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Travel Credit Cards

There are several kinds of credit cards that can be used to redeem for free travel.

There are, of course, Airline Credit Cards, which allow you to rack up airline miles and come with perks like free checked bags and priority boarding.

There are Hotel Credit Cards which allow you to earn hotel points good for free stays and often come with perks like elite status (or credits towards elte status) and annual free nights.

Next are the four major transferable point currencies, meaning you can transfer your points to a variety of airline and hotel partners and you aren’t locked into one program that may or may not have availability when you want it:

You can see all four major bank card currencies below:

Credit Cards That Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Credit Cards That Earn American Express (Amex) Membership Rewards Points

Credit Cards That Earn Capital One Miles

Credit Cards That Earn Citi ThankYou Points

And lastly, there are cards like the Venture from Capital One and the Spark Miles Business Credit Card from Capital One which let you erase travel purchases with your points and cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and  Chase Ink Preferred with which you can transfer the points to partners or redeem inside their travel booking portal at a set rate.

We base our ratings below on the value of the points of each card multiplied by the amount of the bonus. Pretty simple!

Advertiser Disclosure: Your Best Credit Cards has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Your Best Credit Cards and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Commissions do not affect or prioritize placement within our results and not all cards displayed earn us a commission. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.

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53 Cards Available:

Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$2,040

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Annual Fee: $595

Calculator
Estimated Bonus Value :

$2,040

Offer: 120,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 within 3 months. (Annual fee increases to $695 for applications received after Jan 12, 2022.) Terms apply. (Rates and Fees).

A great card for flights and prepaid hotels earning 5x points, and for large expenses over $5,000 for 1.5x points. It earns:

  • 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked via AmexTravel
  • 1.5X Membership Rewards points on any single purchase that is over $5,000
  • 1.5X Membership Rewards at Construction material and hardware suppliers, Electronic goods retailers and software & at cloud system providers, and with Shipping providers
  • 1X Membership Rewards points on everything else

(1.5X purchases are capped at $2,000,000 in spend per calendar year.)

Card Benefits

  • Hilton Gold status (enrollment required)
  • Marriott Gold status (enrollment required)
  • Receive up to $100 as a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry or every 4.5 years for TSA Pre✔®
  • Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection which includes Centurion, Delta, and Priority Pass Lounge access (enrollment required)
  • Fine Hotels and Resorts benefits
  • $200 airfare credit for incidentals like luggage fees on your chosen airline. (enrollment required). Terms apply.
  • $200 in Dell statement credits twice annually, up to $400 total (Jan-June and July-Dec; Enrollment required / terms apply).
  • Up to $120 a year in wireless credits; up to $10 per month, Enrollment required / terms apply.
  • Up to $360 in Indeed credits ($90 per quarter; enrollment required, Terms Apply)
  • Up to $150 in credits with Adobe on annual prepaid plans for eligible Creative Cloud for teams and Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign, enrollment required, Terms Apply.
  • Up to $179 in fee credits for a CLEAR® airport security service plan. (Enrollment required; credit is a statement credit.)

Note: When displaying Estimated Rewards Values and calculations, this card is factoring in airline and hotels at 5x. This requires booking at AmexTravel.com and, if you do not, your earned rewards will change. Hotel bookings made via AmexTravel will generally not earn points or elite benefits.

Offer: 120,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 within 3 months. (Annual fee increases to $695 for applications received after Jan 12, 2022.) Terms apply. (Rates and Fees).
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,700

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Annual Fee: $695

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,700

Offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Points when you spend $6,000 in your first 6 months plus earn 10x points restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases in your first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates and Fees)

The Platinum Card® from American Express is full of caché and its heavy metal design will catch more than a few looks. While the fee isn't small, you get a lot back in the form of statement credits and other perks and benefits.

Statement Credit Offers

  • $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month with a $20 bonus in December)
  • $100 in annual Saks Fifth Avenue shopping credits per year ($50 January-June and $50 July-December) as statement credits (Enrollment required)
  • $200 in annual airline fee credits (as statement credits) for your chosen airline (Enrollment required)
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit which is good for up to $20 back each month on select digital subscriptions with Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times.(Enrollment Required)
  • $200 Hotel Credit as statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel. (Enrollment Required) 
  • $179 CLEAR Credit as statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR membership with your Card. (Enrollment Required) 
  • $300 Equinox Credit as a $25 statement credit valid each month at Equinox, valid for Equinox All Access, Destination, or E by Equinox membership fees, or for Equinox+.(Enrollment required)

(All above offers require enrollment after you receive the card.)

You also get access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes the Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass, and Delta SkyClubs when you are flying Delta. (Enrollment required)

In addition, you get elite status in two hotel programs (enrollment required):

  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite
  • Hilton Gold

While the Bonvoy Gold status is mostly good for small room upgrades and bonus points on stays, Hilton Gold confers free breakfast - a benefit that can really add up!

More Platinum Card benefits:

  • Reimbursement (as a statement credit) for your Global Entry or PreCheck membership fees every 4 years.
  • Secondary Car rental CDW/LDW collision/damage coverage
  • Lost, damaged or stolen baggage insurance
  • Extended warranty, purchase protection and return protection on covered purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Access to the Platinum Concierge line

NOTE: This card earns 5x on airfare and hotels, however, the airfare must be booked direct with the airline or at Amex Travel and the hotels must be prepaid at Amex Travel to earn 5x. This site's Estimated Rewards Values will calculate all airfare and hotels at 5x points, so if your hotels are booked directly (which you generally need to do to earn hotel points and status/benefits) please note that they will not earn 5x and your actual rewards value will vary accordingly.

Offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Points when you spend $6,000 in your first 6 months plus earn 10x points restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases in your first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates and Fees)
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,600

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Annual Fee: $395

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,600

Offer: Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 within your first 6 months plus you can earn up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rental purchases like Airbnb and VRBO.

Capital One Venture X Credit Card Earn Rate

  • 10X Capital One Miles when booked via Capital One Travel
  • 5X Capital One Miles on airfare booked via Capital One Travel - which utilizes Hopper.
  • 2X Capital One Miles on everything else

Capital One Venture X Credit Card Benefits

Capital One launched this card with a laundry list of benefits which are very impressive. You'll quickly see that the annual fee is wiped out and then some by the benefits.

  • Up to a $300 credit annually for bookings made on Capital One Travel
  • 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary (equal to $100 towards travel)
  • Unlimited access to Capital One Lounges and also to 1,300+ Priority Pass lounges internationally + two guest passes (Notably, I verified with Capital One that this is “full” Priority Pass access, meaning that it includes airport restaurant locations.
  • Up to $100 in statement credits for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • Complimentary Hertz President’s Circle status (top tier!) for primary cardholders, authorized users and account managers
  • Primary Car Rental Collision/Damage Coverage
  • Authorized Users can be added for no fee and they also get their own Priority Pass membership.
  • Cardholders can earn up to 100,000 miles per year for referring friends, who can then experience the unparalleled benefits Venture X has to offer (up to 4 referrals per year; 25,000 miles awarded per referral)
  • No foreign transaction fees

You can transfer to several airline and hotel partners. See the full list of Capital One Miles transfer partners and transfer times.

If you used our Credit Cards Optimization Tool to find this card, please remember that the 10X and 5X bonus rates only apply to travel booked through the Capital One Travel Portal.

Offer: Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 within your first 6 months plus you can earn up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rental purchases like Airbnb and VRBO.