Should I Get A Credit Card For A Trip? [10 Best Credit Cards 4 travel]

Do you want to get a credit card for your trip? It is important to get one because it will help you to manage expenses as well as pay for the expenses if you need to. Getting a credit card is a good idea if you want to take advantage of the many benefits it can offer. The first benefit is that you will get a credit report which tells people how you manage your money.

The second is that you might be eligible for an interest-free loan and the third is that you may get cash back with each purchase. These benefits are very helpful and having one can make it easier for any trip you may have planned.

To help you make a wise choice, we have compiled a list of the top 10 best credit cards for travel and why you should get any one of them.

Should I Get A Credit Card For A Trip? (10 Best Credit Cards 4 travel)

It’s no secret that travel can be expensive. But there are lots of ways to make sure you get the most out of your miles, points, and trip perks. To help you decide which cards are best for your trip, we’ve listed our top 10 picks below:

#1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the top choice for rewards cardholders. The card is designed for those who want to earn meaningful bonuses and rewards, but don’t necessarily want to commit to a credit card with high-interest rates or other fees. The features include:

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Sign Up Bonus

It comes with 60,000 travel points after spending $4000 in the first 3-months of account opening. This is equal to $750 when you redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Annual Fee and Foreign Transaction Fee

The card comes with a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, and then an annual fee of $95 applies. This is very low compared to loads of benefits paid cumulatively

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There is no foreign transaction fee when you use your card to make purchases abroad. However, there are no introductory APR offers with a variable APR of 17.49% 24.49%.

Travel Insurance

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers travel insurance that covers incidences such as

  • Flight delays
  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip delay reimbursement for unforeseen circumstances
  • Baggage delay insurance.
  • Rental car insurance

In addition, you are covered for purchase protection that covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.

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Rewards Points 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a generous rewards program. The rewards offered include:

  • 2x travel points on anything that is travel related such as flights, hotels, trains, etc.
  • 5x total points on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. However, this is not inclusive of hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit.
  • A free complimentary Door dash membership, including a 5x Lyft bonus back each time you use Lyft for your movement throughout your travel.
  • Earn up to $50 in statement credits on each account anniversary year for hotel stays purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 3x points when you eat in a restaurant, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out worldwide.
  • 3x points on online grocery purchases (Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs not included).
  • 3x points on select streaming services as well.
  • 1:1point transfer to select airline and hotel travel partners including Hayyat and United among others.
  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Pros and Cons

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The pros of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card include:

  • High rewards in different spending areas
  • A 1:1 rate transfer point to travel partners
  • Numerous travel and shopping protection

The cons of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card include:

  • No intro APR offer
  • The best travel rewards are only for bookings through Chase

 

#2. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers one of the most flexible rewards. It offers a cash-back rewards program and an opportunity to earn miles and points with every purchase making it the Best for Busy Travelers.

Welcome Bonus Offer

A one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on all purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

APR Period

A variable APR currently of 17.49% to 25.49% will apply.

Annual Fee and Foreign Transaction Fee

You will be charged a $95 annual fee which is less compared to other credit card options available in the market, making it a great option for those who need to travel frequently.

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Also, you will not be charged foreign transaction fees when you use this card abroad, which means that you won’t pay any extra fees when travelling overseas. Also, a Late Payment Fee of up to $40 is applicable.

Reward

  • Earn unlimited 2x miles per dollar on every purchase.
  • Earn an unlimited 5x miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
  • You will get $100 credit toward Global Entry or PreCheck, and 2-Capital One lounge passes per year.

#3. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is considered the best for no fee and cashback card with purchases at different merchants, including education expenses, gas stations, medical expenses, and restaurants.

Sign-Up Bonus

You will be rewarded with an Intro Offer including an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases if you spend up to $20,000 spent in the first year. This is worth up to $300 cashback.

As such, you’ll earn 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% at drugstores as well as on dining at restaurants (includes takeout and eligible delivery services), and 3% on all other purchases.

Reward

  • You will earn a $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months of having the card. This means that you’ll earn $150 in free money after spending only $300 total for the first 3 months!
  • You will qualify for the “Client Cash Back” category, where you are paid 3% cash back on all purchases.
  • You will get 1% cash back on rotating categories every quarter, and a flat 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • You can also earn 5% Cash Back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs with your Chase Freedom Unlimited card!

Fees

You will be charged 0% intro APR on all purchases for 15 months. You get a 16.49% – 25.24% Variable afterwards. Interestingly, the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card has an annual fee of $0.

#4. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a credit card that gives your money back in the form of cashback, miles or points for every dollar you spend. With Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, you can choose one of three basic reward categories—Miles, Cash, or Capital One Investing—to maximize your rewards available.

The features of Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card include

Sign-up bonus

You will earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening an account. The 75,000 bonus miles are equal to $750 in travel.

APR Period

The variable APR of 18.49% – 25.49% applies to the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

Annual Fee and Foreign Transaction Fee

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes with an annual fee of $395. On the other hand, there are no foreign transaction fee charges each time you make an international purchase.

Rewards Rate

  • If you make your travel booking through Capital One Travel with cash, you will earn 10x miles on hotels and rental cars, and 5x miles on flights.
  • You will earn 10,000 bonus miles annually, starting on your first anniversary. This is equal to $100 towards travel.
  • You will earn an annual travel credit of $300 back as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel.
  • Up to a $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®

Pros of Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

  • The lower annual fee is lower than most
  • Complimentary annual travel credit and anniversary points are worth the annual fee
  • Redeeming points is easy

Cons of Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

  • No domestic airline and upscale hotel travel partners
  • Absence of hotel status benefits

#5. Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card is a great option for you if you want to get points in everyday spending categories such as dining, travel, gas and more.

Below is a quick preview of the card features vis-à-vis the benefits you can expect as an Autograph credit card holder.

Welcome Bonus

Expect to enjoy a sign-up bonus offer of 30,000 Points when you spend $1,500 in purchases in the first 3months. This is equivalent to a $300 cash redemption value.

Annual Fee and Foreign Transaction Fee

Do not expect to be charged an annual fee as there is none. Also, there is no foreign transaction fee.

APR Offer and Other Fees

You will enjoy a 0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months. Afterwards, the variable APR of 16.49%, 21.49%, or 26.49% applies.

The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card also charges no penalty APR. However, there is up to a 5% balance transfer fee (minimum $5).

Rewards Rate

  • Earn unlimited 3X points on gas stations, restaurants, travel, transit, popular streaming services and phone plans.
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases.
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases.

Pros

  • No intro APR
  • No annual fee
  • flexibility to choose your rewards — from cash back1 on gas, and groceries, among others

Cons

  • It’s not a great choice for balance transfers, since there’s no 0% intro offer.
  • Requires 670-850 Good to Excellent credit score

#6. The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum card is one of the most luxurious credit cards available and it comes with loads of perks that you will find amazing. The features of this card include:

Welcome Bonus

You earn a welcome bonus of 100,000 points Membership Rewards® Points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. However, terms and conditions apply.

Annual Fee

The card comes with a $695 annual fee.

Fees

A Balance Transfer Fee is not available. However, Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee is not applicable. Also, Cash Advance is either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance.

Interest Rates

For regular Pay Over Time APR, it features a 17.49% to 24.49% variable APR on eligible charges. Purchase intro APR is not available, and balance transfer intro APR is also not available

Purchase Protection

You get up to $10,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per calendar year when your new purchase gets stolen, accidentally damaged or lost. However, you must use your Eligible Card for Covered Purchases, so that your Membership can help protect them for up to 90 days from the Covered Purchase date.

Rewards

  • Earn $200 hotel credit back in statement credits yearly on select prepaid hotel bookings through American Express Travel using your platinum card.
  • Get $240 digital entertainment credit back each month on qualified purchases made with your platinum card on one or more accredited digital entertainment platforms, i.e. Audible, Disney+, Hulu, Peacock, etc.
  • 5x points on a flight booked directly with airlines or through the American express travel on up to $500,000 purchases in a year.
  • 5x prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com
  • 1x points on other purchases
  • You also enjoy shopping rewards that include $155 Walmart plus credit, $100 shop Saks, and $189 with clear.
  • Enjoy $200 Uber cash when you ride and dine annually.
  • $200 airline fee credit annually in statement credits when your card is charged for incidental travel fees on one of the qualifying airlines.

#7. Citi Premier® Card

The Citi Premier® Card is a good credit card designed for people who want to make purchases with low-interest rates, and it offers a rewards program that can help you earn points toward travel expenses or other products.

The Citi Premier® Card has several features that make it easy to use and rewarding:

Welcome Bonus

Upon the approval of your card, you will earn an $80,000 bonus Thank you points for a limited time after you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 3months of account opening.

Annual Fee

The card comes with an annual fee of $95.

Rewards Point

The rewards earned include:

  • 3x points at supermarkets and grocery stores, meaning you can earn 3X the points when you buy groceries!
  • Access to exclusive benefits including airport lounge access and discounts on flights when you pay by debit card or credit card. This is up to 5% off.
  • 3x points for every $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • 1x point per $1 spent on every other purchase
  • An annual hotel saving benefit of up to $100

Foreign Transaction Fee

Enjoy your trip to the fullest with no foreign transaction fees on all purchases made internationally.

Pros and Cons

The benefits of using a Citi Premier® Card include

  • Plenty of bonus categories
  • Rewards don’t expire

Cons

The drawbacks of using this card Citi Premier® Card include:

  • Has annual fee

Requires good/excellent credit

#8. Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card offers several features that make it stand out from other cards, including:

Welcome Bonus

You earn 25,000 online bonus points equivalent to the value of $250 if you spend a minimum of $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. You can redeem this point as a statement credit toward travel and dining purchases

Annual Fee

No annual fee. There are no fees to worry about with this card—no foreign transaction fees, no late fees, and no over-limit fees!

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is included when registering for the card! If you’re travelling abroad and decide to use your card at an airport lounge, this will protect you from theft or loss if something happens while using the card.

Reward

  • You will earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, and there is no expiration on points.
  • You’ll earn 1 point for $1 spent on all purchases, and points can be redeemed for cash back or travel rewards.

APR Period and Foreign Transaction Fee

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card comes with a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 billing cycles for purchases, then a variable APR currently of 15.49% to 25.49% will apply.

Also, there are no foreign transaction fees when you use this card abroad.

#9. American Express® Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card is a credit card that offers several benefits to its users. The credit card is designed to provide members of the American Express Rewards program with benefits and perks. The card offers several features, including:

Sign-up Bonus

You will earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after making a minimum purchase of $4,000 within the first 6 months of card membership.

Annual Fee

The card comes with an annual fee of $250

APR Period and Foreign Transaction Fee

There is no introductory APR, but a regular 17.49% – 24.49% variable applies afterwards. Also, there is no foreign transaction fee (FTF) on purchases made outside of the US.

Rewards

The reward perks include:

  • 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel
  • 50% miles back after $20k spent in the first 3 months
  • 1:1 point transfer to airline partners.
  • 4X Membership Rewards points at Restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and supermarkets (on purchases up to $25,000 per calendar year, then 1X) in the U.S.
  • 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 1X points on all other purchases

#10. Discover it® Miles

The Discover it Miles Credit Card is for you if you are a frequent traveller as you will get more value from this card that offers a higher rewards rate. Also, if you are a budget-minded occasional traveller, this card is for you.

Welcome Bonus

Instead of the normal welcome bonus often offered by most credit cards, Discover it Miles offers an unlimited bonus in miles. It automatically matches the miles that you earn during the first year at the end of the year.

As such, you will not be offered any signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards, just unlimited Miles-for-Miles match.

Interestingly, you can redeem your accumulated miles for cash back—and there are no restrictions on how many times you can do this each year!

Annual Fee and Foreign Transaction Fee

Discover it Miles Credit card does not charge an annual fee which is a great benefit. Plus, there is no foreign transaction fee.

APR Period

You are exempted from paying an intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases, then later, the value of 13.49% – 24.49% Variable APR is applicable.

Rewards

  • You earn bonus miles every time you use your Discover it Miles card to buy something from one of their partner airlines (such as American Airlines).
  • Whenever you make use of your miles for travel on Delta Air Lines or United Airlines, then United will match those miles with another 10% bonus!
  • You will earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases.

Pros and Cons

Discover it Miles has its share of benefits and caveats.

The benefits include

  • Discover Match in place of the traditional welcome bonus
  • Flexible rewards redemption and miles can be redeemed for travel or cash back at the same rate
  • Foreign transaction fee does not apply
  • The annual fee does not apply
  • Best for budget-minded persons

The drawbacks of this credit card include:

  • Not widely accepted internationally
  • Does not offer luxury travel perks
  • Good/excellent credit score required
  • Not good for bigger spenders
  • Does not offer bonus reward opportunities

Should You Use a Credit Card for Travel?

Yes! You can use a credit card for travel, whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, a credit card can be a great tool to help you reach your financial goals, especially if you’re looking to get a better value and use travel rewards, credit cards can be a good option. And they have the added benefit of being able to help cover your travel expenses if you need to be refunded.”

Is it Better to Use a Credit Card or Debit Card on Vacation?

In my opinion and experience, making use of a credit card on vacation is better than using a debit card. The reason has been that Credit cards offer overall security including while travelling.

Also, it provides convenience, not to mention rewards, making credit cards a smarter choice when on vacation.

Another reason why you should your credit card for vacation includes protection and insurance against

  • Travel accident
  • Credit card theft
  • Trip delay
  • Baggage protection

What Are The Disadvantages Of Using A Credit Card To Pay For The Vacation?

The major disadvantage of using a credit card to pay for a vacation is paying interest. Credit cards tend to charge high interest, and according to the Federal Reserve, as of June 2021, the average APR charged for credit card accounts that incurred interest was 15.91%.

From experience, if you float vacation expenses over even a few months, it can result in serious interest charges.

Credit card benefits and reward bonuses can tempt you to overspend easily beyond your budget, which is misleading and can land you into serious debt.

Also, you get to pay late fees when you fail to pay your bills by the due date.

How Do Travel Credit Cards Work?

Credit cards allow you to earn reward points and or bonuses, miles, and cash back each time you make use of your credit card for purchases either in qualified partnered stores, airlines, hotels, and or digital entertainment services.

The more you make use of your credit card, the more points or miles you earn, and these miles or points can be redeemed either as a statement, cash back, or used for future purchases.

Should I Have Two Travel Credit Cards?

Depending on your personality towards spending, and your financial strength, you can have more than one credit card.

Typically, most people have more than one credit card because one credit card can not offer you all the benefits you need. One credit card can be good for travel, while another is good for shopping or rentals. So, you can easily switch from one to the other base on what you intend to do.

Above all, ensure you maintain a good spending habit so that your credit score is not affected.

Best Mastercard Credit Card for Travel

The best Mastercard Credit Card for travel is the Citi Premier® Card. The card features include:

  • Welcome, ThankYou Bonus Points of 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. The 80,000 ThankYou points are equivalent $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • Annual fee of $95
  • Regular variable APR of 17.49% – 25.49%
  • Earn 3x points per $1 at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels and air travel.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • You will get an annual hotel savings benefit
  • You can earn an unlimited amount of points with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Best Credit Card for U.S. Travel

Our recommended best credit card for U.S Travel is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card which comes with amazing offers, rewards, and bonuses each time you make use of the card.

Conclusion

Why do you like to travel? To explore and experience new things, to learn about other cultures, or enjoy time with friends.

We believe in quality travel and it’s important to support people who value the things that make travelling fun. That’s why we’ve handpicked the best credit cards out there, based on your needs.

You should get a credit card for your trip. They have all the perks you will find beneficial for your trip as many credit cards offer rewards points that you can use for your trips.


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