Rewards like bonus miles, free flights and no foreign transaction fees are often the reason customers chose one credit card over another. During the summer season, warm beach weather can motivate anyone to seek out rewards they can use towards their next vacation. Whether you’re recently retired and seeking adventure around the world or still planning for retirement but needing a break from work, credit card rewards can help make trips more affordable.
We put together a list of some cards that offer the best travel rewards. Though it seems tempting to sign up for the first one that catches your eye, remember that most are reserved for people with excellent credit. Make sure you’ve had your fair share of responsible credit history before jumping on your favorite deal.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
With this Capital One card you earn two miles per dollar on every purchase and a one-time bonus of 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. Also, you can fly for free on any airline (with no blackout dates) and avoid foreign transaction fees.
Citi Gold/AAdvantage World MasterCard®
With this “gold” piece of plastic, you can earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after $750 of purchases within the first four months of card membership. These miles, which never expire, may be used towards award travel on American Airlines or one of more than 20 top airlines, stays at hotels worldwide and car rentals.
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card
Named the top Airline Credit Card multiple times by members of the FlyerTalk.com community, the SPG Credit Card gives you the option to convert Starwood points into miles on a 1:1 basis. Since most hotel programs do not value their points as equal to miles, this card is a find for frequent flyers. Starwood also recently changed its program so you can earn double points at Starwood hotels and resorts.
American Express Premier Rewards Card
This Rewards Gold Card presents a fast way to earn points. You can earn triple points on airfare, double points on gas and groceries, and single points on other purchases. You can also earn 15,000 membership rewards bonus points each year when you spend $30,000 in one calendar year.
Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card
For those of you looking for free hotel rooms, this is the card for you. Marriott and its partners have the most locations (over 2,600) and include the luxurious Ritz Carlton chain, so you won’t be limited by the brand name. In addition, you’ll earn five points for every one dollar spent at Marriott locations and two points for every dollar spent on airline, dining, and rental car purchases.
Chase Sapphire Card
If you’re not a frequent flyer but want to earn reward points for travel without using miles, this card allows you to use your points for travel in a variety of ways. For example, you can get the benefits of most airline cards (without having to pay an annual fee) by earning double points when you use their online travel-booking site to plan your trip.
Miles by Discover Card
If you prefer to book your vacation on your own terms through a travel agent of your choice, this rewards card is your best option. With no annual fee, you can earn one mile for every dollar spent on the card; and for the first $3,000, you can earn double miles when you use your card for travel purchases.