Want to travel and earn rewards while doing it? Of course, you do. I’m always down to have a credit card company reward my spending habits. Whoever first came up with travel rewards on credit cards is a genius. In my last post, I emphasized the importance of credit. Why? Travel credit cards are why. When used wisely, they can really pay off.
The information below was last updated as of August 13th, 2018.
I consider these “beginner travel credit cards” with the exception of the Chase Sapphire Reserve because: $450 annual fee. Pocket change, right?
Ready to maximize your travel? Here are some travel credit cards I think are pretty great:
|Credit Card||Annual Fee||The Good Stuff||Foreign Transactions||Additional Info||Current Offers/Bonuses (as of 8/13/18)|
|$69.00||2 points/$1 spent on SW and Rapid Rewards hotel and car purchases; 1 point/$1
spent on all other purchases; 3,000 anniversary
points each year
|3% of each transaction in USD||all points count towards a Companion Pass (lets a friend fly with you for free)||Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1000 in the first 3 months|
|$149.00||2 points/$1 spent on SW and Rapid Rewards hotel and car purchases; 1 point/$1 spent on all other purchases; 7,500-anniversary points each year; $75 annual travel credit; 4 upgraded boardings/year when available; 20% back on in-flight purchases||None||all points count towards a Companion Pass (a friend gets to fly with you for free!)||Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1000 in the first 3 months + earn 25,000 points after you spend a total of $15,000 within the first year|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||$0 for the first year, $95 after||2 points on travel and dining; 1 point/$1 on all other purchases; trip cancellation & insurance; no blackout dates; travel and emergency services||None||25% more in travel redemption; 50,000 points = $625 toward travel||50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months + 5,000 points after you add first authorized user in the first three months|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||$450; each authorized user: $75||3 points on travel and dining; 1 point/$1 dollar on all other purchases; $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases; trip insurance; Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Fee Credit||None||50% more on travel redemption when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 50,000 points = $750 toward travel; Complimentary Priority Pass to 1,000+ airport lounges after activation||50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months|
|Bank of America Travel Rewards||None||Unlimited 1.5 points/$1 on all purchases, everywhere; bonus 3 points/$1 at the travel center||None||2,500 points = $15||20,000 points when you spend 1,000 within 90 days|
|Bank of America Premium Rewards||$95.00||Unlimited 2 points/$1 spent on travel and dining; 1.5 points/$1 spent on all other purchases; up to $100 in annual airline credit; $100 in TSA Pre/Global Entry credit||None||redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into BA or Merill Lynch accounts, gift cards, and for purchases at the BA Travel Center||50,000 points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days of account open date|
|Delta SkyMiles||$0 for the first year, $95 after||2 miles per $1 spent directly with Delta; 1 mile for every eligible dollar; first checked bag free; discounted Delta Sky Club Access ($29/person)||None||Travel accident insurance; priority boarding||60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 within the first 4 months (expires 9/19/18)|
As you can see – Chase Sapphire Reserve has an annual fee of a whopping $450. However, when you take into consideration all the perks and credits you receive – it kind of balances out. I would love to get my hands on Chase Sapphire Reserve, but I don’t travel that much…YET. I’m pretty happy with my Sapphire Preferred credit card for the time being.
A few things to consider if you’re thinking about applying to get one of these travel reward credit cards:
- most cards have a 17.74%-24.7% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) based on your creditworthiness
- all these cards won’t charge you interest as long as you pay off the entire balance by the bill due date – remember my mom’s advice?
- there are penalty fees associated with each one if you don’t pay the bill on time depending on the balance
- if you ever read the fine print on something, it should be the terms and conditions on the credit cards you are approved for; here’s an example of one.
- do your own research – don’t rely on people like me to make up your mind – or do – but still, do your research
Travel on, Marty McFly.
Do you have a favorite travel rewards credit card? Let me know in the comments below.