Five Travel Credit Cards for Better Savings and Spending on Your Next Vacation

Five Travel Credit Cards for Better Savings and Spending on Your Next Vacation

Americans Set to Spend Record Amount on Summer Travel

Americans are embracing leisure travel this year like never before, with spending projected to reach an all-time high of $214 billion, according to multinational financial firm Allianz. This surge in spending is a result of the end of pandemic-related restrictions and the pent-up demand for travel experiences. Surveys indicate that 63% of Americans have planned or are considering a summer trip this year, an increase from 58% in the same period last year.

As travel demand continues to rebound, reports suggest that the cost of traveling is starting to decline. Consumer inflation data from June revealed a 19% decrease in airfares and a 12% drop in car rental prices. This marks the fifth consecutive month of declining prices. With consumers eager to explore destinations again, many are turning to travel credit cards to fund their trips.

Embracing the Perks of Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards have become increasingly popular as financial institutions offer a range of attractive benefits to entice travelers. These newer cards go above and beyond the basic perks of free airport lounge access and zero foreign transaction fees. They offer rewards such as no annual spending caps and triple or even quadruple points on spending.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best travel credit cards available today:

American Express® Gold Card

American Express has a reputation for providing travelers with some of the most attractive travel benefits. The American Express Gold Card, though slightly more expensive at $250 in annual fees, offers a range of alluring rewards. Cardholders can enjoy up to $120 in annual dining credits for online food ordering and $120 in Uber Cash for U.S. Uber rides and Uber Eats. Additionally, users earn up to 4x points at restaurants and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amextravel. Baggage insurance plans are also included, covering lost, stolen, or damaged baggage. However, the downsides include the higher annual fee and the time it takes to accumulate sufficient rewards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

An affordable alternative for travelers is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. With an annual fee of approximately $95, this card offers primary rental car insurance, bonus points on the account anniversary, and triple earnings on dining, takeout, streaming services, and grocery purchases. New cardholders can earn around 60,000 bonus points by spending more than $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. While this card comes with comprehensive benefits, the variable APR ranges from 21.24% to 28.24%, making it more suitable for individuals with a good credit score.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card provides users with ample benefits and rewards. For an annual fee of $95, cardholders receive a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles for spending $4,000 within the first three months. Every purchase earns 2x miles, and there is no limit on the accumulation of miles. Additionally, users earn 5x miles on select hotel reservations and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel. However, the variable APR ranges from 20.99% to 28.99%, which makes it comparatively higher than other travel credit cards.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

For a more affordable option, the Chase Freedom Flex travel credit card offers several attractive benefits and simple cash-back rewards. This card provides up to 5% cash back in bonus categories that change quarterly, as well as a 5% bonus for trips booked through the Chase platform. Users also receive a $200 bonus after spending only $500 in the first three months. The rewards and points earned can be transferred to a Chase Sapphire card, providing more flexibility. However, there are drawbacks such as 3% foreign transaction fees and complicated tracking of rewards and bonus miles.

Choice Rewards World Mastercard®

For more budget-conscious travelers who want the benefits of a travel credit card with low-interest rates, the Choice Rewards World Mastercard is a suitable option. This card offers an initial 0% APR for the first 12 billing cycles, but balances must be made within the first 90 days of opening the account. The variable APR ranges from 13.25% to 18.00%, and there are no transfer fees or credit score requirements. Cardholders can earn double points on gas, groceries, household goods, electronics, and 1x rewards on all other purchases. However, the estimated rewards are lower compared to other options.

As travelers choose a travel credit card, they must consider their budgets and specific travel needs. Some banks offer straightforward credit card options for first-time holders, which can be tailored to their financial situation. With the wide range of options available, travelers can choose a credit card that delivers the desired benefits and more.

This article was first published on ValueWalk, and the featured image credit goes to Photo by Energepie.com on Pexels.