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8 Excellent Travel Credit Cards of 2022

While some people might be home avoiding the COVID-19 crisis with TV binges and copious amounts of ice cream, it’s important to remember that someday travel will again become safe. It's not clear when, and it will certainly look different than pre-COVID travel, but it will return eventually.

If you have the travel bug and are itching to get back out there when it’s safe to do so, here are some of the best travel rewards credit cards you can be using now, to reap the benefits later. Building up a balance of miles or points with any of these top cards will have you back on the road as soon as it’s safe, and at a fraction of the price — that’s what travel rewards are all about.

NerdWallet's Excellent Travel Credit Cards of 2022

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee: $95

Discover it® Miles

Apply now

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

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee: $0

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee: $395

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual Fee: $95

Excellent Travel Credit Cards From Our Partners

Excellent for

Flat-rate travel rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

4.7

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

2x-5x

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score
  • 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

  • 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®

  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network

  • 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

  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel

  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

Apply Now

on Capital One's website

  • 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

  • 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®

  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network

  • 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

  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel

  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

Apply Now

on Capital One's website

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • High annual fee

  • Rewards have limited flexibility

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review

Excellent for

Flat-Rate Travel Rewards With Miles Match

Discover it® Miles

3.8

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

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
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only 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 - with no annual fee.

  • Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.

  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.

  • New Intro APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 13.49% - 24.49% Standard Variable Purchase APR will apply.

  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.

  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.

  • 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 an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.

  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply Now

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

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • No luxury perks

  • Lower acceptance abroad

Read full review

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$395

Rewards rate

2x-10x

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score
  • 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 up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of 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 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network

  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®

  • 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

Apply Now

on Capital One's website

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • New cardholder bonus offer

  • Lounge membership

  • Anniversary perk

  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • High annual fee

  • Requires excellent credit

Read full review

Excellent for

Airline Miles and a Large Bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

1x-5x

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Points

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

  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

  • 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.

  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories

  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.

  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.

Apply Now

on Chase's website

Pros

  • New cardholder bonus offer

  • Bonus categories

  • Primary rental car coverage

  • Flexible rewards redemption

  • Transfer partners

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Complicated rewards

Read full review

Excellent for

Cash-Back Pairing With Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1.5%-6.5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$300

Recommended Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).

  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!

  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49% - 25.24%.

  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card

  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.

Apply Now

on Chase's website

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • High rewards rate

  • No minimum redemption amount

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review

Excellent for

Rich Ongoing Rewards

Citi Premier® Card

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

80,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets

  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels

  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit

  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com

  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Apply Now

on Citibank's application

Pros

  • Bonus categories

  • Rewards don't expire

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review

Excellent for

Flat-rate travel rewards + no annual fee

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

3.8

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Bank of America's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1.5x

Points

Intro offer

25,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score
  • 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.

  • 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% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR offer ends, 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR will apply.

  • If you're a 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.

Apply Now

on Bank of America's website

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • New cardholder bonus offer

  • Intro APR period

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • No bonus categories

  • Best rewards limited to certain customers

Read full review

Excellent for

Bonus Rewards + No Annual Fee

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

30,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value

  • Earn unlimited 3X points on the things that really add up - like restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Plus, earn 1X points on other purchases

  • $0 annual fee

  • 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. 17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% variable APR thereafter

  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card. (subject to a $25 deductible).

  • Redeem your rewards points for travel, gift cards, or statement credits. Or shop at millions of online stores and redeem your rewards when you check out with PayPal.

  • Enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world's most intriguing and prestigious hotel properties with Visa Signature Concierge.

  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions.

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply Now

on Wells Fargo's website

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Bonus categories

  • No reward caps

  • Cell phone insurance

  • New cardholder bonus offer

Cons

  • No free checked bags

  • No free anniversary night

  • No luxury perks

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review