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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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47 Cards Available:

Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,400

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Annual Fee: $95

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,400

Offer: Get 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points as a bonus when you spend $5,000 in your first 3 months.

The Chase Ink Preferred card earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points on all travel, advertising, and shipping, as well on Internet, cable and phone services, up to $150,000 a year.

If your business spends a lot in any of these categories, you can earn a ton of points.

It also earns 5X Ultimate Rewards points on Lyft rides.

You'll get complimentary cell phone insurance when you pay your cell phone bill with this card. (See Chase website for details). No foreign transaction fees.

Offer: Get 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points as a bonus when you spend $5,000 in your first 3 months.
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,400

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Annual Fee: $199

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,400

Offer: Up to 100,000 points: Get 70,000 Bonus Rapid Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in your first 3 months and 30,000 additional points if you spend $25,000 within 6 months.

This card is all about being half of the one-two card combo needed to earn Southwest Companion Pass for two years with just two credit cards.

In fact, you can qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass in one shot by meeting the bonus offer of spending $25,000 within 6 months.

The premium version of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, this card offers 9,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points each cardmember anniversary, has multiple spending bonus categories, and includes benefits like 4 upgraded boardings per year, in-flight Wifi credits and Global Entry / PreCheck fee credits.

Note: Our rewards calculator and Estimated Rewards Values assume all of your "Airfare" is on Southwest and is therefore counted at 3x points. If you also fly another carrier, you will only earn 1x points for those purchases.

Offer: Up to 100,000 points: Get 70,000 Bonus Rapid Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in your first 3 months and 30,000 additional points if you spend $25,000 within 6 months.
Credit card

United Business Card

Annual Fee: $99

Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,300

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Annual Fee: $99

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,300

Offer: 100,000 bonus United MileagePlus miles when you spend $10,000 in your first 3 months.

Allows for a free checked bag, priority boarding, 2 United Club one-time passes each card anniversary, the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection, access to United MileagePlus events, and expanded economy award availability.

The United Business Card offers bonus categories of 2x on office supply stores, restaurants, and gas stations, local transit and commuting, including taxicabs, mass transit, tolls, and ride share services as well as on United itself, of course. It also offers 10,000 bonus miles and a PQD waiver upon spending $25,000.

Perhaps best of all, cardholders get access to expanded saver award availability.

Additional benefits:

  • $100 annual United travel credit after 7 United purchases over $100
  • Receive 5,000 bonus miles each card anniversary if you have both the United Business card and a personal United credit card
  • Get 25% back on United inflight purchases

Need to Know: The calculations for this card assume that your "airfare" spend is on United only. If a portion of your airline spend is on other airlines, your reward values will be slightly lower than stated.

Also, if you used our rewards optimizer tool and are seeing this in your results, "Other Travel" refers to local transit and commuting - including taxis, mass transit, tolls, and ride share services.

Bonus Eligibility: 

This card has replaced the United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card and is considered a new / different card for purposes of the bonus. If you have/had the United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card, you can still get this bonus.

Per the Chase website: This new Cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of this business credit card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of this business credit card who received a new Cardmember bonus for this business credit card within the last 24 months.

Also Note: You will only be approved for a Chase card if you have applied for fewer than 5 personal credit cards within the last 24 months from any issuer. (Business cards do not count against the total, except for Capital One and Discover, but are subject to the policy). Learn more about the 5/24 rule here.

Offer: 100,000 bonus United MileagePlus miles when you spend $10,000 in your first 3 months.
Credit card

United Club Infinite Card

Annual Fee: $525

Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,300

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Annual Fee: $525

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,300

Offer: Get 100,000 United Mileage Plus miles when you spend $5,000 within 3 months

Includes United Club membership, two free checked bags, Premier Access (including priority boarding, priority check-in, priority baggage handling, etc), and expanded award availability.

The card also provides a Global Entry / PreCheck credit of up to $100

You can earn a PQD waiver with $25,000 spend.

NOTE: In calculating your rewards for this card, we are making the assumption that all airfare entered is spent on United, which earns 4X. If part of that spend is on other airlines, that spend will earn only 1x on this card, reducing the value of your rewards.

Offer: Get 100,000 United Mileage Plus miles when you spend $5,000 within 3 months
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,275

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Annual Fee: $595

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,275

Offer: 75,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 within 3 months

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

Get a suite of benefits that include Gold Hilton status, Gold Marriott status, the American Express Global Lounge Collection which includes Centurion, Delta, and Priority Pass Lounge access, Fine Hotels and Resorts benefits, and a $200 annual incidental airfare credit. You'll also get $100 in free Dell credits twice annually (Jan-June and July-Dec).

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: 75,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 within 3 months
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,050

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Annual Fee: $99

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,050

Offer: 70,000 bonus AAdvantage® miles after spending $4,000 in your first 3 months

Get a free checked bag and preferred boarding on American Airlines. The free checked bag is valid for for you and up to 4 travel companions. Earn a $99 companion certificate for domestic main cabin travel.

Earn AAdvantage miles at the rate of 2x for American Airlines, telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants, and gas stations, plus 1x for everything else.

Gain access to Reduced Mileage Awards for up to 7,500 miles off rotating origins and destinations each month.

NOTE: Our estimated rewards values assume all of your airline spend is with AA for the purposes of valuing your rewards for this card. If you spend across multiple airlines, your rewards will be lower as this card earns 2x on AA purchases only.

Offer: 70,000 bonus AAdvantage® miles after spending $4,000 in your first 3 months
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,050

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Annual Fee: $95

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,050

Offer: 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in 3 months

Perhaps the best "starting out card" in miles and points.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a low annual fee, unlocks transfers from this and any linked Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card to airline and hotel partners, comes with excellent built-in trip delay insurance, primary car rental CDW coverage and earns 2x points on travel and dining.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Earn Rate:

  • 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on Lyft rides
  • 2X Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards on all other purchases
Offer: 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in 3 months
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,020

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Annual Fee: $550

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$1,020

Offer: 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in your first three months.

The Platinum Card 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 monthly credits.

The benefits include a $200 in yearly Uber credits and Uber VIP status as well as $200 in annual incidental airline credits for your chosen airline, $100 in annual Saks Fifth Ave credits, access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes the Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass, and Delta SkyClubs when you are flying Delta.

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: 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in your first three months.