Travel credit cards offer rewards in the form of points, airline miles, free checked bags and much more. Choosing the right card is a matter of travel preferences and spending frequency. These are some of the current travel credit cards that are rated highly overall by cardholders.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The feature that cardholders rated the highest for this card was its cash reward of two points for every dollar spent on all major travel carriers and restaurants. Customers also liked that their points increased in value by 25 percent when they booked travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Also, they rated the $500 signup bonus offer highly. However, cardholders were disappointed that the card did not come with perks such as free baggage checking or preferred boarding. Although it is waived the first year, there is also a $95 annual fee.
Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite
This card is ideal for frequent flyers or people who spend upward of $2,000 per month on credit purchases. For every dollar spent, cardholders earn two airline miles. The miles can also be used as statement credit, which translates into 2.1 percent cash back. Many customers rated the signup bonus of 50,000 miles for spending $3,000 within the first 90 days as a valuable benefit. There are no foreign transaction fees with this card. However, infrequent spenders rated it as average or below, and many cardholders were unhappy that preferred boarding and other perks were not included.
Discover It Miles
Cardholders rated this card highly for its reward of 1.5 airline miles for every dollar spent. They were also happy about the card not charging an annual fee or restricting flight scheduling with blackout dates. Also, cardholders especially liked the mile matching. At the end of the year, Discover matches the number of miles earned that year as a bonus. However, some cardholders were unhappy that they had to wait a full year for this reward. Many people were happy about the free $30 in-flight credit. The card does not offer many other perks related to traveling.
Capital One Venture Rewards
This card comes with a lower annual fee of $59, which receives mixed reviews. Cardholders especially liked the signup bonus of 40,000 miles for spending $3,000 within the first 90 days. They were happy about earning two miles for every dollar spent. There are no mile limits, and miles can be redeemed as statement credit for travel purchases. Also, customers were happy that there were no restrictions on flights or hotels. This card was rated poorly by people who did not travel often.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
At first glance, one of the most prohibitive features of this card is its annual fee of $450. People who did not travel frequently or spend much on credit purchases each month rated the card poorly. However, it was rated as a great asset to frequent flyers and big spenders. The card offers a signup reward of 100,000 bonus miles or $1,500 cash travel credit for spending $4,000 within the first 90 days. There is a reward of one point per dollar spent on all purchases except for hotels and restaurants, which yield three points for every dollar spent. Also, cardholders liked the $300 annual credit bonus.
Specific Airline Cards
For those who usually fly with one chosen airline, it may be beneficial to apply for a credit card from that carrier. Discount carriers such as Southwest and Frontier offer cards with mile or point accrual, signup bonuses of up to $500 and low annual fees. Also, the carriers offer extra perks such as a free checked bag, lounge passes and preferred boarding. Travelers who prefer these perks over mile accumulation but do not want to give up mile rewards should consider airline-specific credit cards. However, they often come with higher APRs and penalties.
Always understand the APR structure before signing up for any card. Some offer short introductory periods with no interest. However, some cards come with penalty APRs. Also, some cards may require cardholders to manually opt in each quarter for maximum rewards on certain purchases.