Travel Rewards Program

Which Travel Rewards Credit Card Is The Best For You?

Nowadays, credit cards can be used to purchase anything from a brand new car to groceries or even a pack of gum from your corner deli. Travel credit cards are rewards cards that help users earn free travel, achieve elite member status with hotels and airlines, and enjoy many other travel-related perks. To win over their customers, credit card companies partner with various travel brands that entice consumers with sign up bonuses, loyalty points, special discounts, and more. If you are looking to expand your wallet by choosing a new travel credit card, the number of options available to you are endless and could seem a bit overwhelming. With so many cards to choose from, it could be challenging to find a travel rewards program that accommodates your goals. So how do you find the best travel rewards program? We’ve compiled a list of a few key items to take into consideration when choosing a travel card. 

First things first, determine your travel goals. It’s important to have an idea in mind of what you want to get out of your credit card. Are you loyal to one specific brand or interested in free rewards? Do you need fixed value points or points that can be transferred? If you are a customer dedicated to one specific brand, let’s say you are a frequent flier with American Airlines, then you may want to consider a travel credit card such as Citi American AAdvantage. If you are interested in racking up points and having the option to use them where you may, credit cards such as Chase or American Express allow you to transfer points to be used towards several different airlines and hotels. 

As you do your research for finding the best travel rewards program for you, here are a few important things to look for in a travel credit card as explained by NomadicMatt.

  • Sign-up bonus – The bigger the better. A big sign-up bonus (after you meet the minimum spending requirement) is what jump-starts your mileage account and gets you closer to a free flight or hotel stay. Sometimes these bonuses even get you a few free flights. Don’t sign up for a card unless it offers a high sign-up bonus. Bonuses work like this: in order to get the large bonuses, you must make either a single purchase or meet a minimum spending threshold in a certain time frame. After that, depending on the card, you can earn 1-5x points per dollar spent. Typical travel credit card bonuses range between 25,000 to 50,000 points, though sometimes they can be as high as 100,000. That’s why cards are so great—you get an instant balance of thousands of points for very little work.
  • Added category spending bonus – Most credit cards offer one point for every dollar spent. However, the good credit cards will give you extra points when you shop at specific retailers, or, if it is a branded credit card, with a particular brand. This will help you earn points much more quickly. You don’t want one dollar to equal just one point. You want the ability to get two or three points every time you spend a dollar. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card gives you 3x points for travel and dining at restaurants, the Chase Ink gives you 5x points for office spending, and the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card gives 3x points on airfare.
  • Low spending minimum– Unfortunately, in order to get the great bonuses these cards offer, there is usually a required spending minimum. It’s best to be able to get the bonus using normal day-to-day spending. While you shouldn’t necessarily avoid high-minimum spending cards as they have substantial rewards, it’s a good idea to start small because you don’t want to get stuck with so many cards that you can’t meet the minimum spends (or earn bonus points)! 
  • Have special perks– All of these travel credit cards offer great perks. Many will give you special elite loyalty status or other extra perks. Look for cards without foreign transaction fees, free checked baggage, priority boarding, free nights, and much more. It’s not just about getting miles; it’s about what else comes with the card that makes life easier!
  • Low Annual fees– No one likes paying annual fees for credit cards. Many of the fees for company branded credit cards range from $50-$95 per year. Fee-based cards tend to give you a better rewards scheme, where you can accumulate points faster, get better access to services and special offers, and get better travel protection. 
  • No foreign transaction fees– Credit cards are great to use when you are overseas because you get the best possible exchange rate from them but if you are paying a fee every time you use the card, then it doesn’t become as good. These days, there are so many cards available without foreign transaction fees that you should never get a credit card with a foreign transaction fee. 

Finding the best travel credit card can seem like a challenging task. By determining your travel goals ahead of time, you’ll be able to choose a card that compliments your goals and enjoy all the advantages that come along with it. Before heading out on your next venture with the free airline ticket you’ve earned, make sure your passport up-to-date. Need a certified copy of your birth certificateVitalChek offers fast and secure services for all your official document needs.

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