What is the best credit card for travel rewards?

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What is the best credit card for travel rewards?

Postby Kilroy » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:44 pm

Hey guys/gals, I'm looking for a credit card with some nice reward programs. Specifically I want to look for a card I will primarily use for travel, however the catch is I don't travel that often and will most likely use it twice a year for vacations that last 1-2 weeks.

Normally I just go the debit card route, but there seems to be a lot of restrictions/money holds for debit users when compared to credit users. Example being that car rentals and hotels hold more money on a debit card ($400 for car rental) than a credit card ($150).

So being pretty new to this whole thing (I do have a wells fargo college credit card [visa] though) with credit cards I'm just wondering if anyone would have an suggestions on a good card that would be good for the following:
  • Hotels, Car Rentals, and Flights. Intend to do this at least 1-4 times a year.
  • Has some good insurance with it
  • Can also be used for other purchases outside travel, like electronics
  • Offers a payment plan if the situation calls for it.
So far I've been looking at the Chase Sapphire and American Express Blue sky (No Annual fee variants), but I'm uncertain if they would benefit me even though they sound pretty sweet with the rewards they offer. So if anyone could suggest one of the two, or others I may have overlooked, that would be greatly appreciated.

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Postby DavidNY » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:54 pm

Check out Amex Starwood, I hear its good if you stay at Starwood hotels.

Discover Miles/Escape might be OK if you didn't need insurance.

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Postby sticf » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:29 am

You can look into Capital One's Venture (or VentureOne if you do not like annual fees). They have the same type of system as the Discover Escape. You earn 2 points (1.25 points for VentureOne) on all purchases. These can be redeemed for "travel expenses" at a 100=$1.00 conversion rate. This makes the card a 2% (1.25%) travel card.

If used as a primary card for everyday expenses you may (depending on spending habits) end up ahead of some other cash cards. The idea is you spend every day to build up points then use those points to cover your vacation expenses (flights, hotel, rentals).

I have been thinking about going to this type of rewards system myself and so far it looks to be "better" for me from an overall rewards prospective.

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Postby AmandaGrifin » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:10 am

I have an Amex and MC from Citibank, but only pay one annual fee, as that's their policy. It give me flexibility on capturing business expenses on one card and personal expenses on another. Secondly, there is seemingly competition between the Amex division and the MC division. If one card offers .25 miles, often the other will offer .5 miles as an incentive to use that card.

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