The Best Travel Credit Cards You Need For Your Next Trip
Travel opportunities have been becoming much more apparent and what better way to make the most of a vacation than with a travel credit card? It can be intimidating opening up a credit card, but travel credit cards offer many benefits through points or miles where you can redeem your points for many rewards. Whether it be saving money on hotels and rental cars, reserving priority entry or TSA precheck, travel credit cards offer benefits that can be helpful for future travel plans.
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There are 3 tiers to each travel card: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Each card offers its own benefits, some offering more than others. Beginner travel credit cards are perfect for those who are just starting out in terms of traveling, intermediate travel credit cards are most commonly used for frequent flyers, and advanced travel credit cards are for those who enjoy the luxuries of all things travel.
Now that travel credit cards have become a topic of interest, how does one get started? Which credit card has the most benefits? When it comes to deciding which credit card to choose, it can be overwhelming. Each credit card has its own benefits and can sometimes be quite similar or vastly different from one another. Don’t worry BeachCandy babes, let’s break down all the different travel rewards credit cards there are to aid in deciding which card to choose best.
Those who travel once or twice a year might find little interest in travel credit cards. However, there are travel credit cards that are beginner friendly and offer some rewards that infrequent flyers can appreciate. Beginner tier cards are quite easy to use and usually do not offer hidden or high annual fees. Those who are also intimidated by credit cards might find that beginner tier cards are a good starting point in building credit and help to learn more about the functionality of travel credit cards.
The Capital One® Quicksilver® card is beginner friendly and offers a $200 sign up bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months. There is also 1.5% cashback on all purchases and does not have a foreign transaction fee when traveling internationally. Worried about high annual fees? The Capital One® Quicksilver® has $0 in annual fees! Overall, Capital One travel is the most appealing for beginner travelers. This card is perfect for those who do not travel often, but want to experience some travel benefits.
The second beginner friendly card is the Bilt MasterCard®. Although there is no sign-up bonus, this card features earning rates including 3x back on dining, 2x back on travel, and 1x back on other purchases and rent. There is also no foreign transaction fees and offers car rental insurance with $0 in annual fees with rental cars booked.
What makes this card stand out from most is its earnings through rent. The Bilt Mastercard® reimburses any fees associated with rent and can earn up to 50,000 points that can potentially subsidize the next trip! These points can also be transferred to cover flights or hotel stays to maximize awards with associated airline and hotel partners. This card is great for local travelers who might also utilize homestays or vacation rentals such as Airbnb, Vrbo, Vacasa, etc.
Those who travel a minimum of 3-4 times throughout the year might find that intermediate travel credit cards are perfect because they provide more benefits than that of beginner friendly credit cards, but are still user friendly and do not have high monthly or annual fees. Intermediate travel credit cards require a bit more knowledge with credit card usage, but offer a great introduction to travel benefits with hotel and airline partnerships.
With the American Express® Gold Card, new members who spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening earn 60,000 bonus points. Want even more points? Resy.com offers an American Express® Gold Card sign up bonus of 75,000 points and 20% back on restaurants during the first 12 months of signing up.
The earnings rate of the American Express® Gold card offers 4x back on groceries, 4x back on dining, 3x back on travel (booked with an airline or Amex® travel), and 1x back on other purchases. There are also no foreign transaction fees and allows points to be transferred to flight partners for flight rewards. Another important travel perk is baggage insurance that covers up to $1,250 for carry on and $500 for checked bags. The annual fee for the Gold Amex® is $250 with an offer of $240 worth of dining credit every year.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card offers 80,000 bonus points in the first 3 months after spending $4,000 on purchases. In regards to earnings, Chase offers 5x on travel, 2x on other travel purchases, 3x on dining in and dining out, delivery, and takeout, 3x on select online grocery purchases, 3x on select streaming services and earn points per $1 spent on other purchases.
There are many travel benefits that this card offers such as no foreign transaction fees, baggage delay insurance, trip delay coverage and up to $500 of trip delay reimbursement. Chase Sapphire Preferred® also transfers to airline and hotel partners. With an annual fee of $95, $50 of hotel credit is offered through partner transfers.
Want to garner the most bang for your buck? Upgrading to advanced travel credit cards allows for the maximization of travel benefits and rewards to make traveling worthwhile. These luxury travel cards are perfect for frequent flyers who are looking to make their trips as stress-free as possible. These cards usually conjure the most points in exchange for better benefits. Those who are very familiar with credit cards might find that advance tier credit cards are more suitable in order to make the travel experience as smooth as possible.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a step up to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® which offers 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Earnings offer 10x points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 10x points on dining purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5x points on flights, 3x points on dining, and 1x points on other purchases.
There is also a 50% point bonus for booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Those with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card can utilize their points by transferring it to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and receive a 50% bonus instead of the 25% bonus that the card offers. Those who are also existing Chase Freedom® cardholders can transfer their points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and receive a 50% bonus! Talk about great strategy!
With an annual fee of $550, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers $300 annual travel credit. There are many travel benefits that the card offers to its members such as credit for global entry or TSA precheck. There is also $3,000 worth of lost luggage protection and covers baggage and trip delays similar to what Chase Sapphire Preferred® offers. Points can easily be transferred to select airline and hotel partners to maximize the most of airline and hotel rewards. There is also a priority pass lounge network for Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders to relax and wind down before a flight to make traveling less stressful and set the tone for a positive traveling experience.
Lastly, the Capital One® Venture X® card has grown to become highly popular for travel with a bonus of 75,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Earnings offer 10x points for hotels and cars booked through Capital, 5x for flights booked through Capital, and 2x on other purchases.
With an annual fee of $395, this luxury travel card offers incredible travel benefits including $300 annual travel credit for Capital One® travel purchases, $100 anniversary credit that can be used towards Global Entry and TSA precheck, access to Capital One’s priority pass lounges, and offers $800 worth of cell phone insurance per year. Up to 4 authorized users can be added to an existing membership (for free!) and have their own personal access to the priority pass lounge.
No matter where the next destination is, travel credit cards offer many benefits that are suitable for every travel need. Each tier of credit cards provides travelers with exclusive rewards that help to take advantage of airline and hotel partnership to help save money and make use of existing offers that can be of use for future travel plans.
Overall, travel credit cards are perfect for investing the points accumulated through these credit card programs to help make the most of each trip. It is important to take into consideration all the factors that come along with traveling: the planning, the expenses, the destination, the transportation, the accommodation–whatever the concern, travel credit cards are there to invest all those worries into a memorable trip. So, the next destination awaits and so do the travel credit cards! Choose them both wisely!
Written by Chloe Galvey
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You've got your travel credit cards sorted out, now don't forget about your vacation swim ensemble! We have the best swimwear to make you shine on your vacation as well as fabulous cover ups, resort wear, and accessories. Check out our recent blog on how to choose the perfect BeachCandy swimsuit for your body type: Which BeachCandy Bikini Suits My Shape?
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