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Best Travel Credit Cards

The Best Travel Credit Cards in 2024

The Best Travel Credit Cards in [y]The Best Travel Credit Cards in [y]


American Express is a advertiser.

Travel credit cards are designed to help you have the best travel experience by rewarding you with points that you can use for flight miles, lounge access, hotel stays, and any other expenses related to traveling.

Travel credit cards are also known as frequent-flyer cards, as commonly, benefits come in the form of travel miles and other associated perks. In this article, we will go over all the benefits that you can get with a travel credit card and the best credit cards in 2023.

What Is A Travel Credit Card, and What Are Its Types?

Travel credit cards help cardholders earn points, miles, and rewards on many types of purchases, generally ones that are related to travel. Cardholders can redeem points in the form of statement credits, gift cards, travel bookings, hotel stays, and more.

This is only to scratch the surface of the perks you get with travel credit cards; the best cards will also offer you extra perks to help you have an overall unmatched travel experience. Some of the most common benefits you may get with these cards include annual travel credits, concierge services, trip insurance, lounge access, and more. You may come across airline and hotel co-branded credit cards; such cards offer a lot of exclusive discounts and loyalty programs that can earn you even more perks.

Before getting into our recommended travel credit cards, we will go over the types of credit cards that specialize in travel rewards to help you understand more and decide which benefits you need for your next card.

The different types of travel credit cards

If you are familiar with credit cards in general, you probably know that credit cards come in different types; each one offers certain perks and rewards and has its own costs. Travel credit cards are not any different; you get a variety of cards to choose from based on your needs and travel habits. So read the next section thoroughly to understand which one fits your needs best.

General travel cards

A general-purpose travel card may be issued by a credit card company, a bank, or a financial business. In any case, and no matter who it is issued by, a general travel card will offer cardholders flexibility and multiple options for how to redeem their travel rewards.

One of the easiest and most straightforward options is to redeem your points directly through the credit card’s issuer’s travel program, as this will ensure that your points will always have the same value as the reward in return. And sometimes, your card’s issuer will offer you the chance to transfer any rewards earned to their partners, which are usually airlines or hotel chains, and in some less common cases, cruise lines.

Some common examples of these cards would be the American Express® Gold Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, which we will go over in detail in the section below.

Co-branded airline cards

A co-branded travel credit card by the card’s issuer and an airline is also known as an airline rewards credit card. Having this card can help you earn miles or points every time you use your card to book flights with this particular airline, make any in-flight purchases, and pay and get compensated for any other expenses paid with your card in association with the airline in question. The airline will have loyalty programs to earn and redeem your rewards and points.

A great example of this card is the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card.

Co-branded hotel cards

This is similar to the second type; the only difference is that a co-branded hotel card will be owned by your card’s issuer and a hotel chain in this case. Similarly, using your credit card to book hotel stays will also give you points that you can use to redeem rewards related to this chain of hotels, and again, through the hotel’s loyalty program. You can get free nights at the hotel, get spa or dining offers, and more.

Examples: Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card.

How Do Travel Credit Cards Work?

The most common types of travel credit card rewards are points, cash back, and miles. Cash back credit cards will give you back a fixed percentage of your travel-related purchases. Points and miles work similarly, but miles are usually more associated with airline rewards. Every time you make a purchase with your travel credit card, you will earn more rewards to redeem for travel points, gift cards, or even statement credits.

Travel miles have three types:

  1. Miles that are completely tied to a specific airline through a frequent flyer program
  2. Miles that you can redeem for any travel-related purchases
  3. Miles that give you more benefits if redeemed through a credit card issuer’s online travel booking portal

If you use a co-branded airline credit card, the airline sets the number of miles you need to reach to qualify for their frequent flyer rewards program and start earning miles. When using these cards, and if you frequently use a certain airline, you will see valuable rewards from that airline. However, if you do not use one airline more than others, you may want to consider a general travel credit card, as it may show you better benefits.

So how can you redeem your miles?

After you start using your credit card, you will start earning miles. There are multiple ways in which you can redeem these miles; most commonly, people redeem their miles for free flights or what you may know as award flights. As for co-branded hotel points, you can redeem them for hotel stays at the hotel chain that co-owns your credit card. The third type of points would be the general, all-purpose points; these points offer more flexible options for redemption; you can redeem your points for statement credit, gift cards, and more to help pay for past travel expenses or to book future travels.

Should You Get a Travel Credit Card?

Getting a travel credit card is generally a good idea to save on future travel expenses by making use of past ones. To decide whether or not you should get a travel credit card, think about this: if you fall under any of the following categories, travel credit cards are for you:

  1. If you are a frequent traveler: It is no secret that travel credit cards are ideal for people who frequently travel, as they will be earning the most points and saving on their travel expenses.
  2. If you are a brand loyalist: This includes people who frequently travel with one particular airline or book hotel stays at a particular hotel chain.
  3. If you are a business traveler: If your job requires a lot of traveling, you can use travel credit cards to earn points on travel expenses that you will be paying anyway; this way, you can save money and use it on future travel expenses.
  4. If you go on many international trips: If you travel out of your country frequently, you can benefit from a travel credit card that does not impose any foreign transaction fees. Of course, your card will also come with many other perks and benefits that other cards offer.
  5. If you consider yourself to be a luxury traveler: If you try to have the best travel experience every time you go on a trip, a travel credit card will help you have the desired experience and save money at the same time. Your card will give you valuable rewards and cash value in return for your travel expenses.

The Best Travel Credit Cards in 2023

As mentioned before, travel credit cards come in many types; each card will have its own benefits and perks. With so many cards to choose from, you may get lost. So, we have done our research and created a list for you with the best travel credit cards in 2023.

American Express® Gold Card

  • Earn up to $100 in hotel credits: If you use this card to book a hotel stay of two nights or more through The Hotel Collection you can find on Amex, you get an on-site credit of $100 for certain activities. This may include dining, spa, or other activities available at the hotel.
  • No foreign transaction fees: You can use your card abroad without having to worry about being charged any foreign transaction fees.
  • You get baggage insurance: This comes in handy if your baggage gets lost or stolen on a trip that you have booked using your Amex Gold credit card. Coverage can be provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on Baggage and up to $500 for checked Baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus). For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip.
    • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply.
    • Please visit for more details.
    • Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
  • Trip delay insurance: If you book a trip with your card and the trip gets delayed more than 12 hours due to any covered reasons, you will be eligible for reimbursement of up to $300 that you can use on meals, toiletries, and other covered expenses. You can get two reimbursements per card every 12 months.
    • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply.
    • Please visit for more details.
    • Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • Rental car insurance: When you rent a car, you can decline the agency’s collision damage waiver and instead use your card to pay for the entire rental; with this insurance, you can receive coverage up to $50,000 for theft or damage. However, you need to know that there are exclusions on the covered regions and types of rentals, so before signing up for this card, read the terms and conditions very carefully, and make sure it is what you need. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply.
    • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply.
    • Please visit for more details.
    • Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

  • You get an annual dining statement credit of up to $120: This is given to you on a monthly basis at certain dining places; the list is long, and it includes but is not limited to The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack (in select locations), Seamless, Grubhub, and more. If you use your card to pay at these places, you get back $10 per month. (Enrollment Required).
  • You are rewarded up to $120 in annual Uber Cash: You also get $10 per month for money paid for Uber Eats and Uber rides across the United States. To benefit from this, you need to add your Amex Gold card to the Uber app to receive your points in the form of Uber Cash.
  • This card has an annual fee of $250, which you may consider a high fee; however, this fee is compensated for with all the perks and benefits.
  • The ongoing variable APR is 21.24% to 29.24% on eligible charges.

Terms and conditions apply.

All information aboutAmerican Express® Gold Card has been collected independently by

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Introductory bonus: This card offers you 50,000 if you spend after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. The points equal $750 when redeemed for any travel-related purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Annual travel credit: You also get up to $300 in statement credit on your anniversary of account opening as a reimbursement; you can use your credit to pay for travel expenses (hotel stays, airline expenses, and so on).
  • Earn 5x total points: After you spend the first $300 on travel purchases every year, you get 5x total points on flights booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

    Earn 10x total points: After you spend the first $300 on travel purchases every year, you get 10x total points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

  • VIP access: You get access to a huge selection of VIP airport lounges internationally and across more than 500 cities. You need to enroll in Chase’s Priority Pass Select to qualify for these perks.
  • My Chase Plan: You can break down any purchase of more than $100 into monthly payments, with no interest and only a fixed monthly fee.
  • Annual fee: This card has a relatively higher annual fee of $550.
  • The ongoing variable APR is 17.24% to 24.24%.

Terms and conditions apply.

Citi®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

  • Sign-up bonus: If you spend $2,500 on travel expenses with American Airlines within the first three months of account opening, you get 50,000 bonus points in return.
  • Preferred Boarding: With this card, you get to enjoy preferred boarding on all flights with American Airlines.
  • Check your bag for free: You get to check your first bag for free on any domestic American Airlines itinerary, and you get to include four more traveling companions on the same reservation to get their first bag checked for free each.
  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount: After you spend $20,000 or more in purchases within the first year of account opening, when you renew your card, you get a $125 flight discount.
  • Earn 2x miles: For every $1 you spend at restaurants, gas stations, and on eligible American Airlines purchases, you earn 2 miles in return. 
  • 25% discount: Any inflight food or beverages purchased using your card will have a 50% discount.
  • Annual fee: $99, waived for the first 12 months.
  • Variable APR: 15.99% to 24.99%.

Terms and conditions apply.

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This article includes the author's opinions, reviews, and analyses alone that have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. Please note that the information regarding each card's offer is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written and as card offers change regularly; reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information.

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