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7 Excellent Travel Credit Cards of 2021

For these travel miles credit cards, you can redeem rewards with multiple airlines and hotel chains. Compare these deals, some of which are from our partners, to find the one for you.

NerdWallet's Excellent Travel Credit Cards of 2021

Excellent for

Flat-rate travel rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

17.24% - 24.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 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 $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

on Capital One's website

  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 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 $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

on Capital One's website

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

Excellent for

Airline Miles and a Large Bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 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, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 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
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

on Chase's website

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

Excellent for

Flat-rate travel rewards + no annual fee

Bank of America Travel Rewards® Credit Card

on Bank of America's website

4.3

NerdWallet rating 

on Bank of America's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases

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 12 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR ends, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR will apply
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more points on every purchase
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap

on Bank of America's website

Pros

  • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Generous flat rewards rate on all purchases
  • Flexibility to book travel how you want
  • Rewards accelerator if you bank with Bank of America or invest with Merrill

Cons

  • More restrictive than a straight cash back card
  • If you're a big spender with excellent credit and willing to pay an annual fee, there are cards with higher rewards

Excellent for

Flat-Rate Travel Rewards with Miles Match

Discover it® Miles

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

4.1

NerdWallet rating 

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

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 14 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 14 months

Recommended Credit Score
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover will automatically match 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.
  • New! 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.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • 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 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

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

Pros

  • Rewards can be redeemed for travel or cash back at equal value
  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fee
  • Sign-up bonus
  • Flexible redemption options

Cons

  • No luxury perks
  • Other cards offer higher rewards rates
  • Discover cards not widely accepted outside the U.S.
  • Requires good/excellent credit

Excellent for

Bonus travel rewards + high-end perks

Chase Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

4.7

NerdWallet rating 

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$550

Regular APR

16.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

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 $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

on Chase's website

Pros

  • A large bonus
  • High rewards rate
  • High value benefits
  • Cool factor - metal card
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Needs excellent credit
American Express Hilton HonorsTM Card from American Express Credit Card

on American Express's website

3.7

NerdWallet rating 

on American Express's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.74% - 24.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

on American Express's website

Pros

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

Cons

  • Few premium travel perks

Excellent for

Airline credit card

Chase United Airlines Mileage Plus Credit Card

on Chase's website

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Regular APR

16.49% - 23.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
  • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays, and on United purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® fee Credit
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip) when you use your card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and eligible delivery services

on Chase's website

Pros

  • Free checked bag and priority boarding
  • Two United Club passes annually
  • Primary rental car coverage

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Checked bag fee waived for fewer traveling partners than competitors