Whether you travel a lot or a little bit you want to find the best credit cards for travel because they can save you big bucks in the form of get free upgrades, discounted flights and free hotel stays. But how can you find the best card for travel? That all depends on what you’re looking for.
Hotel chain rewards cards
If you prefer to always stay at the same hotel chain such as the Hilton or Marriott you can search for credit cards that give you rewards points for free nights stays at specific locations. As a program rewards member you’ll earn points every time you stay at a Hilton or Marriott and you’ll earn additional points when you use your credit card on all other everyday purchases. You can apply for the Marriott Rewards VISA Credit Card directly on their website.
If you don’t want to limit yourself to one specific hotel chain your best card for travel may be a program to a hotel group that includes several different brands such as Starwood Hotels which includes Sheraton and Westin hotels or IHG which includes the Intercontinental Hotel chain as well as the Holiday Inn. There’s a variety of hotel star levels for every type of travel. This may be better if you like a variety of options and don’t always need a five star hotel when a three star will do. There are also cards that give you bonus miles for signups. Reviews of the Chase Sapphire Reserved card state that you can even get travel perks like lounge access and reimbursement for programs such as Global Entry.
Airline rewards credit cards for travel
If you’re preferred method of travel is by air and you like the destinations or service on a specific airline you may want to see if they offer a rewards program credit card. I am not a huge fan of United Airlines (they’ve lost my luggage three times) however they have great prices on fares when travelling throughout the United States.
The United MileagePlus Visa Card from Chase Bank offers was voted best credit card from 2012 to 2015 and offers free checked bags, no fees on foreign transactions and Premier Access travel services. It also offers access to airport lounges (very handy during layovers) and 1.5 miles for every $1 spend on everyday purchases. If you often find yourself travelling on United Airlines you may want to apply for this card because it’s one of the best credit cards for travel.
Remember to check your credit score before applying for a new credit card to make sure all information is being reported correctly and to see where you stand financially a.k.a. the odds of you being approved.
What makes the best card for travel?
The first criteria is you need to like (or at lease often use) the hotel or airline that is associated with the travel credit card you’re applying for. As long as it allows you to accumulate points on your regular purchases and extra points on purchases made while travelling with them it’s a good credit card for travel. Using the card as often as possible lets you earn travel rewards faster – that’s always a good thing.
You also want to make sure you have access to services while out of the country such as concierge service if your card is lost or stolen as well as medical insurance in case you’re injured or become sick abroad.
What’s your best card for travel?