If brand-specific credit cards do not fit your travel habits, consider travel credit cards that are more flexible with their rewards. They may not offer perks like free checked bags, priority boarding and other amenities, but they have the advantage of not limiting you to a particular airline or travel company.
Some of the most popular travel cards include Chase Sapphire Preferred and Barclays Arrival. Like airline cards, they come with annual fees. For that cost, you tend to get an attractive rewards program.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers a neat feature that allows cardmembers to transfer their points to participating travel programs. After saving up a large amount of points, cardmembers can choose to move these points to an airline/hotel program that they prefer or one that offers the best value for their points.
These cards also offer discounts on travel when you use your miles/points to redeem for travel (may require that you book travel through special online booking portals).
Because these travel rewards credit cards do not have easily calculable perks, it’s more difficult to determine whether or not their annual fees are worth it. Without a doubt, the more you spend on these cards, the greater the benefits of having a higher-than-average rewards program.
If your past travel patterns show that you don’t pick airlines and hotels based on brands, such travel rewards credit cards will better for you, compared to brand-specific cards. This may be the case if you’re the type to visit discount travel websites to book your trips.