For your travel plans in 2022, we’ve selected credit cards that provide high rewards rates on travel purchases, a big introductory gift to get you started, and flexible redemption possibilities so that you won’t be limited in what you can use your points for.
2022’s Best credit cards for Traveling
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred a credit card is a great option for frequent travelers who value convenience over everything else. For new cardholders, this is one of the most popular travel credit cards, with a substantial welcome bonus, first-rate travel perks, and a robust rewards program.
As a member of the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you may earn 5X points on travel purchased via Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on qualifying dining; 2X points on travel; and 1X points for $1 on all other eligible transactions.
When your card is renewed, you will receive bonus points worth 10% of your previous year’s expenditures each year. When you use Chase Ultimate Rewards to book your vacation, your points are worth a whopping 25% more, allowing you to maximize your return on investment. Your points may be used to pay for everything from hotel stays to plane tickets to vacations.
American Express® Gold Card
If you have decent to exceptional credit and enjoy dining out, the American Express Gold Card is a fantastic reward credit card choice. 4X points for $1 spent in US supermarkets (up to $25,000, after that 1X) and restaurants (up to a maximum of $25,000) The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and certain Shake Shack locations all offer monthly eating credits that can save you up to $120 a year. For foodies, it’s a great opportunity to get your hands on some freebies. Enrollment is required for some benefits.
Uber Cash of up to $120 per year is available to Gold Cardholders that link their accounts with the ride-hailing service. UberEats orders or Uber trips in the United States are eligible for a $10 credit per month. Enrollment is required for some benefits. For flights booked directly with airlines or via Amextravel.com, travelers may earn three times the points per dollar spent.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
One of the most popular credit cards for regular fliers is Chase Sapphire Reserve, which offers significant travel rewards and great points-earning potential. Additional perks include main rental vehicle insurance, access to the Priority Pass lounges, and reimbursement for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fees.
You may earn up to ten times the points per dollar with this card. Ten times as many points for Chase Dining purchases, and five times as many points for flights booked through Ultimate Rewards; three times as many points for hotels and dining; and one time as many points per dollar spent on everything else.
Rewards for trips booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site are worth 50% more to cardholders than those booked directly with the airline or hotel. For example, 50,000 points may be exchanged for $750 in travel vouchers. –
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Platinum Card from American Express offers premium rewards and superior travel benefits. For your next trip, use this card to get the most out of your travel budget with a large introductory gift, high rewards rates on qualified purchases, and luxury travel experiences.
Travel booked directly with airlines or through Amextravel.com (up to $500,000 per calendar year, then 1X) and prepaid hotel reservations made with the American Express Platinum Card earn 5X points.
For its annual fee, the card offers a variety of benefits, including statement credits for airline expenses and digital entertainment as well as memberships to Equinox and CLEAR. Prepaid reservations at Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection earn you a $200 annual hotel credit. Enrollment is required for some benefits.
As a member of the American Express Global Lounge Collection, you’ll also have access to more than 1,200 airport lounges in more than 130 countries. The Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors programs will both provide you automatic Gold Status as a result of your participation. Enrollment is required for some benefits.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
If you book your hotel or car rental through Capital One Travel, you’ll get 10X points per dollar, 5X miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and an unlimited 2X miles per dollar on all other purchases.
Annual travel credits of up to $300 are available to Capital One Travel cardholders. In addition, on each anniversary of their account, they’ll earn 10,000 additional miles (equivalent to $100 in Capital One Travel credit). With Venture X, Priority Pass lounges and Capital One Lounges are included in the complimentary and unlimited access. The Global Entry or TSA PreCheck programs also provide you up to a $100 statement credit.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
For regular fliers who don’t have a preference for one particular airline or hotel, the Venture Rewards card from Capital One is the ideal option. Travel rewards credit cards with a high sign-up bonus are available via this program. You may get up to $100 in bill credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application costs and earn two miles for every $1 you spend while using this credit card.
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
The Ink Company Preferred card is a standout choice for business owners seeking a rewards card with superior perks. Rewards and various redemption choices make it an attractive alternative for new members to join.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, and phone services, and advertising expenditures made on social media and search engines are doubled with this card, up to $150,000 in total spending each year. Trip cancellation and interruption insurance, primary automobile rental coverage (and cell phone protection) are also included.
World of Hyatt Credit Card
The World of Hyatt credit card may be a suitable fit if you travel and stay at Hyatt a few times a year. If you’re a frequent Hyatt hotel guest, you’ll get a substantial sign-up bonus as well as a significant rewards rate.
This credit card has some big perks. Hyatt purchases will earn you 9X points for every $1 spent. Every dollar spent on transportation, meals, and airline tickets purchased directly from airlines, gyms, and health club subscriptions will earn you 2X points. It’s easy to rack up enough Hyatt points to obtain a free night while staying at a participating hotel.
As a World of Hyatt cardholder, you will receive a free night at a Hyatt Category 1-4 property every year. If you spend at least $15,000 on your credit card in a calendar year, you’ll earn a second free night.
IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card
It’s great for those who stay at IHG-branded hotels, such as the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, with the IHG Rewards Club Premier card being the best option for them. High rewards on IHG hotel stays and free reward nights are only some of the benefits of the card’s welcome bonus for new users.
When paired with current IHG Rewards Club Member privileges, you may earn up to 26X points for $1 spent at IHG hotels with this card. 5X points for every $1 spent on travel, petrol stations, and restaurants, and 3X points for every other transaction. Platinum Elite level is automatically granted to IHG Rewards Club Premier cardholders. Benefits like no ban dates for reward nights, gratis accommodation upgrades, and a 50% bonus on base points are available to you.
How to pick the right card for you
It’s crucial to do some research into your own spending patterns before making a decision on a credit card from this list. An airline credit card vs a hotel credit card might be made or broken by this study. Also, a generic travel card with the option to transfer points to a preferred hotel chain may be more appealing. Asking yourself these questions can help you decide on a new card:
- How much money will I need to save? If there is an annual charge, you’ll want to be sure you’ll spend enough to cover it. The yearly fees for certain luxury travel cards may be rather costly.
- What will take up most of my financial resources? If so, how often do you buy food? How much money do you spend flying or staying at a hotel? Streaming services are becoming increasingly popular. Choose a credit card whose bonus categories correspond to the ones in which you spend the most.
- It’s up to me how often I make use of travel benefits. If you have a certain credit card, you may be able to enjoy privileges like airport lounge access and TSA PreCheck statement credits. Some of these benefits may not be accessible to those who are only saving for a single yearly vacation. However, if you’re a regular traveler, they’ll come in handy.
- Which benefits when traveling do I most enjoy? It’s important to consider not just how often you can take advantage of benefits, but also which ones are the most important to you. Depending on what kind of travel you prefer, this may or may not apply to you. Frequent flyers may appreciate the credit against airline expenses, the absence of surcharges for international transactions, and the ability to board first and receive free checked luggage with specific cards. However, if you only travel once or twice a year, a free Doordash Dash Pass membership, takeaway bonus points, or Uber credits may be more valuable.
- It is up to me to decide how to spend my money. Do you want the ability to receive cashback in addition to travel rewards? What are your go-to flight and hotel companies? Certain credit cards work better with specific airlines and hotels than others. Decide on the degree of flexibility required in your incentives.
- What else am I hoping to get out of it? Non-travel advantages, like a 0% intro APR on balance transfers or purchases for a specific period following account activation, may be offered by some cards. As an illustration, consider the initial 12-month period after signing up for a credit card. You may find this to be a more attractive option if you plan to make large purchases in the near future and can pay off your debt before the usual variable APR begins. Cash-back credit cards tend to offer these kinds of deals more frequently, though.
How do these companies stack up against each other?
Despite the fact that each of these cards is unique, there are a few traits they all have in common. In the case of the Chase Ultimate Rewards site, premium card points can be redeemed for travel at a higher value if they are earned with a Chase card. As long as you’ve already booked your trip, you may still take advantage of Capital One’s purchase eraser for travel expenses. Luxury benefits and access to most airport lounges are well-known features of American Express cards.
In order to use your rewards points to schedule trip purchases, all three of these credit card issuers provide travel portals. A mix of points and cash is also possible with most credit cards. You may wish to look at a card issuer’s travel partners as a possible area of investigation. In the end, picking between a Chase vs. AmEx card may come down to whether or not you can transfer your points to an airline or hotel loyalty club.