Top 10 Best Travel Credit Cards of 2022: Ranked & Reviews

Kristina Knight-1
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Reviewed by Randolph Vialva, MBA
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Chase Sapphire Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best Overall

4.8 stars - votes

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit card

Most Affordable

4.5 stars - votes

American Express Gold Card

American Express Gold Card

Most Versatile

4 stars - votes
Top 10 Best Travel Credit Cards

In the months from account opening, travel cards can help you save money when planning a trip, and while traveling offer hotel loyalty programs access. When you use the cards for travel or dining purchases you earn points after you spend. This system allows you to earn many points per dollar spent. For example, if you spend 4,000 on purchases you might earn 4,000 points. When used on eligible purchases, you can redeem points to earn significant discounts, on travel purchases like hotel stays, airline and train tickets, other travel expenses like airport lounge access, car rentals, and dining purchases. These are the best travel cards that will let you travel for less. 

Top 10 Best Travel Credit Cards of 2022

Chase Sapphire Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • High rewards tiers
  • Points transfer 1:1
  • Travel protection included
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit card

  • Low annual fee
  • Balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 2X miles for each purchase
chase sapphire reserve credit card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Redemption through Chase offers additional value
  • Points can transfer
American Express Gold Card
  • High reward earnings
  • Points transfer options
  • Additional authorized users
citi premier card

Citi Premier® Card

  • 3:1 points match
  • 80,000 Thank You points
  • No points expiration date
American Express Plantium Card

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Significant bonus structure
  • Versatility in booking options
  • Additional streaming/digital content bonuses
Capital One Venture X Rewards

Capital One Venture X Rewards

  • Significant bonus structure
  • Annual statement credit when you use Capital One Travel
  • Annual bonus credit
Bank of America Travel Rewards Card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Card

  • 1.5:1 matching program
  • No Annual Fee
  • Points do not expire
Wells Fargo Autograph Card

Wells Fargo Autograph Card

  • No Annual Fee
  • 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 (first three months)
  • Includes non-travel categories
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

  • Free first-checked bag and priority boarding on Delta flights
  • Annual companion certificate on domestic flight
  • Access to Delta Sky Club before Delta flight

Top 10 Best Travel Credit Cards of December 2022

Top 10 Best Travel Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Read Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Reviews

The Chase Preferred program offers high rewards across a vast spending area, and also allows users to transfer points at a 1:1 rate. Many other programs allow for points transfer but may only transfer a certain percentage or may not include 1:1 transfer rates.

  • High rewards tiers
  • Points transfer 1:1
  • Travel protection included
  • Annual fee
  • No introductory APR offer

The benefits to the Preferred program are many, but those bonuses do come with a fee and a high variable interest rate, like an 18.99 25.99 variable that does not include an introductory rate. Users will also need a minimum 700 credit score.

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit card

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Read Capital One Venture Rewards Card Reviews

In addition to Capital One’s best prices, the Capital One Venture card lands in our top two because of its affordability. Along with typical Capital One benefits, the program allows you to transfer miles to a number of other loyalty programs, includes some lounge upgrades, and doesn’t have an expiration date for points earned.

  • Low annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 2X miles each purchases
  • Bonus rewards
  • Limited bonuses

Like Chase Ultimate Rewards, the Venture card comes with an $95 fee, one of the lowest on this list, and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, making it very affordable and travel friendly. And, while the card does include many bonuses for users, some of the bonuses – like lounge access – are limited to annual restrictions.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

chase sapphire reserve credit card

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Read Chase Sapphire Reserve® Reviews

The Chase program has a few drawbacks, but also plenty of bonuses for users. Their annual fee is one of the highest at $550, and the variable interest rate starts at 19.99%. Also, the program requires a minimum credit score of 750, making the program less attainable for the average shopper.

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Redemption through Chase offers additional value
  • Points can transfer
  • Bonus rewards
  • Annual fee
  • High variable interest rate
  • Minimum credit rating required

While the Chase Sapphire program has a high fee and a high minimum credit rating, like Chase Ultimate Rewards, there is a lot to like about the program for the right individual or family. The program offers a 50% increased value for points redemption through Chase, points can transfer to other partner businesses, and they include a $300 annual travel credit for use in a variety of ways.

American Express® Gold Card

American Express Gold Card

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Read American Express® Gold Card Review

Like a regular card from American Express, the Gold program lands in the top five because of the potential to earn extra rewards at a fast pace. The program includes a welcome bonus of 60,000 points and allows users to transfer points to other partner programs. And, while there is a $250 annual fee, for users focused on dining and travel options the points will add up quickly.

  • High reward earnings, up to 4x membership rewards points
  • Points transfer options
  • Additional authorized users
  • Cashback
  • No lounge access
  • Limited balance carry options
  • High APR on purchases paid over time

Before signing on to the program, understand that you have to have a minimum credit score of 700, and that there are limitations to the program. These include no lounge benefits and limited options for those who need to carry a balance from month to month. If you’re able to pay off the card on a monthly basis, though, it could be the right card.

Citi Premier® Card

citi premier card

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Read Citi Premier® Card Reviews

The Citi program has an fee of only $95, one of the best in our top 10. The card also has a zero percent foreign fee transaction, and a 3:1 points match.

  • 3:1 points match
  • 80,000 Thank You points
  • No points expiration date
  • Cashback
  • Variable bonus structure

The Citi card lands in our top five because of the low fee and points matching program, allowing customers to quickly earn bonuses including free lights, car rentals, and other bonuses.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express Plantium Card

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Read The Platinum Card® from American Express Reviews

Like most American Express plans, there is a lot to be had from this program including and 5x membership rewards points on certain buys, up to 80,000 bonus miles or points after you spend a minimum amount, credits for streaming services, a WalMart+ membership bonus, and bonus and annual credits for travel purchases in the first place that can be used for things like baggage fees or lost luggage insurance, and digital fitness bonuses. Users may enjoy uber VIP status.

  • Significant bonus structure
  • Versatility in booking options
  • Additional streaming/digital content bonuses
  • Cashback
  • 5x membership rewards points
  • High fee structure
  • Limiting terms

We thing the AmEx plan is one of the best in the premium tier because of the bonus structure and additional credits. However, those bonuses do come with an annual fee of $695 for membership. 

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards

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Read Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card Reviews

There is a lot to be had with the Venture One card. This program has some of the best bonuses available including up to $300 in Annual statement credit, an annual 10,000-mile bonus during the three months from account opening, and additional points for prepaid fine hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; they also include eligible Equinox Club memberships. Some stays may require a minimum two-night stay. The preferred metal card design also grants access to specialty airport lounges and credit for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck services.

  • Significant bonus structure
  • Annual statement credit when you use Capital One Travel
  • Earn statement credits monthly
  • Annual bonus credit and bonus categories
  • Cashback
  • High annual fee

The Capital One card has a high fee associated with the program of $395. However, the bonuses and the fact that there are no foreign transaction fees make this a very easy card to use for prepaid hotels booked on your travel. Also cars booked through Capital One may earn bonuses.

BoA® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America Travel Rewards Card

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Read BoA® Travel Rewards Credit Card Reviews

The biggest selling point to the BoA program is that the consumer gets a more than 1:1 per dollar match. The minimum match is 1.5 for every $1, which means points and rewards will accumulate faster, making it easier to save on big travel-related purchases in the first place. 

  • 1.5:1 matching program
  • Points do not expire
  • Cashback
  • Rental cars booked through BoA
  • Minimum 3% fee for balance transfers
  • Online only offer

Like other cards, the BoA card doesn’t have an annual fee, however, after the initial zero interest period, the new interest rate will be variable between 16.99% and 26.99%; this high interest rate may make using the card and paying it off harder for some users. However, with contactless card options and a 25,000 bonus after the first three months, also bonus categories, no blackout dates, and the ability to use the card where you want may make up for the high interest.

Wells Fargo Autograph Card

Wells Fargo Autograph Card

Apply Now

Read Wells Fargo Autograph Card Reviews

The Wells Fargo Autograph Card has a lot of benefits for the right user including a 30,000 sign-up bonus points when you spend $1,500 on purchases during the first three months, no annual fees, studio locations worldwide, and 3x points on travel purchases including gas and restaurants. The plan also includes some non-travel buys including streaming services. This makes it a very versatile card for the right consumer.

  • 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 (first three months)
  • Includes non-travel categories
  • Cashback
  • Variable APR after the first year

For the first year, the card has a zero percent APR, but after the initial 12 months, the interest rate will become variable. This may make it harder to understand payments and how to pay down debt as interest begins to accumulate. For this year, this card may be the best option for larger purchases that you plan to pay off within a specific period of time.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Apply Now

Read Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Reviews

Frequent Delta fliers will enjoy a lot of benefits such as access to Delta Sky and the annual companion certificate for eligible domestic flights among others.

  • Free first checked bag and priority boarding on Delta flights
  • Annual companion certificate on domestic flight
  • Access to Delta Sky Club before Delta flight
  • Sky Club access is only for one person
  • High annual fee

New cardholders can earn 80,000 Bonus Miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $5,000 in purchases within 3 months. However, this offer has an expiry date, so always check with American Express before you apply. You earn 60,000 MQMs with status boosts per year. You also earn another 15,000 MQMs four times per year after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
Other rewards include 3X Miles on Delta purchases and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases. The card also offers first-checked bags free on Delta flights and no foreign fees.

What Is a Travel Credit Card?

Top 10 Best Travel Credit Cards

A travel card is a credit card that helps you save more by earning rewards in the months from account opening for making regular purchases and payments. Using these cards, the consumer earns points, sometimes called miles, for every dollar that they spend. The downside to a travel card is that there are usually fees in addition to higher interest rates than can quickly make a credit card balance balloon up and your credit score to fall down.

What Makes A Good Travel Credit Card?

Fees

All travel cards have fees, but a good travel card will balance the fees and interest rates to keep their customers happy. The fee can range from $50 per year to more than $500 per year, so read all of the rules for the cards you’re interested in before making a decision. 

Foreign Transaction Fees

In addition to the fee, and applicable local sales tax, some cards will charge foreign transaction fees. These are charges made on purchases from outside your country of residence. 

Annual Fee

Annual fees are charges from the card company related to being part of the reward program. While these cards allow the user to earn miles per dollar spent, the company makes money by also charging a fee for the use of the card.

Rewards

When choosing a card, you should weigh the fee against the rewards earned per purchase. Some preferred rewards member cards will make the reward even with the amount spent – 1 mile for every $1, for example. Others will make the reward only a percentage of what was spent. 

Earning Rate

For frequent travelers, the earning rate of a reward travel card is the amount of points and miles that are earned compared to the amount of money spent to earn each point or reward. It is sometimes called a point or miles per dollar rate. If it is a 1:1 split, you earn the same number of points per dollar spent. If it is a 2:1 or more split, then you earn fewer points per 1 spent

A Sign-up Bonus

Some reward cards will offer a one-time, sign-up bonus of 1,000 points or more. This is an incentive to help you earn that first reward trip, hotel collection bookings, or free car rental, and is a good way to show the customer how the card can make money for them over time. Many purchases unlimited complimentary access can also be a bonus.

Free or Discounted Travel

With travel rewards cards you earn free or discounted travel rewards for each of the travel and dining made, even if you haven’t gone on a trip. Cards can be used at many restaurants and gas stations, as well as other stores, and with each purchase, the cardholder earns rewards points. When enough points have accumulated, the cardholder can redeem points for offers like hotel credit, free car rental, or discounted plane, train, or bus tickets. 

Co-Branded Travel Cards or General Travel Cards?

Sometimes businesses will partner together to create a network to further incentivize the user. A hotel brand, gas company, or travel brand might join together with a credit company like Chase Ultimate Rewards to offer more ways for the consumer to save money on travel. If you frequently travel with an airline, shop at the same retailers, or eat at the same restaurants these co-branded cards can quickly accumulate points, but if you search out the best deals rather than traveling according to preferred brands, you won’t earn as many rewards. 

Final Thoughts

Unlike being a basic card member, travel credits are a good way to earn annual ultimate rewards for things you would purchase anyway. These rewards can then be turned into discounts for vacations, discretionary spending, and other things you would typically purchase. The key is to understand how points accumulate, how much you have to spend on an annual basis, and how much the annual fees are that are attached to the card. Another thing to watch is whether each card purchase must be paid off within a certain amount of time for the rewards in the months from account opening.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a travel reward card?

At in the months from account opening, a reward credit helps you earn discounts and other freebies for using the card on specific purchases. For example, if you spend 4,000 on purchases you might earn 4,000 points. These purchases result in earning points per 1 spent or miles per dollar spent and can be redeemed for free things within a certain amount of time.

How do you earn points after you spend on travel?

With a travel credit, you earn rewards points with all eligible purchases. In many cases, this is a 1:1 match meaning that your points per dollar or miles per dollar are the same as the total spent: 100 miles for $100 dollars.

Are points transferable between programs?

In most cases, no, points are not transferable. If you switch from a card issuer-specific program, like Chase Ultimate Rewards, and go with a network agreement between a card issuer, one select qualifying airline, prepaid hotels, and rental cars, some points and miles may be transferable as long as the credit issuer is the same. This, however, is not always the case, so if you are thinking of changing make sure you know all of the rules.

How long are points and miles good?

This depends on the program, but in most cases, the card issuer will want your points to be redeemed within a year from the purchase date. Some cards will say that all miles expire if there is no activity on the card within a certain time frame, but other programs have no expiration on points earned.

How do I know if an APR is good?

Credit accounts can quickly become a money pit because of high-interest rates. A card’s Annual Percentage Rate, or APR, is the annualized percentage that is charged to your account on purchases made. The charge will appear as a separate line on your credit statement and is added monthly until the purchase amount is paid off. The APR can add quite a bit of extra money to any purchase so it is better to pay off purchases quickly rather than allow the APR to continue to accumulate. Typically any APR over 10% is considered high and any APR under 10% is considered a good, or low, rate.

Is this a loyalty program?

Yes, but instead of your purchases only counting at a specific store, a travel credit’s loyalty is to the type of purchase: gas, dining, an annual hotel savings benefit, and other travel expenses. Even hotel credit loyalty programs access only counts for that hotel, but a travel credit earns rewards across all travel expenses.

What fees can I expect?

This will depend on the card agreement, but most will charge an annual percentage rate as interest and will have a fee to be part of the rewards tier. The card may also have a foreign transaction fee that would count on any purchases made outside of your country of residence. But for all travel purchases annually the user earns rewards and credits.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristina Knight-1
Kristina Knight, Journalist
Content Writer & Editor
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Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with BizReport.com, NBC News, Soaps.com, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

He is an organized and creative thinking sales management professional with experience in outside and inside sales in various markets. Working as freelancer in the Greater Boston Market, he moved to St. Louis and became an Account Executive, then a Sales Manager managing and coaching 12 sales reps covering a nationwide territory. He has developed his team with a combination of consultative selling and value before price coaching mindset which has won him a President’s Cup and many other financially rewarding awards at RICOH. His most recent role as a Continuous Improvement Manager provided insight into the importance of delivering a quality product in alignment with the value and reputation of his organization. It further enhances the aspect of selling on value as opposed to price.

+ 2 sources

Bizreport Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Bizreport, you can read more about the editorial process here.

  1. Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS). Credit.org. Accessed November 13, 2022. https://www.credit.org/cccs
  2. BBB: Start with Trust® | Better Business Bureau®. Betterbusinessbureau.com. Published 2022. Accessed November 13, 2022. https://www.betterbusinessbureau.com