Numerous travel credit cards are available, each offering distinct bonus categories and perks, but which card is the best to use while travelling? In my experience, the Sapphire Preferred is the best card to use while travelling. It maximizes travel points, allowing you to frequently book award journeys and lower your travel expenses, and has a nice sign-up bonus.
Best Credit Card for Travel Points
Here’s a preview of the best cards to use while travelling:
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- American Express® Green Card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Bilt World Elite Mastercard®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
What Credit Card is Best for Getting Travel Points?
The point of a travel credit card is to earn rewards that can be redeemed for travel and to include travel benefits like free checked bags, TSA precheck credits, and lounge access.
What is the best credit card to collect points for travel?
Below is a list of the best credit cards to collect points for travel.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card earns up to 10x miles on purchases:
- 10x on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel
- 5x on flights booked through Capital One Travel
- 2x on all remaining purchases
This card has one of the best earning rates if you tend to book through a credit card booking site instead of directly from the carrier. Additionally, flights booked through Capital One Travel can be eligible for price drop protection. You can get your first $300 in purchases through the booking portal reimbursed each year.
Cardholders earn 10,000 bonus miles on each card anniversary.
Other notable benefits include redeeming your points for travel statement credits, upcoming trips through Capital One Travel, and transferring to the 1:1 Capital One airline partners.
Further, you can also enjoy complimentary airport lounge access and free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
The annual fee is $395, and you can request up to four free additional cards.
New Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card applicants can earn 75,000 bonus Capital One Miles worth $750 in award travel after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
The Platinum Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express earns up to 5x Membership Rewards® points on purchases. Additionally, this card has lots of complimentary luxury travel benefits that provide valuable experiences.
- 5x on flights booked directly from the airline or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 in purchases per year).
- 5x on prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com
- 1x on all other purchases
American Express travel points are most valuable when redeemed for award flights on AmexTravel.com or by transferring to one of the transfer partners.
Some of the featured benefits include:
- Up to $200 airline fee credit
- Up to $200 in Uber Cash per year
- Airport lounge access
- Hotel experience credits
The Platinum Card welcome offer is the ability to earn 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after spending $8,000 in the first 6 months ($800 value) with The Platinum Card® from American Express.
However, you might be able to earn a 100,000 or 125,000 Amex Platinum Bonus Offer by prequalifying through CardMatch™.
This card’s annual fee is $695 for the primary cardholder (See Rates & Fees). Additional fees apply for secondary cards.
American Express Green Card
The American Express® Green Card is a versatile points-earning credit card with flexible rewards categories. You will earn 3 Membership Rewards per $1 on the following spending:
- Dining (including takeout and delivery in the United States)
All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1. Unlike many of the other American Express credit cards that earn bonus points on travel but are restricted to one or two travel methods, any travel-related purchase such as flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises can earn triple points.
Additional benefits of not include a $100 LoungeBuddy credit and a free CLEAR® Plus membership (up to $189/year).
The welcome bonus is 60,000 Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months. Applicants can also earn 20% back on eligible travel and transit during the first 6 months (up to $200 back).
The annual fee is $150 (See Rates and fees), and secondary cards are free.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best credit card and a favorite for many travelers because of its flexibility with earning and redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. For instance, you can see just how much 75,000 Chase points are worth.
You can earn up to 5 Ultimate Rewards per $1:
- 5x on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards (excluding $50 annual hotel credit)
- 2x on all remaining travel purchases
- 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out
- 3x on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
- along with 3x on select streaming services
Your remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1.
At the end of each year, you receive bonus points equal to 10% of your annual spending. For example, you will receive 3,000 bonus points when you spend $30,000 over the year.
Your points are worth 25% more (1.25 cents) when redeemed for any award trip in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. You can also transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to over a dozen airlines and hotels. Some of the best Chase transfer partners include Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Aeroplan, and World of Hyatt.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card signup bonus is the ability to earn 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards (worth $750 in award travel) after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
The annual fee is $95, and authorized users are free.
Bilt World Elite Mastercard
If you pay rent or don’t want to pay an annual fee to earn travel points, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® can be a good fit to earn up to 3 Bilt Points per $1:
- 3x on dining
- 2x on travel
- 1x on rent without fees (up to 100,000 points per year)
- 1x on all remaining purchases
You can earn double the points on non-rent purchases on the first day of each month. Just be sure to make at least five purchases per statement cycle to earn reward points.
Your points are worth 25% more at 1.25 cents when booking award travel through the Bilt App. The app also lets you transfer points to airlines and can compare the best redemption value to help you decide whether to book through the app or transfer.
This card doesn’t have an annual fee or a foreign transaction fee.
Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
The information for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is one of the best co-branded airline credit cards as you can earn up to 10x AAdvantage miles on select travel purchases since a recent program refresh. It also has valuable airport lounges and air travel benefits.
This card earns up to 10x airline miles:
- 10x on car rentals and hotels booked through American Airlines
- Earn 4x AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases (5x for the remainder of the calendar year after spending $150,000)
- 1x on all remaining purchases
You can also receive 10,000 bonus Loyalty Points when you collect 50,000 Loyalty Points in a qualification year and once again if you accumulate 90,000 Loyalty Points.
One of this card’s most notable benefits is a complimentary Admirals Club® membership for the primary card and unlimited access for authorized users.
The primary cardholder and up to eight companions can enjoy a free first checked bag and an Enhanced Airport Experience among other travel perks.
New Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® cardholders can earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, enjoy a complimentary Admirals Club® membership (a value of up to $850).
This card’s annual fee is $595 for the primary card, $175 for the first three additional cards, and then $175 per card starting with the 4th card.
Summary of Best Credit Cards for Getting Travel Points
In conclusion, the best credit card for travel points is the card that works best for your lifestyle. You may want a card that earns airline miles, hotel points, or flexible credit card points. Matching the bonus categories with your spending habits, but also taking the redemption options and additional benefits into account can help you choose the best travel credit card for travel points.