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What are the best credit cards for millennials in 2021? It’s true millennials have more credit card debt than the generations before them, for a myriad of reasons. But, is this generation making the right choices when it comes to picking a credit card? While they might be tempted to take advice from parents or other well-meaning members of other generations (boomers?) when it comes to choosing a card, it’s worth remembering that millennial spending habits — especially when it comes to travel — are much different from their predecessors.
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The Best Credit Cards for Millennials 2021
Because of this, the travel credit card that works best for mom or dad usually doesn’t work best in a millennial wallet. So, what are some of the best travel credit cards for millennials? Here are four that are sure candidates for a good pick.
- The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card – No Annual Fee Card for Millennials
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – Best Bonus Worth $1250 in Award Travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® – Premium Millennial Travel Card
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – 2x Miles on All Spending
1. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
If you want an easy-to-use card that earns rewards on all purchases, this is the card for you. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns you 2x miles on every purchase. You don’t have to worry about whether or not your purchase will fall into a bonus category.
There’s a $95 annual fee, which is pretty typical for most credit cards. But, you won’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees.
If you do want to spend your earned miles with airlines, this Capital One credit card gives you the ability to transfer your miles (and fly for free!). Plus, cardholders can transfer miles to leading travel loyalty programs, including new Capital One hotel transfer partners.
New Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card cardholders can earn 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards
2. Wells Fargo Propel Card American Express Card
The information related to Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card has been collected by Johnny Jet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is an overall good pick for the average millennial for many reasons. As a newer card, it’s been pretty heavily marketed toward millennials as well. It’s definitely the best Wells Fargo credit card to choose from. Here’s why.
You earn 3x points per $1 spent on dining (both at restaurants and with ordering services such as UberEats), as well as purchases for travel including flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals, gas stations, rideshares, transit, and popular streaming services.
Even better, there’s no annual fee, which is a big bonus if you’re not quite looking to drop extra cash on a credit card at the moment. This also gives you a chance to get your feet wet so to speak, without having to worry about a yearly fee. This option, as well as the potential to earn points for many everyday purchases, makes this one of the best credit cards for millennials.
The current bonus is 20,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months (an easy enough target to hit), which translates to $200 in rewards that you can receive as a cash redemption.
3. Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Preferred family of cards is well revered in the travel community. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is quite a good option for millennials who travel a lot and want to be paid for it, but they’re not necessarily looking to tie the knot just yet with a specific airline or hotel credit card.
New Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardmembers can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $750 towards travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Additionally, cardholders receive $300 in travel credit each year. Gas station and grocery store purchases will also count towards earning the annual $300 travel credit, through Dec. 31, 2021.
Plus, earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
This is in addition to the complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription that lets cardholders get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees. They also earn up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases ($60 in statement credits through 2020 and another $60 in statement credits through 2021).
Additional Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits
Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn 10x points on Lyft rides, including bikes and scooters. Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership is also available when activated by March 21, 2022.
Cardholders can also earn up to $120 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021.
Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.
Travel credit card pros highly recommend using the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal for spending your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, as you can usually get more value for those points when you book travel there versus elsewhere.
Other benefits that come with the card include fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, airport lounge access, and rental car privileges.
The bad thing about this card? It is a premium card, which means it comes with a hefty annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a $550 annual fee, one of the highest in the industry. If that’s something you’re looking to steer clear of right now, you definitely will want to bypass this card for another on this list.
Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve® worth it? Some say so. When you look at the signup bonus, travel statements, and perks, it can be one of the best, especially for frequent travelers.
Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
If cash is a bit tight right now, consider signing up for a different card with a lower annual fee, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (which is also the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s sister card). The annual fee is $95 and there are no foreign transaction fees to worry about.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card currently has an offer of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Also, enjoy new Chase Sapphire benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x points on dining, and 2x points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
Cardholders also earn 5x points on Lyft rides, through March 2022.
Additional Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits include unlimited deliveries with no delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DoorDash DashPass subscription. Activate your card by December 31, 2021.
Plus, cardholders can earn up to $60 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021.
Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits are well worth considering.
4. Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card
Say you want an airline-branded travel credit card. Well, those do often come with annual fees as well, though not so large as that of the Chase Sapphire Reserve. But if you fly frequently or stay often with a certain brand, that annual fee could be worth it to you.
There is one travel co-branded credit card that does not require an annual fee or foreign transaction fee: the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card (See Rates & Fees).
The card has a welcome bonus of earning 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. It also earns 2x miles on dining worldwide and on purchases made directly with Delta. Cardholders also receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after using their card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
The potential downsides to this card include the dedication you’ll need to make to the Delta brand. With miles worth the most when you actually spend them with Delta or a partner airline, you’ll have to hang your hat at the Delta door for most of your flights to get top value out of this card.
But, if you prefer the Delta brand, and fly it occasionally, this could be no problem for you. Check out our review of the best Delta credit cards if you want to read more or want to see what other Delta options are available.
Learn more: Airline Credit Cards
While these cards are not only some of the best credit cards for millennials, they are also some of the best miles credit cards, best travel credit cards, and even some of the best credit cards for international travel that you can have in your wallet. Each of these cards with plenty of travel perks and benefits. Depending on what you’re looking for, one of these credit cards can fuel your travel for when you are ready to hit the road or take to the skies.
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For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, please click here.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.