4 Best Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards are beneficial tools that you can use to help fund your next trip. Every time you use your travel credit card, you earn points that can be used toward your travel expenses. Each card has its own terms, but when you adhere to those terms, you stand to earn more points and save big.

But first, you have to choose the right card for your needs. To assist you with this, we have compiled the best travel credit cards for your consideration. By using these cards, you stand to earn flexible rewards that aren’t offered through traditional branded credit cards. 

Best Travel Credit Cards

American Express Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card is somewhat of a double-edged sword – there’s a fee to use it, but you can earn really nice rewards. Where this travel card really shines, though, is in its grocery rewards. The more you buy, the more you earn.

In addition, you can also pick up generous points for airfare and restaurants. Food and travel are a seemingly winning combination for American Express Gold Card users.

Restaurants, for example, earn users an impressive 4 times the points. Grocery shopping stands to reward you the most, also with 4 times the points. However, you can potentially earn as much as $25,000 a year just by buying food from supermarkets. 

If you often travel via airlines and book with them directly, you can earn 3 times the points (you can also book via amextravel.com and earn the same).

All other spending nets you a reward of 1 times the points, so there is plenty that the American Express Gold Card can do for you. What’s more, all of your points can be easily transferred to various hotels and airlines. 

As nice as these rewards are, the American Express Gold Card does have its downsides. For starters, the annual cost to use the card is admittedly a bit steep at $295 a year. And the card’s travel credits are limited, as they are only good for airline incidentals and not travel expenses. Furthermore, earning dining credits can be a pain.

You first have to enroll in the service to be able to take advantage of it. You are then limited to $120 in credits that are doled out in increments of $10 statement credits each month. Also, you can only earn these credits at the following participating locations:

  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Shake Shack
  • Seamless
  • Grubhub
  • Boxed

Rewards/Terms

  • Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first 6 months (eligible purchases only)
  • Earn 3x points on flights (when you book with airlines directly or on amextravel.com)
  • Earn 4x points at grocers in the United States (up to $25,000 per year in purchases)
  • Earn 4x points at restaurants worldwide (includes takeout and delivery)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $250 annual fee

Bank of America Travel Rewards

If you’re looking for simplicity and ease-of-use, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card will likely interest you. Every purchase earns you points, and there’s no annual fee. How does it work?

For every $1 that you spend, you are rewarded with 1.5 points. In addition, you can redeem your miles at the rate of 1 cent for travel and restaurant expenses. The nice thing about choosing Bank of America is that it defines “travel expenses” far more loosely than other institutions. As such, you aren’t limited to airline travel and hotels.

And if you spend at least $1,000 within the first 90 days of having the card, Bank of America will reward you with 25,000 bonus points for online use. If you wish, you may redeem these sign-up bonus points for a $250 statement credit that will go toward travel expenses.

The only real downside to the Bank of America Travel Rewards card is that it isn’t the best option for people who often travel and spend a lot of money. There are much more lucrative sign-up bonuses out there for those cases. 

Rewards/Terms

  • Points can be redeemed for flights, hotels, baggage fees, car rentals, vacation rentals, and restaurants
  • No APR, good for 12 billing cycles. Afterward, 14.99 to 22.99% variable APR applies
  • Preferred Rewards members can earn 25 to 75% more points (all purchases)
  • Earn 25,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months
  • Earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent (all purchases/no cap)
  • Integrated security chip for contactless payments
  • Book trips anywhere without restrictions
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Points don’t expire
  • No annual fee 

Citi Premier Card

The Citi Premier Card lets you earn 3 points for every $1 spent at select establishments. You can use these points on air travel, fuel purchases, hotels, and grocers. If you often stay in hotels that cost at least $500 for every single stay, the Citi Premier Card lets you save $100 on your purchase.

When you factor in the savings on fuel and eating, it’s no wonder why the Citi Premier Card made our list. The sign-up bonus is nice, too, earning you 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. 

You’re limited on the domestic airlines that you can transfer points to, with JetBlue being the only available option.

Still, limitations aside, the Citi Premier Card is a great fit for the right person. If you see yourself in the rewards and terms, you’ll want to take advantage of this card. It may not be as versatile as others, but it makes up for its weaknesses with respectable strengths.

Rewards/Terms

  • Shopping at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels, and airlines earns you 3 points
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months
  • Redeem 60,000 points for $600 in gift cards (via thankyou.com)
  • All purchases earn you 1 point for every $1 spent
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual hotel savings
  • Points don’t expire

The Platinum Card from American Express

There are a lot of benefits that come from using the Platinum Card from American Express. You get VIP treatment when you travel and decent rewards. However, such benefits come at a high price.

The annual fee to use this card is a staggering $550. And if you’re not one to travel frequently, the rewards aren’t really worth the effort. You have to adhere to the Platinum Card’s rules for booking, but when you do, you can earn 5 points for every $1 spent.

These points can then be used on airline travel and hotel stays. There is also a yearly credit of $200 that goes toward airline fees. Plus, you can save $200 every year on Uber credit.

Hotel stays are complemented with concierge service, and you’ll have access to restricted events. The sign-up bonus lets you earn a whopping 75,000 points when you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months.

Yes, this card is pricey. But if you are the type of person who travels a lot for business, pleasure, or both, you can earn a lot of rewards with the Platinum Card from American Express. If you are unsure whether this is the right card for you, you’ll want to closely examine your typical annual travel.

Make sure that it’s enough to justify the expensive annual fee of the Platinum Card before you make any commitments.

Rewards/Terms

  • Earn as much as $100 in statement credits every year when you make purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue using your Platinum Card
  • Get complimentary benefits via American Express Travel when you spend $550 on the Fine Hotels & Resorts program
  • Earn 5x points when you book flights with airlines or American Express Travel
  • Earn 5x points on prepaid hotels when you book on amextravel.com
  • Earn 75,000 points after spending $5,000 within the first 6 months
  • Eligible purchases can earn you 10x points (conditions apply)
  • Complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection
  • $200 credit with Uber 
  • VIP status with Uber
  • $550 annual fee

Summary

From limited travel to frequent globetrotting, there’s a card out there for everyone. We included the travel credit cards that carry the best rewards compared to their fees. What you see here is sure to benefit you greatly if you meet the recommended travel criteria.

For more information on credit cards, travel, business, and much more, be sure to explore the rest of our extensive blog. We tasked our minds here at Seek Capital to deliver beneficial reading to our clients and guests, and we invite you to take advantage of it.

As always, our specialists are here should you have any questions. If you’re interested in securing a business loan or establishing a business credit card, we would love to help! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us so we can assist you.

 

Sources

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/card/gold-card/

https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit-cards/products/travel-rewards-credit-card/

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/card/platinum/

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