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Best Travel Credit Cards 2020 [International Rewards]

Michelle Brooks

Michelle Brooks

Financial Advisor

Best Travel Credit Cards: Overview

Credit Card Ideal For Editor's Rating

Our Top Pick for 2020

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Travel Rewards
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Frequent Travelers

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Editor's Rating

Credit Score Required:

Good to Excellent

Our Review

Whether you want a credit card to book travel or use while traveling, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a solid choice. It comes with great card bonus options while earning you extra points for every dollar you spend on dinning and travel which isn’t covered for the travel statement credit reimbursement.

What We Like

Great Bonus of 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points when you spend at least $4,000 in the first 3 months

Access to more than 1,000 airport lounges across the globe

$300 in statement credit to cover eligible travel purchases each anniversary year

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Editor's Rating

Credit Score Required:

Good to Excellent

Our Review

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers some of the best travel bonuses and rewards with an easy-to-understand rewards system. It works for any airline with no blackout dates. One of the best perks with this card is that all purchases earn 2 miles per $1 spent – no complex tiered systems or rotating offers.

What We Like

Easy-to-understand rewards program gets you 2 miles per $1 spent

$0 Foreign Transaction fee

Book at for 10 miles per $1 spent

TSA Pre-check application reimbursement

In the 21st Century, travel credit cards are all the rage. Millions of Americans use travel cards to help enhance their travelling experience, or pay for it all together. It’s a great way to start accumulating credit towards flights, hotels, and other travel expenses. Travel cards allow you to accumulate various types of points when you purchase goods which can they be redeemed for travel in various forms.

In addition, many credit cards offer additional benefits such as free baggage, lounge access, and annual rewards flights. Most major financial institutions and lenders have partnered with various airlines and hotel chains to bring various travel cards to the consumer. You should make sure that you research all the industry leading cards before deciding on which car suites you best.

What you Need to Know

It’s important to note that travel credit cards normally have higher interest rates than non-rewards cards. This is largely due to the lender needing to offset the cost of the rewards provided to you. Many Americans with travel cards use them as their primary card so they can take advantage of the points they accumulate when spending. For this reason, millions of people carry balances on their travel rewards credit cards, which can be costly in the long run.

To take advantage of a travel rewards card you should be as responsible with it as possible. Paying large amounts of interest can offset the value of the rewards you receive. This article will delve into the various things to look for when deciding on which travel credit card to apply for. In addition, it will outline the advantages and disadvantages of having a travel credit card.

Best Travel Credit Cards

What to Look For

When deciding on which travel credit card to apply for, it’s important to consider the following factors: type of rewards, travel partner, points per purchase, and sign-up bonus.

  • Type of Rewards – There are two primary types of rewards cards: flight and hotels. The type of travelling you do will largely impact which card is more rewarding. If you tend to travel domestically, a hotel card may be more advantageous as there are often cheap domestic flights to various major hubs. While if you travel internationally, you may find that you will be better suited to a flight card, as long-haul deals can be harder to come by.
  • Travel Partner – This is important. If you already have miles with a specific airline, or points with a hotel chain, you should look to see if they have a partner credit card with a lender that can help you boost your rewards. Also, some credit cards allow you to accumulate points that transfer into various airline or hotel points, or simply be redeemed against the cost of travel.
  • Points per Purchase – Most rewards cards reward points a 1 point per dollar spent, while others have an increased multiplier for certain purchases. If you spend a lot of money at a particular store, or on a particular good, check to see if there are rewards cards with higher multipliers that might apply to you
  • Sign-Up Bonus – A lot of the value in a rewards card is derived from the sign-up bonus associated with the card. Seasonal offers sometimes include up to 100,000 points for signing up to a new card! Keep tabs on what lenders are offering credit card applicants, sometimes it’s worth the wait for the extra miles.
  • Interest Rates – This will depend on what type of borrower you are planning on being. If you’re planning on carrying a balance on the card, you should probably make sure that you get a card with the lowest rate possible. If you’re planning on paying your balance off in full every month, then just head for the card that has the best rewards possible.


Other Personal Factors that Determine Best Travel Card

Where You Live

Depending on where you live, certain travel cards will be different. This is similar to what was mentioned about travel partners. The best travel card for you will be one that suits your geographical location. For example, if you live in Houston, United Airlines based travel cards might be one of your best options. This is because United has one of their major hubs in Houston – they provide a significant amount of the international flights from the city. Be smart when choosing the best travel card for you.

How Often You Travel

This is a big one. If you’re someone that travels often, you won’t need to worry about this. But if you’re someone who might wait a couple of years before a big trip, then you need to make sure that you’re choosing the right card. You don’t want to get a travel credit card that has points that will expire quickly. This could lead to you accumulating points, only to have them taken away before your next trip. It’s important that you look into the expiration information on the credit card points that you’re considering signing up for. You should try and aim for points that don’t expire, or points that don’t expire for at least two years.

Size of Family

The size of your family is also an important factor when you’re trying to determine which travel card is the best for your family. If you’re single, this won’t matter, but if you have kids you should look for a card that offers them benefits as well. For example, some credit cards allow you to avoid paying extra fees for extra checked baggage. This is a nice perk for someone who has a large family to worry about – baggage costs can add up quickly.

Other credit cards offer companion flights, and some give out free business club passes for friends and family. These little benefits can help you get more out of your travel credit card.


The advantages lie in your ability to accumulate substantial points for travel. These can be used to book flights, or upgrade to business and first class tickets. Some cards will often allow you free baggage on all flights if you have their partner card. In addition, partner cards offer huge sign-up bonuses that can pay off immediately. The best travel cards offer a truly unique amount of benefits. Peoplel take serious advantage of these cards – you can end up netting thousands of dollars in benefits if you use them correctly. They can make the entire travel process a lot more pain-free.



The disadvantages lie in the higher interest rates the cards offer. In addition, because you feel you are accumulating points, you may justify spending extra money to get rewards. But this is not an economical decision. Points are worth very little, getting a few thousand points might not be worth the extra transaction costs that a vendor may charge you. Always make sure to do a cost benefit analysis on extra cost you take on to receive points. As long as you’re responsible with your card, there are relatively few disadvantages.


Insurance: The Hidden Secret

When people think of travel cards, they typically think of the point benefits that they receive. This is typically what is advertised to you when you sign up for a card. But with travel cards, there are often other benefits that aren’t as clearly displayed. Some will give you automatic credit card travel insurance when you sign up for the card. Typically, you have to book all of your travel expenses using the card, but it’s still a great advantage. You won’t have to worry about paying extra to have your items and expenses covered.

Some cards will also include general purchase insurance. Which will provide you with theft or damage insurance for items that you purchase with the card above a certain amount. You’d be surprised at how many perks come along with some of these high-end cards. Make sure to read the fine print if you want to know everything that is included with the card.


The Hardest Cards to Get: Prepare

The reality is that travel credit cards are often some of the hardest credit cards to get on the market. This is a due to a range of factors, but is mainly down to the added benefits you receive. They also tend to have high credit limits, which means that you need to be better qualified to receive one. Lastly, credit card companies don’t make you pay off your balance to receive your travel points. This means that if you received a large sign-up bonus, redeemed it for a flight, and then defaulted on your debt, the credit card company would lose out.

Make sure that you prepare for any application that you decide to make. Follow some of the tips below to get in good shape.

  • Check Your Report – Even if you think you know what your credit score is, it’s always important to check your credit report before you make an application. Not doing so could result in a nasty surprise. Millions of Americans have false items on their credit reports – you don’t want to end up with a reduced score because of a mistake. If you do find an error, you can submit a form to the credit reporting body to have it removed. If you find that they’re being difficult, contact a credit repair company – it’s definitely worth it. If you just have no credit history then look at the best credit card for no credit.
  • Reduce Existing Debt – One of the major contributors to your credit score is the percentage of credit you are currently using. The more of your current credit balances you use, the lower your credit score will be. Luckily, if you pay down your debt, your credit score can improve drastically in as little as a month. You’ll find that if you pay down a substantial amount, you might even see a 100-point increase in your score.



Gone are the days of walking into your local bank branch to submit a credit card application. You can now do the entire process online. In fact, you can typically submit an application and receive a decision in less than 15 minutes combined. You will need to have all your personal information, including your social security number and income data, ready to submit through the credit card provider’s online portal.

While it may be very easy to submit your credit card application, this doesn’t mean that you should do a few at once. You need to decide on a card that you want to apply for prior to beginning the application process. Every time you apply for a credit card, it gets noted no your credit report and reduces your score – sometimes around 15 points. In addition, if you apply for a bunch of cards at once, creditors think that you’re trying to get capital for something desperate and will try and avoid lending to you.



If you currently fly or stay with a particular provider, check and see if they have a partner card – it’s a great way to add to your existing rewards. Travel cards are some of the most popular cards on the market for a reason, if you’re a responsible spender, start turning your purchases into travel. The reality is that not having a travel card is a huge mistake if you’re someone who enjoys travelling and manages to pay off your balance in full every month. At any given time, there are a variety of cards with different sign-up offers and bonuses – make sure to stay constantly vigilant to get the best deal.

If you’re looking for the best travel card, we’ve done a lot of the work for you. Head to our homepage to check out the best credit card to apply for. We’ve done hours of research to find the most beneficial travel cards on the market. You can take a direct link to the application through our website. The longer you go without a travel card, the longer your wasting your expenditure on nothing. If you want to get the most from your wallet, a travel card tends to be the best choice.


Travel Credit Card Basics

One of the most successful marketing campaigns for credit cards are miles and points reward systems. This has proven to be an enticing way to create new business and to keep loyal customers. Instead of cash back rebates, points are convertible to use towards purchasing airline tickets, hotels and accommodations. The biggest beneficiaries of these travel rewards are frequent flyers. For those who are planning to vie for travel rewards, these are the frequently asked questions which are answered below.

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What is the Best Travel Credit Card?

Some of the best travel credit cards include Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card, and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. These cards have their own different niche and

What is the Best Credit Card for Travel Rewards?

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card is considered the best credit card for travel rewards with no annual fee. At the same time, for those with flat-rate travel rewards with no annual fees, Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is considered best in its class. See if you can locate a 0 interest credit card option even if its an intro rate.

How Do Travel Credit Cards Work?

Travel Credit Cards are points-system based. Basically, you earn one point for every dollar spent. On top of that, you can also earn extra points for purchases or promotional items. These points translate to travel incentives and coupons.

Are Travel Credit Cards Worth It?

Travel Credit Cards are designed for people who travel often. The points they earn for their purchases translate to either miles or points which count towards a purchase of tickets on airlines. Purchasing airline tickets also add to the points earned.

What Qualifies as Travel for Earning Credit Card Points?

For some credit cards, travel includes almost everything related to travel. This includes purchases and payments for airlines, air fare, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental, etc.. Check for prequalify credit cards that earn more points.

What Credit Card Should I Get for Travel?

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is considered the best when it comes to travel redemption options. You can maximize your rewards with this card as it offers 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining. It also offers plenty of flexibility when redeeming points.

Which Credit Card is Good for Business Travel?

Considered the overall best credit card for business travel is Chase Ink Business Preferred Card. It has the most comprehensive list of benefits, including bonus points, and three points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 travel or other business purchase. Also look for business credit card balance transfer perks.

Should You Get Multiple Travel Credit Cards?

Yes, but it depends on your lifestyle and your finances. There are annual costs to maintaining credit cards, and having more than one card can be a burden. Additionally, you should try to maximize the benefits of your cards before applying for a new one.

Are Cash Back Credit Cards Better Than Travel Cards?

If you travel often, Travel cards offer more valuable benefits compared to cash backs. The points earned from travel cards are effectively worth more than the 2% offered by most cash back cards. If you don’t travel, then these points are wasted. What is the best cash back credit card?

How to Choose a Credit Card for Travel?

There are several things to consider when choosing a credit card for travel. Preferably, there should be a sign-up bonus with a low or non-existent annual fee. It should have travel rewards. It is accepted where you travel. It should have zero foreign transaction fees. There are other perks which cater to personal preferences.

What Credit Card is Best for European Travel?

Considered the best credit card for European travel is Chase Sapphire Preferred. It features 50,000 bonus points after $4,000 purchases in the first 3 months from opening. It also has twice the points for travel and dining at restaurants, and 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.

What is the Best Prepaid Credit Card for International Travel?

The Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard is considered one of the best prepaid travel cards for use internationally. It has no late fees or interest charges. It also has an app to manage the account. It has no annual fee, but has variable monthly fees instead. Take a look at more credit card reviews.

Is It better to Travel with Cash or Credit Card?

It is safer to travel with a credit card rather than cash. It is also more convenient. However, there are still some places in the world where a credit card is not acceptable, or in some instances, a particular card may not have any partners. For these, cash is better. And if you're having a hard time qualifying a card then look into credit cards for bad credit no deposit required.

Which Credit Card is Best for International Travel?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is considered the best credit card for international travel. It has no transaction fees and lets you earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases during the first 3 months. It also has 3x points on travel and dining.

What is the Best Credit Card for Overseas Travel?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best, if not the best, credit card for overseas travel. It does not have any foreign transaction fees. It has 3x points for every travel and dining spending, and 1 point per dollar everywhere else.

Should I Get a Travel Credit Card?

Yes, if you are a frequent traveler. Travel credit cards allow discounted or free travel after accumulating travel rewards. These are used to buy airline tickets. For frequent travelers, they can use these points to book flights on any airline. If you can't qualify for this then perhaps looking at the top secured credit cards may be beneficial.

Which Travel Credit Card is Best for Me?

Travel credit cards have their own set of rewards. They also have their own requirements to join. Some of the criteria for choosing a travel credit card include the interest rates, foreign transaction fees, annual fees, and rewards packages. In fact take a look at credit cards with no foreign transaction fee. If your credit score is too low to qualify then you may want to look at good credit cards to rebuild credit first.

How to Get Travel Points on Credit Card?

Using the credit card rewards the user with travel points. The credit card is used to purchase travel related purchases, including airline tickets, car rentals, dining, and others. The purchases translate to points. The points can be used to purchase airline tickets.

Which Credit Card is Best for Travel Miles?

Considered the best credit card for travel miles is Chase Sapphire Preferred. It also has 2x points per dollar on travel and dining. Also take a look at the best credit card for airline miles in our more in depth article.

How to Use Credit Cards to Travel for Free?

You accumulate points by using the card for purchasing travel related items. These include airline tickets, bus tickets, car rentals and others. Restaurant expenses also have rewards points. The credit card owner accumulates these points and can be used to buy airline tickets.

Which Credit Card Has the Best Travel Benefits?

The credit card with the best travel benefits is Citi Premier Card. It earns 3x points on travel, including gas stations, 2x points on dining and entertainment expenses, and earns 1 point for every dollar spent on other purchases. Make sure you have credit card rental car insurance too.

Using Travel Credit Cards

Each credit card has its own rules on using, accumulating and redeeming points. For most credit card owners, this can lead to confusion. It is easy enough to understand once you know what to ask. Here are some questions which help in using travel credit cards.

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How to Use a Travel Credit Card?

Users of travel credit cards accumulate points or miles as rewards. Travel and dining related expenses count towards the rewards points. There are some promotional bonuses allowing the card owner to earn more points. These points can be used to buy airline tickets.

How to Use Credit Card Points to Travel?

The accumulated credit card points can be redeemed to buy airline tickets. These tickets could be bought through accredited travel agencies, or through the airplane apps using the rewards points. The points can also be used through the credit card app to pay for airline tickets.

How to Travel With Credit Card Points?

The credit card travel points accumulate with every qualified purchase. When you are ready to redeem them you can go to the credit card app to buy tickets with the points. You can also ask for a statement credit. With a statement credit, you can charge the credit card and then the rewards to credit the amount paid for the ticket.

Credit Card Points and Miles

Travel credit cards use points and miles. It can be confusing at first. Each card has its own system of using their points and the benefits afforded to their customers. Finding out the best for each is always a concern for new credit card users.

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What is the Best Travel Credit Card for Miles?

The best travel credit card for miles is Chase Sapphire Preferred. It has a 50,000 points credit card sign up bonus after spending $4,000 during the first three months. It also has a 2x points per $1 of travel and restaurant spending. 

Does VRBO Count as Travel for Credit Cards?

For some credit cards, VRBO counts as travel for credit card rewards. Other credit card companies do not consider VRBO as travel because it is coded as “real estate” or “property management”. Chase considers VRBO as travel and the user gets 3x points for every $1 spent during the stay.

Does Additional Card Holder Get Travel Credit on Chase Preferred Reserve?

Yes, an additional Chase Preferred Reserve card holder gets travel credit. Any spending by the additional account counts towards rewards points. Both cards have 3x points on dining and travel purchases. However, the $300 annual credit for travel purchases is only for the account of the primary cardholder.

Can You Transfer BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card Points?

The BankAmericard credit card points are not exclusively for travel. However, there is an option for redeeming the points for travel purposes. Once redeemed as Travel points, these an be used to directly book a flight, reserve hotel rooms or for car rental. Take a look at credit card balance transfer offers.

Which Credit Card Gives the Most Free Travel?

Chase Sapphire Preferred offers the most free travel. The card has a sign-up bonus of  Ultimate Rewards points equivalent to travel redemptions. Depending on your credit these may or may not work as the best first credit cards for a lot of people.

Does Wells Fargo Credit Card Offer Travel Rewards?

Yes, the Wells Fargo Propel credit card offers travel rewards of 3x on travel, including airline tickets, car rentals, hotels, homestays, ride-sharing services, gas stations and buses. It also offers 3x on streaming services and dining. Take a look at more credit card offers reviewed on our site.

How to Earn Travel Points Using Chase Credit Cards?

Chase offers around 30 different credit cards. These include co-branded airline and hotel cards, with three offering the Ultimate Rewards program. Purchases earn points for the users of these cards. Depending on the kind of card, the points may be from 1x to 3x of the dollar value spent.

Does Amex Credit Card Provide Travel Cancellation?

Amex credit cards do not provide travel cancellations, trip delays and other travel protection benefits. However, it does provide for lost baggage and travel accidents when you pay for airfare with the Amex Platinum card.

Do You Have to Use Chase Credit Card Travel Portal?

There are different kinds of Chase credit cards, and rewards points also differ in value when used to book Chase Travel Portal. The points may range in value from 1 cent to 1.25 cents on the portal.

Is BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card Good in Any Country?

Yes, you can use the BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card in almost any country. The user pays for the travel expenses normally, then use the rewards points for the charges on the statement. The purchase is also eligible to earn points or miles. To qualify for these cards your score needs to be higher, meaning these definitely aren't as easy to get as unsecured credit cards for poor credit.

Is Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Good?

Yes, Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is a good choice for frequent travelers. It offers flexible rewards without an annual fee. The rewards do not expire as long as the credit card is open.If you don't qualify then you may want to look at good credit cards for average credit.

What Chase Card Has Travel Credit?

There are almost 30 Chase credit cards and they all have travel credit. However, some Chase cards are co-branded and the travel points and miles are limited to the partner airline or hotel. The cards range fro 3x to 1x points for travel credit. If you don't qualify for these then look at the best fair credit cards.

How to Set Amex Credit Card Travel?

It is not necessary to set the Amex Credit Card travel. American Express uses industry standard fraud detection methods to recognize when card members are traveling. There is no need to notify Amex that they are traveling. The online Amex mobile app can also be used to manage your account from anywhere.

Does Uber Count as Travel on Costco Credit Card?

No, Uber does not count as travel for Costco Credit Card. The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi is a co-branded store credit card for Costco. Costco does not include highway and bridge tolls, train fares, parking, Uber and other ride sharing, and house sharing sites like Airbnb for travel points credit.

What is Defined as Eligible Travel for Costco Credit Card?

Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi is a co-branded store credit card backed by Citi. Costco provides 3% cash back on travel including restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, and fast food places, and eligible travel purchases like airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel agencies, cruise lines and Costco Travel.

Can I Use BoA Travel Credit Card in USA?

Yes, you can use a BoA Travel Credit Card in the United States. It offers 1.5 points for every dollar purchase. It also offers monthly FICO credit score access for free and account protection benefits including zero dollar fraud liability with a temporary account number for shopping online.

Does Disney Gift Cards Count for Chase Sapphire Travel Credit?

Disney Gift Cards are not expressly covered for Chase Sapphire Travel Credit. However, there are ways to purchase Disney tickets and gift cards which is covered by Chase Sapphire Travel Credit. These include using Undercover Tourist and purchasing from travel agencies in a consolidated travel purchase.

Do Qualify for Travel Credit on Barclay Card?

No, does not qualify for travel credit because it is not a travel agency. However, the merchant must submit the travel purchase using the eligible merchant category codes for purchases. It is the merchant that selects this and not Barclay Card.

Which Wells Fargo Credit Card is Best for International Travel?

The best Wells Fargo Credit Card for international travel is Wells Fargo Visa Signature Credit Card. It offers five Go Far Rewards points for gas, groceries and drugstore purchases. You can boost the value of the points by 50% when these are redeemed for airfare through the Go Far Rewards portal. If your score is too low to qualify for this card then consider a build credit card.

Does Costco Travel Require Costco Credit Card?

Costco Travel is exclusively for Costco members. Costco members who have the Costco Anywhere VISA card by City have more benefits when they book their flights via Costco Travel. They also earn 3% cash back rewards on Costco Travel purchases. Take a look at a list of store credit cards to see who else offers these benefits.

What is Better Credit Card Hilton Honors or Travel Rewards?

For those who book lengthy stays at Hilton hotels, they would be better off having a Hilton Honors card, rather than travel rewards cards. The signup bonuses are larger than those offered by most other credit card companies. Staying at Hilton properties also earn more points of up to 12X points for every dollar spent. Compare the best travel reward credit cards to see which one gives you points or miles in the way that you need them.

Does Barclay Credit Cards Offer Travel Protection?

Yes, Barclay credit cards offer travel protection. Some Barclay cards include travel insurance, cancellation coverage, and trip delay coverage. Barclays provides up to $250,000 in coverage for travel insurance. If you're a traveling student and don't qualify for these cards then check out college student credit cards.

How to Use Your Bank of America® Travel Rewards Card?

Sign up for the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Card online. This method has a welcome bonus if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. When booking travel, use the Bank of America Travel Center to earn 3 points for every dollar spent on travel purchases.

Do travel credit cards require a deposit?

If you're asking because you have bad credit then you may not qualify for the travel credit card category. There are unsecured credit cards for bad credit with no deposit in other categories though.

Michelle Brooks

Michelle Brooks

Financial Advisor -

Michelle is part of our expert team of financial advisors with a proven track record in the credit card industry. After graduating with an Economics Degree focusing on Personal Finance, she got involved with several credit and debt counseling startups.