6 Credit Cards With the Best Travel Perks of 2019
Make your purchases count towards the vacation you deserve
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Do you travel a lot for business or pleasure? If yes, then you might want to sign up for a credit card that can help you score free travel perks. There are credit cards and debit cards that pay rewards, offer signup bonuses, and include extra travel perks such as free hotel nights, companion tickets, priority boarding and more. We've done our homework and rounded-up the best credit cards with the best travel rewards, so whether you're headed to Paris for a board meeting or Italy's Amalfi Coast for a much-deserved vacation with the family, we'll show you how to do it for less.
Best Overall: Chase Sapphire Reserve
The premier Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a few excellent perks. To start, you’ll receive a $300 annual travel credit that is redeemable for travel purchases you make on your credit card. You’ll also receive a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or PreCheck.
You have the opportunity to earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account. The bonus is worth up to $750 in travel if you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which is Chase’s online booking tool.
Ongoing, you’ll earn three points per dollar on travel, which includes hotels, taxis and trains; three points per dollar on dining worldwide; and one point per dollar on all your other purchase. You’ll get more out of your points when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards - points are worth 50 percent more.
Important Pricing: The annual fee is $450 for the primary cardholder and $75 for any additional authorized users (you can add up to four), and there’s no foreign transaction fee.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card
The Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card offers up to $200 in combined travel statement credits. First, you can get up to a $100 statement credit for airline incidentals such as seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services and airport lounge fees. On top of that, you can get up to a $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Application fee, every four years.
Spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of opening your account and you’ll receive 50,000 bonus points.
Ongoing, you’ll earn two points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points per dollar spent on everything else. There’s no limit to the points you can earn and your points don’t expire. You can redeem your points for cash back as a statement credit, as a deposit into an eligible Bank of America account or to purchase travel through the Bank of America Travel Center.
Important Pricing: The APR is 18.24 to 25.24 percent, the annual fee is $95 and there is no foreign transaction fee.
Best for Priority Boarding: United MileagePlus Club Card
Typically, you’d have to earn a certain number of miles with an airline’s frequent flyer program to qualify for priority boarding. With the United MileagePlus Club Card, you get the perk right away - for you and one companion traveling on the same reservation. You and a companion can also check your first standard bag for free.
With the United MileagePlus Club Card, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of opening your account. Ongoing, you’ll earn two miles for every dollar you spend on tickets purchased from United.
Another great perk: You’ll receive two United Club one-time passes each year on your anniversary. These passes give you access to participating Star Alliance-affiliated airport lounges where you can enjoy complimentary beverages, snacks, and other amenities.
Important Pricing: The APR is 18.24 to 25.24 percent on purchases and balance transfers based on your creditworthiness, the annual fee is $450 and there is no foreign transaction fee.
Best for Free Checked Luggage: Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express
With the Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express, your first bag is checked free on each round trip. Plus, up to eight companions who are traveling with you on the same reservation can also check their first bag for free for the round trip.
Earn 30,000 Miles after making $1,000 in purchases and receive $50 cash back in the form of statement credits on purchases made directly with Delta with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Ongoing, you’ll earn two miles per dollar on purchases made directly with Delta and one mile per dollar on all the purchases you make on your credit card. You can redeem your miles toward travel on Delta and more than 15 airline partners.
Important Pricing: The APR is 17.74% to 26.74% variable, the $95 annual fee is waived in the first year, and there is no foreign transaction fee.
View details about this credit card.
Best for Companion Tickets: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
Spend $2,000 in purchases in the first 90 days and you'll earn 60,000 points with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card. And each year on your card’s anniversary, you’ll earn 6,000 bonus points from the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card.
Ongoing, you'll earn two points for every dollar you spend on Southwest Airlines purchases made directly with the airline; two points per dollar on Rapid Rewards hotels and car rental partner purchases, and one point per dollar on everything else.
Important Pricing: The APR is 18.24 to 25.24 percent for purchases and balance transfers, the annual fee is $99 (applied to your first billing statement), and there’s no foreign transaction fee.
Best for Trip Cancellation Insurance: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a lot of great travel perks and it’s one of the few credit cards that offers trip cancellation insurance. You can be reimbursed up to $10,000 if your trip is canceled or interrupted because of sickness, severe weather and a few other situations. Not only does give you a little extra assurance when you’re booking your trip, but you can also save money on add-on insurance sold separately by online travel agencies.
New cardholders have the opportunity to earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. When you redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they’re worth $750.
Ongoing, you’ll two points for every dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants and one point per dollar on everything else. Points are worth 25 percent more when you use Chase Ultimate Rewards to redeem your rewards. For a more detailed look at the card, check out our full Chase Sapphire Preferred review.
Important Pricing: The regular APR is 18.24 to 25.24 percent, the annual fee is $95, and there’s no foreign transaction fee.