- Rewards: Why settle for just 1% cash back? With the right travel rewards card you can earn miles or points that can give you a lot more bang for your buck. Plus, you may get additional benefits.
- Bonuses: To sweeten the pot, you will find sign-up bonus promotions in the offers below.
Reviews of Featured Travel Credit Cards in 2014
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
These are not your run of the mill points. Transfer points on a 1 for 1 conversion to these partner airline and hotel loyalty programs: United MileagePlus, British Airways Avios, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Korean Air Skypass, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG Priority Club, Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Hyatt Gold Passport, and Amtrak Guest Rewards. Or redeem for cash back at a full 1 pt = 1 cent conversion. Plus many more options.
- Earn 2x points on travel, 2x points on dining at restaurants, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
- Get 20% off airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem your points through Ultimate Rewards.
- No foreign transaction fees + Chip & Signature technology for international travel.
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95.
- 40,000 points bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 5,000 bonus points if you add an authorized user and they make a purchase within the first 3 months.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
This card continues to receive accolades and is considered a must-have by many reward card aficionados, as it is one of the best travel credit cards on the market. This is because it allows you to earn up to a 2.2% rebate on all your purchases. And, time is of the essence to apply for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard because the limited-time sign-up bonus, worth $440, won't be around forever.
- 2 miles per dollar on all purchases. There's no limit to how many you can earn.
- Use your miles to pay for any travel purchase made with the card. Simply convert your miles to statement credits to offset the purchases, at a ratio of 1 mile = 1 cent.
- Get 10% of your miles back when you redeem them. For example, if you redeem 10,000 miles you will get back 1,000 of them to use again in the future. This means you are earning travel rewards worth 2.2% on every purchase you make!
- 40,000 bonus miles -- Just make $3,000 or more in purchases during the first 90 days. Since you get 10% of your miles back, that means this bonus is worth $440.
- No foreign transaction fees
- $89 annual fee, which is waived for the first year.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
You don't have to be a super frequent flyer of Delta for the Gold Delta SkyMiles card from American Express, a CreditCardForum advertising partner, to be a good fit. Why? Because you can check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four. Plus, you can earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase within three months of opening your card. For a limited time, you can also get 50,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months. So if you've been waiting to apply, now is the time.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months.
- Earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
- Earn As You Spend: Get 2X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles for all other eligible dollars spent.
- Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
- Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Terms and Restrictions Apply.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards card allows you to earn an unlimited 2% rebate on all spending. How? Because you get 2X miles per dollar on all purchases and each mile is worth $0.01 towards travel. Spending these miles is so easy – charge ANY travel purchase to your card and then redeem your miles for a statement credit to offset that purchase (i.e. use 40,000 miles for a $400 flight).
- Apply toll-free by calling 877-525-5805
- Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $400 in travel
- Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
- Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
- Travel when you want – no blackout dates
- Miles don't expire
- No limit to the miles you can earn
- No foreign transaction fees
- No annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
United MileagePlus® Explorer Card
As one of the world's largest air carriers, United's global network of destinations and airline partners make it a great frequent flier program to earn and redeem miles for pleasure travel. The United MileagePlus Explorer Card allows you to leverage your everyday spending to earn travel awards even faster. And, for a very limited time, you can get enough miles for two complimentary round-trip domestic tickets when you sign up for the card and spend $2,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, you get extra benefits including car rental collision damage waiver (primary cover, not secondary like most travel cards), trip cancellation and delay coverage, lost luggage reimbursement, price protection and more. Please consult issuer for terms and conditions.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months (a very reasonable minimum spend requirement to fulfill).
- Check your first bag for free – The primary cardmember and one companion under the same reservation can each check their first bag for free (not including government fees, taxes, etc) on United-operated flights purchased with the card. That saves up to $100 per round-trip!
- Priority boarding privileges – For yourself and any companions traveling under the same reservation.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Every year you get 2 one-time-use passes for the United Club (buying 2 of those would normally cost you up to $100).
- Earn 2 miles per dollar on United ticket purchases, 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases. There's no limit to how many miles you can earn and you never have to worry about them expiring as long as you're a cardmember.
- You can use your miles for any seat, any time, on any United flight!
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
With no annual fee and a generous 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase, you can't go wrong with this one. You can convert these points to statement credits to offset virtually any travel purchase you make with the card - airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, checked baggage fees, and more. The benefits of no foreign transaction fees and embedded chip technology makes it a great choice for traveling overseas.
Since every 2,500 points is good for a $25 statement credit, it means you can get a full 1 cent value per point. Best of all, there's no limit to the total number of points you can earn and they don't expire. And if you don't have enough points to pay for your entire travel purchase, you can still use points to pay for just part of it - the choice is yours.
Use the link below and earn 10,000 bonus points (online-exclusive) after making at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. You also will get a 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, after that, the Variable APR is 14.99% - 22.99%.
Go here to get details or apply for this offer
British Airways Visa Signature® Card
Even if you're not planning to cross the pond anytime soon, the British Airways Visa Signature Card is a great deal for domestic travel. That's because the Avios points you earn can be used to book reward travel on American Airlines flights within the United States. So even if you're not planning a trip to the United Kingdom in the near future, the bonus of 50,000 points is still valuable for domestic travel within the states. However, to get the full value of this Visa Signature card's rewards it is still probably best suited for those who eventually fly on British Airways or their global airline partners. The annual fee is $95.
- Get 50,000 bonus Avios points after spending $2k on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
- Earn 2.5 Avios per dollar spent on British Airways purchases.
- Earn 1.25 Avios per dollar on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees and built-in Smart Chip Technology makes this a good choice for international travel.
- Earn a British Airways "Travel Together Ticket" (companion ticket) every calendar year you spend at least $30k on your card.
American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card
The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, a CreditCardForum advertising partner, allows you to earn 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines, 2x on gas and groceries and 1x on all other eligible spending. Membership Rewards® points can be converted to over 15 airline frequent flier/hotel programs on a 1-to-1 basis.
- Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2k during the first 3 months.
- Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $30k each calendar year.
- 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines, 2x points at US gas stations, 2x points at US supermarkets, 1x points on all other eligible purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- Multiple redemption options: Transfer points directly to airline frequent flier programs - usually on a 1:1 conversion! Or use "Pay With Points" to pay for all or part of your flight or hotel. You can also use points to get gift cards for dining, entertainment, and to shop over 300 popular brands. These are just some of the many redemption options you have with Membership Rewards points.
- Enjoy benefits like Extended Warranty, Purchase Protection, and Return Protection on eligible purchases.
- Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $175.
- Terms and Restrictions apply.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
While the Starwood Preferred Guest Card is technically a hotel rewards product, it arguably has a stronger reputation as a virtual airline rewards program. That's because it allows you to convert earned Starpoints to partner airline miles, usually on a 1:1 basis. This occurs through its Star Alliance with over 30 airline partners. There's no limit to how many Starpoints you can earn with this card. And if you apply now, you can also earn up to 25,000 Starpoints: 10,000 after your first purchase and then 15,000 more after you spend $5k in the first six months. The annual fee of $65 is waived in year one. American Express is a CreditCardForum advertising partner.
- Earn up to 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
- Earn 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase and another 15,000 Starpoints after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months.
- Earn 2 Starpoints for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts participating in the SPG program. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
- Starpoints redeemable towards Award Nights at over 1,100 hotels in nearly 100 countries worldwide.
- Free Flights: redeem Starpoints on over 150 airlines with SPG Flights – with no blackout dates
- No limits on the number of Starpoints you can earn
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65
- Terms and Restrictions apply.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier
The Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward Premier card is a perennial favorite among frequent fliers and travel reward seekers because of its lucrative signup bonus, offering a free roundtrip ticket after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, and also because of its straightforward points earning structure. Like all co-branded airline cards, there is an annual fee, but at $99 it's well worth the cover charge since you get a bonus of 6,000 points every year after your account anniversary! You can redeem 6,000 points for $85 towards a discounted "Wanna Get Away" fare, gift cards, car rentals, cruises, hotel stays and international flights to over 800 destinations on 50+ global carriers.
- Get 25,000 points for 1 Roundtrip Flights after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account. Government fees as low as $12 not included.
- Get 6,000 points after your Cardmember Anniversary.
- Earn 2 points per $1 spend on Southwest Airlines® and AirTran® Airways purchases made directly with the airlines and on Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
- Earn 1 point per $1 spend on all other purchases.
- Redeem points for gift cards, car rentals, cruises, hotel stays, and international flights to over 800 Destinations on 50+ global carriers.
- No foreign transaction fees.
Blue Sky from American Express®
If you are the type of person who would rather find the best travel deal online rather than being loyal to a particular airline or hotel, then the Blue Sky from American Express, a CreditCardForum advertising partner, could be the card for you. Basically, you can earn rewards worth 1.33%, since you earn 1 point for virtually every dollar you spend on eligible purchases, and 7,500 points can be redeemed for a $100 statement credit towards travel. There is no annual fee and the card comes with a full suite of cardmember benefits.
- Welcome Bonus: Earn 7,500 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
- Unlimited Travel Options: Every 7,500 points that you earn can be redeemed for a $100 statement credit toward airline tickets, hotel stays and other types of travel.
- Flexible Ways to Earn: earn 1 point for virtually every dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
- Flexible Bill Payments: pay your bill all at once or over time.
- No annual fee, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 17.24%-22.24%.
- Terms and Restrictions Apply.
The Amex EveryDay℠ Credit Card from American Express
You may have seen the recent television commercials featuring Tina Fey promoting The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express, a CreditCardForum.com advertising partner. The Amex EveryDay Card offers a 20% bonus on earned points when you have 20 or more purchases, not including returns/credits, each billing period along with double points at U.S. supermarkets on the first $6,000 in spend per year. No annual fee.
- Earn 10,000 points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
- Earn 20% more points: Make 20 or more purchases with your Card in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.
- 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
- The Amex EveryDay Card comes with the security and 24/7 service of American Express.
- Terms and limitations apply.
Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.