Whether for business or pleasure, if you travel frequently, you can maximize your savings by using a credit card to pay for the travel. This includes plane tickets, hotel stays, rental cars, meals on the go, and any other expenses associated with your travel. Unfortunately, every credit card issuer says they have the “best” card for frequent travelers. And while they can’t all actually be the best, that term is rather subjective. One may be the best for frequent flyers, another for those who stay at many different hotels, and still, another may be the best without a fee. So what we have done is compiled the top three cards for people who travel anywhere and in any way. This makes it easier to find a good card for most travelers, who do not want to be tied down to one airline, one hotel chain, or one method of transportation.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – Boasting the largest sign-up bonus of the cards, this card gives you 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Then, you earn 2 points per dollar spent on dining and travel and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. Points are worth one cent each (like most rewards programs), however, if you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site, rewards are worth an additional 25%. This card gives you the best rewards, the best sign on bonus, and the most flexibility of just about any travel rewards card you can find. And with an annual fee of only $95, it is going to pay for itself quickly.
- Capital One Venture Card – This card comes with a 40,000 mile reward bonus once you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months. In addition, you earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on everything. Miles can be redeemed just like any other rewards points for travel, at a rate of one mile to one cent. As a flat rewards card, it offers better rewards than the Chase Sapphire for people who do not want to worry about booking travel in specific ways or keeping track of what kinds of purchases they are making on the card. It also offers no foreign transaction fees, making it a very effective card for people who travel overseas. The annual fee is $45 per year and is well worth every penny for those who travel often.
- BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card – If annual fees bother you, this card offers generous travel rewards with no annual fee. There is a smaller sign-up bonus, at 20,000 points after the first $1,000 spent, and the rewards are lower than the other cards, at an even 1.5 points per dollar spent. But the rewards can grow, as you can earn an additional 10%-75% bonus when redeeming points based upon how big your relationship with Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, or Merrill Edge is. Ultimately, without a large relationship with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, this card will offer smaller rewards than the other 2 cards, however, it also boasts no annual fee.
Ultimately, finding the best card for you is about deciding what is most important and how much time you want to spend maximizing rewards. But no matter which way you go, any of the three cards above will be an improvement over whatever else you are currently using.