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If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you value new experiences. You also know that travel isn’t always within your budget. Maximizing the best credit cards for travel rewards can help you book more trips and explore new places. So what credit cards give the best travel rewards?

Best Credit Cards for Travel Rewards 2019
Best Credit Cards for Travel Rewards 2019

Best Credit Cards for Travel Rewards 2019

Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred

The best overall credit card for travel rewards is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Two reasons are the flexible travel redemption options and a reasonable $95 annual fee. If you only travel a few times a year, this card can be an excellent fit.

There are several Chase Sapphire Preferred bonuses and benefits. You earn unlimited 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining purchases and 1 point per $1 on everything else. Each point is worth 1 cent each for cash travel rewards and usually more for award travel.

There are two ways to redeem your points for travel:

For example, redeeming any award travel on the Expedia-powered Chase travel makes each point worth 25% more. This means 10,000 points are worth $125 in award travel but only $100 in cash rewards. A potentially more valuable option is 1:1 point transfers when each point is worth more than 1.25 cents each.

This is easy to accomplish with most airlines including United, Southwest, British Airways, and JetBlue who are 4 of the 9 airline transfer partners.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred review reveals a one-time signup bonus of 60,000 points (worth $750 in award travel) is yours after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. Here’s how hard it is to sign up for the Sapphire Preferred.

What Credit Card Gives the Best Travel Rewards?

The Capital One Venture and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit cards give the best travel rewards. They both have large signup bonuses, earn up to 2x miles on spending, no foreign transaction fees, and have smart chip technology.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – $500 Bonus, 2x Miles on Spending

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is the best flat-rate credit card for travel rewards because it earns 2x miles on every $1 spent, regardless of the purchase. You also earn 10x miles on Hotels.com/venture purchases through January 2020.

But how hard is it to apply for the Capital One Venture?

Each mile is worth 1 cent each and redeemable for travel statement credits or booking upcoming travel on the Capital One travel portal. A third redemption option is transferring or redeeming Capital One Venture miles to airline partners. Another handy card benefit is the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit.

The signup bonus is 50,000 miles (worth $500) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. The $95 annual fee is also waived for the first year.

Check out our Capital One Venture vs Chase Sapphire Preferred comparison to see which card is a better fit for you.

Platinum Card from American Express – Premium Credit Card for Travel Rewards

The Platinum Card from American Express makes it possible to earn the most reward points on airfare purchases and enjoy travel benefits that defray your travel costs. It can be hard to get the Amex Platinum, but if you have a good credit score you should meet the criteria.

For starters, you earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on flights booked directly through the airline. Any flight or hotel booked through AmexTravel.com also earns unlimited 5 points per $1. Most travel credit cards award 2 points per $1 on travel bookings, so you earn double the points. Points are worth 1 cent each when booking award flights through Amex Travel.

In most cases, you will find more value by transferring American Express points (known as Membership Rewards points) to the 1:1 airline partners including British Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Delta Air Lines. The real value for this card is the various travel benefits that exceed the $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees):

  • $200 airline fee credit
  • Up to $200 in Uber ride credits
  • Complimentary access to Centurion, Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club, and other lounge networks
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • Automatic Gold loyalty status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy

The current welcome bonus is 60,000 bonus points (worth $600 in award travel) after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

Learn more about The Platinum Card® from American Express: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Related post: See our recommendations for the top premium travel credit cards (the Platinum Card is one of them).

World of Hyatt Credit Card

For hotel perks, the World of Hyatt Credit Card is one of the best. Why? For one, it is one of the best credit cards for free hotel nights each card anniversary. Spending $15,000 each year gives you a second free night. Both nights are valid at any category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort (15,000 points or less per night).

Hyatt points are arguably the most valuable hotel points as they are usually worth more than 1 cent each on most redemptions. And, the most expensive Hyatt night costs 40,000 points at a category 8 hotel. Free nights start at 5,000 points.

You can earn up to 9 points per $1 on Hyatt stays. You earn 4 points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels and 5 points per $1 spent when you are a World of Hyatt member, totaling 9 points. Restaurants, plane tickets purchased directly from the airline, local transit, and fitness club and gym membership purchases all earn 2 points per $1.

The current signup bonus is up to 50,000 bonus points. Earn the first 25,000 points by spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and the final 25,000 points after spending $6,000 total in the first 6 months.

Learn more about the World of Hyatt Credit Card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

American Express Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card lets you earn bonus points abroad and locally:

  • 4x points on dining worldwide
  • 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year then 1x points)
  • 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on AmexTravel.com
  • 1x points on everything else

You also get a $100 airline fee credit each year and a $120 dining credit ($10 monthly) at select restaurants including Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. Note that you must be enrolled to get the savings.

Hotel Collection bookings can also get a $100 on-property statement credit.

Plus, your Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for award travel on AmexTravel.com or transferred to the different airline and hotel transfer partners. Learn more about the American Express® Gold Card: Rewards Credit Cards

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express (Expired)

Check out the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express if you’re a regular Delta flyer. It’s one of the best Delta credit cards you can apply for. You have the opportunity to earn bonus SkyMiles and Medallion Qualification Miles:

  • Welcome offer with the ability to earn 75,000 miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Offer Expires 10/30/2019.
  • Additionally, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase on your card within your first 3 months of account opening.

You also earn 2 SkyMiles per $1 on every Delta purchase and 1 SkyMile per $1 on all non-Delta purchases. Each card anniversary, you get a domestic main cabin round-trip companion ticket. You only have to pay up to $75 in fees and taxes for their seat.

The Delta credit cards also have one of the most generous checked bag benefits. The first checked bag is free for you and up to 8 companions for each travel itinerary.

Learn more about the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: Airline Credit Cards

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is another top contender for the best airline credit cards. You enjoy these Southwest Airlines benefits:

  • $75 Southwest travel credit card
  • 4 Upgraded Bookings per year (when available)
  • 20% back on inflight purchases
  • 7,500-anniversary points
  • Earn 2x points on Southwest purchases (1x points for everything else)

New Southwest credit card holders can earn 40,000 points by spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. These points plus purchase rewards count toward the annual 110,000-point Companion Pass requirement.

Best Credit Cards for Travel Points

The best credit cards for travel points have some of the highest payouts for your largest and most common purchases. Besides quickly earning points, you can easily redeem them to book your next trip and save some cash.

Do you want to earn travel points quickly? It’s not a secret that some credit cards for travel points are better than others. Whether you want to earn air miles, hotel points, or flexible points, these cards can help you accomplish that goal.

Credit Cards for Travel Points
Best Credit Cards for Travel Points Credit: Pexels

You can rack up travel points with the best credit card bonus offers. Although, focusing on earning the most points on a daily basis can consistently build a small fortune.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Card earns unlimited 2 miles per $1 on every purchase. Hotels.com/venture purchases earn 10 miles per $1 through January 2020. Earning a flat amount of miles makes it easy to maximize your everyday purchases instead of select bonus categories like travel, dining, and groceries.

Each Venture Mile is worth 1 cent each when redeemed for travel statement credits or booking upcoming travel on the Capital One travel portal. You can also transfer your Capital One miles to airline partners like JetBlue, Asia Miles, and Singapore Airlines.

The signup bonus for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card can also be easier to earn than other flexible travel credit cards. You only have to spend $3,000 in the first 3 months and you get 50,000 bonus miles worth $500 in award travel. As an extra bonus, the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

Platinum Card from American Express

Most credit cards only award 2 or 3 points per $1 spent on plane tickets. This includes co-brand airline credit cards. The Platinum Card from American Express earns 5x points on plane tickets booked directly from an airline or on AmexTravel.com. Hotels booked through AmexTravel.com also earn 5x points.

You can also easily redeem your points for award flights on AmexTravel.com for one cent each. A better option is usually transferring them to many 1:1 airline and hotel transfer partners including British Airways, Delta, Singapore Airlines, and Air France Flying Blue.

This card also offers complimentary airport lounge access, a $200 airline fee credit, $200 in Uber ride credits, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.

The annual fee is $550 (See Rates & Fees) which means you will need to fly often to maximize the Platinum Card benefits.

Learn more about The Platinum Card® from American Express: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

American Express Gold Card

You can maximize your travel and daily spending with the American Express Gold Card:

  • 4x points on all dining
  • 4x points on the first $25,000 at U.S. supermarkets (then 1x points)
  • 3x points on flights booked through an airline or on AmexTravel.com
  • 1x points on everything else

Unlike most American Express credit cards, the Gold Card earn bonus points on dining in foreign countries. Dining benefits also include a $120 credit ($10 monthly) at select partners including Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, and Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

You can redeem your Membership Rewards for award travel through AmexTravel.com or the airline and hotel point transfer partners. Another travel benefit you can easily maximize is the annual $100 airline fee credit.

New cardmembers can earn 35,000 bonus travel points by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Learn more about the American Express® Gold Card: Rewards Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve review unveils another attractive premium credit card. It’s one of the best cards for earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Every travel and dining purchase earns 3 points per $1 spent. All non-bonus purchases earn 1 point per $1. Your points are worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed for award travel on Chase. You can also transfer them on a 1:1 basis to more than a dozen travel partners including United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, British Airways, and World of Hyatt.

Key Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits include an annual $300 travel credit, Priority Pass airport lounge access, and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit.

The annual fee for this card is $450 but the perks can help offset that. New cardmembers can also earn a 50,000-point signup bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. That’s a great Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (Expired)

Get an earnings boost on every card purchase for the first year with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. You will earn 25x points on IHG purchases and 2x points at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores (plus 1x points on everything else).

Each year, you get one free award night valid at any property that costs 40,000 points or less. You also get automatic Platinum Elite status which includes space-available room upgrades and extended check-out.

Another exclusive card benefit for IHG members is getting the 4th night free on 4+ night award stays. Non-cardholders don’t get this benefit. Free nights start at 5,000 points although most properties require 15,000 to 25,000 points per night. You can imagine the savings this perk is worth if you use it regularly.

Another travel perk is getting free Global Entry or TSA Precheck. You can get further details regarding in this IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card review.

The annual fee is $89 per year and there isn’t a foreign transaction fee.

Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select

Some of the best miles credit cards now award bonus travel points on non-airline purchases. The Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select earns 2x points on restaurants, gas stations, and American Airlines purchases. Everything else earns unlimited 1 point per $1.

Other American Airlines advantages include:

  • First checked bag is free for you and up to 4 travel companions
  • Preferred boarding
  • 25% savings on in-flight purchases
  • $125 flight credit after $20,000 in annual card purchases

The current signup bonus is 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months. The $99 annual fee is also waived for the first year.

Chase Ink Business Preferred – Best Business Credit Card for Travel Rewards

When it comes to business credit cards, the Chase Ink Business Preferred is one of the best for maximizing your business purchases.

This card has the most valuable signup bonus for any card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards. You earn 80,000 bonus points that are worth $1,000 in award travel after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.

This card also earns 3x points on the first $150,000 in combined spending on these purchases:

  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Advertising on search engines and social media

All remaining purchases earn an unlimited 1 point per $1 with the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

Your points are worth 1 cent each for cash rewards and 1.25 cents on award travel booked through Chase. You can also transfer them to the Chase 1:1 transfer partners including United Airlines, Southwest, British Airways, and World of Hyatt.

Check out the other top contenders for the best business credit card to earn the most points on your business purchases.

Summary Best Credit Cards for Travel Rewards

The best credit cards for travel rewards make it easy to earn and redeem rewards points for award travel. In most cases, you can enjoy other free travel benefits that can make each trip more enjoyable.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Best Credit Cards for Travel Rewards:

Johnny Jet Editorial

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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.

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