At a Glance

Different credit cards will give you different perks. Travel credit cards often have things like trip protection, but different cards will offer a suite of services designed for a specific type of traveler. Whether you go for a co-branded card with your favorite airline or a general card with lots of transfer partners, you cannot go wrong. Here are the best cards for each type of traveler.

What to expect:

Chase Sapphire Preferred: Perfect for all travelers

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has long been considered the all-around best travel card on the market. Cardholders get premium rewards at a very reasonable $ 95-a-year annual fee. You get 5x miles on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x on dining, groceries, and streaming services, and 2x on all other travel purchases. You also get a $50 credit to be used towards a hotel stay on each anniversary of account opening. To redeem points, you can transfer them to many of your favorite airline and hotel partners, like Marriott Bonvoy, JetBlue, Southwest, and United at a 1:1 ratio.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is perfect for all travelers because it offers a wide variety of services, has a low annual fee, has great transfer partners, and is easy to use and redeem. If you decide not to transfer points to a partner and book through Chase Ultimate Rewards, your points are worth 25% more. For instance, the current signup bonus is 80,000 bonus points after spending $3000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening. When using Chase Ultimate Rewards, those points are valued at a huge $1000.

Citi Premier: For the simple traveler

The main competitor to the Chase Sapphire Preferred is Citi Premier. You can earn 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel, and hotels, while also getting a $100 annual hotel savings benefit. Citi Premier is probably the most straightforward card to use and redeem your points. There is no tiered approach to earning or spending limits – just 3x miles on the biggest travel categories. You can transfer your Citi points to over 15 airlines, which makes it a diverse card.

If you value simplicity and ease, then the Citi Premier card is the one for you.

Capital One VentureOne: For the budget traveler

The Capital One VentureOne cash is perfect for the budget traveler. The card comes with no annual fee but gives you a whopping 5x miles on travel purchased through Capital One Travel and 1.25 miles on all other purchases. The card also comes with no foreign transaction fees and 15+ transfer partners to redeem your miles. Although other cards on this list might have more benefits, they also come with an annual fee. A travel card without an annual fee can be a lifesaver for those new to the credit card game or those budget travelers that do not want to have to worry about another bill every year.

Capital One Venture X: For the savvy traveler

The Venture X from Capital One is the newest premium credit card to hit the market. Cardholders earn 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5x miles on air travel booked through Capital One Travel, and 2x miles on all other purchases. You get an additional 10,000 miles on each account anniversary. Although there is a $395 annual fee, you can get up to $300 of that back with statement credits on purchases made through Capital One Travel.

With Capital One Venture X, you get access to the Capital One Lounge and all Priority Pass lounges worldwide. You also get a $100 statement credit when purchasing TSA Precheck or Global Entry with your card. The Venture X is new, but it packs a punch. It rivals cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Platinum Card from American Express, as it has a lower annual fee but many of the same perks. If you are a savvy traveler that likes trying out new things, this is the card for you.

The Platinum Card from American Express: For the luxe traveler

Although the Platinum Card is not for everyone, it is an excellent card for the luxe traveler. It has a massive $695 annual fee, but if you are using all of its perks, it will pay off.

Potential statement credits:

  • $189 on CLEAR membership
  • $25 each month (up to $300 annually) on Equinox membership
  • $200 Uber Cash annually
  • $200 annual baggage fee credit
  • $12.95 monthly credit for Walmart+ membership ($155 annually)
  • $20 back each month on select subscription services ($240 annually)
  • $200 back on hotel bookings made with American Express Travel

Total: $1400+ in potential statement credits each year

On top of these incredible perks, you also enjoy access to Centurion Lounges at the airport and automatic elite status with Marriott and Hilton. You earn 5x miles on flights and hotels booked through American Express Travel. The luxe traveler likes having status and perks like lounge access, as well as a host of luxe statement credits. If you can take full advantage of the credits, you more than pay for the annual fee, plus get great benefits.

Bottom line

You might be new to the credit card game, only travel once in a while, and do not have a big budget for an annual fee. Or, you might be an experienced card user and travel hacker that is looking for your next favorite card. Whatever the case, the right card is just around the corner. If you see a card that you like and notice a great sign-up bonus, make sure to apply as soon as you can so you do not miss it.

No matter what type of traveler you are, you can benefit from the protections and rewards that come with travel credit cards.