Updated June 20, 2018

There may be no better time for you to sign up for a new travel credit card than today and credit card issuers are packing credit card offers with lucrative perks to attract new cardholders. Travelers benefit when taking advantage of big sign-up bonuses, securing cheap airfare, avoiding foreign and annual transaction fees, and gaining VIP access to airport lounges. The travel rewards may be the most valuable for many cardholders, especially knowing a roundtrip flight to Europe can cost less than $200 if you know where to look. These lucrative perks are some reasons why we’ve vetted some of the most popular cards on the market to guide you to what we think are the best travel cards. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best for: Sign-up bonus and points transfers

Chase Sapphire Preferred® offers one of the largest sign-up bonuses we know of for a card with low annual fee. New cardholders earn 50,000 bonus points after spending at least $4,000 on new purchases in the first three months. All points redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards® are worth 25% more than redeeming for cash back, leaving qualifying cardholders with a bonus worth $625 for travel. What’s more, travel and restaurant purchases earn 2x points per $1, all other purchases earn 1 point per $1, and points can be transferred to a long list of Chase’s participating transfer partners, all with a low annual fee of $95 (waived for the first year). These are just a few reasons we consider Chase Sapphire Preferred® a must-have, best-in-class credit card for sign-up bonuses. Read our full Chase Sapphire Preferred® review to learn more.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
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Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Best for: Sign-up bonus

Cardholders earn 2x miles per $1 on all purchases and redeem miles via statement credits. The card also dishes out a big new cardholder bonus worth $500 in travel statement credits (50,000 bonus miles), when spending at least $3,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening. In addition to easing the redemption process by applying miles for statement credits, cardholders can also redeem for partial statement credits starting as low as 2,500 miles, or $25, which is a rarity among leading travel cards. You also earn 10x miles per $1 on Hotels.com purchases through a provided link and can secure a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®. Read our full Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card review to learn more.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card
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Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

Best for: Sign-up bonus

Cardholders earn a 50,000 points bonus after spending $3,000 within three months of approval -- that's worth $500 in travel rewards. Additionally, the card includes premium perks such as 2 points per $1 for travel and restaurants, has no foreign transaction fees, and offers $200 in travel statement credits. Bank of America banking customers may be best off as the banks Preferred Rewards program offers up to 75% bonus rewards. At the highest tier of the program, travel and restaurant purchases then earn 3.5 points per $1. That's a category-leading rate among competing cards. Read our full Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card review.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Best for: Premium travel

Chase Sapphire Reserve® was built from the ground up for premium travel. Notably, the 50,000 points sign-up bonus earned after spending $4,000 within three months is worth $750 redeemed for Ultimate Rewards® travel, plus the card packs in $300 worth of annual travel statement credits and a $100 credit toward paying Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®* application fees. Tack on 3x points per dollar for travel and dining (1x point per $1 on everything else) and you can start to see why this card deserves a spot on on our list. Read our full Chase Sapphire Reserve® review for more.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
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Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Best for: $0 annual fee

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card receives high marks mostly due to its bench of perks, including a sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles -- worth $200 for travel -- after spending $1,000 within three months of account opening, ongoing rewards of 1.25x miles per $1, 10x miles per $1 for Hotels.com purchases placed on the card, and a 0% intro APR for 12 months for purchases. Of course, travel card stand-by's are included as well, such as no foreign transaction fees. Read our full Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card review to learn more.

Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®
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Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®

Best for: Big credit budgets

Barclays took an innovative approach to the travel credit card category that rewards loyalty with lucrative rewards, including 75,000 miles (worth $750 in travel statement credits) each year you spend at least $25,000 on purchases and unlimited 2x miles per $1. Add in no foreign transaction fees and a $100 credit for Global Entry access and you can see why this card is so valuable for the right type of cardholder. Who is the right type of cardholder? Read our full Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® review to uncover why people spending more than $25,000 on credit may not find a higher-yielding travel card.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
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Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Best for: Sign-up bonus and $0 annual fee

Flexible rewards are a busy traveler’s best friend, and Bank of America® Travel Rewards punches far above its weight. The card’s flexible points redemption program stands out most. All purchases earn 1.5 points per $1 and can be redeemed for travel-related statement credits, making this a powerful travel credit card for cardholders searching for cheap deals using their preferred booking portal. Qualifying new cardholders can also look forward to an offer of 20,000 points bonus -- redeemable for $200 in travel-related statement credits -- after spending at least $1,000 on new purchases in the first 90 days, plus a $0 annual fee. Read our full Bank of America® Travel Rewards review to learn more.


Best credit cards for travel

Card Offer Best For
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Sign-up bonus and points transfers
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Sign-up bonus
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card Sign-up bonus
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card $0 annual fee
Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard Big credit budgets
Chase Sapphire Reserve® For premium travel
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card Sign-up bonus and $0 annual fee

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