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Best travel credit cards

By Mitch Strohm · Bankrate.com
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Posted: 6 pm ET

Best travel credit card

The best travel credit cards offer outstanding rewards, hefty sign-up bonuses and low fees. Nearly all frequent travelers should have one of these cards in their credit card arsenal.

But not all travel credit cards are worthy of consideration. You should look for a card with rewards tailored to how you travel.

Here are three best travel credit cards, as chosen by the experts at CreditCards.com.

CARD SEARCH: If you're getting away, don't forget to pack a great travel credit card.

Best travel credit cards
Card Rewards Annual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred 2x points per dollar on travel and restaurants worldwide, 1 point on other purchases 0$ the first year, then $95
Capital One Venture Rewards 2x miles per dollar spent on every purchase $59
Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard Earn 2X miles on every purchase $89, waived the first year

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred is a worthy card for any traveler given its generous points and low annual fee.

Highlights:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first three months. That's $625 toward travel when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
  • Earn two points per dollar on travel and restaurants worldwide. All other purchases earn one point per dollar.
  • You can earn 5,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user and making a purchase in first 3 months.

Who should get this card
This is an ideal card for anyone looking for an everyday, low-fee travel card with a solid sign-up bonus and great perks. It's especially useful when paired with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, where points are worth 25 percent more.

Cardholders who frequently fly or stay with Chase's travel partners -- like Virgin Atlantic, Southwest and Hyatt -- will particularly enjoy this card. You can transfer points through the card's loyalty program.

The annual fee is $95, which is waived for the first year. The card carries a variable APR from 16.74 to 23.74 percent.

CARD SEARCH: Make your next trip more rewarding. Grab a travel credit card today.

2. Capital One Venture Rewards

Straightforward rewards, a nice sign-up bonus and a low APR help set this card apart from other travel rewards cards.

Highlights:

  • Earn 40,000 miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months. That's equal to $400 in travel.
  • Earn two miles per $1 spent on every purchase. Miles don't expire, and there's no limit on how many you can earn.
  • Miles can be used at any airline or hotel.

Who should get this card
This card is ideal for the frequent traveler who likes rewards but doesn't want to be tied down to a specific brand of airline or hotel. Its simple points structure and sizable sign-up bonus opportunity make it a favorite in travel circles. This card also offers flexible redemption options -- you can either use its platform to find deals or get a statement credit to use elsewhere.

There are no foreign transactions fees, and the $59 annual fee is waived the first year. The APR is a variable 13.74 to 23.74 percent.

CARD SEARCH: Find the best travel credit cards here.

3. Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard

Its simple rewards structure, generous sign-up bonus and flexibility makes this a worthy card to own.

Highlights

  • Earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days.
  • Earn two miles for every dollar spent on all purchases.
  • Five percent of the miles you use will be rebated upon redemption.

Who should get this card
This is a great card for the avid traveler who wants easy-to-use rewards and big bonus opportunities. Like the Venture Rewards card, the Arrival Plus allows you to use your rewards on any airline or hotel.

This card has a 0 percent introductory APR for 12 months for all balance transfers made within 45 days of opening an account. It comes with a variable APR of 16.74, 20.74 or 23.74 percent, based on creditworthiness. The annual fee is $89, which is waived the first year.

Follow me on Twitter: @MitchStrohm

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