Best Credit Cards for Travel

As a frequent traveler I’ve been asked many times for travel advice. Most of it has to do with how I afford it. Aside from saving money the next best thing is having a credit card that will give you points or one that has cash back perks. The points could help you either pay for flights and hotels upfront, or cash back can be redeemed to help pay off your trip debt. You’ll also want a card with no foreign transaction fees – this could save you hundreds of dollars while abroad. The last bit of advice when searching for a card, is to find one that has some sort of sign on bonus. This is a little extra perk and of course nothing in this life is free so you’ll have to spend some money to get the bonus, but I suggest getting the card before you’re about to make a big purchase (aka planning a trip, this will ensure you get the sign on bonus and get it quickly).

** DISCLAIMER – in no way am I saying to just start paying for all your trips with a credit card, that is not the case (trust me I’ve done it and got myself into a lot of debt, not fun). This post is just to inform you of the different perks you can get with certain cards for travel, if you plan to use your card to book/pay for a trip you should only do this if you already have or will have the cash to pay it off in the near future. Credit cards are also a lot safer to use when traveling in case someone gets a hold of your information!**

As someone who has had many credit cards, I have done the research and testing for you! Below is my list of credit cards that I think are the best for travel!

P.S. I try and stay away from ones with annual fees, but some of the benefits are just too good!

Capital One – Venture

venture

When to use: This card is perfect for earning miles to put towards flights and hotels for your trips! Since there are no foreign fees you can also use this while abroad to keep earning points for your next trip, or cash to cover part of your current one!

Perks/Pros  

  • 2X the miles on every purchase
  • Miles do not expire and there is no cap on how many can be earned
  • The miles will build up on your account and can be used for statement credits, trip bookings through Capital One travel, transferred to 12 major airline loyalty programs, gift cards or used on Amazon
  • Miles can be used on any airline and/or hotel and can be used anytime
  • $100 application fee credit towards Global Entry or TSA Pre-check
  • No Foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Annual fee of $95 after the first year
  • Cash redemption is half of the value for travel

*Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles (equal to $200 in travel) when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of opening*

Apply here for the Capital One Venture card

Capital One – Venture One

venture one

When to use: This card is perfect for earning miles to put towards flights and hotels for your trips! Since there are no foreign fees you can also use this while abroad to keep earning points for your next trip, or cash to cover part of your current one!

Perks/Pros  

  • 1.25X the miles on every purchase
  • Miles do not expire and there is no cap on how many can be earned
  • The miles will build up on your account and can be used for statement credits, trip bookings through Capital One travel, transferred to 12 major airline loyalty programs, gift cards or used on Amazon
  • Miles can be used on any airline and/or hotel and can be used anytime
  • No Foreign transaction fees
  • 0% APR for the first 12 months

Cons

  • Cash redemption is half of the value for travel

*Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles (equal to $200 in travel) when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of opening*

Apply here for the Capital One Venture One card

Capital One – Savor One credit card

Savor one

When to use: This card is perfect to use for tour bookings if you book directly through a tour operator site, that way you can earn 3% back. It’s also great to use while on your trips for meals and drinks since you earn 3% back on dining! Use this card for grocery shopping to earn 2% back for future trip purchases!

Perks/Pros

  • Unlimited 3% back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • 0% APR for the first 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No cons

*Earn a one time $150 bonus after you spend $500 within the first 3 months of opening*

Apply here for the Capital One Savor One card

Discover – It Miles credit card

discover

When to use: This card is great to use for booking flights and hotels and getting cash back for them!

Perks/Pros

  • 5X the miles for every dollar spent
  • Miles can be redeemed as a statement credit for travel purchase or you can redeem for cash back
  • Free FICO credit score
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Discover cards are not widely accepted outside of the United States

*Miles matching program. Discover will match ALL the miles you earned at the end of your first year, automatically*

Apple here for the Discover it Miles card

Chase – Sapphire Preferred credit card

chase

When to use: This card would be great to use for all travel purchases and dining out since you earn 2X the points. No foreign transaction fee would also make this a good card to use for meals during your trip!

Perks/Pros

  • 2X the points on travel and dining at restaurants, 1X the points on all other purchases
  • 25% more value when redeemed for airfare, hotels, car rentals or cruises through Chase Ultimate rewards
  • 5X the points on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • High spending in order to receive the bonus

*Earn a bonus of 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening. That’s $750 toward travel*

Apply here for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card

Chase – Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card

Bonvoy 1

When to use: This card would be great to use for booking at participating Marriot Bonvoy hotels as well as other travel purchases. Building up points on this card could lead to free stays at hotels!

Perks/Pros

  • 6X the points per $1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2X the points on all other purchases including travel
  • 15 Elite night credits per calendar year and automatic Silver Elite Status
  • Free night award every anniversary year, redemption level up to 35,000 points
  • Free premium Wi-Fi
  • No Foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • High spending in order to receive the bonus

*Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of opening*

Apply here for the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card

Chase – Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card

Bonvoy 2

When to use: This card would be great to use for booking at participating Marriot Bonvoy hotels as well as other travel purchases. Building up points on this card could lead to free stays at hotels!

Perks/Pros

  • 3X the points per $1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2X the points on all travel purchases and 1X the points on all other purchases
  • 15 Elite night credits per calendar year
  • No Foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • High spending in order to receive the bonus

*Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months of opening*

Apply here for the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold card

 

I hope these credit card suggestions make funding your next trip a bit easier (and cheaper)!!

Happy Travels!

signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s