Not only do credit cards help you establish credit (which is totally crucial for your financial future, as long as you avoid credit fumbles), but they can actually work FOR you too by earning you major points for your spending each month. To top off the awesome factor, many credit card companies have programs that cater specifically to travel lovers. To make sense of all the great offers out there, we chatted with Brian Karimzad, director at MileCards.com. Scroll on for his five fave credit cards for travelers and get ready to reap the rewards (Hamilton-inspired vacay on points, anyone?).
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred: If there’s a go-to card for travel lovers, this is it. Earn double points on dining and travel on any airline, rental cars and train tickets. This card also has amazing travel insurance and zero foreign transaction fees (so important when you’re abroad). Since points rack up super quickly, you’ll barely notice the $96/year annual fee.
2. Platinum Card from American Express: While this card has a hefty annual fee of $450/year, Brian tells us that you definitely shouldn’t rule it out right away. The first thing to note is that the yearly fee is almost instantly slashed in half when you take advantage of the $200/year airline credit. From there, you’ll get perks, like access to luxe Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs. Even more, “You’ll get elite status with Starwood and Hilton hotels for room upgrades and more. Plus, the Platinum Card concierge can help you skip the line at popular city clubs and score last-minute tables at hot restaurants,” he says. Hip travelers, take note of this one.
3. JetBlue TrueBlue: Does JetBlue serve the routes you find yourself traveling most often? This great card comes without an annual fee and all restaurant and grocery spending earns you double points toward JetBlue flights. Brian tells us, “There’s no cooler ride in the US than JetBlue’s Mint Class, with Saxon and Parole food and private suites. Even in coach, JetBlue has live TV for everyone.” Earn enough miles, and you can learn what Parole food tastes like.
4. Amex Everyday: Yep, a second card from Amex gets one of Brian’s top spots. Brian tells us to use points accrued from this fee-free card to earn Delta SkyMiles anytime. Not only do miles never expire, but you can convert your points over to more than a dozen other partner airlines, like Virgin Atlantic or Air France. Bon voyage!
5. Hyatt Visa: Vegas Lovers, take note! This card earns you automatic Hyatt Platinum status, which translates to MLife Gold status. Use yours for upgrades and line privileges at MLife resorts (like the Delano) and special rates on rooms. You can score free valet parking with your benefit too. Signing up comes with two free nights — so get your fave swimsuit, go-to dress and the girls ready. The sparkling strip awaits.
Want to crunch the numbers for yourself? This super cool calculator will tell you exactly how many points each card earns based on your own spending habits and where you want to travel.
Do you use a credit card to earn travel points? Tell us which one and what you love about it on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)