What You Can Expect From Travel Credit Cards

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices you have, you can relax. We’ve made it easy for you to decide. Everything you need to know about travel credit cards is right here.

Rewards earning: About 85% of travel credit cards earn at least two points or miles per dollar on travel purchases. Some programs offer a variety of categories that have different rewards values. Since each travel rewards card has its own unique rewards program, you’ll need to read the disclosure statements carefully.

Rewards redemption: Your options will differ based on the card you have, but almost half of travel rewards credit cards have redemption options that are flexible. Some cards offer cash back or a statement credit. Other programs offer multiple redemption or transfer options. Nearly all others earn rewards that can be redeemed with multiple partners, such as within an airline alliance or a hotel group.

Sign-up bonus value: About 47% of travel cards have a sign-up bonus worth $500 or more. For example, you might have to spend $3,000 within three months of opening your account to earn 60,000 miles.

Annual fee: Most travel rewards credit cards charge an annual fee. But 30% don’t have one, so you have options if you’d prefer to avoid this fee. About 20% of travel cards have an annual fee greater than $100. But cards that waive the annual fee the first year or charge a fee of up to $100 are the most common.

APR: Travel rewards cards with a minimum APR of 14.99% or lower are rare, with only two cards offering that rate this month. Nearly all other travel rewards cards have a minimum APR that falls between 15% and 18.99%.

Benefits: Finding a travel credit card with valuable benefits should be relatively easy, as 68% of these cards offer top-level benefits. Expect benefits such as travel credits, free hotel nights, priority boarding, free checked bags, airport lounge access and hotel status.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card