Check our picks for top credit cards that grant excellent rewards for frequent travelers. These three travel credit cards will grant you for purchases with lucrative rewards which are easy to redeem for wide range of travel purchases: airfare, hotels, taxis, public transportation, etc.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card

Probably one of the most popular travel credit cards. This card rewards you with 2 Ultimate Rewards® points per $1 spent on travel and dining, and 1 point on all other purchases. Variable APR 16.99% - 23.99% is applied, no intro APR is offered. Annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year. Also no foreign transaction fee will be charged.

Why it’s great for travelers

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card gives you a huge 50,000 points signup bonus after you spend $4,000 within 3 months of the account opening. Moverover, you will be granted additional 5,000 bonus points if you add an authorized user who will make at least one purchase within 3 months of account opening.

Points obtained with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card have very flexible redemption options. You can redeem points for cash or gifts cards, but these options are not the most profitable ones as you get 1 cent per 1 point. What important for a traveler is that when you redeem points through Chase Travel Portal, you get 25% more per point. It means that each point redeemed for travel will be worth 1.25 cent. Points transfer rates to airline and hotel loyalty programs vary (depending on the programs and how you utilize points after transfer), but if you transfer your points to one of the partners (hotels or airlines) you may get even more than 1.25 cents per 1 point.

Moreover, travel purchases with this card are defined in a wide way: it’s not only airfare and hotel stays, but also public transportation and other travel related purchases.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card works well together with the Chase Freedom® credit card. A smart combination of these cards can earn you even more Ultimate Rewards points due to the features of points transfer from one card to another. To learn more about this travel hacking strategy, read our “Combine Chase Cards to Maximize Travel Rewards” guide.

  • Huge signup bonus
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards® points per $1 spent on travel
  • Good offer for points redemption for travel: 1.25 cents per 1 point or higher
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $95 annual fee waived for the first year

The Starwood Preferred Guest® from American Express

The Starwood Preferred Guest® for American Express has no annual fee for the first year of account opening. $95 annual fee each year thereafter. APR on purchases and balance transfers falls within the range of 16.24% - 20.24% based on your creditworthiness. Unfortunately, no introductory APR is offered. At the same time, no fee on foreign transactions is applied.

Why it’s great for travelers

The Starwood Preferred Guest® for American Express credit card grants you 1 Starpoint® per $1 spent on all purchases, 2 Starpoints® per $1 spent at Marriott hotels, and 5 Starpoints® per $1 spent at SPG hotels. You can redeem your Starpoints® for free nights at any Starwood family hotel.

If you prefer to spend your points on an airfare instead of hotel stays, you can transfer your Starpoints® to one of the frequent flier partner airline. You can do that with more than 20 airlines, including British Airways, Air Berlin, Emirates, etc. For each 20,000 Starpoints® transferred to airlines, you will get to your card additional 5,000 Starpoints®. In addition, you get 25,000 Starpoints® bonus if you spend $3,000 on Starwood Preferred Guest® credit card within 3 months.

The Starwood Preferred Guest® form American Express is a co-branded credit card which has one of the most attractive bonuses and a great rewards rate (5 Starpoints® per $1 spent) for hotel stays among other travel credit cards. This card is a wonderful solution for traveler interested in redemption of reward points for hotel stays.

  • Juicy travel rewards eligible for hotel stays and transfer to airline partners. You get 2 Starpoints® per $1 spent at Marriott hotels, and 5 Starpoints® per $1 spent at SPG hotels
  • Relatively low APR
  • Good signup bonus and extra-bonus of 5,000 if transfer to airline partners
  • 0% foreign transaction fee
  • Limited amount of hotels eligible for points redemption. Although this is fair as The Starwood Preferred Guest® form American Express is a co-branded credit card, some other travel cards have wider range of partnering hotel brands.

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card grants you 3 ThankYou® points for each $1 spend on travel, 2 points for spendings on dining and entertainment, 1 points on all other purchases. In addition, after you spend $3,000 in purchases within first 3 months of account opening, you get 30,000 ThankYou® points signup bonus.

Annual fee is $95 waived for the first year. No foreign transaction fee is applied. Variable APR 15.49% - 24.49% on purchases based on your creditworthiness.

Why it’s great for travelers

The Citi ThankYou® Premier card gives you attractive rewards for travel purchases: 3 ThankYou points per $1 spent. Worthwhile to note that this card significantly expands definition of “travel” category. You will earn ThankYou® points not only for “regular” travel purchases, such as airfare and hotel stays, but also for Airbnb stays, gas and toll roads, bike rentals, parking, public transportation and taxis, and many more types of purchases. Moreover, you can transfer your ThankYou® points to several airline loyalty programs (Qatar Airways, Etihad, Virgin Atlantic, etc.) and Hilton Honors hotel program. And, of course, you can redeem your ThankYou® points for airfare and hotels stays at ThankYou® TravelCenter.

Thus, the Citi ThankYou® Premier card is a best fit for travelers who spend a lot of money on travel.

  • Enjoyable rewards for travel purchases: 3 ThankYou points per $1 spent on travel
  • Wide range of purchases falling in the “travel” category: not only airfare and hotels stays, but also public transportation, parking, etc.
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Great signup bonus offer
  • $95 annual fee waived for the first year.