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Which travel card has the most valuable miles?

See the travel credit cards that can help you earn enough points to book a free trip.

Travel cards pack serious rewards

A recent NerdWallet study found that, on average, Americans earn about $901 in travel rewards during their first year of using a travel card. Roughly half of those rewards are from the sign-up bonus and the remainder is typically from ongoing rewards. Together, they can help you travel for free. Friendly heads up, you’ll want to apply for a travel card at least 5 months before your next trip. In most cases, that’ll give you enough time to earn your sign-up bonus and book a flight.

...but first, is a travel card right for you?

There are a few basic requirements you should be meeting before you apply for a travel card. They'll help you earn enough points (or miles) to shrink the cost of your next trip.

  • Savvy spender: You pay off your credit card balance on time, every month.
  • Frequent swiper: You spend around $2,000 or more each month and will spend at least $3,000 in the first three months to qualify for the bonus offer.
  • Healthy credit: Your credit score is considered good or excellent.

Find the credit card for you

Travel cards come in all flavors. Whether you want massive sign-up bonuses, amazing rewards or a fee-free travel card, there’s a card for you. To help find the one for you, we’ve included five cards that stand out from the rest — each for a different reason — and included an easy-to-read summary of each card.

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on Chase's website

Great for: Airline Miles and a Large Bonus

Securely with Chase

  • 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
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
See card details

  • 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.
See card details

Bonus Value

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®

Rewards Details

Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants, & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons
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on Discover's website, or call (800) 347-0264

Great for: Flat-Rate Travel Rewards with Miles Match

Securely with Discover

  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end 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.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee.
  • Redeem for Travel or Cash. Easily redeem Miles as a statement credit for travel purchases or get cash.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • View Rates and Fees
See card details

  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end 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.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee.
See card details

Bonus Value

UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end 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.

Rewards Details

Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee.

Annual Fee

$0

Recommended Credit Score

690 - 850

Good - Excellent
See NerdWallet's pros & cons

VIEW RATES AND FEES

Want to see more cards? Fly over to our expanded selection of travel credit cards.

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