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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.
Because of this, the travel credit card that works best for mom or dad 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 Best Credit Cards for Millennials 2021
- The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card – No Annual Fee Card for Millennials
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – Best Bonus Worth $750 in Award Travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® – Premium Millennial Travel Card
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – 2x on All Spending
The Best Credit Cards for Millennials 2021
1. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
If you spend more on hotel stays versus flights (say you drive to most of your destinations rather than fly, to save on cost), this is the card for you. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card gives you 2x miles on every purchase. However, Uber Eats purchases earn 5x miles per $1 spent through January 31, 2021.
There’s a $95 annual fee, which is pretty typical for most credit cards. 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 cardholders can earn 60,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of the account opening.
Learn more: Rewards Credit Cards
2. Wells Fargo Propel 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 get 3x points for every dollar you spend on dining (both at restaurants and with ordering services such as UberEats), as well as every dollar you spend on Uber and Lyft, car rentals, flights, hotels, gas and 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, make 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.
Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards
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 travel brand with an airline or hotel credit card.
The bonus offer for spending is huge right now — 50,000 bonus points for $4,000 of spending in the first three months — and worth $750 in travel. Additionally, cardholders receive $300 in travel credit each year.
As far as earning, Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders receive 3x points for every dollar spent on travel (3x points earned on things like flights, hotels, taxis/rideshares, and trains after spending $300 on travel) and dining.
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 either 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 it 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.
However, you will need excellent credit for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred
If cash is a bit tight right now, consider signing up for a different card or checking out the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Considered one of the best travel credit cards for beginners, this card comes with the ability to earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening (also worth $750 in award travel). However, you’ll only earn 2x points on dining and travel. The Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits are well worth considering, even though the annual fee is $95.
Two new benefits include no delivery fees for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DoorDash DashPass subscription, over a $100 value (activate by December 31, 2021). Cardholders can also earn 5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022.
Additionally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best credit card offers, along with some other enticing travel cards that have limited time offers for the summer.
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.
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 gives you 2x miles on dining and on purchases made directly with Delta. You save 20 percent on in-flight purchases and, pending approval, you’ll receive a $1,000 line of credit to use at delta.com instantly.
The potential downsides to this card include foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees) and 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.
If you prefer the brand, this could be no problem for you. If you’re less than familiar with Delta, however, do note the airline is one of the priciest for domestic flights. Plus, its frequent flyer program is lackluster until you begin earning major miles.
Summary of the Best Credit Cards for Millennials
While these cards are not only some of the best credit cards for millennials, they are also some of the best credit cards for airline miles, best travel credit cards 2021, and even some of the best credit cards for international travel that you can have in their 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 the rest of the year.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, please click here.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
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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.