2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST TRAVEL CREDIT CARD OFFERS
Travel More with the Top Travel Credit Cards
Whether you’re headed to a beach resort for a luxurious vacation or a three-star hotel for a weekend work conference, chances are you could stand to make a few improvements in the way you travel. Having the best travel rewards credit card tucked into your wallet is a definite step in the right direction.
The best credit card for travel can do a number of things for your trip accommodations: save you money on airfare, grant discounts on hotels and car rentals or give you complimentary upgrades to help you travel in comfort. Whether you want your trips to be more convenient or more cost-effective, you can truly have it all with the best travel credit cards available on today’s market.
Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Travel Credit Card Offers
The majority of top travel credit cards will be issued to consumers who have good to excellent credit – a small token of appreciation for being a trustworthy borrower.
If you feel like you meet the criteria and happen to be a frequent flier, take a look at our ranking of the top travel credit cards and the associated travel credit card offers. We’re sure that you’ll find an option that will fit perfectly with your needs and travel arrangements.
AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Travel Credit Cards
List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the credit card names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that credit card):
- CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard
- Discover it® Miles Card
- FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature®
- HSBC Premier World MasterCard®
- TD First Class℠ Visa® Signature Card
- VentureOne from Capital One
Top 6 Best Travel Credit Cards| Brief Comparison & Ranking
Credit Card Names
Bonus Miles Spending Requirement
Discover it® Miles Card
HSBC Premier World MasterCard®
TD First Class℠ Visa® Signature Card
First purchase, $3,000 in first 6 months
$1,000 in first 3 months
Table: Top 6 Best Travel Credit Cards | Above list is sorted alphabetically
How Do Travel Credit Cards Work?
Maybe you already have some familiarity with rewards cards, and maybe you don’t. Either way, credit cards for travel work in a slightly different way that’s important to understand before signing up for their offers. What can you expect from the best travel rewards credit card?
Image Source: Best Travel Credit Cards
First, you should know exactly how many miles you receive for your spending habits. Most of the best credit cards for travel will issue a minimum of one mile per dollar spent across all categories. Certain travel credit cards will issue more points in certain spending categories (such as dining or other travel accommodations). The best travel rewards credit card may issue more miles as a standard feature.
Additionally, you should be sure to scan through the added benefits of having a company’s “best travel rewards credit card.” Every person’s preferences will be different when it comes to perks, but here are a few you might want to keep an eye out for and consider:
- Access to fly via several different airlines
- Ability to check in extra bags for free or at a discount
- Accommodations during the flight (free beverages, Wi-Fi, credit towards upgrading your seat, etc.)
- Discounts at hotels and restaurants
- Travel insurance or car rental insurance
- Insurance for lost or delayed baggage
The possibilities for travel credit card offers are nearly endless. If there’s a particular feature that is important to you to have in your credit cards for travel, you can almost certainly find one of these options.
Be careful opting for any of the travel rewards credit cards that only allow you to fly via one airline. This may force you into flights and situations that aren’t always the most economical or convenient. Unless you are an incredibly loyal frequent flier with one preferred airline, consider one of the best credit cards for travel that allow you to fly via most airlines without blackout dates.
AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology
What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top rated lists?
Please click here “AdvisoryHQ's Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.
Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Travel Credit Cards
Below, please find the detailed review of each credit card on our list of best credit cards for travel. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these travel credit card offers to score so high in our selection ranking.
CitiBusiness®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select World MasterCard Review
If you are a frequent flier with American Airlines, you’ll love the benefits afforded by this selection for the best travel rewards credit card. Even among the best travel credit cards, it features low interest rates and great introductory travel credit card offers.
What about this rewards program makes it a candidate for our top travel credit cards? For starters, it features an introductory offer that will be easy for most to achieve: spend $1,000 in the first three months and receive 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles.
You’ll earn double miles on purchases in certain categories, including telecommunications, car rentals, and gas stations. While you ordinarily score one mile per dollar spent on this best travel rewards credit card, these categories allot 2 miles to each dollar. Not to mention, you’ll enjoy these additional perks:
- Discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases when using its travel credit cards on American Airlines flights
- First checked bag for free
- Group one boarding on domestic American Airlines flights
- Potential to earn an American Airlines Companion Certificate
- Worldwide car rental insurance
- Travel and emergency assistance
- Worldwide travel accident insurance
Rates and Fees
While you can still anticipate an annual fee with this offering from Citi, you can try out one of the most popular choices for the best travel rewards credit card for free the first year. The annual fee of $95 is waived during the first year of using this best travel credit card.
Considering the fees and rates associated with many of the best credit cards for travel, the interest rates on the CitiBusiness®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select World MasterCard are relatively low. All purchases are subject to a standard variable APR of 15.49 percent (the prime rate plus 11.99 percent). Cash advances on its best travel rewards credit card clock in at 21.99 percent APR.
Discover it® Miles Card Review
The Discover it® Miles Card is easily one of the best travel credit cards around for earning miles quickly and having great introductory interest rates.
Source: Discover it Miles Card
With some of the best travel credit card offers around, the Discover it® Miles Card allots you 1.5 miles on every purchase without limit. Not only that, but at the end of your first year, the Discover it® Miles card will match all of the miles you’ve earned (for new card members). Consider some of these other advantages that make this one of our top travel credit cards:
- No blackout dates
- Up to $30 cashback for in-flight Wi-Fi purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- No expiration dates on points
Rates and Fees
Expect to have no annual fee with this selection for the best travel credit card. Many of the travel rewards credit cards do feature an annual fee of some sort, but this one makes the top travel credit cards easily accessible for every consumer.
When it comes to interest rates, you get a nice introductory rate of 0 percent APR for the first year from the date the account opens. After this introductory rate expires, you’ll face a variable APR of 11.24 to 23.24 percent, depending on your creditworthiness.
On balance transfers (which do not count towards its rewards program), you’ll have a separate introductory interest rate of 10.99 percent APR for the first twelve months, from the date of transfer posted to your account no later than February 10,2017. Afterwards, the interest rate on balance transfers will match the average interest rate on new purchases.
FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Review
Depending on your spending, the FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature from US Bank has some of the best travel credit card offers in terms of enrollment points and miles. You’ll also want to take a closer look at its low annual fee and additional perks of membership.
The best travel credit cards typically have some sort of offer to entice consumers, and the FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® from US Bank is no exception. After the first $2,000 worth of purchases within four months of the account opening, you’ll gain 20,000 enrollment FlexPoints, which can be redeemed for:
- Car rentals
- Airline tickets at over 150 airlines
- Hotel stays at the Hyatt, Marriot or Hilton hotels
You’ll also find that you can rack up rewards points quickly through US Bank’s best credit cards for travel. Earn triple the points with charitable donations and double the points at gas stations.
There are several other advantages to its best travel credit card offers, including a $25 allowance for food and beverages in flight, baggage fees or seat upgrades, free Wi-Fi twelve times annually, and no blackout dates.
Rates and Fees
You won’t find any introductory interest rates on this best credit card for travel. However, it is willing to waive your annual membership fee for the first year and resume it at $49 annually for each year thereafter.
Interest rates will range from 14.24 to 24.24 percent APR, determined by your creditworthiness. The same interest rate will apply to any balance transfers that you make, and the highest tier (24.24 percent) will also be used for any cash advances made on its best travel rewards credit card.
HSBC Premier World MasterCard® Review
While you do have to be an HSBC Premier client in order to qualify for its best travel credit cards, you’ll find it’s definitely one of the top choices.
Even among the best credit cards for travel, the HSBC Premier World MasterCard® has one of the best travel credit card offers for new members. With just $2,500 in spending over the course of the first three months, you’ll score 40,000 bonus points – a substantial amount when you compare travel cards.
Not only that but you also gain a number of other advantages:
- Access to World MasterCard Concierge service to assist with travel arrangements and dinner or event reservations
- Coverage for lost, damaged or delayed luggage
- Collision and damage waiver for car rentals
- Identity fraud expense reimbursement
- No blackout dates
- No foreign transaction fees
Rates and Fees
The interest rates for the HSBC Premier World MasterCard® are a contributing factor to what ranks it as one of the top travel rewards credit cards. Its interest rates range from 13.24 to 17.24 percent, depending on your creditworthiness. You’ll face the same APR interest rates on balance transfers, but you will find a significantly higher interest rate on cash advances (25.24 percent).
If you are in the habit of making late payments, you won’t be pleased with the penalty APR of 30.24 percent, though.
There is no annual fee for the first year of your account being open and no fee for current customers who have an HSBC Premier checking account. Those who no longer have a valid account will face a $95 annual membership fee.
TD First Class℠ Visa® Signature Card Review
For some of the lowest interest rates and easily achieved bonus miles, you’ll agree that the TD First Class Visa Signature Card might just be the best travel rewards credit card.
One of the best travel credit cards around, it has an easy introductory offer that anyone should be able to reach. With your very first purchase, you’ll score 15,000 bonus miles. If you can spend $3,000 on its best credit cards for travel within your first six billing cycles, you’ll gain an additional 10,000 bonus miles.
On a regular basis, you earn triple the miles on travel and dining if you spend $500 monthly (including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and dining) and one mile per dollar for all other purchases if you spend $1,000 monthly.
Rates and Fees
For the first year that you use the TD First Class℠ Visa® Signature Card, your annual fee is waived. The second year and every year thereafter will cost you $89. This is higher than some fees when you compare travel cards, including the Discover it® Miles Card and the FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature®.
The other biggest travel credit card offer to consider on the TD First Class Visa Signature card is the interest rates. For the first twelve months of your billing cycle, you will have 0 percent APR on balance transfers which is truly an incredible offer from one of the top travel credit cards.
After this point, you’ll find an incredibly low interest rate, especially when you begin to compare travel cards. It has a standard variable APR of 13.49 percent for both purchases and balance transfers. Cash advances face substantially higher rates at 23.49 percent APR.
VentureOne® from Capital One® Review
The VentureOne® from Capital One® is great for consumers who have excellent credit. Its best travel credit cards offer extremely low rates and fees as well as nice introductory offers.
Perhaps the best credit card for travel available through Capital One®, the VentureOne® program has a stellar rewards program. On a regular basis, you’ll earn 1.25 miles for every dollar that you spend on purchases. Your airline miles can be used to make travel purchases through any avenue, including a variety of airlines, hotels, and auto rental services.
To get you started, it features some of the best travel credit card offers, including a 20,000 mile bonus. In order to qualify for this significant savings, you’ll have to spend $1,000 within the first three months of your account opening.
You also receive other perks, including:
- Travel upgrades and savings at hotels and resorts
- Complimentary concierge service
- Access to special events
- Shopping discounts
- Extended warranties
- 24-hour travel assistance services
Rates and Fees
We were able to quickly consider this as one of the best travel credit card choices because of the incredibly low annual fee: $0. While many of the best credit cards for travel will waive the first year of your membership, the VentureOne from Capital One does not ever resume an annual membership fee.
Additionally, your interest rates are based on your creditworthiness but range from 12.24 to 22.24 percent. Similar to many of the other top travel credit cards, the VentureOne does have a nice introductory offer for new applicants. For the first twelve months, new purchases will have a 0 percent introductory APR.
Conclusion—Top 6 Best Travel Credit Cards
The best credit cards for travel can all assist you in reaching your destination at a healthy discount. Whether you prefer to use your travel credit cards to arrange for hotel stays, airfare or dining out while you’re on the road, our top travel credit cards are sure to have an offering that suits your desires.
You’ll need to weigh what is most important to you when it comes to credit cards for travel. Are you most interested in the introductory travel credit card offers, or do you need to focus more on the long-term aspects of the current interest rates and annual fees?
If you need to compare travel cards, you will need to consider which features of the best travel credit card options you’re considering are most important to you. Many of the top travel credit cards offer favorable terms when it comes to both introductory offers and long-term rates.
No matter where you’re headed or why, our ranking of the top six best credit cards for travel should help to put you on a path towards a more luxurious (or even just more economical) travel arrangement.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.