta Comfort+® or Main Cabin Companion Ticket each year after renewal of your Card. Payment of the government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Medallion program: If you want to improve your access to the lounges with this card, you can earn $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and $1 Medallion® Qualification Dollar for each $20 of purchases made on your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card in a calendar year and get a boost toward achieving elevated Medallion Status for next Medallion Year.
  • Redemption:  Miles can be used for travel on Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection carriers (Endeavor Air, Inc., Republic Airline, and SkyWest) and 30+ partner airlines. Want even more flexibility? Take up to $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.
  • Terms apply
  • See rates and fees.

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<a href="https://www.jetbluepluscard.com/" data-link-merchant="jetbluepluscard.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">JetBlue Plus Card

 Annual fee: $99

Sign-up offer: 60,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. This offer is worth about $780 when redeemed for travel.

JetBlue recently overhauled its <a href="https://www.jetblue.com/trueblue" data-link-merchant="jetblue.com"" data-link-merchant="jetbluepluscard.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">TrueBlue loyalty program so that even infrequent flyers could earn perks. Cardholders get six points for each dollar spent on JetBlue flights, two points per dollar for restaurant and grocery stores (excluding wholesalers such as Costco) and one point on all other spending. You also get a 5,000-point bonus each year, 10% of points back after you redeem for travel on JetBlue award flight and an annual $100 statement credit after you purchase a JetBlue Vacations package.

Read more in <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/jetblue-credit-card-offer" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="jetblue.com"" data-link-merchant="jetbluepluscard.com"">JetBlue Credit Card Offer Worth $780.

  • Top rewards rate: Get six points back for each dollar spent on qualifying JetBlue purchases, like airline tickets.
  • Other rewards rates: Get two points per dollar for purchases made at restaurants and grocery stores. Note that big box retailers like Costco and Target do not qualify as grocery stores. Get one point per dollar back on all other purchases.
  • Get 10% TrueBlue Points after taking award flights: With the award flight redemption bonus, you will receive 10% of your TrueBlue points back as a bonus after you redeem points and travel on a JetBlue-operated Award Flight. For example, if you redeem 30,000 TrueBlue points toward a JetBlue-operated Award Flight, 3,000 of your TrueBlue points will be deposited back into your account after you take the flight. 
  • Annual bonus: Get a 5,000 TrueBlue points bonus credited to your Membership Account, 4-6 weeks after your Card Account anniversary, as your Card Account remains open and in Good Standing.
  • Vacation package credit: Spend at least $100 on a vacation package in a given year and get a $100 statement credit.
  • Welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 TrueBlue points after spending $1,000 on purchases and paying the annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days. That's worth about $780 when redeemed for travel. It will take four to six weeks for your account to reflect the bonus, so plan to use your points accordingly.
  • Redemption: Redeem points for travel on JetBlue flights. Points do not expire as long as your account is in good standing, and there are no black-out dates. You may also redeem points for travel packages.
  • Interest rate: 21.24%, 25.24% or 29.99% variable APR.
  • Annual fee: $99. If you want a similar card with no annual fee, check out the JetBlue Card.
  • Foreign transaction fee: None, so this card is a good choice for purchases abroad.
  • More travel perks: Read about other ways to benefit from the TrueBlue loyalty program.
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<a href="https://oc.brcclx.com/t?lid=26691139" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Annual fee: $149 

Sign-up bonus: The <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/southwest-credit-cards-bonus-offer" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"">Southwest card has a stellar intro offer. New cardholders earn 50,000 bonus points (worth up to $750) after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. 

The Priority card from Southwest Airlines comes with attractive annual benefits, including 10,000 companion pass points, a $75 annual credit for eligible Southwest purchases, reimbursement of up to four upgraded boardings per year, 25% back on in-flight purchases, and 1,500 tier qualifying points toward A-List status for every $5,000 spent on the card. 

Cardholders also get three Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases. Spending with Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, local transit, and internet, cable, phone and streaming services earns two points per dollar, and all other purchases earn one point per dollar. 

Southwest flights aren't limited to U.S. destinations; you can save your travel rewards for flights to Costa Rica, Aruba, Mexico and other getaways south of the U.S. border. Plus, points don't expire, and there are no blackout dates. 

Read more at <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/southwest-credit-cards-bonus-offer" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"">Southwest Credit Cards Launch $750 Bonus Offer.

  • Interest rate: 21.49% to 28.49% variable APR for purchases and balance transfers.
  • Annual fee: $149.
  • Foreign transaction fee: None.
  • Rewards: Get three points per dollar on Southwest purchases, two points per dollar on local transit and commuting, including rideshare, and two points per dollar on internet, cable, phone services and more; all other spending earns one point per dollar.
  • Annual benefits: Cardholders receive four hefty bonuses on each account anniversary: a $75 Southwest® travel credit, a bonus of 7,500 Rapid Rewards points, four upgraded boardings when available and a 10,000 Companion Pass® qualifying points boost.
  • Other benefits: Reimbursement for up to four upgraded airline boardings per year; 1,500 tier-qualifying points toward A-List status for each $10,000 spent on the card; and 25% back on in-flight purchases.
  • Redemption: Points may be redeemed for travel on Southwest Airlines or through its Rapid Rewards program; points may also be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, and entertainment.
  • Sign-up bonus: New cardholders earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Read our article on the Southwest bonus reward and how to use the card
  • Member FDIC

Best Dedicated Hotel Cards

Frequent guests of the hotel chains associated with these cards can get great value out of them, earning extra points for hotel stays and certain other purchases. Plus, enjoy benefits such as free-night awards and elevated loyalty status.

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<a href="https://oc.brcclx.com/t?lid=26689033" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Annual fee: $95.

Intro bonus: Earn 155,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points  (worth about $930 in hotel stays) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in your first six months of Card Membership. For details, read our article on <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/hilton-honors-bonus-offer" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"">Hilton Honors Increases Bonus Offer: Now Worth up to $1,130.

When you make eligible purchases at Hilton hotels and resorts, you earn 12 points per dollar with this card. Plus, get six points per dollar at restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations, four points per dollar for online retail purchases and three points per dollar on other spending. 

Additional benefits include Gold loyalty status with Hilton (or Diamond status if you spend at least $40,000 on the card in a calendar year), a free night reward if you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year, and up to $200 back on purchases at Hilton properties.

Terms apply. <a href="https://oc.brcclx.com/t?lid=26689067" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">See rates and fees.

  • Intro bonus: Earn 155,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card in the first six months of Card Membership. According to Bankrate, that's worth about $930 in stays at Hilton properties (when one point is valued at 0.6 cents).
  • Annual benefit: Get up to $200 back each year on eligible Hilton purchases after you use your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.  
  • Car rental status: NEW Enjoy complimentary National Car Rental® Emerald Club Executive® status. Enrollment in the complimentary Emerald Club® program is required. Terms apply. Read about credit cards that cover rental car insurance.
  • Free Night: Earn a Free Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Rewards
    • Earn 12 Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio. 
    • Earn six Points for each dollar of purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets and at U.S. gas stations.
    • Earn four Points for each dollar on U.S. Online Retail Purchases.
    • Earn three Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Other benefits: Get a Priority Pass Select membership that provides 10 free yearly visits to participating airport lounges and complimentary Gold status. If you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year, you’re bumped up to Hilton Honors™ Diamond status through the end of the following calendar year.
  • Redemption: Points typically expire if you are inactive in the Hilton Honors program for 24 months, and earning points with the credit card counts as activity; expiration terms may vary by membership tier.
  • Interest rate: 20.99% to 29.99% variable APR for purchases. See rates and fees.
  • Annual fee: $150. If you prefer to skip the annual fee, try the Hilton Honors American Express Card instead. The interest rate for that card is 20.99% to 29.99% variable APR for purchases. See rates and fees for the Hilton Honors American Express Card.
  • Foreign transaction fee: None. See rates and fees.
  • Terms apply.

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<a href="https://creditcards.chase.com/travel-credit-cards/world-of-hyatt-credit-card" data-link-merchant="creditcards.chase.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The World of Hyatt Credit Card 

Annual fee: $95

Sign-up bonus: 30,000 World of Hyatt Bonus points if you spend $3,000 in the first three months; plus up to 30,000 more bonus points (two bonus points per dollar in the first six months on purchases that normally earn one point, on up to $15,000 spent). The total offer is worth up to $1,380.

Cardholders earn four World of Hyatt Bonus points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels; two points per dollar on restaurant spending, airline tickets, local transit and gym memberships; and one point per dollar on other spending. You also get a free night at an eligible property each year after your cardmember anniversary, an additional free night if you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year, automatic Discoverist loyalty status and credits toward the next tier of status each year.

Want more ways to earn points? The World of Hyatt Business credit card has a similar welcome offer. Read more in <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/business-credit-cards/world-of-hyatt-launches-offer-worth-up-to-dollar1725" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="creditcards.chase.com"">World of Hyatt Launches Offer Worth up to $1,380.

  •  Interest rate: 21.49% to 28.49% variable.
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Top rewards rate: Earn nine points per $1 spent on Hyatt stays and experiences.
  • Other rewards: 
    • Earn two points per dollar at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from airlines, on local transit, and on fitness club and gym memberships.
    • Earn one point per dollar on other spending.
  • Other benefits: Each year after your cardmember anniversary, you get a free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort, plus an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year, automatic Discoverist loyalty status, five qualifying nights toward the next loyalty tier each year, and two more qualifying night credits each time you spend $5,000 on the card. 
  • Redemption: Redeem points for a wide array of benefits offered by the World of Hyatt, such as through travel partnerships with MGM Resorts and American Airlines.
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning two Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first six months from account opening on purchases that normally earn one Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent. According to Bankrate, World of Hyatt points are worth 2.3 cents each, so the value of the 65,000 total sign-up bonus is $1,380.

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<a href="https://www.wyndhamrewardscreditcard.com/#earnerplus" data-link-merchant="wyndhamrewardscreditcard.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Visa 

Annual fee: $75.

Sign-up bonus: Earn up to 100,000 Wyndham Rewards points (enough for 13 nights) if you spend $2,000 in the first six months. This bonus is a steep increase from Wyndham's latest offer of 45,000 points. 

This card offers flexible benefits to several categories of travelers. First, the Earner Plus card is designed for travelers who frequent budget or mid-tier hotels such as La Quinta, Ramada and Days Inn and vacation rentals for families or large groups. Second, luxury travelers can enjoy premium resorts and hotels like Wyndham Grand, including the <a href="https://www.wyndhamgrandorlando.com/" data-link-merchant="wyndhamgrandorlando.com"" data-link-merchant="wyndhamrewardscreditcard.com"" target="_blank">Grand Bonnet Creek Hotel near Disney World. Finally, gamblers take note; since Wyndham partners with Caesar's, you could use your points at the <a href="https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/caesars-rewards/las-vegas-nevada/caesars-palace-las-vegas/overview" data-link-merchant="wyndhamhotels.com"" data-link-merchant="wyndhamgrandorlando.com"" data-link-merchant="wyndhamrewardscreditcard.com"" target="_blank">Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

The Wyndham Rewards program is flexible. You can redeem Capital One miles for Wyndham points. Wyndham partners with <a href="https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/wyndham-rewards/redeem/travel-points" data-link-merchant="wyndhamhotels.com"" data-link-merchant="wyndhamhotels.com"" data-link-merchant="wyndhamgrandorlando.com"" data-link-merchant="wyndhamrewardscreditcard.com"" target="_blank">ten airlines. And if you have earned a high tier with another hotel's loyalty program, Wyndham's <a href="https://help.wyndhamrewards.com/s/status-match?language=en_US" data-link-merchant="help.wyndhamrewards.com"" data-link-merchant="wyndhamhotels.com"" data-link-merchant="wyndhamhotels.com"" data-link-merchant="wyndhamgrandorlando.com"" data-link-merchant="wyndhamrewardscreditcard.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Status Match will bump your Wyndham loyalty tier up to the competitor's tier.

Purchases with Hotels by Wyndham and gas stations earn six points per dollar spent. Restaurant and grocery store purchases get four points per dollar, and other spending earns one point per dollar. Cardholders enjoy automatic Platinum status with Wyndham, a bonus of 7,500 points on each account anniversary, and discounts on the hotel’s best available rates. 

  • Rewards earning rates
    • Six Wyndham Rewards points per dollar spent on gas and with Hotels by Wyndham.
    • Four points per dollar on dining and grocery-store purchases (excluding Walmart and Target).
    • One point per dollar on all other spending. 
  • One free night per year: Cardholders get a 7,500-point bonus for each anniversary year.
  • Other benefits: You’ll also get an additional discount on the best available rate when making reservations at participating properties, and automatic Platinum loyalty status.
  • Redemption: Points may be redeemed at thousands of Wyndham properties worldwide, including hotels, resorts, casinos, vacation homes, and European parks; points expire if your Wyndham Rewards account is inactive for 18 months.
  • Sign-up bonusEarn 100,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first six months. That's typically enough for 13 nights at participating properties. According to Bankrate, the value of this offer is about $900. Free nights can require between 7,500 and 30,000 points per bedroom at participating properties and are subject to availability. Resort fees may apply and cannot be paid with points.
  • Interest rate: The standard purchase rate is 20.99%, 25.24% or 29.99% variable APR.
    The card has two 0% APR offers. 
    • For purchases: get a 0% promotional APR for 6 billing cycles on all Wyndham Timeshare Purchases (see Terms and Conditions for details). After that, your APR will be 20.99%, 25.24% or 29.99%, based on your creditworthiness. 
    • For balance transfers (not recommended): the card offers a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening, then 20.99%, 25.24% or 29.99% variable APR on purchases, with 0% on purchases for 6 billing cycles on all Wyndham Timeshare Purchases. Given the high balance transfer fee, you should look for a different card if you hope to offload some credit card debt onto a balance transfer card.
  • Balance transfer fee: 5% of the amount you transfer, which is higher than many other cards. For this reason, you should look for another card with a balance transfer fee of no more than 3%.
  • Annual fee: $75; for a no-fee option, look to the Wyndham Rewards Earner Visa.
  • Foreign Transaction fee: None.

Best Dining Rewards Cards

Frequent diners can enjoy cash back and other perks using these cards. For other everyday expenses like gas and groceries, see our guide to the best cash back credit cards.


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<a href="https://oc.brcclx.com/t?lid=26689039" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">American Express® Gold Card

Annual fee: $250 

Sign-up bonus: Up to 60,000 points if you spend $6,000 in the first six months 

This is a great travel rewards card for foodies who like to cook or dine out. Earn four points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets and on dining or food delivery, three points on air travel, and one point on other spending. When you use your Gold Card as a payment option on your Uber account, you get $10 in Uber Cash each month toward Uber Eats or Uber rides, up to $120 per year. You can also get $10 credits to your monthly statements for purchases at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack restaurants. 

The most lucrative way to redeem points is for airfare booked through Amex Travel, or transfer them to hotel or airline partner programs. Though you can use points to pay for purchases at many retailers, such as Amazon and PayPal, the conversion rate is only 0.7 cents per point.

<a href="https://oc.brcclx.com/t?lid=26689079" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">See rates and fees.

Terms apply.

  • Intro bonus: Up to 60,000 points if you spend $6,000 in the first six months.
  • Rewards rates
    • Earn four points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (but not superstores such as Walmart or Target), on up to $25,000 spent per year. 
    • Earn four points per dollar on dining or food delivery.
    • Earn three points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel; two points per dollar on other eligible Amex Travel purchases; and one point per dollar on other spending.
  • Redemption: Points are redeemable at a rate of 1 cent each for flights booked through Amex and certain gift cards (points are worth less for most other redemption options).
  • Interest rate: Pay Over Time APR: 21.24% to 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening. See rates and fees.
  • Annual fee: $250.
  • Terms Apply.

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<a href="https://oc.brcclx.com/t?lid=26733598" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Sign-up bonus: Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through <a href="https://www.chase.com/travel" data-link-merchant="chase.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"">Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases. After your first year or $20,000 spent, the rewards rate reverts to 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Get 5% back on travel that you book through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal, plus 3% on restaurant and drugstore purchases and a strong 1.5% back on other spending. Points that you earn are redeemable at a rate of 1 cent each for cash, gift cards and travel bookings. Prefer to get takeout? The card provides discounts on DoorDash and Instacart+ memberships and delivery fees.

  • Interest rate: Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% to 29.24%.
  • Annual fee: None.
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%.
  • Rewards rates: 
    • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel.
    • Earn 3% at restaurants and drugstores.
    • Earn 1.5% on all other purchases. 
  • Delivery benefits:
    • Get three months of free membership to DashPass (usually $10 a month), which waives the delivery fee and reduces service fees on eligible orders through food-delivery service DoorDash. After three months, you’re automatically enrolled for nine months of DashPass membership at a rate of 50% off (you can cancel membership anytime). 
    • Cardholders also get three free months of Instacart+ membership, which comes with no delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders through the Instacart grocery-delivery service ($99 a year) after three months, you’ll be automatically enrolled in an annual membership unless you cancel. Through July 2024, cardholders who are enrolled with Instacart+ get up to $10 in quarterly statement credits for eligible Instacart purchases.
  • Redemption: Redeem points at a rate of a penny each for cash back, gift cards or travel. Cash back rewards don't expire.
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases. After your first year or $20,000 spent, the rewards rate reverts to 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Member FDIC

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<a href="https://oc.brcclx.com/t?lid=26691130" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_blank">Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 

Annual fee: $95.

Sign-up bonus: 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months. For our review of this bonus offer, read <a href="https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/chase-sapphire-preferred-credit-card-bonus-offer" data-link-merchant="kiplinger.com"" data-link-merchant="oc.brcclx.com"" target="_self">Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Launches $750 Bonus Offer.

Cardholders earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which are redeemable for travel bookings through Chase at a heightened value of 1.25 cents each, or 1 cent per point for cash back or gift cards. You earn five points per dollar on travel that you purchase through Chase Travel (two points per dollar on other travel spending), three points per dollar on restaurant spending, online grocery purchases and select streaming services, and one point per dollar on other spending. Plus, get $50 in statement credits annually for hotel stays booked through Chase. On each yearly anniversary of opening your account, you get a 10% points bonus on total purchases made the previous year. 

Prefer to get takeout? The card provides discounts on DoorDash and Instacart+ memberships and delivery fees. 

  • Bonus offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel. For details, read Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Launches $750 Bonus Offer.
  • Rewards: Five points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Travel and two points per dollar on other travel spending; three points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online groceries; and one point per dollar on other spending. 
  • Other benefits: Get $50 annual Hotel Credit, plus more. And on each yearly anniversary of opening your account, you get a 10% points bonus on total purchases made the previous year. Chase offers excellent travel benefits, including rental car insurance and general travel insurance.
  • RedemptionGet 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel. You also get an extra 25% back when you use points to donate to certain charities; to learn more, read Is Chase Pay Yourself Back Worth It?
  • Interest rate: 21.49% to 28.49% variable APR for purchases and balance transfers, and 29.99% variable APR on cash advances.
  • Annual fee: $95.
  • Foreign transaction fee: None.
  • Member FDIC

How Do Travel Rewards Cards Work?

Travel rewards credit cards offer points or miles on your purchases and may also offer other travel-related benefits. There are three main types of travel credit cards, including general travel cards, airline cards and hotel cards. 

General travel credit cards

General travel rewards credit cards aren't linked to a specific airline or hotel loyalty program. Instead, you'll earn points or miles with the card issuer's rewards program. Examples include American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

General travel rewards programs typically allow you to redeem your rewards for travel through their online portal and may also offer other options, including cash back, gift cards and online shopping. They may even allow you to transfer your rewards to partner airline and hotel programs. 

These cards typically won't give you travel perks with a specific airline or hotel brand, but you may get general travel benefits, such as travel credits, airport lounge access and more.

Airline credit cards

These credit cards are co-branded with a specific airline, such as Delta Air Lines or United  Airlines. You'll earn miles or points that you can use to book award flights with that airline or for other travel-related purposes. 

Airline credit cards also typically offer perks when you fly with the co-branded airline. Examples include priority boarding, free checked baggage, inflight discounts and companion passes.

Hotel credit cards

Like airline cards, hotel cards are co-branded with a particular hotel brand, such as Hyatt or Marriott. You'll earn points with that specific hotel chain's loyalty program, which you can use to book award stays, on-property experiences and other travel.

You'll also typically get perks with that hotel brand, which may include a free anniversary night certificate and elite status, which can come with benefits like room upgrades, late checkout and free premium Wi-Fi.

What are Travel Rewards Worth?

The value of the points or miles you earn with a travel credit card will vary depending on the rewards program and sometimes even the card. General travel programs typically offer predictable redemption rates. For example, you may earn one cent per point on travel bookings, one cent per point on gift cards and half a cent per point for cash back. 

With airline frequent flyer programs and hotel loyalty programs, redemption values can vary depending on several variables. With an award flight, for instance, the departure and arrival airports, flight dates and cabin will influence how much your points or miles are worth. With hotel programs, your stay dates, the property category, location and room type can impact your value.

To get an idea of how much value you're getting per point, divide the cash price of an airline ticket or hotel stay by the number of points or miles required to book it. For example, if you can book a $300 flight with 15,000 miles, divide $300 by 15,000, giving you a value of two cents per point.

How to Compare Travel Credit Cards

If you're thinking about a travel credit card, it's important to choose one that's aligned with your travel habits and goals. Here are some of the factors to consider when shopping around and comparing your options:

  • Welcome bonus: Consider how much value you can get with the card's upfront bonus and whether you can meet the minimum spending requirement to earn it.
  • Rewards rates: Travel credit cards may offer a flat rewards rate on all purchases or a tiered rewards structure, with bonus rewards on certain spending categories. Try to pick a card that allows you to rack up as many points or miles based on where you spend your money.
  • Redemption options: Consider how much flexibility you'll get with your rewards. If your goal is to get free flights or hotel stays with a particular airline or hotel brand, pick an airline or a hotel credit card. If you want more options, however, consider a general travel credit card.
  • Redemption values: If you're comparing two different cards, one may offer a higher welcome bonus and more points per dollar spent than the other. However, if the value of those points is lower than what you'd get with the second card, you might actually get less value.
  • Perks: Think about how you want to use your credit card to elevate your travel experience, then seek out perks that can help you accomplish that objective. And don't forget about trip protections, which can save you some money if things don't go as planned on a vacation. For example, cards issued by Chase and American Express offer some of the best rental car insurance benefits.
  • Annual fee: Travel credit cards tend to charge annual fees, but some can run in the hundreds of dollars. Consider how much you're willing to pay each year for a credit card's rewards and benefits.
  • International acceptance: If you pick an American Express or Discover credit card, you may have trouble using your credit card abroad. In this case, you can either bring a Visa or Mastercard credit card as a backup or simply get a Visa or Mastercard in the first place.

Is the Annual Fee Too High?

Even if you generally like to avoid credit card annual fees, it can be worth paying one in exchange for great benefits. To determine whether an annual fee is worth it to you, consider the following:

  • Calculate the value of the card's welcome bonus to see how many years' worth of the fee it covers.
  • Add up the monetary value of the card's benefits, making sure to include only benefits you'll actually use. 
  • Consider the benefits that are difficult to assign a monetary value — rewards flexibility, trip protections or airport lounge access — and what they're worth to you.
  • Estimate how much value you'd get in rewards each year based on your spending habits.

Some travel credit cards offer enough value to cover the cost of the annual fee in benefits alone. If a card charges an annual fee and is scant on perks, it might not be worth the cost.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Travel Card

Once you pick a travel rewards credit card, here are some tips to help you maximize its value:

  • Make sure you earn the bonus: You'll typically have three or six months to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn a credit card's welcome bonus. Note, however, that the clock starts when you're approved, not when you receive the card. Track your spending to ensure that you earn the bonus points or miles.
  • Use your card for everything: Try to use your credit card for everything that you can use it for. Just be sure to avoid overspending for the sake of earning rewards — the value you get likely won't make up for the extra cost.
  • Pay in full every month: Make it a goal to pay off your balance in full every month to avoid paying interest, which can neutralize the value of the rewards you earn.
  • Get to know your card benefits: You can find most of the card's benefits on the card issuer's website, but make sure you read through the benefits guide you receive with your card, so you know everything about its perks. 
  • Research the best ways to redeem: Each program is different in how you can redeem rewards, and some may offer outsized value if you redeem them in a certain way. For example, you may be able to get more value by transferring your general travel points or miles to an airline or hotel loyalty program than if you were to redeem them with the card issuer's rewards program.
  • Avoid getting too many cards: Having multiple rewards credit cards can help you maximize different bonus rewards categories and card benefits, but if you get too many cards, it can be difficult to keep track of everything. There's no correct answer to how many credit cards you should have, so it's important to consider your preferences and organizational skills to determine the right amount.

Best Travel Card Bonus Deals Right Now

Disclaimer

All information about the American Express EveryDay® credit card, the Platinum Card from American Express, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card from American Express, the Hilton Honors American Express card, and the American Express Gold Card has been collected independently by Kiplinger. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.  As an independent publication dedicated to helping you make the most of your money, the article above is our view of the best deals and is not the opinion of any entity mentioned such as a card issuer, hotel, airline etc. Similarly, the content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of those entities.

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Ellen Kennedy
Personal Finance Editor, Kiplinger.com

Ellen writes and edits personal finance stories, especially on credit cards and related products. She also covers the nexus between sustainability and personal finance. She was a manager and sustainability analyst at Calvert Investments for 15 years, focusing on climate change and consumer staples. She served on the sustainability councils of several Fortune 500 companies and led corporate engagements. Before joining Calvert, Ellen was a program officer for Winrock International, managing loans to alternative energy projects in Latin America. She earned a master’s from the U.C. Berkeley in international relations and Latin America. 

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