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Best Credit Cards to Use on Discount Travel Websites

Nov. 25, 2019
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
Best Credit Cards to Use on Discount Travel Websites
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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, you might consider a card that gives you extra points for doing just that.

Of course, booking your own deals through aggregator sites (such as Expedia or Travelocity) can come with 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, take a look at these cards:

Orbitz Rewards® Visa® Card

Our pick for: Orbitz users

Orbitz Rewards® Visa® Card

Orbitz Rewards® Visa® Card

Apply Now on Comenity Capital Bank's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • High rewards rate
    • No annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Rewards only redeemable for hotel stays

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • Min APR: 18.24%, Variable
    • Max APR: 27.24%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 29.24%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Get $100 statement credit after you spend $1500 in the first 90 days.

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Earn an extra 5% in Orbucks on Orbitz bookings - that's up to 10% total!
    • Earn 2% back in Orbucks on all other purchases
    • Get a $100 statement credit
    • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fee

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.

» MORE: Full review of the Orbitz Rewards® Visa® Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Our pick for: Hotels.com users

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now on Capital One's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • High rewards rate
    • Flexible rewards redemption
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • Sign-up bonus

    Cons

    • Has annual fee
    • Redemption value for cash is half of value for travel
    • Requires good/excellent credit

    Annual Fees

    $0 intro for the first year, then $95

    APR

    • APR: 17.49% - 24.74% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 24.74%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    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

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • 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
    • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
    • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
    • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
    • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
    • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

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 (offer available through January 2020). 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 intro for the first year, then $95.

» MORE: Full review of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

The Priceline Rewards™ Visa® Card

Our pick for: Priceline users

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.

» MORE: Review of The Priceline Rewards™ Visa® Card

Expedia®+ Card from Citi

Our pick for: Expedia users

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Our pick for: General travelers

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now on Chase's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • A large bonus
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • Cool factor - metal card
    • Earn more points on travel and dining at restaurants
    • Premium travel protection benefits

    Cons

    • $95 annual fee

    Annual Fees

    $95

    APR

    • APR: 17.49% - 24.49% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.49%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

When you redeem your points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal, you’re technically using the online travel agency Expedia, which powers the portal. That gives you 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 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. It has an annual fee of $95.

» MORE: Full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

» MORE: Chase Ultimate Rewards®: How to earn and use them

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Our pick for: General travelers seeking no annual fee

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Apply Now on Wells Fargo's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No annual fee
    • Sign-up bonus
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • Intro APR period on Purchases and qualifying Balance Transfers

    Cons

    • American Express isn’t accepted at as many merchants as Visa or Mastercard
    • Requires good/excellent credit

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 15.49% - 27.49% Variable APR

    Bonus Offers

    Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value

    Intro APR

    • 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
  • Additional Information
    • Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value
    • $0 annual fee and no foreign currency conversion fee
    • Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in
    • Earn 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
    • Earn 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit
    • Earn 3X points on popular streaming services
    • Earn 1X points on other purchases
    • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
    • View Rates and Fees

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: Earn 30,000 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.

» MORE: Full review of the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

If you’re still not sure which card to get, check out our best 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.

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