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Over the past several years of traveling around the world with kids in tow, we’ve learned a lot of valuable tricks. One of our favorite ways to save money and travel for free is by using travel credit cards. By earning points with the right credit cards, you can take flights for free and get some awesome hotel stays and perks as well.

Below we break down the best credit card offers available as of early 2023. If you’re just starting out and looking for your first travel credit card, all of the below are great options.

Our Top 6 Favorite Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards not only offer miles and points but so many other travel benefits that can totally change the game for you when you are planning travel. Getting started and figuring out which card is best for you can be quite intimidating. Whether you only take 1 trip a year or you travel all the time, there is a card that is going to fit your needs. That’s why I want to help and outline some of my favorite cards after a ton of research. Here are the top 6 I recommend and why:

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (my favorite card!)

While this card comes with an annual fee of $395, the benefits far outweigh that fee. First off, it comes with a $300 annual travel credit, which pretty much covers most of the fee right there. Plus you get airport lounge access and Hertz Presidents’ Club status in addition to all of the benefits below. There are so many reasons that this is my favorite travel credit card! If you haven’t used lounge access with your kids before, this is a totally game changer and makes flying and navigating the airport so much more enjoyable.

This card is one I recommend for the the more consistent traveler, so if you are planning on taking more than 3 trips this year than this might be the card for you!

For an annual fee of $395 some of the main benefits include:

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.
    • According to points experts that is equal to about $750 in travel.
  • $300 annual travel credit when you book through Capital One’s portal.
  • $100 Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre-check.
  • 10,000 mile annual anniversary bonus. (worth at least $100)
  • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Status.
  • Unlimited access to the Capital One Lounge and at 1,300+ Priority Pass lounges worldwide.
  • Can be transferred to a variety of partners including Avianca, Jet Blue, Turkish Airways, Wyndham, and more.

While this card has quite the hefty annual fee you can see that the value of all the perks will easily make up for it. If you are more of a premium traveler who will be sure to make use of all these perks than this might be the best card for you.

Learn How to Apply

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.


Upon enrollment, accessible through the Capital One website or mobile app, eligible cardholders will remain at upgraded status level through December 31, 2024. Please note, enrolling through the normal Hertz Gold Plus Rewards enrollment process (e.g. at Hertz.com) will not automatically detect a cardholder as being eligible for the program and cardholders will not be automatically upgraded to the applicable status tier. Additional terms apply 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire was my very first travel credit card, and a great option for anyone just getting started. I recommend this to all of my friends and family who want start learning about getting into the world of award travel mainly because of the low yearly fee, the generous welcome offer that can earn you free travel, and some of the other popular perks this card provides. This card is best for the casual traveler so if you are only taking 1-2 trips a year this might be the best option for you.

The current bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (offer ending soon) gets you $750 of travel or more, depending on how you use the transfer partners. One of the main features that I love about this card is how many transfer partners it has so you will have the most flexibility when booking award travel.

For a low annual fee of $95 you get all of the following benefits:

  • The 75,000 bonus miles on the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card are worth at least $750 in free travel, and even more if you’re able to leverage some of the many transfer partners. (offer ending soon)
  • The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most well-known in the travel space.
  • Capital One recently introduced more than a dozen transfer partners, including Air Canada, Air France, Etihad, and Cathay Pacific and more. Points transfer to most partners 1:1.
  • Venture also keeps its original points redemption option of redeeming points to erase any travel purchase at a value of 1 cent per point.
  • Meaning the 75,000 bonus miles are worth $750 in free travel. Airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, Uber, taxis, you name it.
  • Pay with your Venture card and use your points to erase the charge later. Or transfer to any of the many transfer partners for the possibility of getting exponentially more than $750 in value.
  • Perfect card for booking all-inclusive resorts.
  • 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries
  • 2x on all other travel purchases
  • 1x on all other purchases
  • Primary rental car insurance when you pay with the card.
  • $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit
  • No foreign transaction fees.

With all these perks you can see why this card is at the top of my list and one I recommend most often. One of the things I wished this card had was lounge access as one of the perks so if that is something that is important to you consider the Capital One Venture X instead.

Learn How to Apply

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Venture credit card has similar perks to the Venture X, but with no annual fee. It also includes a limited time only 20,000 mile offer.

This is a Great Beginner Travel Card with lots of hotel and airline partners! This card doesn’t require you to be loyal to a single hotel chain or airline, but you can take full advantage of the perks.

With a $0 annual fee you get all of the following benefits:

  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
  • The VentureOne Rewards from Capital One is the no-fee version of the Venture Rewards from Capital One. It earns 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase and 5 miles per dollar on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel.
  • Can be transferred to a variety of partners including Avianca, Jet Blue, Turkish Airways, Wyndham and more.

Notable benefits of the Capital One Venture are:

  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase.
  • Earn unlimited 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Cardholders also get two complimentary passes to visit Capital One lounges each year. 
  • Miles can be redeemed for any type of travel or transferred to a handful of airline and hotel partners.
  • Travel accident insurance.
  • Secondary auto rental coverage.
  • Extended warranty protection.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

With all of this offered for only $95 annually, it’s a really good one for those starting their travel card journey.

Learn How to Apply

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

This is the premium Delta co-brand card for serious Delta customers. The ability to earn MQMs with credit card spend is a nice perk for big spenders.

For an annual fee of $650 you get all of the following benefits:

  • Earn 95,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive $100 back for Global Entry or up to $85 back for TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Official Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • $240 Resy Credit: With the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Resy Credit, earn up to $20 per month in statement credits on eligible Resy purchases using your enrolled Card.
  • $120 Rideshare Credit: You can earn up to $10 back in statement credits each month on U.S. rideshare purchases with select providers after you pay with your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. Enrollment Required.
  • $200 Delta Stays Statement Credit: Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members can earn up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit annually on eligible prepaid Delta Stays bookings on delta.com.

Noteworthy Benefits of the card:

  • This is the most premium Delta co-brand credit card, coming with a hefty annual fee but a long list of benefits as well.
  • This card gives you free access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta and also free access to the American Express Centurion Lounges when you book a Delta flight and pay with this card.
  • It also comes with a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit, a free checked bag, and priority boarding.
  • Overall this card is really only ideal for frequent Delta flyers, though the large bonus makes it worth grabbing for just about anyone for at least the first year.

Learn How to Apply

The World of Hyatt Credit Card

Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.

For a low annual fee of $95 you get all of the following benefits:

  • This bonus points can score you nearly two free nights at the some of the best Hyatt properties in the world, and even more free nights at lower end properties.
  • This card also earns 9 points per $1 spent at Hyatt (4X bonus points from the card, and 5X base points for being a World of Hyatt Member)
  • 2 points per $1 on dining and airfare purchased directly with airlines
  • 2 points per $1 spent on gym and health club memberships
  • 1 point per $1 on everything else.
  • Bonus Points per $1 spent with Hyatt.

more great Benefits:

  • Receive World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.
  • Receive one free night at any Category 1–4 Hyatt hotel or resort every year after your cardmember anniversary.
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1–4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year.
  • Earn 2 additional qualifying night credits every time you spend $5,000 on your card.
  • Earn 4X bonus points from the card and 5 base points as a World of Hyatt member.
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, local transit and commuting as well as fitness club and gym memberships.
  • Earn 1 Bonus Point per $1 on everything else, 2X in the first 6 months up to the first $15,000 spent.

There is a lot to be excited about with the World of Hyatt Credit Card, starting with the point bonus. The bonus points can score you ~2 free nights at highest tier Hyatt properties in the world or as many as 12 free nights in lower tier properties.

You could get this card and use the bonus points to book 2 free nights at the world-renowned Park Hyatt Tokyo in Japan. Bonus: have someone else do the same thing  cover an entire 4 night stay there. Rooms typically go for $600+ per night.

Learn How to Apply

amex

The Platinum Card® from American Express

This is the most expensive card on the list in terms of annual fees, but it also has the most perks. The high annual fee will only be worth it if you’re taking advantage of all of benefits, so make sure you take that into consideration before applying.

For an annual fee of $695 (terms apply) you get all of the following benefits:

  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. 1x thereafter.
  • 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $8,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of membership.
  • Premier Concierge Services for booking travel or experiences.
  • Access to Priority Pass Select and Centurion Lounges.
  • Gold status with Marriott and Hilton.
  • Up to $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
  • Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required.
  • Get up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • Up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships. Enrollment required.
  • Up to $200 annually in Uber Cash to use on Uber rides or Uber Eats orders
  • Up to $189 in CLEAR Credit
  • Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction, and an Equinox+ subscription is required.

Earning Rewards:

  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. 1x thereafter.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Earn 1x Membership Rewards® Points on all other purchases.

Again, this card is great if you plan to use majority of these benefits. Well worth the exchange! Also, if you travel often for work or for leisure then Amex Platinum will certainly improve your overall travel experience.

Learn How to Apply

Editorial Disclosure – Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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