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How to Pick a Travel Rewards Credit Card

How to Pick a Travel Rewards Credit Card

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Jun 27, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Travel rewards credit cards can be your ticket to a free vacation, but the sheer number of options available can make it tough for travelers to choose the right card that will be a perfect fit for them.

That’s why it’s important to take the time to do your research before applying for a card. Travel rewards cards offer the ability to leverage your everyday spending into trips that might otherwise have remained bucket-list dreams. Savvy travelers use travel rewards cards to take trips around the world, fly first class on renowned airlines and sip cocktails at five-star luxury resorts jutting out over the ocean.

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But before you start shopping for a card to make that dream trip a reality, you should know that travel rewards cards tend to carry higher interest rates than some other types of credit cards, so the key to using a travel rewards card smartly is to never carry a balance. If you don’t pay off your bill in full each month, the high interest charges will negate any rewards points or miles you earn.

When shopping for a travel rewards card, keep in mind that you have three main categories of cards from which to choose:

  1. General travel credit cards — All-purpose travel credit cards offer the most flexibility, with points that can be redeemed for a variety of travel purchases or transferred to partner airline or hotel programs for even more options.
  2. Airline credit cards — Co-branded airline credit cards reward travelers loyal to a specific airline, with special airline perks and miles that can be redeemed for flights with that airline and its partners.
  3. Hotel credit cards — Co-branded hotel credit cards reward travelers who prefer a specific hotel chain with hotel-centric perks like hotel spa credits and points that can be redeemed for free hotel stays, meals, late checkout times and other rewards.

Other travel-centric co-branded cards, such as those affiliated with cruise lines or Disney, may work well for a specific vacation or travel purpose, but generally lack the generosity and flexibility as other travel rewards cards.

Travel rewards cards offer the ability to leverage your everyday spending into trips that might otherwise have remained bucket-list dreams.

General travel cards

General travel credit cards typically offer a tiered rewards earning structure that allows you to earn extra points on travel and restaurant purchases. Most allow you to redeem rewards for travel through the card issuer’s portal or to transfer the points to a wide array of airline and hotel program partners. These cards are best for travelers who don’t always fly the same airline or stay in the same hotel and want plenty of options.

Here are some of the most popular general travel cards along with the highlights of each card:

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Annual fee: $450 plus $75 for each user.

Foreign transaction fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That is worth $750 in travel when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.

Special perks: 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Airport lounge access through Priority Pass™ Select, purchase protection, return protection and extended warranty protection.

How rewards can be redeemed: Redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to get 50% more value or transfer to 12 partner airline and hotel programs at a 1:1 value.

Why travelers love this card: The travel credit and rich benefits that include airport lounge access more than cover the Chase Sapphire Reserve® annual fee for frequent travelers. The robust travel insurance coverage includes $100,0000 in emergency evacuation and transportation, an insurance benefit not found on most cards. Travel blogger Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie, of the Globetrotting Teacher, loves the card for its fat travel bonus, which can be used for everything from flights to train tickets to parking, as well as its generous welcome bonus.

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • $300 Annual Travel Credit, Airport Lounge Access, and Flexible Redemption Options

Highlights
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Reserve®

More Info

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Annual fee: $95

Foreign transaction fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Special perks: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide, and travel insurance that includes trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement and a primary auto rental collision damage waiver.

How rewards can be redeemed: Redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to get 25% more value or transfer to 12 partner airline and hotel programs at a 1:1 value.

Why travelers love this card: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers flexibility and a range of travel benefits for a modest annual fee. Before the Chase Sapphire Reserve® came out, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card was Sills-Dellegrazie’s favorite card because of its strong travel benefits and the fact that points redeemed for travel have a solid value.

  • 60,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on travel and dining

  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Foreign transaction fee: None

Sign-up bonus: One-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel.

Special perks: 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, plus 10 miles per $1 spent on thousands of hotels through January 2020. Travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver and extended warranty coverage.

How rewards can be redeemed: Redeem for travel through Capital One portal or transfer to more than 14 airline partners.

Why travelers love this card: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is great for travelers who love a bargain, with an annual fee waived for the first year and tools that include Wikibuy, which scans the internet for deals, and Paribus, which looks for savings on your previous online purchases and gets you money back.

  • One-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel

  • 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

Highlights
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

See additional details for Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

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Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card

Annual fee: $0

Foreign transaction fee: None

Sign-up bonus: 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

Special perks: Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases. Offers a Preferred Rewards program for customers with at least a $20,000 three-month combined average balance in eligible Bank of America and/or Merrill accounts. The program, which has three tiers, allows you to earn 25%-75% more rewards on credit card purchases, depending on your balance total. The program also offers other perks such as a savings account interest booster and auto loan discount.

How rewards can be redeemed: Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees. Redemptions can also be used for cash or gift cards at a lower value.

Why travelers love this card: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card is a great choice for travelers looking for a travel card with no annual fee and may be a good fit for loyal Bank of America and Merrill customers.

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases

  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles

  • 16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Highlights
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR ends, 16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR will apply
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more points on every purchase

See additional details for Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee: $550 for the first card plus $175 extra for up to three additional cards, then $175 per card.

Foreign transaction fee: None

Welcome Offer: 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Special perks: 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. You get up to $200 in Uber Cash per year for U.S. rides, up to $200 a year in airline fee credits for incidental charges such as checked bag fees and in-flight refreshments, Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit, free airport lounge access through the American Express Global Lounge Collection, $100 in statement credits annually when you shop Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com, and purchase protection.

How rewards can be redeemed: Points can be transferred to the Delta SkyMiles® program, used for eligible charges on current online statement or redeemed on rewards from over 500 travel, shopping and entertainment brands.

Why travelers love this card: The Platinum Card® from American Express offers cardholders VIP treatment, including concierge service, an automatic upgrade to Gold status at Hilton and Marriott Bonvoy™, complimentary upgrades on car rentals, invitations to special events through By Invitation Only and preferred seating at select cultural and sporting events. It’s great for travelers who don’t mind paying a higher annual fee in exchange for maximum benefits. Travel blogger Tim Wenger at Zero to Travel loves the 5 points per $1 on flights booked with airlines, which, in his opinion, helps to put this card among the best travel rewards credit cards.

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.*

  • Up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees & more at one qualifying airline*

  • No foreign transaction fees & exclusive airport lounge access*

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Airline credit cards

Airline credit cards may be a good fit for travelers who stay loyal to one airline or who live in or near a hub city. These cards typically allow you to earn extra miles for purchases made directly from the airline, and miles may go directly into your frequent flyer account. These cards sweeten the deal with airline perks that may include free checked bags, upgrades, priority boarding and, in the case of premium airline cards, lounge access.

Here are some of the most popular airline travel cards along with the highlights of each card:

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Annual fee: $99

Foreign transaction fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus you get a 6,000-point anniversary bonus points after your account has been open for one year.

Special perks: 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Earn a Companion Pass after you make 100 qualifying one-way flights or accrue 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. Insurance coverage includes auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance, travel and emergency assistance insurance, and roadside dispatch. Extended warranty protection and purchase protection.

How rewards can be redeemed: For Southwest flights or international flights on over 50 carriers, for hotel stays, car rentals, or on merchandise or gift cards to over 70 merchants.

Why travelers love this card: The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers solid travel benefits at a reasonable annual fee as well as a chance to earn the coveted Companion Pass. Travel blogger John Ma at LoungeBuddy.com loves the Companion Pass, which allows you to pick a companion to fly for free with you for a whole year. And he likes that Southwest allows you to change your companion three times a year, providing an “escape hatch” if you have a falling out with your travel buddy.

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

Highlights
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events, and more.

See additional details for Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

More Info

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

Annual fee: $450

Foreign transaction fee: 0%

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening plus an Admirals Club airport lounge membership that includes access for authorized users.

Special perks: Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases & 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases. Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee credit. First checked bag free on domestic AA flights for you and up to eight travel companions, priority boarding and check-in for you and up to 8 companions on the same reservation. Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases.

How rewards can be redeemed: Redeem for flights on AA or more than 25 partner airlines through aa.com or AA reservations.

Why travelers love this card: The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® offers plenty of perks for loyal American Airlines flyers, especially those who travel in groups and want lounge access and other perks for traveling companions.

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases & 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Highlights
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for guests traveling with you
  • Complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 17.24% - 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

See additional details for Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

More Info

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Foreign transaction fee: None

Welcome Offer: 30,000 bonus miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.

Special perks: 2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases., free checked bag, no foreign transaction fees, special $29 rate for Delta Sky Club airport lounge access, priority boarding, 20% off in-flight purchases, car rental loss and damage insurance, extended warranty, purchase protection, free 2-day shipping with Shoprunner.

How rewards can be redeemed: Redeemable toward travel with Delta and more than 30 airline partners.

Why travelers love this card: The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express offers plenty of benefits for loyal Delta flyers who especially love the discounted lounge access.

  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.

  • 2X Miles on Delta Purchases*

  • Check your 1st bag free on every Delta flight*

Highlights
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 miles on every eligible dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.
  • Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights – that’s a savings of up to $240 for a family of 4 roundtrip.
  • Receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

More Info

United℠ Explorer Card

Annual fee: $0 Intro for First Year, then $95

Foreign transaction fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus earn an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.

Special perks: Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays and on purchases from United. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.. Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee reimbursement, free checked bag, 25% statement credit on in-flight purchases, priority boarding, 2 United Club one-time airport lounge passes on your account anniversary, insurance including auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation/ interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, purchase protection and extended warranty protection.

How rewards can be redeemed: Flights on United or on Star Alliance and other partner airlines, or for upgrades, inflight Wi-Fi, hotel stays, car rentals, merchandise, gift cards or events.

Why travelers love this card: The United℠ Explorer Card is great for loyal United flyers who want all the perks the airline has to offer.

Hotel credit cards

Hotel credit cards allow you to earn extra points for purchases made directly with the hotel, and they’re great for travelers who tend to stick with a particular hotel brand. Hotel cards typically offer perks including complimentary status with the hotel brand, late check-in and checkout, free breakfast, upgrades and possibly a free night stay.

Here are some of the most popular hotel travel cards along with the highlights of each card:

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Annual fee: $450

Foreign transaction fee: None

Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

Special perks: Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3X Marriott Bonvoy points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2X on all other eligible purchases. $300 annual statement credit for eligible Marriott Bonvoy hotel purchases, one free night per year after account anniversary, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, airport lounge access through a Priority Pass™ Select membership. Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee credit. No foreign transaction fees. Free in-room premium internet access, roadside assistance, car rental loss and damage insurance, travel accident insurance, baggage insurance.

How rewards can be redeemed: Free nights at over 6,900 Marriott Bonvoy hotels, or for flights or car rentals with Air + Car, or transfer points to over 40 airline partners.

Why travelers love this card: The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card may be a good fit for Marriott Bonvoy loyalists who enjoy the hotel perks and also want robust travel insurance and other travel benefits.

Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express

Annual fee: $450

Foreign transaction fee: None

Welcome Offer: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

Special perks: Earn up to 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on eligible purchases at participating Hilton hotels or resorts, 7 points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, on flights booked directly with the airlines or at AmexTravel.com or on eligible car rentals booked directly with car rental companies and 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. Hilton Diamond status, one weekend night reward each year after account anniversary, $250 Hilton resort statement credit, $250 airline fee credit for incidental charges, $100 Hilton on-property credit, unlimited Priority Pass™ Select lounge visits for up to 2 guests, no foreign transaction fees, insurance including car rental loss and damage insurance, baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, roadside assistance, extended warranty, purchase protection and Shoprunner two-day free shipping.

How rewards can be redeemed: Free nights at participating Hilton hotels, flights, car rentals, or transfer points for travel program rewards with over 40 airline partners. Can be redeemed as a statement credit on eligible charges.

Why travelers love this card: The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express is a good fit for travelers who frequently stay at Hilton hotels and who will earn enough in credits to cancel out the annual fee.

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

Annual fee: $95

Foreign transaction fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points - 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.

Special perks: Earn 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member. A free night every year after your account anniversary plus an additional night if you spend $15,000 during your anniversary year.

How rewards can be redeemed: Free nights and upgrades at participating World of Hyatt locations or redeem during checkout for incidentals such as spa, dining, parking, transportation and in-room movies

Why travelers love this card: The The World Of Hyatt Credit Card may be a great fit for loyal Hyatt customers who prefer a card with a modest annual fee.

Other travel cards

There also are other travel cards that can enhance a specific travel experience. For example, you can get a co-branded Disney credit card that offers points that can be redeemed toward air travel, Disney theme park tickets, resort stays and Disney merchandise. You can also get co-branded cruise line credit cards that allow you to redeem rewards toward flights, cruises and purchases on the ship.

These cards might work well if you have a specific travel goal, such as a family trip to Disneyland or an anniversary cruise. They sometimes offer sign-up bonuses and discounts that can trim the cost of your vacation. However, these cards generally don’t offer enough flexibility or redemption value to make a good primary rewards card for most travelers.

Bottom line

Taking some time to delve into the types of travel rewards cards along with their benefits can be a worthwhile time investment that will pay off down the road. A well-chosen travel credit card will allow you to turn your everyday purchases like groceries, gas and takeout into dream vacations in swanky hotels in exotic destinations around the world.

The information related to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express has been independently collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.


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