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Best Credit Cards to Use on Discount Travel Websites

Dec. 11, 2018
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
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If you love the freedom of searching for travel deals on websites that don’t limit you to a single airline or hotel chain, then you might want to consider a card that gives you extra points for doing just that.

Of course, booking your own deals through aggregator sites also comes with some downsides, including often precluding you from earning the points or loyalty status that you’d get when you book directly through the hotel or airline. And third-party travel sites don’t always include all the options; Southwest, for example, doesn’t list its fares on online travel sites.

Still, these travel sites are popular for a reason: They make it easy to search for a wide array of deals, compare prices and build an itinerary that works for you.

If that’s the way you like to plan your travel, you’ll want to consider these cards:

Orbitz Rewards Visa Card

If you like booking your travel through Orbitz, it’s hard to beat the rewards offered when you use the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card to make your reservations. Cardholders earn “Orbucks,” which are worth $1 each and can be redeemed on hotels booked through Orbitz. Here are the rewards rates:

  • 6% back on flights booked through Orbitz (Orbitz Rewards Visa Card cardholders earn 5% back and Orbitz Rewards members earn 1% back for a total of 6%).
  • 10% back on hotels booked through the mobile app or 8% back on hotels booked by desktop (those rates include the combined benefit of being an Orbitz Rewards Visa Card cardholder and an Orbitz Rewards member).
  • 2% back on all other purchases.

The card’s annual fee is $0, and it has an introductory offer: Get $100 statement credit after you spend $1500 in the first 90 days. Cardholders also become part of a dining rewards program that allows them to earn extra Orbucks at certain restaurants within the network. While the redemption options are limited to eligible hotels booked through Orbitz, those already using Orbitz for their travel won’t necessarily see that as a disadvantage.

The Priceline Rewards™ Visa® Card

With The Priceline Rewards™ Visa® Card , cardholders earn:

  • 5 points per dollar spent on eligible Priceline.com purchases.
  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

When cardholders redeem rewards toward eligible Priceline.com or travel purchases of $25 or more made in the last 120 days, they earn an additional 10% back. The card has a modest sign-up bonus and an annual fee of $0.

Expedia®+ Card from Citi

The Expedia®+ Card from Citi earns 3 points per dollar spent on eligible Expedia purchases and 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases. Points can be redeemed for travel through Expedia. Cardholders also get Expedia “+silver” status, which gets you perks like spa discounts and concierge service, as well as a faster track to “+gold” status, which can get you room upgrades, early check-ins, late checkouts and more.

The annual fee is $0 and the card comes with a sign-up bonus. However, it also has a foreign transaction fee of 3%, so it’s not ideal for overseas use.

This card has a big brother, the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi, which offers higher rewards and more perks, not to mention no foreign transaction fees. However, it does have an annual fee of $95.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

With the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, cardholders earn 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase, but the real standout for those who book travel on discount travel sites is that you earn 10 miles per dollar spent at Hotels.com. That means bargain hunters snagging hotel deals on that travel aggregator site can see their miles add up at a rapid clip. Since miles are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for travel, those rewards translate into what is essentially a 10% discount on bookings.

The card also comes with a signup bonus; Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel. The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95.

Other options

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

When you redeem your points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal, you will soon be using the online travel agency Expedia, which is set to power the portal. That will give users plenty of options for travel bookings at a redemption rate of 1.25 cents per point.

Cardholders also earn double points for travel spending (including online travel websites) and restaurant purchases, and one point per dollar spent on everything else. The card also comes with an introductory offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. It has an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

If you want one card that you can use to earn rich rewards on multiple online travel sites, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card might be for you. Cardholders earn triple points across many travel-related categories (see list below), including discount travel sites such as Expedia and Travelocity. The annual fee is $0. Cardholders can also earn a welcome bonus: New! Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months that's a $300 cash redemption value. Terms apply.

On an ongoing basis, cardholders earn 3 Go Far Rewards points for every $1 spent on a wide variety of categories, including restaurants, takeout, bars, ridesharing, gas stations, transit, flights, hotels, and eligible streaming services. Expenses that fall outside of a bonus category earn 1 point per dollar spent.

If you’re still not sure which card to get, check out our favorite travel credit cards to find the best match for you.

Information related to The Priceline Rewards™ Visa® Card , the Expedia®+ Card from Citi and the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of these cards.