Credit cards offer so many different perks but which ones have the best travel rewards? We'll break down all of the top cards for you.
Choosing a credit card for its travel rewards will depend on your personal preferences and budget for an annual fee. If you want to get the most out of your travel purchases, then the best cards are usually ones with higher fees.
Which credit cards offer the best rewards for travel?
Best overall credit card for travel: Capital One Venture Rewards
Capital One’s Venture Rewards credit card offers premier travel rewards without hefty annual fees. If you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of having the card, there's a one-time bonus of 75,000 reward miles, which equals $750. Hotels and rental car purchases that are booked through Capital One will earn 5x reward miles, and 2x rewards on every other purchase.
TSA PreCheck and Global Entry allow you to skip lines at airports, and Venture Rewards cardholders can receive up to $100 in credit to help purchase either pass. TSA PreCheck costs $85 for a five-year membership, while Global Entry costs $100 for five years. Cardholders also have access to Capital One Lounges or Plaza Premium Lounges, which are private lounges located in airports. Those who have the Venture Rewards card have two complimentary visits to either lounge twice per year.
The rewards points that are accrued can be used for booking trips through Capital One or can be transferred to the company’s 15+ travel loyalty program. The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card has an annual fee of $95.
Best high-end credit card for travel: Mastercard Black Card
The Mastercard Black Card is one of the most famous credit cards out there, as it was originally thought of to be exclusive to a select group of people. But the card can be attained by applying with a good credit score just like other high-end credit cards.
The card offers a 2 percent value rate for airfare redemptions, and 1.5 percent on cash back redemptions. While the reward multiplier doesn’t seem as high as other credit cards, its overall travel reward offerings are eye-opening.
Black Card members receive an automatic $100 application credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, along with an annual $100 credit for flight-related purchases such as airline tickets, baggage fees, and seat upgrades. Cardholders have complimentary unlimited access to Priority Pass lounges with unlimited guests. There are also complimentary credits for certain airport restaurants for you and one guest.
There's travel accident and baggage delay insurance, where card members receive up to $250,000 in accidental death or dismemberment, as well as up to $100 per day in reimbursement for bags that are more than four hours late. To qualify for those insurances, you have to make the airline ticket purchase with the Black Card. There's also secondary coverage for eligible rental vehicles and round-trip purchases, where an insured person can collect up to $5,000 for interrupted or canceled trips.
The Mastercard Black Card costs $495 per year and $195 for each authorized user. New cardholders currently have 0 percent APR for the first 15 billings.
Best zero-annual fee credit card for travel: Capital One VentureOne Rewards
Capital One cracks the list again as the credit card offers great travel rewards for a card with no annual fee. Earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cars that are booked through the company’s travel platform and 1.25x on all other purchases. Currently, there's a bonus offer of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within three months of having the card, which is equal to $200.
The miles never expire and they can be used to reimburse travel purchases or to pay for trips booked through Capital One. They can also be transferred to over 15 other travel loyalty programs. New cardholders have a 0 percent APR rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.