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The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards: What’s New Here?


9 min read

How often did you find yourself in a state of bewilderment while picturing a weekend somewhere in the Bahamas during the COVID-19 pandemic? Since the inception of the novel coronavirus disease, no country has been left untouched. Social distancing significantly hinders the way people move among geographical regions. At the same time, there’s also some good news. What about treating yourself with a travel rewards credit card? Though these plastic or virtual rectangles are unlikely to grant you unobstructed access to any country in the world, they can provide you with some reasonable travel perks.

According to the survey carried out in 2019, US cardholders appreciated the most such travel rewards as cashback (18.5%), free nights at a hotel (17.6%), free domestic flights (15.4%), and free international flights (8.8%). Without a doubt, these figures reflect the state of affairs in the pre-pandemic community, right? What’s new today? In 2021, holiday travel is up 43% as opposed to 23% in 2020, not to mention that 52% of travellers are now convinced they’ll have debts after their holiday trips. Nevertheless, since there are travel credit cards available, 24% of tourists intend to own at least one. Good for them!

Mainly, credit cards with travel perks open up super opportunities for those enjoying discounts and rewards redeemed during their journeys. In particular, what these cards ensure usually includes free plane tickets, nights at a hotel, meals, or other benefits to take advantage of your spending habits. After all, what can be better after a quarter of closed deals, successful negotiations, and fruitful investments than a flight to Southern Italy to taste a glass of refreshing red wine? Now let’s get into some detail on how you can leverage travel rewards and know your audience better to incorporate the most functional perks into your own product!

How Do Travel Rewards Credit Cards Work?

Just like any other rewards credit card, travel-oriented ones allow you to gain a specific set of perks while using them, depending on a preferred banking institution. To put it simply, any time you make charges, currency scores up at various rates, which, in turn, can be morphed into rewards that come with your unique credit card and/or loyalty program.

The most widespread classification of travel credit cards encompasses airline, hotel, and general types. As a rule, the accumulated currencies are referred to as ‘points’ or ‘miles’ (for airline credit cards). Therefore, your travel rewards credit card is most often connected to a specific loyalty program to make the processes far more straightforward.

Although rates vary, the users of such credit cards reap the benefits while paying for travel-related services and products. To clarify, different cards and loyalty programs score your account a few points per each dollar spent on hotel rooms or plane tickets. That’s how you accumulate ‘wealth’ converted into travel perks of any kind.

Some unique offers even enable you to receive miles or points while making everyday purchases that aren’t even closely related to travelling. Don’t forget that, in 2019, 14.3% of American cardholders got more than $1.4k in the form of credit card travel rewards. Sounds inspiring, huh? These figures will undoubtedly be bigger for the year to come. Being mindful of the end-user’s preferences is better than diving into the market blindfolded, right? Stay with DashDevs to learn how your software product can become better with travel perks!

Solution #1: Airline Credit Cards

If you prefer journeying by plane, the best airline points credit card may indeed serve you well. By using airline services, you obtain miles indicated on your loyalty program account. These can be then redeemed in exchange for various upgrades. Sometimes your card offers you a free checked bag or priority boarding, yet these are usually exceptions. In most instances, the range and expediency of perks linked to your travel credit card depend on the annual fee.

For example, American Airlines credit cards, like AAdvantage MileUp or AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, provide their users with a wide variety of perks as soon as they reach 50k bonus miles. More specifically, these can be easily converted into a faster shift to elite status, unique boarding status, lounge access, and other helpful dividends.

Solution #2: Hotel Credit Cards

As evident from the title itself, hotel points credit cards help you save costs spent on hotel services. So, you can accumulate travelling points and then turn them into room upgrades as well as free hotel stays. Isn’t it a blessing? Examples of worthwhile hotel credit cards are the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express and Capital One Venture Rewards. But keep in mind that the features offered are usually most rewarding if a cardholder sticks to a certain brand of hotels. That’s when you get the most out of hotel credit cards. In other cases, you’d better pick a general travel credit card. By the way, more on that is down below.

Solution #3: General Travel Credit Cards

In case you prefer flexibility and variability in terms of spending time during holidays, general travel credit cards are your best choice. Any time you use them to make daily purchases and get points, which are often augmented by bonuses from spending money on selected categories like groceries, dining, or coffee shops. When you go with general credit cards, you get a more versatile solution that allows you to redeem costs spent on car renting, airlines, hotel stays, etc. If this is your case, direct your gaze at Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You need to spend $4k within the first 3 months of use to earn 60k bonus points, which can be then transformed into a plethora of helpful travel perks.

How to Choose a Travel Credit Card?

What does a good travel card need to provide to compete with others? Primarily, it must help you earn bonus points, and thus, simplify your travelling challenges.

First off, start by choosing between general and co-branded travel cards. As mentioned above, the former imply earning points for everyday purchases and using them to redeem any expenses related to travelling. The latter, in turn, are linked to certain brands of hotels or airline companies. Obviously, this solution best matches the needs of customers who prefer only specific companies that enable them to save costs spent exclusively on services they deliver.

Secondly, pay attention to cards offering bonus points for international travelling. Notably, some credit cards don’t work overseas, so you can’t accumulate perks while traversing foreign countries. Similarly, other cards may charge additional fees when you buy things outside the US.

Thirdly, mind signup bonuses, rewards, and other unique perks that resonate with your travelling habits. For instance, if you prefer journeying by car, consider picking a credit card that guarantees points for using car rental services. Sign-up bonus is another noteworthy aspect in case you choose a credit card for long-term use. Research the Internet and find which travel credit card best fits into your vacation requirements.

A Few Tips on How to Choose What Best Suits Your Lifestyle

If you’re an experienced adventurer, chances are you already know what travelling credit card to choose. In other scenarios, here’s a list of dos to check before choosing the best travel credit card for your unique set of preferences:

  1. Managing desires. Scribble down the habits you notice in your journeying practice. Say, most frequently you travel by plane (let it be American Airlines), stay in a hotel of a particular brand (Hilton, for instance), and eat breakfast at Starbucks. If so, your preferred choice of a travel rewards credit card is the general type that includes all perks you know you’ll be using while traversing the globe.
  2. Knowing the industry. When the list is done, it’s time to research the market to learn better what you’re looking for. Try visiting a couple of official bank websites and get more insight into what features their travelling cards proffer. Interestingly, Forbes Advisor may also help you a lot because various experts publish valuable, well-structured, and research-based information on this platform about the best credit cards almost monthly.
  3. Considering details/miscellaneous. Take into account whether you travel abroad or within a country, what fees you’ll need to pay for that card, and where the most advantageous interest rates are. At any rate, approach this issue based on your own travelling experience and at least superficial research.

Comparing Travel Rewards of Credit Cards Offered by Different Providers

Even though psychologists rarely suggest that people compare themselves to other society members, comparing credit cards isn’t only allowed but also sounds like a good idea. In pursuit of the best travel rewards credit card, you can quickly get lost. Credit card providers, networks, and banks pay careful attention to loyalty programs on par with reward systems. That’s why you should draw up a table helping you compare different travel rewards that credit card companies provide. For example, the Platinum Card from American Express best suits the needs of customers who favour luxury perks, whereas Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is better for journeying. Now get ready for the top 3 most expedient credit cards to get more mileage out of travel rewards in 2021-2022! There’s also much to learn from these cases from the business perspective — look closer!

So, What Are the Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards for Long-Term Use?

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

While googling the top travel rewards credit cards, stop your gaze at this useful little thing. If you carry out payments via Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll get a 5x bonus on travel-related expenses, 3x on dining, and 2x on other purchases. Plus, after earning 60k bonus points within the first 3 months, you receive $750 to spend on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Moreover, this credit card lets you earn up to $50 in statement credits every time you celebrate your account’s anniversary year. Well, guess what? You can spend them on hotel stays! In case you decide to own this credit card, you’ll receive tonnes of perks and benefits for the $95 annual fee. For most travelling cases, it seems a great deal for this price.

American Express Gold Card

Why not the platinum version? Because not everyone requires luxurious perks for an annual fee of $695. The American Express Gold Card allows you to reap the benefits of almost everything you need in your journey for a reasonable price of $250 per year. In return, you obtain 4x points on dining and groceries, 3x on flights as well as 1x on other eligible purchases. Though not an incredibly valuable perk, you still can add your card to an Uber account and automatically receive $10 in Uber Cash every month so that you can get $120 annually. As you may have already guessed, the American Express Gold Card is a universal solution for those who don’t want to sacrifice everyday purchases for a couple of holidays throughout the year.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

As a reliable representative of travel credit cards, this one will cost you $395 for a year of usage with a purchase rate between 16.99% and 23.99% as well as an excellent credit level. In addition, when you spend your first $10k within the first 6 months, you acquire 100k bonus miles. Other perks include a $300 annual travel credit (can be accessed via Capital One Travel) and a $200 vacation rental credit. Finally, another notable advantage of this credit card is that you receive 10k of bonus miles on an annual basis, beginning with your first anniversary year after opening an account. Isn’t it a perfect starting point for becoming an adventurer who also doesn’t forget to save money?

A Universal Credit Card with Good General Rewards or an Exclusively Travelling One?

That’s precisely the point where everyone decides for themselves. Above are the 3 best credit cards for travel rewards and other perks so that you could use them for various goals. In any event, there’s plenty of multipurpose credit and debit cards out there. You’re unlikely to face any trouble while searching for the one that suits you best.

But if you feel doubtful about any fintech-related issue and require professional assistance in adding travel perks to your product, don’t think twice about contacting the DashDevs team. One thought is enough to start breathing life into your business ideas!

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