How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
| Advertising Disclosure

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertising Disclosure

LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

Best Travel Credit Cards of October 2021

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated September 28, 2021 . Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

You travel regularly and use your credit card to pay for a big chunk of it. But with all the airline- and travel-related cards on the market, how do you know if the one currently in your wallet is giving you the maximum benefit for your needs? Based on our research of cards available through LendingTree, as well as top cards offered by major issuers, let’s take a look at what we think are the best credit cards in several key categories.

Best Travel Credit Cards of October 2021
Best no-annual-fee travel card Discover it® Miles
Best travel card for frequent fliers Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Best travel card for airport lounge access The Platinum Card® from American Express
Best travel card for free checked bags United Club℠ Infinite Card
Best travel card for dining out U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
Best travel card for small business owners The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Best travel card for free hotel stays Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Best travel card for a valuable sign-up bonus Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Best travel card if you’re loyal to an airline Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Best travel card for college students Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

Best For No annual fee

Discover it<sup>®</sup> Miles

Discover it® Miles

Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Introductory APR 0% Intro APR for 14 months on purchases
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

This card makes earning miles simple. Cardholders automatically earn unlimited 1.5x miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee. Plus, only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.

With the cashback match, you’ll essentially earns 3% back on every purchase your first year with the card. Redeem miles as an electronic deposit to your bank account or for a credit on travel purchases, including airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agents, online travel sites and commuter transportation.

The Discover it® Miles is best for occasional travelers who want a $0-annual-fee travel card that earns a flat rate on every purchase. Unlike many other travel cards, this one doesn’t make you pay attention to different earning rates in different categories. Plus, while some credit cards require a minimum redemption amount (typically $25), this one offers the flexibility to make redemptions for as little as one mile.

  • View your FICO® Score for free
  • Alerts if your Social Security number is found on the dark web (activation required)
  • Freeze and unfreeze your card online or in the mobile app

This card makes earning miles simple. Cardholders automatically earn unlimited 1.5x miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee. Plus, only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.

With the cashback match, you’ll essentially earns 3% back on every purchase your first year with the card. Redeem miles as an electronic deposit to your bank account or for a credit on travel purchases, including airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agents, online travel sites and commuter transportation.

The Discover it® Miles is best for occasional travelers who want a $0-annual-fee travel card that earns a flat rate on every purchase. Unlike many other travel cards, this one doesn’t make you pay attention to different earning rates in different categories. Plus, while some credit cards require a minimum redemption amount (typically $25), this one offers the flexibility to make redemptions for as little as one mile.

  • View your FICO® Score for free
  • Alerts if your Social Security number is found on the dark web (activation required)
  • Freeze and unfreeze your card online or in the mobile app

Best For Frequent fliers

Chase Sapphire Reserve<sup>®</sup>

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Introductory APR N/A
Annual Fee $550
Regular Purchase APR 16.99%-23.99% Variable

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, cardholders earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Plus, earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

The points this card earns are Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, and are worth 50% more value when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. So while points redeemed for cash back or other options are worth 1 cent each, those used to book travel through the portal are worth 1.5 cents instead. That means that 50,000 points would translate to $750 in travel.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is best for those who are willing to pay a premium annual fee in exchange for a travel card that offers premium travel benefits and unparalleled flexibility with the rewards you earn.

With a $550 annual fee, this card is one of the most expensive around. But if you use the $300 annual travel credit, that goes a long way toward recouping the cost of the fee.

On top of the travel credit, this card comes with a Priority Pass™ Select membership (enrollment required), which provides access to more than 1,000 airport lounges in over 500 cities worldwide. You can also get a statement credit of up to $100 every four years to reimburse the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® when charged to this card.

Cardholders can redeem rewards for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, which offers 50% more value per point. Or, points can be transferred at a 1:1 value to 13 airline and hotel travel partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards®
  • Flying Blue Air France KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • United MileagePlus®
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy™
  • World of Hyatt®
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (primary coverage)
  • Emergency evacuation and transportation
  • Purchase protection
  • Return protection
  • Extended warranty protection

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, cardholders earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Plus, earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

The points this card earns are Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, and are worth 50% more value when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. So while points redeemed for cash back or other options are worth 1 cent each, those used to book travel through the portal are worth 1.5 cents instead. That means that 50,000 points would translate to $750 in travel.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is best for those who are willing to pay a premium annual fee in exchange for a travel card that offers premium travel benefits and unparalleled flexibility with the rewards you earn.

With a $550 annual fee, this card is one of the most expensive around. But if you use the $300 annual travel credit, that goes a long way toward recouping the cost of the fee.

On top of the travel credit, this card comes with a Priority Pass™ Select membership (enrollment required), which provides access to more than 1,000 airport lounges in over 500 cities worldwide. You can also get a statement credit of up to $100 every four years to reimburse the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® when charged to this card.

Cardholders can redeem rewards for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, which offers 50% more value per point. Or, points can be transferred at a 1:1 value to 13 airline and hotel travel partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards®
  • Flying Blue Air France KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • United MileagePlus®
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy™
  • World of Hyatt®

  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (primary coverage)
  • Emergency evacuation and transportation
  • Purchase protection
  • Return protection
  • Extended warranty protection

Best For Airport lounge access

The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Apply Now
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
Introductory APR N/A
Annual Fee $695
Regular Purchase APR See Pay Over Time APR

With the Platinum Card® from American Express, earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply.

Plus, earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Each point is worth 1 cent when redeemed for airfare or flight upgrades through American Express Travel.

To see rates & fees for the Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.

With an annual fee of $695, you’re paying for the elite benefits and personal service that American Express is famous for.

For frequent travelers in need of unparalleled lounge access and robust travel benefits, the Platinum Card® from American Express is worth the cost. Cardholders enjoy the American Express Global Lounge Collection®, with access to more than 1,300 airport lounges across 140 countries. Some major lounge networks that the Global Lounge Collection® encompasses include Centurion Lounge, International American Express lounges, Delta Sky Club® and Priority Pass™ Select lounges (enrollment required).

Plus, get a statement credit of up to $100 for Global Entry every four years or up to $85 every four-and-a-half years for TSA Pre✓®. To receive the statement credit, you must charge the application fee to this card.

You can also get up to $179 back per year when you charge a CLEAR® membership to the card — this service uses biometrics to help travelers move more quickly through security at select U.S. airports and stadiums.

To see rates & fees for the Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.

  • Get up to $15 per month in Uber Cash for rides or Uber Eats orders, plus a $20 bonus in December (enrollment required, can only be used in the U.S.)
  • Airline fee credit of up to $200 per year for incidental fees (such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments) when you select a qualifying airline
  • Use the Premium Global Assist® Hotline when traveling more than 100 miles from home
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage)
  • Platinum Travel Service for custom itineraries and tailored recommendations
  • Marriott Bonvoy™ Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status when you enroll
  • Platinum Card® Concierge for assistance with dinner arrangements, gift selection and more
  • Get up to $240 in statement credits each year toward eligible digital entertainment purchases (enrollment required)
  • Return protection for 90 days from date of purchase
  • Purchase protection for 90 days from date of purchase
  • Extended warranty (adds up to an additional year on eligible warranties of five years or less)
  • Cellphone protection
  • Get up to $300 per year in statement credits for an Equinox membership (enrollment required)

With the Platinum Card® from American Express, earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply.

Plus, earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Each point is worth 1 cent when redeemed for airfare or flight upgrades through American Express Travel.

To see rates & fees for the Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.

With an annual fee of $695, you’re paying for the elite benefits and personal service that American Express is famous for.

For frequent travelers in need of unparalleled lounge access and robust travel benefits, the Platinum Card® from American Express is worth the cost. Cardholders enjoy the American Express Global Lounge Collection®, with access to more than 1,300 airport lounges across 140 countries. Some major lounge networks that the Global Lounge Collection® encompasses include Centurion Lounge, International American Express lounges, Delta Sky Club® and Priority Pass™ Select lounges (enrollment required).

Plus, get a statement credit of up to $100 for Global Entry every four years or up to $85 every four-and-a-half years for TSA Pre✓®. To receive the statement credit, you must charge the application fee to this card.

You can also get up to $179 back per year when you charge a CLEAR® membership to the card — this service uses biometrics to help travelers move more quickly through security at select U.S. airports and stadiums.

To see rates & fees for the Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.

  • Get up to $15 per month in Uber Cash for rides or Uber Eats orders, plus a $20 bonus in December (enrollment required, can only be used in the U.S.)
  • Airline fee credit of up to $200 per year for incidental fees (such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments) when you select a qualifying airline
  • Use the Premium Global Assist® Hotline when traveling more than 100 miles from home
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage)
  • Platinum Travel Service for custom itineraries and tailored recommendations
  • Marriott Bonvoy™ Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status when you enroll
  • Platinum Card® Concierge for assistance with dinner arrangements, gift selection and more
  • Get up to $240 in statement credits each year toward eligible digital entertainment purchases (enrollment required)
  • Return protection for 90 days from date of purchase
  • Purchase protection for 90 days from date of purchase
  • Extended warranty (adds up to an additional year on eligible warranties of five years or less)
  • Cellphone protection
  • Get up to $300 per year in statement credits for an Equinox membership (enrollment required)

Best For Free checked bags

Introductory APR N/A
Annual Fee $525
Regular Purchase APR 16.49% - 23.49% Variable

Many airline rewards cards offer one free checked bag — but this card offers the first and second checked bags free for the primary cardholder and one companion traveling on the same reservation, for an estimated savings of up to $320 per round trip.

Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Be aware of the steep $525 annual fee. However, the card offers enough value through its benefits to be worth the cost, which we’ll detail in the sections that follow.

The United Club℠ Infinite Card is best for travelers who frequently fly United and who are willing to pay an expensive annual fee for a card with standout benefits. For one thing, cardholders enjoy a United Club membership, which is a value of up to $650 per year. The primary cardmember and eligible travel companions will have access to all United Club airport lounges and participating Star Alliance affiliated lounges worldwide.

Plus, get a statement credit of up to $100 every four years to reimburse the application fee of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® when you charge it to this card.

Finally, enroll in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® President’s Circle membership, which includes benefits such as one-car-class upgrades at participating locations and access to exclusive rental vehicles.

  • Visa Infinite Concierge
  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (primary coverage)
  • Purchase protection
  • Return protection
  • Extended warranty protection

Many airline rewards cards offer one free checked bag — but this card offers the first and second checked bags free for the primary cardholder and one companion traveling on the same reservation, for an estimated savings of up to $320 per round trip.

Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Be aware of the steep $525 annual fee. However, the card offers enough value through its benefits to be worth the cost, which we’ll detail in the sections that follow.

The United Club℠ Infinite Card is best for travelers who frequently fly United and who are willing to pay an expensive annual fee for a card with standout benefits. For one thing, cardholders enjoy a United Club membership, which is a value of up to $650 per year. The primary cardmember and eligible travel companions will have access to all United Club airport lounges and participating Star Alliance affiliated lounges worldwide.

Plus, get a statement credit of up to $100 every four years to reimburse the application fee of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® when you charge it to this card.

Finally, enroll in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® President’s Circle membership, which includes benefits such as one-car-class upgrades at participating locations and access to exclusive rental vehicles.

  • Visa Infinite Concierge
  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (primary coverage)
  • Purchase protection
  • Return protection
  • Extended warranty protection

Best For Dining out

U.S. Bank Altitude<sup>®</sup> Go Visa Signature<sup>®</sup> Card

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

Apply Now
on U.S. Bank's secure site
Introductory APR 0% for 12 billing cycles on purchases*
Annual Fee $0*
Regular Purchase APR 14.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)

With the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card, earn 4X points on dining, takeout and food delivery, 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, streaming services and gas stations, and 1X points on all other eligible purchases. For a card with a $0* annual fee, this is a stellar rewards rate on dining.

Plus, earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card is best for consumers who love dining out at restaurants, picking up takeout and ordering in. Plus, you can enjoy exciting dining experiences when traveling abroad without worrying about a foreign transaction fee, because this card charges none. But be aware U.S. Bank might deny your application if you’ve applied for a credit card from any issuer within the past six months, or have applied for more than one credit card in the past year.

  • $15 streaming service credit after 11 months of eligible streaming service purchases

With the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card, earn 4X points on dining, takeout and food delivery, 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, streaming services and gas stations, and 1X points on all other eligible purchases. For a card with a $0* annual fee, this is a stellar rewards rate on dining.

Plus, earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card is best for consumers who love dining out at restaurants, picking up takeout and ordering in. Plus, you can enjoy exciting dining experiences when traveling abroad without worrying about a foreign transaction fee, because this card charges none. But be aware U.S. Bank might deny your application if you’ve applied for a credit card from any issuer within the past six months, or have applied for more than one credit card in the past year.

  • $15 streaming service credit after 11 months of eligible streaming service purchases

Best For Small business owners

The Business Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Apply Now
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
Introductory APR See Pay Over Time APR
Annual Fee $595 (10/14-1/12/22)
Regular Purchase APR 14.24% - 22.24% Variable

Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more.

Plus, earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

To see rates & fees for the Business Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express charges an eye-popping $595 (10/14-1/12/22) annual fee. However, it also offers unparalleled airport lounge access, making it a standout choice for business owners who travel frequently and need the amenities offered by lounges so they can work on the go.

Like the consumer version of this card, the Business Platinum Card® from American Express comes with the American Express Global Lounge Collection®, which provides access to more than 1,300 lounges across 140 countries. (Note that Priority Pass™ Select  lounges require enrollment.)

Cardholders can also receive up to $200 in statement credits during a calendar year to cover fees at a single airline (enrollment required). And the card comes with a statement credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or up to $85 for TSA Pre✔®.

To see rates & fees for the Business Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.

  • Up to $200 annually in statement credits for Dell purchases
  • Business Platinum Card Concierge
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Baggage insurance plan
  • Marriott Bonvoy™ Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status when you enroll
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage)
  • Business Platinum Travel Service to create custom itineraries and tailored recommendations
  • Premium Global Assist® Hotline when traveling more than 100 miles from home
  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase protection
  • Connect to QuickBooks
  • Get a year-end summary categorizing your purchases

Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more.

Plus, earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

To see rates & fees for the Business Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express charges an eye-popping $595 (10/14-1/12/22) annual fee. However, it also offers unparalleled airport lounge access, making it a standout choice for business owners who travel frequently and need the amenities offered by lounges so they can work on the go.

Like the consumer version of this card, the Business Platinum Card® from American Express comes with the American Express Global Lounge Collection®, which provides access to more than 1,300 lounges across 140 countries. (Note that Priority Pass™ Select  lounges require enrollment.)

Cardholders can also receive up to $200 in statement credits during a calendar year to cover fees at a single airline (enrollment required). And the card comes with a statement credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or up to $85 for TSA Pre✔®.

To see rates & fees for the Business Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.

  • Up to $200 annually in statement credits for Dell purchases
  • Business Platinum Card Concierge
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Baggage insurance plan
  • Marriott Bonvoy™ Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status when you enroll
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage)
  • Business Platinum Travel Service to create custom itineraries and tailored recommendations
  • Premium Global Assist® Hotline when traveling more than 100 miles from home
  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase protection
  • Connect to QuickBooks
  • Get a year-end summary categorizing your purchases

Best For Free hotel stays

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Highlights
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.  
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio. Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card. Plus, earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.

Hilton has more than 6,500 properties across 119 countries. If Hilton brands are your go-to when away from home, and you’re willing to pay a reasonable $95 annual fee, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card can help make your hotel experience more enjoyable. For one thing, you can earn a free Weekend Night Reward after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases on your card within a calendar year. You also get 10 free visits every year to Priority Pass™ Select airport lounges (once enrolled). Finally, the card comes with Hilton Honors Gold status, which provides benefits such as the following:

  • Milestone Bonuses (bonus points after staying a certain number of nights)
  • Space-available room upgrades
  • Free continental breakfast

 

If you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year using this card, you’ll get bumped up to Hilton Honors Diamond status, which will last through the end of the next calendar year.

  • Global Assist® Hotline when more than 100 miles from home
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage)
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection
  • Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • Global Assist hotline
  • Foreign transaction fees: none

Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio. Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card. Plus, earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.

Hilton has more than 6,500 properties across 119 countries. If Hilton brands are your go-to when away from home, and you’re willing to pay a reasonable $95 annual fee, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card can help make your hotel experience more enjoyable. For one thing, you can earn a free Weekend Night Reward after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases on your card within a calendar year. You also get 10 free visits every year to Priority Pass™ Select airport lounges (once enrolled). Finally, the card comes with Hilton Honors Gold status, which provides benefits such as the following:

  • Milestone Bonuses (bonus points after staying a certain number of nights)
  • Space-available room upgrades
  • Free continental breakfast

 

If you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year using this card, you’ll get bumped up to Hilton Honors Diamond status, which will last through the end of the next calendar year.

  • Global Assist® Hotline when more than 100 miles from home
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage)
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection
  • Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • Global Assist hotline
  • Foreign transaction fees: none
The information related to the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Best For Valuable sign-up bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Introductory APR N/A
Annual Fee $95
Regular Purchase APR 15.99% - 22.99% Variable

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a massive sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

For ongoing rewards, earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is best for travelers who want flexibility. Points can either be redeemed for 25% more value through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal or transferred at a 1:1 value to the following airline and hotel partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards®
  • Flying Blue Air France KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • United MileagePlus®
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy™
  • World of Hyatt®

Make sure you’re aware of the unwritten Chase 5/24 rule before you apply for this card, however. If you’ve been approved for five or more cards from any issuer within the past 24 months, Chase will turn your application down.

  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (primary coverage)
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a massive sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

For ongoing rewards, earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is best for travelers who want flexibility. Points can either be redeemed for 25% more value through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal or transferred at a 1:1 value to the following airline and hotel partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards®
  • Flying Blue Air France KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • United MileagePlus®
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy™
  • World of Hyatt®

Make sure you’re aware of the unwritten Chase 5/24 rule before you apply for this card, however. If you’ve been approved for five or more cards from any issuer within the past 24 months, Chase will turn your application down.

  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (primary coverage)
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection

Best For Airline-specific rewards and benefits

Delta SkyMiles<sup>®</sup> Platinum American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Apply Now
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
Introductory APR N/A
Annual Fee $250
Regular Purchase APR 15.74%-24.74% Variable

Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels. Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases. Miles can be redeemed for airfare, merchandise, gift cards, magazine subscriptions, charitable donations and more. When you redeem your SkyMiles for travel on Delta Airlines, each point is generally worth 1 cent.

Plus, limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.

To see rates & fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card please click here.

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card comes with a $250 annual fee, so it’s not for the occasional traveler. But if you fly often and you’re a Delta loyalist, this card has valuable benefits that make it worth the fee. For example, cardholders get an annual companion certificate that can be used for a domestic round-trip flight. (Note that you might have to pay up to $75 for taxes and fees.)

With the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, you also get the first checked bag free, which could save up to $60 per person on round-trip flights. You can also get a fee credit to cover Global Entry (up to $100) or TSA Pre✓® (up to $85) when you charge the application to this charge. And if you need airport lounge access, this card offers an exclusive rate of $39 per person to visit Delta Sky Club lounges when you’re traveling on a Delta flight.

To see rates & fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card please click here.

  • 20% back on in-flight purchases on Delta flights
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Baggage insurance plan
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage)
  • Global Assist® Hotline when more than 100 miles from home
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty

Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels. Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases. Miles can be redeemed for airfare, merchandise, gift cards, magazine subscriptions, charitable donations and more. When you redeem your SkyMiles for travel on Delta Airlines, each point is generally worth 1 cent.

Plus, limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.

To see rates & fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card please click here.

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card comes with a $250 annual fee, so it’s not for the occasional traveler. But if you fly often and you’re a Delta loyalist, this card has valuable benefits that make it worth the fee. For example, cardholders get an annual companion certificate that can be used for a domestic round-trip flight. (Note that you might have to pay up to $75 for taxes and fees.)

With the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, you also get the first checked bag free, which could save up to $60 per person on round-trip flights. You can also get a fee credit to cover Global Entry (up to $100) or TSA Pre✓® (up to $85) when you charge the application to this charge. And if you need airport lounge access, this card offers an exclusive rate of $39 per person to visit Delta Sky Club lounges when you’re traveling on a Delta flight.

To see rates & fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card please click here.

  • 20% back on in-flight purchases on Delta flights
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Baggage insurance plan
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage)
  • Global Assist® Hotline when more than 100 miles from home
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty

Best For College students

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

Highlights
  • Intro 0% APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases, then 13.99%-23.99% variable APR
  • $0 annual fee
  • 25,000 online bonus points offer

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students has a straightforward rewards program where cardholders earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases. Plus, earn 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.

Points can be redeemed as a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees.

Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, if you’re a college student preparing to travel, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is a solid card that can help you build credit and earn rewards at the same time. Plan a beach trip during the summer, drive home to visit family for the holidays, or study abroad and discover exciting foreign restaurants — this card will earn the same flat rate on every purchase, making your life easier.

Plus, with a 0% foreign transaction fee, you don’t have to worry about being charged an additional fee on every purchase made abroad.

Note that to be able to apply for any credit card, even student cards such as this one, you’ll need to have an income and be at least 18 years old.

  • Get your FICO® Score for free (when you opt in)

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students has a straightforward rewards program where cardholders earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases. Plus, earn 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.

Points can be redeemed as a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees.

Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, if you’re a college student preparing to travel, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is a solid card that can help you build credit and earn rewards at the same time. Plan a beach trip during the summer, drive home to visit family for the holidays, or study abroad and discover exciting foreign restaurants — this card will earn the same flat rate on every purchase, making your life easier.

Plus, with a 0% foreign transaction fee, you don’t have to worry about being charged an additional fee on every purchase made abroad.

Note that to be able to apply for any credit card, even student cards such as this one, you’ll need to have an income and be at least 18 years old.

  • Get your FICO® Score for free (when you opt in)
The information related to the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

What to know when choosing a travel card

While it’s always nice to get benefits with your credit card, you must remember to read the fine print to check what exceptions could affect their value. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Do the math. Look beyond the hard numbers of a card’s sign-up bonus. Find out the actual value of your points and check how much you need to spend in order to get them.
  • Redemption flexibility. Make sure the card you choose gives you the maximum flexibility on how you spend your points, including travel, shopping and cash/deposit. If connected to a bank, find ones that give you bonus points for being a customer.
  • Foreign transaction fees. If you travel outside the U.S. regularly, choose cards that don’t charge this fee. If your card has a 3% fee and you spend $1,500 on a trip, it will cost you $45. That adds up after a number of trips.
  • Go for the bonus. Take advantage of bonus points offered by your card when you book travel via its website. Make sure that travel covers the broadest definition, such as airfare, hotels, trains, home shares, rideshares, parking and tolls.
  • Lounge around. If your card comes with airport lounge access, check their guest policy. Some allow either immediate family members or up to two guests for free, while others charge will charge you a fee per guest.
  • Be protected. Carefully read your card’s policies on filing claims for reimbursement under travel protection. You not only need to know what’s covered, but exactly how you can get reimbursed in case the worst happens.
  • Pack a bag. If your card comes with a free checked bag, make sure it covers your traveling companions. See how much you’re charged for extra or overweight bags.
  • Let’s eat. You want a card that covers the broadest definition of dining. That includes restaurants, bars, fast-food eateries and food delivery services.
  • Check in. Your hotel-branded card should come with no blackout dates and automatic elite status. You also want a range of hotels, from budget to luxury, to choose from for redemption.

To see rates & fees for the Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.
To see rates & fees for the Business Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.
To see rates & fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card please click here.
To see rates & fees for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card please click here.

Tracy Brackman

Tracy joined LendingTree in June 2019 as a senior writer. She began working in the credit card space in 2009 as the editorial department manager for FlexOffers, an affiliate marketing company. She went on to work as product information manager for Bankrate, where she managed the financial and credit card product details for two affiliate networks, as well as Bankrate owned and operated sites. Prior to joining LendingTree, Tracy worked as products editor for CreditCards.com, where she developed the credit card products section and created content focused on breaking credit card news.

Read More

The above offers and/or promotions may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available. Check the Issuers’ website for more details.