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Best Travel Credit Cards

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by Eric Rosenberg | Updated Apr. 24, 2017
We maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone.

Best Travel Credit Cards Overview

Advertiser Disclosure

Travel credit cards are excellent at getting you where you want to go easily and comfortably. Using travel and pricing data, our credit cards rewards model calculated which travel credit cards will get you the farthest. Taking into account factors like rewards earning potential and the redemption opportunities available to each card, we estimated how much a typical travel credit card user can expect to get in rewards each year. To make the comparison experience more straightforward, we've also included the dollar value in rewards you can expect to get from each of the cards. Read on to learn more about the top travel cards offered today!

Best No Annual Fee Travel Card

More Details

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 15.74% - 23.74% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

15.74% - 23.74% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Best All-Around Credit Card for Travel

More Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Annual Fee

Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

16.74%-23.74% Variable

Best Airline Credit Card

More Details

  • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios.
  • Earn a further 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios.
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you'll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • In addition to the bonus Avios, you will also get 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home.

Annual Fee

$95

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

16.74%-23.74% Variable

Best Credit Card for International Travel

More Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Redeem for travel or cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. Redemption values vary
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.49%, 20.49% or 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers.

Annual Fee

$89 - Waived first year

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

Regular APR

16.49%, 20.49%, or 23.49% Variable

Best Flat-Rate Rewards Travel Card

More Details

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval, equal to $400 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles don't expire and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that

Annual Fee

$0 first year, $59 thereafter

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

13.49% - 23.49% Variable

Our Methodology

SmartAsset has developed a quantitative and independent system for evaluating the relative value of a credit card offer versus other offers in the marketplace. Our system evaluates cards based exclusively on their features, such as their rewards earning rate (if applicable), fees, perks, and rewards program redemption options. The annual rewards values on this page are calculated using annual spending assumptions in various categories such as, but not limited to, gas, restaurants, airfare, and US supermarkets. These spending assumptions are built on research that SmartAsset has conducted on existing travel credit cardholders. Our promise with our credit card recommendations is that we will always strive to have the most comprehensive, accurate, and objective method of evaluating credit card offers. Any recommendations are solely determined by the result of this research and model, and is never influenced by any fees, commissions, or other forms of compensation that SmartAsset may receive from credit card issuers for leads generated on our website.

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Get Your $200 Credit
Get a travel credit card with massive rewards + $200 Statement Credit
Get Your $200 Credit
Get a travel credit card with massive rewards + $200 Statement Credit
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Data provided by Informa Research Services and CJ Affiliate.
Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which SmartAsset receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). SmartAsset does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.
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