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Some cards are from Credible partners.

In order to choose the best travel credit card, you need to first figure out what you’re looking to get out of it. Are you wedded to a particular airline or hotel brand? Or, do you like to keep your options open and play the field? Be prepared to ask yourself these very important questions. But don’t worry — we’ve done the analysis for you.

We compared a variety of different cards, evaluating them based on their annual fees, rewards rates, APRs, travel perks, and other details, to bring you some of the best travel credit cards of 2018.

Best travel cards

Best for frequent flyers looking to earn miles

Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

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on Chase's website

Summary

The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers cardholders 3x points on travel and dining purchases and, though Chase’s whopping initial 100k welcome bonus offer is over, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is still one of the best travel credit cards around.

Get it

There’s nothing like the Chase Sapphire Reserve for frequent travelers – with its annual $300 travel credit that’s automatically applied toward eligible travel purchases (including things like plane tickets and cab rides), and the 3x points you’ll earn on travel and dining purchases, this card is hard to beat.

Key highlights

  • 3X points on travel and restaurant purchases
  • Up to $300 in travel credit, automatically credited to your account each year
  • A 50,000 point welcome bonus when you spend at least $4,000 within three months of opening your account
  • Travel perks like lounge access and reimbursement for programs such as Global Entry

Skip it

If you’re a serious traveler who spends a lot on travel and dining, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a good bet. But watch out for that high annual fee, and keep in mind that the Reserve doesn’t offer much in the way of other high-end perks like free upgrades.

Want to know more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve? Read our full review here.

Best travel cards

Best for frequent flyers looking to earn miles

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now

on Chase's website

Summary

Offering 2x points on travel and dining purchases, no foreign transaction fees, and 25% more in value when rewards points are redeemed for travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a frequent traveler’s dream card.

Get it

Come for the 50,000 point sign-up bonus (as long as you spend $4,000 in the first three months), and stay for the 2X points on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Also, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® waives the $95 annual fee for the first year.

Key highlights

  • 2x rewards on travel and dining purchases; that’s 2 points for every $1 spent
  • A 50,000 point sign-up bonus, as long as you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
  • No foreign transaction fees – great for cardholders who frequently travel abroad
  • 1:1 point transfer to partner airlines and hotels, like Southwest or Hyatt

Skip it

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great general travel rewards card, but it doesn’t offer benefits like free checked bags and priority boarding, which some airline specific cards offer. And if you don’t spend much money on travel and dining, that $95 annual fee might not be worth it for you.

Want to know more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred®? Read our full review here.

Best travel cards

Best secure travel card with chip-and-PIN capability

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

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on Barclaycard's website

Summary

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® offers cardholders the chance to earn 2x miles for every $1 spent on any purchase.

First time members opening new accounts can earn 40,000 miles after they spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, you’ll get 5% of your miles back every time you redeem.

Get it

For frequent international travelers, The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® also offers chip-and-PIN capability for enhanced security.

Key highlights

  • 2x miles on every purchase you make; that’s 2 miles for every $1 spent
  • 40,000 bonus miles, after you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days (for first time members opening a new account)
  • 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem

Skip it

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® offers the most value to cardholders who redeem their miles for a travel statement credit used against a specific travel expense. If you’d rather redeem points for non-travel related rewards, you might want to consider a different card.

Is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® right for you? Read our full review here.

Best travel cards

Best for luxury travel

This offer is not currently available

This may be because the issuer is no longer offering this card or promotion. Check out similar cards below.

Best travel cards

Best for no annual fee

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card

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on Bank of America's website

Summary

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card helps cardholders earn 1.5X points per $1 spent, with annual fee of $0.

Further good news for Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, or Merrill Edge customers — you can earn a bonus of 10% to 75% when you redeem, depending on how much you have in your accounts.

Get it

If you’re looking for an easy way to earn rewards on everyday spending, and earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 within 90 days of opening your account, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card might be the credit card for you.

Key highlights

  • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees
  • Unlimited points, earned at a rate of 1.5 points per $1 spent
  • 20,000 bonus points, or $200 back, when you spend at least $1,000 on the card within 90 days of opening the account

Skip it

Those who want to redeem their points for non-travel related rewards may want to look elsewhere, as will big spenders who stand to earn rewards at a greater rate.

Is the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® card right for you? Read our full review here.

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