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9 Best Credit Cards for Summer Travel

travel credit cards for summer travel

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Do you travel frequently and need the best travel credit card? Whether traveling for work, leisure, or other reasons, it costs money to travel. The exciting news is that there are travel hacks that can save you money while globetrotting. With a travel credit card, you can receive rewards that you can redeem to free trips and hotel stays. Also, some travel cards can offer emergency support like travel insurance and may not charge you to make overseas transactions.

Today’s article looks at the best travel credits to make your next trip less costly and fun.

 

What to Consider in A Travel Credit Card?

Consider several things if you’re looking to get a travel credit card. There’s no one size fits for these cards, and knowing what to consider can help you reap more card benefits. 

The first thing to consider is the card type. Are you looking for a company-branded or general travel credit card? These two types of cards have their pros and cons. The co-branded travel credit cards are often associated with an airline or a hotel and can offer exclusive perks. For instance, you can get a free check for your bags or extra hotel amenities. An example is the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card which offers a free checked bag and annual companion fare starting at $121. You can only redeem the rewards with that particular company which is one of the downsides of co-branded cards.

The general travel credit cards, on the other hand, offer plenty of spending options. You can use your rewards to pay travel expenses or redeem them for a statement credit.

Another thing to look for in a travel credit card is the APR (Annual Percentage Rate). The APR is the borrowing cost on your card, and it can depend on your credit score. Some credit cards like Discover It Miles have 0% intro APR which means you enjoy interest-free balance transfers and purchases, and other cards may not have this intro offer.

Do you travel overseas? You might want to consider the card’s international use and charges. Visa and Master Card, for example, are widely used worldwide, while others may not work in all destinations around the globe. Some travel credit cards don’t charge foreign transaction fees, while others do. With a zero-foreign-fee card, you can make overseas purchases without any transaction costs.

Travel perks are also things to look for when shopping for a travel credit card. These cards come with travel benefits like travel insurance and airport lounge access. You can get reimbursement for lost or delayed baggage, trip delay, interruption or cancellation, and car rental damage.

Another variable to look for is the annual card fee. Discover It Miles, for instance, charges zero annual fees, while Chase Saphire Reserve charges a $550 annual fee.

 

How do Travel Credit Cards work?

A travel credit card helps you get travel points for every eligible purchase. Once you hit the redeemable limit, you can convert your travel credit card points to cash for your statement credit or use them to pay for your next flight or hotel stay. 

For example, with Chase Saphire Reserve, you can get 5X points on flight purchases and 10X points on Chase Dining purchases. You can then convert them for travel purchases or statement credit and get 50% more.

Some travel credit cards have annual fees, while others require zero fees. Travel credit cards with annual fees offer more travel rewards and perks. Also, options to redeem your travel credit card points vary depending on your credit card company.

 

Best Travel Credit Cards To Save Money on Your Next Trip

The best time to get your travel credit card is now. We understand that picking the right travel credit card can be exciting and confusing, and we’ve analyzed and compiled a list of the nine best travel credit cards for you.

1. CapitalOne Venture One Rewards

Capitulation VentureOne Rewards is one of the best travel credit cards with no annual fees. It offers unlimited 1.25 miles for every dollar you spend on purchases. Using Capital One Travel, booking your hotels and car rentals will earn you five miles for every dollar. This travel card also has a welcome bonus, and you can earn 20,000 miles for spending $500 within the first three months of account opening. Capital One Venture One Rewards offers 0% intro APR for the first 15 months. Additionally, this travel card offers travel perks like travel accident insurance, car rental damage coverage, and exclusive access to award-winning restaurants and entertainment events. Your travel rewards don’t expire, and you can redeem them for travel purchases or a statement credit.

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.24% - 25.24%

Credit Required

Fair

  • 0% APR for the first 15 months.
  • Twenty thousand bonus miles for $500 spent on purchases within the first three months.
  • 0 annual travel credit card fees.
  • 0 fees for foreign transactions
  • You can redeem your rewards for travel expenses or a statement credit.
  • You need excellent credit.
  • High cash advance rate of 25.24%.

2. Discover It Miles

Discover It Mies is another best travel credit card to help you cash your miles. This travel credit card can earn you unlimited 1.5X rewards on every dollar you spend for zero annual fees. You’ll also get a bonus miles match to celebrate your first card membership year. Each mile you earn is the same a cent. For example, if you earn 55,000 miles, you have $550 worth of rewards. There are zero annual credit card fees and zero costs on foreign purchases. Additionally, you can redeem your rewards for travel purchases or a statement credit. The miles you earn can pay for airfare, gas, travel agency, hotels, and restaurants. Like CapitalOne Venture One card, Discover It Miles also has an intro offer of 0% APR for the first 15 billing cycles.

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

11.99% - 22.99%

Credit Required

Good/Excellent

  • Unlimited 1.5X travel rewards on every dollar.
  • Welcome bonus of rewards matches during the first year.
  • 0% welcome APR for the first 15 months
  • You can convert miles to cash through eligible purchases or a statement credit.
  • Zero offer for airport lounge access.
  • Variable APR starts from 12.24% to 23.24% after the intro offer expiry.
  • It’s the best fit for people with good/excellent credit.

3. Chase Saphire Reserve

What if we told you about a travel credit card that offers more options to get rewards? Chase Saphire Reserve is an ideal credit card for travelers seeking more travel perks. This card provides a first-time welcome bonus of up 50,000 points, and these bonus points equal $750 in rewards for spending 4,000 in the first four months of account opening. You can earn 5X points when purchasing your flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Earn 10X points on hotels and car rental purchases. Additionally, you can get 3X points on worldwide travel and 10X on Chase Dining. There are also 3X points rewards on dining, takeout, and delivery with eligible restaurants. You’ll get 1X for every dollar spent on all other stuff.

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99%

Credit Required

Good/Excellent

  • 50% more value on your points when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • More ways to get rewards.
  • $100 every four years to cover your Global Entry or TSA Precheck statement credit.
  • Priority Pass to airport lounges, restaurants, and cafes.
  • $300 money-back annually on travel-related purchases.
  • $550 annual fee
  • High APR starts from 17.24% to 24.24%

4. AmEx Delta Sky Miles

The Delta Sky Miles blue credit card is your perfect match if you love traveling on delta and dining. This card has an intro offer of 10,0000 miles for making purchases worth $500 in the first three months. Additionally, you can earn 2X miles on dining worldwide and take out or delivery in the US. Earn 2X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases. You can redeem your miles for flight fees when you book through delta.com. You can save 20% when buying food, beverages, and audio headset through Delta In-flight purchases.

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

16.49%–25.49%

Credit Required

Good/Excellent

  • Travel rewards, including car rental loss or damage.
  • Zero annual fees
  • Zero fees on overseas purchases
  • 20+ airline partners.
  • Low card spending requirement to win rewards
  • APR is 16.49% to 25.49%
  • Lacks extra travel rewards like free checked bags.

5. AmEx Gold Card

Are you looking for more credit card benefits across travel, dining, and entertainment? The Gold Card from American Express offers irresistible rewards on dining, travel, and groceries. New members get a welcome bonus of 75,000 points for using $4,000 within the first six months. You can also earn rewards like 4X points on dining, 4X points on groceries, 3X points on flights, and 1X on all other eligible purchases. There is a catch to earning these rewards like any other rewards card, and you’ll need to spend $25,000 on groceries per year to get the 4X points. Additional benefits this travel credit card offers include $120 per year when you enroll for dining credit. You can also add your account as payment for Uber and get $120 per year on Uber Eats or Orders. Additionally, enjoy a $100 experience credit for your hotel stay. Earn extra membership rewards, including 2X points and 1X points on each eligible dollar, by booking your travels through amextravel.com. One of the best features of the AmEx Gold card is that you can use your rewards to book/upgrade a trip, purchase a gift card, do shopping, get a statement credit, or transfer bonuses to the frequent traveler program.

Annual Fee

$250

Regular APR

16.74%–23.74%

Credit Required

Good/Excellent

  • AmEx Gol credit card offers some of the best travel rewards and features.
  • Generous annual rewards.
  • Zero fees on foreign purchases.
  • More options to use your rewards
  • Annual credit card fee of $250
  • No lounge access offer

6. Citi Premier Card

Citi Premier Card is another best travel credit card you can try if you’re looking for easy rewards. This credit card gets you triple points on every dollar for everyday purchases in supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, air travel, and hotels. As a new Citi Premier Cardmember, you qualify for a bonus reward of 60,000 ThankYou points on $4,000 worth of eligible purchases during the first three months. These points equal $600 in gift cards. Also, you’ll earn $100 to offset a single hotel stay worth $500+. Other things that make this card popular for travel include zero fees on overseas purchases and transferable points airline loyalty programs like Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, TrueBlue, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

16.74%-24.74%

Credit Required

Good/Excellent

  • 3X ThankYou Points rewards traveling, dining, grocery shopping, and gas purchases.
  • Generous welcome bonus.
  • Exclusive access to presale tickets to entertainment events.
  • 0 fees on overseas purchases
  • Lower transferable points limit.
  • Save $100 annually on hotels.
  • $95 annual fees
  • No 0% intro APR.

7. Bank Of America Travel Rewards Card

Bank of America’s Travel Rewards Card is another best travel credit card with zero annual fees. It is ideal for people looking for unlimited flat-rate rewards on all purchases. Every eligible dollar purchase will earn your 1.5 points with no expiry. If you join the Preferred Rewards program, you can get 25-75% more rewards. The card also boasts a 0% intro APR for your first fifteen billing cycles. New members receive 25,000 points as a welcome bonus for spending $1,000 within the first three months. Redeeming your rewards is flexible, and no restrictions on where you can book your travels.

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

14.24%–24.24%

Credit Required

Good/Excellent

  • Hassle-free unlimited 1.5 per dollar purchase rewards.
  • $250 worth of welcome bonus points.
  • No annual fees.
  • Zero rate intro APR offer.
  • You can redeem points rewards for travels, hotels, cruises, baggage fees, rental cars, vacation packages, and restaurants.

No intro offer for balance transfers

8. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Are you a frequent flyer of the Alaska Air Line? The Alaska Mileage Plan is your ultimate choice for a co-branded credit card for exclusive rewards. Get a new account statement credit bonus of $100 and 40,000 bonus miles. There is an additional reward to cover starting fare of $121 to celebrate your anniversary as a cardholder. For $75 per year, this travel credit card offers three miles for every dollar spent and gets one mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases. Enjoy 50% off on Alaska Lounges and free checked bags on Alaska flights. Another best thing about Alaska Airlines is that you earn mile rewards for every actual mile you fly. You can redeem your mile rewards for Alaska air travel or with its partners,

Annual Fee

$75

Regular APR

16.24%-24.24%

Credit Required

Good/Excellent

  • No cap mileage rewards.
  • Generous annual partner fare reward.
  • $100 statement credit offer on account opening.
  • Generous 40,000 bonus miles.
  • Zero foreign transaction costs.

$75 annual fees

9. CapitalOne Venture Rewards

Rack up miles to use on your next travel with CapitalOne venture rewards. This travel credit card is one of the best for solid unlimited rewards. Capital One Venture Rewards is ideal for people looking to earn hassle-free travel rewards. You don’t have to activate any bonus card benefits or keep track of spending categories. As a Venture Rewards cardholder, you can earn unlimited five miles for every dollar you spend on hotel stays and rental cars through Capital One Travel. Another offer is the unlimited two miles per dollar on everyday purchases. Spend $4,000 within the first ninety days and earn 75,000 bonus miles. The card also offers other premier benefits like free annual visits to the Capital One lounge. Additionally, you can get a $100 credit to cover your Global Entry or TSA Precheck fees. Redeeming your Capital One Venture Rewards is pretty straightforward if you want to use them on travel purchases. You can also use your travel reward points on purchases through PayPal or Amazon, and another option is to transfer your Venture miles reward to 15 other travel loyalty programs.

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

16.24%–24.24%

Credit Required

Good/Excellent

  • Generous unlimited five miles per dollar rewards on travel purchases
  • Welcome 75,000 miles bonus for new cardmembers
  • Extra travel benefits like two free passes to Capital One lounge and a $100 bonus credit for Global Entry and TSA Precheck.
  • It is easy to renew your miles rewards for travel purchases.
  • $95 in annual card fees
  • No 0% intro APR

Is it Worth Getting A Travel Credit Card?

The right travel credit card is worth it because you can use the reward points to cover your travel expenses. Travel credit card points can accumulate quickly, especially if you travel frequently. These credit cards’ extra travel perks can help you save time and guarantee coverage in unexpected emergencies. 

 

Additionally, you can redeem travel points for statement credits or use them for your everyday shopping. A free checked bag offer can help you save several hundred dollars on your travels. Additionally, free passes to airport lounges and other amenities offered by credit cards can make your trip enjoyable.

Do you want to learn more about rewards credit cards? Here at Penny Calling Penny, we focus on helping you figure out the best credit card that fits your needs. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest accurate and valuable information on credit cards sent straight to your inbox.

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