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Best Travel Credit Cards for Points and Miles

Best Travel Credit Cards for Points and Miles

Looking for the best travel credit cards to maximize your points and miles? Look no further, we’ll give you tips on how to maximize your travel rewards and avoid common travel credit card mistakes. Traveling the world can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be. With a travel rewards credit card, you can earn points and miles on your everyday spending that can be redeemed for flights, hotels, car rentals, and other travel expenses.

Looking for the best travel credit cards to maximize your points and miles? Look no further! This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know, from the different types of travel credit cards to the top travel credit cards for points and miles in 2024. Plus, we’ll give you tips on how to maximize your travel rewards and avoid common travel credit card mistakes.

What are travel rewards credit cards?

Travel rewards credit cards are a type of credit card that offers rewards in the form of points or miles. You can earn these rewards on your everyday spending, such as groceries, gas, and travel. Once you have accumulated enough points or miles, you can redeem them for travel expenses, such as flights, hotels, and car rentals.

How do travel rewards credit cards work? When you use a travel rewards credit card to make a purchase, you earn points or miles at a certain rate. This rate is typically between 1 and 5 points or miles per dollar spent, but it can vary depending on the card and the type of purchase. For example, some cards offer bonus points or miles on travel and dining purchases. Once you have earned enough points or miles, you can redeem them for travel expenses. You can typically redeem your rewards through the credit card issuer’s travel portal or by transferring your points or miles to airline and hotel partners.

Types of travel rewards credit cards

There are three main types of travel rewards credit cards: airline credit cards, hotel credit cards, and general travel credit cards.        Airline credit cards are co-branded with a specific airline, such as the United Club℠ Infinite Card or the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. These cards typically offer bonus points or miles on flights booked with the airline partner, as well as other benefits such as free checked bags and priority boarding.

Hotel credit cards are co-branded with a specific hotel chain, such as the Marriott Bonvoy® Boundless® Card or the Hilton Honors American Express Card. These cards typically offer bonus points or miles on stays at the hotel partner, as well as other benefits such as free upgrades and late checkout.

General travel credit cards are not co-branded with a specific airline or hotel chain. These cards offer flexible rewards that can be redeemed for a variety of travel expenses, such as flights, hotels, and car rentals. Examples of general travel credit cards include the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

How to choose the best travel credit card for you

When choosing a travel rewards credit card, it is important to consider your travel habits and spending patterns. If you travel frequently with a particular airline or hotel chain, an airline or hotel credit card may be a good option for you. If you prefer to have more flexibility with your rewards, a general travel credit card may be a better choice. You should also compare the sign-up bonuses, rewards programs, and annual fees of different travel rewards credit cards before making a decision. Some cards offer generous sign-up bonuses, while others have more rewarding rewards programs or lower annual fees.

Top travel credit cards for points and miles

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a popular general travel credit card that offers a generous sign-up bonus and a flexible rewards program. Cardholders earn 2 points per dollar spent on all travel and dining purchases, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Points can be redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, transferred to 14 airline and hotel partners, or used to pay for travel expenses at a rate of 1.25 cents per point.

 Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is another popular general travel credit card that offers a flat-rate rewards program. Cardholders earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Miles can be redeemed for any travel expense at a rate of 1 cent per mile.

Citi Premier® Card

The Citi Premier® Card is a good option for travelers who want to earn bonus points on travel and dining purchases. Cardholders earn 3 points per dollar spent on airfare and hotels, 2 points per dollar spent on dining at restaurants and takeout, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Points can be redeemed for travel through Citi Thank You® Rewards, transferred to 16 airline and hotel partners, or used to pay for travel expenses at a rate of 1 cent per point.

American Express® Gold Card

The American Express® Gold Card is a premium travel credit card that offers a variety of benefits, including a generous sign-up bonus, bonus points on travel and dining purchases, and airport lounge access. Cardholders earn 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery), 4 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1 point per dollar), and 3 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel. Points can be redeemed for travel through American Express Travel, transferred to 18 airline and hotel partners, or used to pay for travel expenses at a rate of 1 cent per point.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a luxury travel credit card that offers a wide range of benefits, including a generous sign-up bonus, a variety of travel credits, and access to airport lounges and other premium experiences. Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar spent on airfare booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar), 5 points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. Points can be redeemed for travel through American Express Travel, transferred to 18 airline and hotel partners, or used to pay for travel expenses at a rate of 1 cent per point.

How to maximize your travel rewards

  1. Earn bonus points on travel and dining – Many travel rewards credit cards offer bonus points on travel and dining purchases. Take advantage of these bonus categories to earn more points on your everyday spending.
  2. Redeem your points for valuable travel rewards – When redeeming your points, look for opportunities to get the most value for them. For example, you can often redeem your points for travel expenses at a rate of 1.25 cents per point or more. You can also transfer your points to airline and hotel partners to book flights and hotel stays.
  3. Transfer your points to airline and hotel partners – Many travel rewards credit cards allow you to transfer your points to airline and hotel partners. This can be a great way to book flights and hotel stays with your favorite airlines and hotels. However, keep in mind that there may be transfer fees associated with transferring your points.

FAQs

What is the best travel credit card for beginners? The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a good option for beginners because it offers a generous sign-up bonus and a flexible rewards program.

What is the best travel credit card for families? The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is a good option for families because it offers a variety of benefits for families, such as free checked bags and priority boarding.

What is the best travel credit card for international travel? The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a good option for international travel because it does not charge foreign transaction fees.

What is the best travel credit card for luxury travel? The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a good option for business travelers because it offers a variety of business-related benefits, such as 3 points per dollar spent on travel and shipping.

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