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Start Earning Up To 75k Intro Offer Miles Today With These Nerd-Approved Travel Cards

Travel credit cards can be one of the best ways to lower the cost of travel, whether you're taking a trip to visit family in another state or boarding a plane for a luxurious vacation overseas. Regardless if you collect airline miles, hotel points or flexible issuer-specific currency, they all perform the same function of making your future trip more affordable. Learn more about how to maximize your rewards and apply for the right card for you today.

One Of Our Favorite Picks

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

4.7

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

2x-5x

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

2x-5x

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

How Do Travel Credit Cards Work?

These cards pay you points or miles for making both travel purchases and everyday purchases. Once you accumulate enough points or miles, you can redeem them for rewards like flights and hotel stays. Currencies vary from card to card, but are generally called "points" or "miles." For example, most airline cards pay miles in that airline’s loyalty program. Hotel credit cards and general travel cards usually pay you with points. Both types of currencies are redeemable for travel and other rewards.

Typically, a travel credit card will pay you extra in its currency when you use the card to purchase travel, but rates vary. One card might offer you 2 points or miles per $1 spent on airline purchases, while another might offer you 3 points or miles per $1 spent on airline purchases. Many travel rewards cards also pay points or miles on everyday non-travel purchases, but usually at a lower rate — for example, only 1 point or mile per $1 spent.

Common Benefits of Travel Credit Cards

Rewards & Credits

You could stretch your dollars and let your card take you further. Earn points and miles that you can apply towards your next trip, or potentially even get your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees covered.

Insurance Coverage

Sometimes things don't go as planned. You could get coverage for the unexpected, like trip cancellation, trip delay, baggage delay, or lost baggage.

Other Perks

You could save even more when you vacation internationally with a card that charges no foreign transaction fees, or travel in style with airport lounge access.

What To Look For In a Travel Card

There are many travel credit cards available. When choosing any financial product, always consider your personal goals and purchase habits. This can help you narrow down the right product for you.

Bonus Offer
Many credit cards offer a sign-up bonus to new cardholders — usually a chance to earn a large number of bonus points after spending a certain amount on the card in the first few months after opening the account.

Earning Potential
Not all travel credit cards offer the same earning potential. Look to see how each card rewards points or miles, and don’t forget to consider purchase categories. Also, check to see if the earning potential is unlimited, as you'll want to maximize your earning potential. For some, choosing to get a flat-rate travel credit card may work best.

No Foreign Transaction Fees
If you travel internationally, check to see if the card charges foreign transaction fees. This way, you don’t get charged extra fees when using your card.

Perks
Extra travel benefits, like priority boarding for your flight or a welcome gift at your hotel can make your travels more enjoyable.

Annual Fee
Some travel credit cards charge an annual fee, others don’t. It’s essential to understand the annual fee before applying for a credit card to make sure you can comfortably afford it. Travel cards with more perks may have a higher annual fee.


🤓 Nerdy Tip
To get the most out of your intro offer, apply for a card at least five months before booking your trip so you have time to earn and receive the sign-up bonus.

Ready To Start Jet-Setting? Check Out Our Favorite Cards and Apply Today

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

4.7

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

2x-5x

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

2x-5x

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Easy Earnings, Effortless Redemptions. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a big sign-up bonus, high rewards and flexible redemption options make this card worth the annual fee.

It's one of the most popular credit cards on the market — and not just because it's one of the most heavily advertised. Unlike the airline-branded cards it was designed to compete against, it pays a high rewards rate on every purchase (not just on travel spending), and you can use its rewards to pay for any travel expense, without any restrictions on when you travel, which airline you fly or which hotel you stay at. Throw in a big early spend bonus for new cardholders, and it's no wonder this card is a favorite of so many people. If you want travel rewards that are easy to earn, easy to understand and nearly effortless to redeem, you aren't going to find many travel credit cards better than this one.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

4.9

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$395

Rewards rate

2x-10x

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • New cardholder bonus offer
  • Lounge membership
  • Anniversary perk
  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Requires excellent credit
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
Annual fee

$395

Rewards rate

2x-10x

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • New cardholder bonus offer
  • Lounge membership
  • Anniversary perk
  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Requires excellent credit
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
A Worthy Option Among Premium Cards. While the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card shares the same DNA as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, it offers key perks that set it ahead of its counterpart. If you’re looking for a travel credit card with an easy-to-understand rewards program and you spend enough per month to offset the annual fee in rewards, this might just be the card for you.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card If you fly a few times a year, chances are you’ll transit through an airport with a Priority Pass lounge. Holders of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card get access to the more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges worldwide. Plus, cardholders (and authorized users) will get unlimited access to the new Capital One Lounges that are starting to open in a few domestic airports. And, you could enjoy perks like a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus when you renew your card. That’s worth $100 toward travel (or even more if you strategically transfer to travel partners).

Bank of America Travel Rewards® Credit Card

on Bank of America's website, or call (800) 211-3740

3.8

NerdWallet rating 

on Bank of America's website, or call (800) 211-3740

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1.5x

Points

Intro offer

25,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • New cardholder bonus offer
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Flexible rewards redemption
  • Intro APR period

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • No bonus categories
  • Best rewards limited to certain customers
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 18.24% - 28.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1.5x

Points

Intro offer

25,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • New cardholder bonus offer
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Flexible rewards redemption
  • Intro APR period

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • No bonus categories
  • Best rewards limited to certain customers
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 18.24% - 28.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Easy Rewards for Easy Travel. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is an excellent option for frequent travelers who want flexible rewards but just can't bring themselves to pay an annual fee for a credit card.

Cardholders earn an unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases. Rewards never expire as long as the account is open, but some of the redemption options have a time limit attached (more on that later). Points can be redeemed for credit against any travel or restaurant purchase. With no foreign transaction fees and a $0 annual fee, this card definitely travels light.

Discover it® Miles

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

3.8

NerdWallet rating 

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1.5x

Miles

Intro offer

Discover Match®

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR period
  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • No luxury perks
  • Lower acceptance abroad
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Unlimited Mile-for-Mile match for all new cardmembers - only from Discover. Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase
  • No annual fee
  • Turn Miles into cash. Or redeem as a statement credit for your travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more.
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 17.24% - 28.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR will apply.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1.5x

Miles

Intro offer

Discover Match®

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR period
  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit
  • No luxury perks
  • Lower acceptance abroad
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Unlimited Mile-for-Mile match for all new cardmembers - only from Discover. Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase
  • No annual fee
  • Turn Miles into cash. Or redeem as a statement credit for your travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more.
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 17.24% - 28.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR will apply.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Travel Rewards With a Cash-Back Twist. Frequent travelers or bigger spenders would probably get more value from a card with a higher rewards rate and more perks (and an annual fee). But if you only travel occasionally and save on a hefty annual fee, the Discover it® Miles card is a solid choice.

Some travel credit cards give you the option of redeeming your points or miles for cash back rather than travel, but doing so usually means getting a lower value per point. The Discover it® Miles is a noteworthy exception. Each mile you earn with the card is worth 1 cent, regardless of whether you use it to pay for travel or convert it to cash back. The flexible redemption options and unique sign-up bonus make this card a great low-cost alternative.