Travel credit cards come with some of the highest travel reward rates available — each time you use one, the points you earn with your travel rewards card can be used towards a future (or sometimes a past) travel purchase. So while themay have you grounded right now, when you get back to hitting the road or the skies, you’ll want to be equipped with the best credit card possible.
A travel rewards card also comes in handy for travel perks such as first class upgrades for the frequent traveler, priority boarding, free TSA Precheck and Global Entry and exclusive hotel or benefits.
How to pick the best travel credit card
The points and travel benefits that you accrue through a travel rewards program are often redeemed through your credit card issuer’s website (or app) or appear as a statement credit that reimburses you for past travel-related and everyday purchases you made with your travel credit card. Points or miles can also be transferred to travel partners —— at a fluctuating conversion rate, where they can then be used to book a flight or hotel room. More on that later.
To choose the best travel credit card, there are a few key factors to consider:
- Annual fees. Every single travel rewards program reviewed here has annual fees, with some climbing as high as $550, but those fees are usually mitigated by monthly or annual credits.
- Exclusive perks. Some of these travel rewards card options also grant access to exclusive travel perks, like airline lounges, priority boarding or VIP welcomes at hotels. The value of those perks is subjective and something you’ll have to evaluate for your needs and wants.
- Foreign transaction fees. None of the best travel cards make users pay a foreign transaction fee, so a foreign transaction fee is not something you have to worry about with any of the credit cards recommended below.
The best travel credit card overall for most travelers
Reward Rates: 3x points on travel and dining (begins after earning $300 credit), 1x point on all other purchases
Annual Fee: $550
Welcome Bonus: 50,000 points
Bonus Redemption Threshold: Spend $4,000 in first three months
APR: 16.99% to 23.99% variable
Read More: Best travel credit cards for November 2020