Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards

So far I have talked about best cashback credit cards and credit cards with good gas rewards. Another category that I haven’t touched is cards with travel rewards. The reason for leaving out travel cards is that I don’t travel much, so there’s little chance I can get the maximum benefits from using travel cards to make everyday purchases at grocery stores and gas stations. I basically stick with three cards, Chase FreedomAMEX TrueEarning and Fidelity 529 for everyday purchases.

As my vacation in China comes to an end, I want to take this opportunity to review some cards that are good for travel. Though I have two travel cards (a Discover Miles card and a Citi PremierPass Elite Level card), I used neither to purchase my ticket because: 1) The rewards these two cards offer for ticket purchases are no better than what I get from American Express TrueEarnings card or Fidelity 529 College Rewards card, which gives me 2% cashback; 2) I’d rather receive cashbacks than rewards points redeemable for flights or hotels.

But that’s just me. If you travel a lot, then you can still find cards dedicated to travel which can help you rack up travel rewards faster. Following are some travel cards offering generous travel related rewards.

Citi PremierPass Card Elite

  • Program Highlight: With Citi PremierPass Elite Level card you can earn 2 ThankYou points on every dollar spent at gas stations, supermarkets, drug stores and commuter transportation and parking and earn 1 point per dollar on other purchases. In addition, you can also earn 1 point for every mile you fly with tickets purchased with PremierPass Card. Points can be redeemed for flights, hotels, vacation packages, or gift cards through ThankYou network. This card doesn’t have pre-set credit limit, which may not be a good thing. There’s a $75 annual membership fee.
  • Introductory rate: N/A.
  • Balance transfer rate and fee: N/A.
  • Special promotion: Get a round-trip ticket (up to $400) with 20,000 bonus points after $600 in purchases within 3 months.

Blue Sky from American Express

  • Program Highlight: With Blue Sky card, you can earn 1 point for every dollar you spend. The card doesn’t have blackout date and there’s no restrictions on travel with the Blue Sky card. This card has no annual fee.
  • Introductory rate: 0% APR for 12 months.
  • Balance transfer rate and fee: 0% APR for 12 months with 3.0% balance transfer fee, but no less than $5 and no more than $99.

JetBlue Card from American Express

  • Program Highlight: The JetBlue credit card rewards you 1Award Dollar for every dollar you spent. 100 Award Dollars equal 1 JetBlue TruePoint and 100 TruePoints can be redeemed for one round-trip flight. The rewards double with purchases on entertainment, leisure, travel and dining. The card charges $40 annual fee. The TruePoints never expire.
  • Introductory rate: N/A
  • Balance transfer rate and fee: 3.99% APR for 6 months.
  • Special promotion: Get 50 TrueBlue points after the first purchase.

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Card

  • Amex Starwood Preferred Guest CardProgram Highlight: Starwood Preferred Guest Card lets you to earn 1 Starpoint for every dollar and 2 Starpoints for every dollar spent on Starwood. Starpoints can be redeemed for both free flights and free nights at Starwood hotels. In addition, the Starpoints can also be transferred to frequent flyer programs. The $65 annual membership fee is waived for the first year.
  • Introductory rate: N/A
  • Balance transfer rate and fee: None.
  • Special promotion: 10K with your first purchase and another 15K when you spend $5k within 6 months – enough for up to 6 free nights at a Category 1 or 2 hotel.

Discover Miles Card

  • Discover Mile CardProgram Highlight: The Discover Miles card let you earn 1 mile for every dollar spent. For each year, you can also get double miles with the first $3,000 on travel and restaurant. The Miles card doesn’t charge an annual fee and the miles earned never expire. The miles can be redeemed for travel credits, gift cards, or even cash.
  • Introductory rate: 0% APR for 6 months.
  • Balance transfer rate and fee: 0% APR for 12 months with 3% balance transfer fee ($10 minimum and $75 maximum).
  • Special promotion: Get 1,000 miles per month with a purchase for the first 12 months. You also earn double miles for the first $1,000 purchases made at grocery stores.

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7 Responses to “Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards”

  1. Sloan |  Oct 27, 2008 at 4:13 am

    Hello! Thanks for the review of these mileage-rewards affiliated credit cards. It was very helpful, at least now I have a more holistic perspective and evaluation of what I need and what I can want/have.

    Cheers! More power!