Updated 7/21/17

There may be no better time for you to sign up for a new travel credit card than today. Credit card issuers are packing credit card offers with lucrative perks in an attempt to establish new relationships with 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. These 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®
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Chase Sapphire Preferred®

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 why we picked it as one of the best credit cards of 2017 as well.

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 1.5x 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.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
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Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Best for: Sign-up bonus and 0% intro APR

Cardholders with large credit budgets may be justified in paying an annual fee, especially with Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. Members earn 2x miles per $1 on all purchases and redeem miles via our preferred method, statement credits, which gives cardholders much-needed flexibility to land the cheapest travel deals. The card carries a massive new cardholder bonus worth $500 in travel-related statement credits (50,000 bonus miles) when spending at least $3,000 on new purchases within the first 90 days. The card also doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and it includes a valuable 0% introductory APR offer for balance transfers. Read our full Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® 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

If you’re not spending enough to justify a high annual fee, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a solid solution that may find a prime spot in your wallet. 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 $400 in travel statement credits (40,000 bonus miles), when spending at least $3,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening. What differentiates Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card from Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is mainly twofold – a lower annual fee of $59 (waived for the first year) and flexible redemption options, which allow for partial statement credits starting as low as 2,500 miles, or $25. Read our full Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card review to learn more.

Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles

Best for: $0 annual fee and 0% intro APR

Travel cards tend to reward cardholders with high rates at the expense of other valuable perks, including 0% intro APR offers. Discover it® Miles bridges that gap with all purchases earning 1.5x miles per $1 and a 0% intro APR for 14 billing cycles for purchases. This flexible approach aligns with Discover it®-branded credit cards, which we think are good options for cardholders who carry one card that's meant to be versatile for day-to-day essentials. New cardholders can also double their miles since Discover matches all the miles earned in the first year for new members. That's a bonus worth $300 for travel when spending $20,000 in the first year. Read our full Discover it® Miles review to learn more.


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