The Top Travel Credit Cards to Keep Your Wanderlust Going, According to Lifehacker

If you’re an avid traveler, having a good travel credit card can make all the difference in the world. Not only can it help you earn rewards points towards future trips, but it can also provide you with perks like free checked bags, airport lounge access, and travel insurance. With so many travel credit cards on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is the best fit for your lifestyle. That’s where Lifehacker comes in. We’ve done the research and have compiled a list of the best travel credit cards for 2021, taking into consideration factors like rewards programs, annual fees, and introductory bonuses. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or just starting to plan your next vacation, there’s a travel credit card on this list that’s perfect for you.

Benefits of a travel credit card

If you’re an avid traveler, a travel credit card is a must-have tool in your wallet. It offers numerous benefits that cannot be found in traditional credit cards. Here are some of the benefits a travel credit card can offer:

Earn rewards points

Travel credit cards usually offer rewards points for every dollar you spend on travel purchases like airfare, hotels, and rental cars. You can accumulate points and redeem them for free flights, hotel stays, and other travel-related expenses.

No foreign transaction fees

When you use your credit card abroad, you will often be charged foreign transaction fees. Travel credit cards don’t charge these fees, which can save you a lot of money when you’re traveling internationally.

Travel insurance

Most travel credit cards come with travel insurance benefits, such as trip cancellation/interruption insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and travel accident insurance. These can provide you with peace of mind when traveling, knowing that you’re protected from unexpected expenses.

Airline perks

Some travel credit cards offer airline perks such as priority boarding, free checked bags, and airport lounge access. These can make your travel experience more enjoyable and stress-free.

Hotel perks

If you’re a frequent traveler or staying in hotels often, you can benefit from hotel perks offered by travel credit cards. These include free room upgrades, late check-out, and complimentary breakfast.

Concierge service

Many travel credit cards offer concierge services that can help you plan your trip, book reservations, and more. This can save you time and hassle when planning your next adventure.

Price protection

Some travel credit cards offer price protection benefits, which means if you purchase an item with your card and it goes on sale within a certain timeframe, you can get a refund of the price difference.

Exclusive discounts

Travel credit cards often offer exclusive discounts on travel-related expenses, such as rental cars, hotels, and activities. These can save you money and enhance your travel experience.

Higher credit limit

Travel credit cards often have higher credit limits than traditional credit cards, which can be beneficial if you have large travel-related expenses.

Sign-up bonus

Many travel credit cards offer sign-up bonuses in the form of rewards points or statement credits. These bonuses can be a significant source of savings when booking your next trip.

Top 10 Best Travel Credit Cards Recommended by Lifehacker

Traveling can often come at a cost, but with a good travel credit card, you can easily offset some of the expenses. These credit cards usually come with rewards programs that allow you to accumulate points or miles with every spend, which can later be redeemed for travel-related expenses such as flights, hotels, car rentals, and even dining experiences. Here are the top 10 best travel credit cards recommended by Lifehacker that you can consider for your next journey.

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an excellent travel credit card for those who love to dine out. With the card, you can earn 2x points per dollar spent on dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. Additionally, if you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account, you can earn 60,000 bonus points.

2. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card allows you to earn unlimited 2x miles on every purchase you make. The best part is that there are no blackout dates or restrictions when redeeming those miles. Also, if you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account, you can earn 60,000 bonus miles.

3. The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® is great for frequent travelers who don’t mind paying high annual fees in exchange for luxury travel perks and benefits. With the card, you can earn 5x points per dollar spent on flights and hotels, access to airport lounges worldwide, and up to $500 in credits for travel-related expenses.

4. Citi Premier® Card
The Citi Premier® Card is ideal for those who want a well-rounded credit card for both travel and daily expenses. The card offers 3x points per dollar spent on travel and gas and 2x points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment. Additionally, if you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account, you can earn 60,000 bonus points.

5. United Explorer Card
The United Explorer Card is perfect for those who frequently fly with United Airlines. With the card, you can earn 2x miles per dollar spent on United purchases, as well as 2x miles per dollar spent on dining and hotel stays. Moreover, if you spend $10,000 within the first 6 months of opening your account, you can earn 40,000 bonus miles.

6. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card offers 3x points per dollar spent on travel, dining, gas, and rideshare services, as well as 1x point per dollar spent on everything else. New cardholders can also earn a welcome bonus of 20,000 points if they spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of opening their account.

7. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is recommended for those who often stay at Hilton hotels. With the card, you can enjoy complimentary Diamond status, a free weekend night stay, and up to $250 in credits for Hilton purchases every year. Additionally, new cardholders can earn 150,000 bonus points if they spend $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening their account.

8. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card is a great choice for those who frequently fly with Alaska Airlines. With the card, you can earn 3x miles per dollar spent on Alaska Airlines purchases and 1x mile per dollar spent on everything else. Also, if you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account, you can earn 50,000 bonus miles.

9. The World Of Hyatt Credit Card
The World of Hyatt Credit Card is perfect for those who frequently stay at Hyatt hotels and resorts. With the card, you can earn 4x points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels and resorts, and 2x points per dollar spent on dining, flights, and gym memberships. New cardholders can also earn up to 60,000 bonus points if they spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of opening their account.

10. American Express Gold Card
The American Express Gold Card is an excellent choice for foodies. With the card, you can earn 4x points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year), as well as 3x points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines. Additionally, new cardholders can earn a welcome bonus of 60,000 points if they spend $4,000 within the first 6 months of opening their account.

In conclusion, travel credit cards are an excellent way to save money on travel-related expenses. With so many options available in the market, it’s crucial to choose one that fits your travel style and preferences. Remember to carefully evaluate the rewards program and terms and conditions of each credit card before making a decision. Happy traveling!

Top 5 Travel Credit Cards for Frequent Travelers

If you’re a frequent traveler, you must be aware of the benefits of a travel credit card. It not only saves you money but also rewards you with points that can be redeemed for travel benefits. But with so many options available in the market, choosing the best travel credit card can be a daunting task. In this section, we’ll help you filter out the top 5 travel credit cards that are worth considering.

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card tops the list of travel credit cards as it’s designed specifically for frequent travelers. It offers 2x points on travel and dining, has no foreign transaction fees, and provides travel cancellation/interruption insurance. The card also offers an irresistible sign-up bonus of 100,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.

2. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most flexible travel credit cards available in the market. It offers 2x points on every purchase, and the points can be redeemed for any travel expense. To make things easy, the card provides a $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. The card also has no foreign transaction fees and is a great option for those who love to travel overseas.

3. American Express Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card is a go-to travel credit card for those who love to dine out as much as they love to travel. It offers 4x points on dining, 4x points on groceries (up to $25,000 per year), and 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline or amextravel.com. The card also offers a $120 dining credit annually that can be redeemed at select restaurants.

4. Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card is perfect for those who frequently fly with Delta Airlines. The card offers 2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x mile on everything else. One of the biggest perks of this card is the first checked bag is free for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation. The card also offers priority boarding and a 20% discount on in-flight purchases.

5. Citi Premier Card

The Citi Premier Card is a great all-rounder travel credit card as it offers 3x points on travel, including gas stations, and 2x points on dining and entertainment. The card also provides $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more when booked through the thankyou.com portal. Moreover, the annual fee is waived for the first year.

When choosing a travel credit card, it’s important to consider the annual fee, rewards program, and perks that align with your travel style. The table below summarizes the key features of the top 5 travel credit cards discussed above.

Credit Card Annual Fee Rewards Program Perks
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card $95 2x points on travel and dining No foreign transaction fees, travel cancellation/interruption insurance
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card $95 2x points on every purchase No foreign transaction fees, $100 credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry
American Express Gold Card $250 4x points on dining, 4x points on groceries (up to $25,000 per year), 3x points on flights $120 dining credit annually, $100 airline fee credit, baggage insurance plan
Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card $99 2x miles on Delta purchases, 1x mile on everything else First checked bag free for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation, priority boarding, 20% discount on in-flight purchases
Citi Premier Card $95 3x points on travel, 2x points on dining and entertainment $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, no foreign transaction fees

To sum up, a travel credit card can be a handy tool for travelers. It’s crucial to do your research and compare different options to find the card that suits your needs the best. These top 5 travel credit cards can be a great starting point for your search.

Lifehacker recommends the best travel credit cards for earning rewards and saving money on your trips, including options like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture. Read their roundup for more information on which card might be the best fit for you: best travel credit card lifehacker.

10 Pros and Cons of Travel Credit Cards: Which One to Choose?

Choosing the best travel credit card can be a daunting task, especially with so many options available on the market. However, owning a travel credit card can make your life easier and more enjoyable as you can earn points or miles for every dollar you spend on travel expenses and redeem them for free flights or hotel stays.

In this section, we’ll explore the ten pros and cons of travel credit cards to help you decide which one is the best for you.

Pro #1: Sign-Up Bonuses

Travel credit cards often offer generous sign-up bonuses to new cardholders. These bonuses can range from 50,000 to 100,000 miles or points, which can be used to book free flights or hotel stays. However, to qualify for these bonuses, you’ll usually need to spend a minimum amount within the first few months of opening the account.

Pro #2: Earning Points or Miles

One of the main benefits of having a travel credit card is the ability to earn points or miles for every dollar you spend on travel expenses such as airfare, hotel stays, and car rentals. These points or miles can then be redeemed for free flights or hotel stays, which can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Pro #3: Travel Rewards

Most travel credit cards offer travel rewards such as discounts on airfare, hotel stays, and car rentals. Some cards even offer 10% or more off purchases made at select travel merchants. These rewards can be a great way to save money on your next vacation.

Pro #4: No Foreign Transaction Fees

Many travel credit cards have no foreign transaction fees, which can save you a lot of money when traveling abroad. These fees can be as high as 3% on every purchase you make outside of the country, so having a card that doesn’t charge these fees can be a huge benefit.

Pro #5: Travel Insurance

Most travel credit cards offer some form of travel insurance, which can cover you for things like trip cancellation, lost luggage, and medical emergencies. This can be a great benefit if you’re planning on traveling frequently.

Con #1: Annual Fees

Many travel credit cards come with annual fees that can range from $95 to $550. While some cards may waive the fee for the first year, you’ll need to decide whether the benefits of the card outweigh the cost of the annual fee in subsequent years.

Con #2: High Interest Rates

Travel credit cards often come with higher interest rates than other credit cards. If you’re someone who carries a balance from month to month, you may want to consider a card with a lower interest rate, as the interest charges can quickly negate any rewards you earn.

Con #3: Limited Redemption Options

While travel credit cards offer great rewards for travel expenses, the redemption options can sometimes be limited. Some cards may only allow you to use your points or miles to book travel through their own portal, while others may only offer cashback or gift cards as redemption options.

Con #4: Rewards Devaluation

Travel credit card rewards can be subject to devaluation, which can mean that the value of your points or miles decreases over time. This is often due to changes in airline or hotel loyalty programs, which can be frustrating for cardholders.

Con #5: Impulse Spending

Having a travel credit card can sometimes lead to impulsive spending on travel expenses, which can cause you to overspend and accumulate debt. It’s important to use your card responsibly and only make purchases that fit within your budget.

Discover Your Best Travel Credit Card with Lifehacker

We hope you’ve found this article helpful in finding the perfect travel credit card to suit your needs. Remember, these cards can come with many great perks such as free flights, hotel stays, and travel insurance to make your journeys all the more enjoyable. Keep in mind the best card for you may depend on your spending habits and travel goals. Thanks for taking the time to read this article, and we hope you’ll visit us again soon for more travel tips and advice. Safe travels!

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