Best Travel Credit Cards of Fall 2018

So-called ‘drip pricing’ can make it difficult to determine the total cost of airline tickets and vacation rentals.
Fair warning: Local wildlife can bring traffic to a standstill on Parks Highway 3 while you're driving through Denali National Park. Then again, that is part of this road's allure.
Slide 1 of 25: Earlier this year, Barclays and Hawaiian Airlines announced a refreshed version of their co-branded credit card. The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard now offers 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on your card within 90 days of account opening. You also get your first checked bag free for even more savings.
Slide 2 of 25: The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard also makes it easier than ever to earn more miles thanks to its new earning structure. Once you sign up, you’ll earn 3x miles on Hawaiian purchases, 2x miles on gas, dining, and grocery store purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
Slide 3 of 25: The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has remained wildly popular since its release in 2016. This card offers a large signup bonus, 3x points on travel and dining, and 1:1 point transfers to popular loyalty programs such as Marriott Rewards, Southwest Rapid Rewards, World of Hyatt, JetBlue, and United MileagePlus.
Slide 4 of 25: While the Chase Sapphire Reserve charges a $450 annual fee, consumers still feel it’s a good value over all. Not only does it offer easy point transfers, but you get a Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit, a $300 annual travel credit, a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, and valuable travel insurance benefits.
Slide 5 of 25: While the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a popular option, don’t forget about the lower value Chase Sapphire Preferred card. This card has been around forever, yet it is still one of the top travel cards on the market. Not only does it offer a huge signup bonus (50,000 points after you use it for $4,000 in purchases within 90 days), but you earn 2x points on travel and dining, too.
Slide 6 of 25: While the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers fewer perks than the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it also comes with a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year. And yes, you can still redeem your points for gift cards, cash-back, or travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. You can also transfer points 1:1 to popular airline and hotel transfer partners.
Slide 7 of 25: We love the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard since it offers a simple value proposition anyone can understand. Once you sign up for the card, you earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in three months and 2x miles for each dollar you spend.
Slide 8 of 25: The best part about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard is that you can redeem your points for any travel expense you want without worry over blackout dates or capacity controls. Simply redeem your points for any travel expense (hotels, airfare, all-inclusive resorts, etc.) over $100 (10,000 points) and wipe it from your bill.
Slide 9 of 25: While the Citi ThankYou Premier slipped off the radar for a while, it’s now back and better than ever. For a limited time, you can earn 60,000 points worth $750 in airfare after you sign up for the card and use it for $4,000 in purchases within three months.
Slide 10 of 25: Like premier Chase travel credit cards, the Citi ThankYou Premier lets you transfer points to popular travel partners. While they only let you transfer to airline loyalty programs and not hotels, you can choose from popular options such as Air France/Flying Blue, JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, and Singapore Airlines.
Slide 11 of 25: We love the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card due to its large signup bonus (30,000 points after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months) and the fact it doles out 3x points on dining, gas purchases, ridesharing, transit, flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals, and streaming services.
Slide 12 of 25: Another reason to love the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card is its lack of an annual fee. You also have the option to redeem points for cash-back or for travel through the Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards portal. You can even book travel with a combination of points and cash.
Slide 13 of 25: The Capital One Venture Rewards Card is another winner if you want flexible points you can redeem for any type of travel. This card doles out 2x points for all your purchases then lets you redeem for any travel expense at a rate of one cent per point.
Slide 14 of 25: The Capital One Venture Rewards Card also makes it easy to rack up points in a hurry. This card is currently offering 50,000 points for consumers who sign up and spend $3,000 within three months of account opening. That’s $500 in free travel for new cardholders who can meet minimum requirements.
Slide 15 of 25: If you’re angling for a new hotel credit card this year, check out the Hilton Aspire card. This card offers a minimum signup bonus of 100,000 Hilton Honors points your first year, and you also earn 14x points on Hilton brand hotel expenses paid for with the card.
Slide 16 of 25: While the Hilton Aspire does have a $450 annual fee, its perks make it a good value. This card offers a $250 annual resort credit, a $250 annual airline credit, a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, a free night your first year and every anniversary year, and automatic Hilton Diamond status.
Slide 17 of 25: If you’re averse to large annual fees on hotel cards, you can also consider the Hilton Honors Ascend card for fall 2018. This card is offering a signup bonus of up to 125,000 points, complimentary Hilton Gold status, 10 Priority Pass lounge entries, and other perks in exchange for a $95 annual fee.
Slide 18 of 25: If you’re a business owner, you can also earn points and miles on your business purchases. One of the best travel cards for business owners on the market is the Ink Business Preferred. This card offers 80,000 points worth $1,000 in travel after you spend $5,000 within two months of account opening.
Slide 19 of 25: Another important feature the Ink Business Preferred card offers is the fact that you can pool points with Chase personal cards to redeem for travel. The Ink Business Preferred also lets you book travel through the Chase portal or transfer points 1:1 to Chase airline and hotel partners.
Slide 20 of 25: Currently, the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express is offering 60,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on your card within the first four months. There’s no annual fee the first year ($95 starting the second year), and you get a free checked bag when you fly the airline.
Slide 21 of 25: While 60,000 miles may not sound like a lot and Delta SkyMiles no longer offers an award chart, you can frequently find round-trip flights to Europe from major European cities on Delta for 60,000 miles plus taxes. You could also redeem 60,000 miles for two round-trip domestic flights in some cases.
Slide 22 of 25: Also note that the long-awaited Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury card is now available with a huge 100k bonus. This card also offers an annual $300 travel credit, a Priority Pass Select membership, automatic Gold status, an annual free night award, and other perks in exchange for its $450 annual fee.
Slide 23 of 25: If you do sign up for the Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury card, you’ll be in for a welcome surprise when you go to redeem your points. Since SPG has successfully merged with Marriott Rewards, you now have more hotel options than ever to chose from all over the globe.
Slide 24 of 25: While the new Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card offers only 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 within three months, it comes with valuable perks. Not only do you get 7,500 points on your cardmember anniversary, but you get 4 upgraded boardings per year, a $75 annual credit toward airfare, and no foreign transaction fees.
Slide 25 of 25: While most people think of Southwest Airlines as a domestic carrier, it’s important to remember all the other destinations they fly to. With the Southwest Rapid Rewards program, you can use points to fly to tropical hideaways like Cancun, Aruba, Turks and Caicos, Grand Cayman, Punta Cana, and Montego Bay.

Check Out the Improved Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard

Earlier this year, Barclays and Hawaiian Airlines announced a refreshed version of their co-branded credit card. The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard now offers 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on your card within 90 days of account opening. You also get your first checked bag free for even more savings.

New 3-2-1 Earning Structure

The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard also makes it easier than ever to earn more miles thanks to its new earning structure. Once you sign up, you’ll earn 3x miles on Hawaiian purchases, 2x miles on gas, dining, and grocery store purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

Explore Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has remained wildly popular since its release in 2016. This card offers a large signup bonus, 3x points on travel and dining, and 1:1 point transfers to popular loyalty programs such as Marriott Rewards, Southwest Rapid Rewards, World of Hyatt, JetBlue, and United MileagePlus.

Travel Perks Galore

While the Chase Sapphire Reserve charges a $450 annual fee, consumers still feel it’s a good value over all. Not only does it offer easy point transfers, but you get a Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit, a $300 annual travel credit, a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, and valuable travel insurance benefits.

Don’t Forget the Chase Sapphire Preferred

While the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a popular option, don’t forget about the lower value Chase Sapphire Preferred card. This card has been around forever, yet it is still one of the top travel cards on the market. Not only does it offer a huge signup bonus (50,000 points after you use it for $4,000 in purchases within 90 days), but you earn 2x points on travel and dining, too.

Pay a Lower Annual Fee

While the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers fewer perks than the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it also comes with a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year. And yes, you can still redeem your points for gift cards, cash-back, or travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. You can also transfer points 1:1 to popular airline and hotel transfer partners.

The Barclaycard Arrival World Elite Mastercard Never Fails

We love the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard since it offers a simple value proposition anyone can understand. Once you sign up for the card, you earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in three months and 2x miles for each dollar you spend.

Redeem Points for Any Travel Expense

The best part about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard is that you can redeem your points for any travel expense you want without worry over blackout dates or capacity controls. Simply redeem your points for any travel expense (hotels, airfare, all-inclusive resorts, etc.) over $100 (10,000 points) and wipe it from your bill.

The Citi ThankYou Premier Card is Better than Ever

While the Citi ThankYou Premier slipped off the radar for a while, it’s now back and better than ever. For a limited time, you can earn 60,000 points worth $750 in airfare after you sign up for the card and use it for $4,000 in purchases within three months.

Transfer Points to Popular Airline Partners

Like premier Chase travel credit cards, the Citi ThankYou Premier lets you transfer points to popular travel partners. While they only let you transfer to airline loyalty programs and not hotels, you can choose from popular options such as Air France/Flying Blue, JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, and Singapore Airlines.

Look at the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

We love the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card due to its large signup bonus (30,000 points after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months) and the fact it doles out 3x points on dining, gas purchases, ridesharing, transit, flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals, and streaming services.

No Annual Fee

Another reason to love the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card is its lack of an annual fee. You also have the option to redeem points for cash-back or for travel through the Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards portal. You can even book travel with a combination of points and cash.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Card Offers Flexibility

The Capital One Venture Rewards Card is another winner if you want flexible points you can redeem for any type of travel. This card doles out 2x points for all your purchases then lets you redeem for any travel expense at a rate of one cent per point.

Score a Big Signup Bonus, Too

The Capital One Venture Rewards Card also makes it easy to rack up points in a hurry. This card is currently offering 50,000 points for consumers who sign up and spend $3,000 within three months of account opening. That’s $500 in free travel for new cardholders who can meet minimum requirements.

Get the Hilton Aspire Card While You Can

If you’re angling for a new hotel credit card this year, check out the Hilton Aspire card. This card offers a minimum signup bonus of 100,000 Hilton Honors points your first year, and you also earn 14x points on Hilton brand hotel expenses paid for with the card.

Why the $450 Annual Fee is Worth It

While the Hilton Aspire does have a $450 annual fee, its perks make it a good value. This card offers a $250 annual resort credit, a $250 annual airline credit, a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, a free night your first year and every anniversary year, and automatic Hilton Diamond status.

The Hilton Honors Ascend is Another Good One

If you’re averse to large annual fees on hotel cards, you can also consider the Hilton Honors Ascend card for fall 2018. This card is offering a signup bonus of up to 125,000 points, complimentary Hilton Gold status, 10 Priority Pass lounge entries, and other perks in exchange for a $95 annual fee.

Ink Business Preferred is Ideal for Business Owners

If you’re a business owner, you can also earn points and miles on your business purchases. One of the best travel cards for business owners on the market is the Ink Business Preferred. This card offers 80,000 points worth $1,000 in travel after you spend $5,000 within two months of account opening.

Pool Points with Your Other Chase Cards

Another important feature the Ink Business Preferred card offers is the fact that you can pool points with Chase personal cards to redeem for travel. The Ink Business Preferred also lets you book travel through the Chase portal or transfer points 1:1 to Chase airline and hotel partners.

Get the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express

Currently, the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express is offering 60,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on your card within the first four months. There’s no annual fee the first year ($95 starting the second year), and you get a free checked bag when you fly the airline.

Fly Round-Trip to Europe for 60K

While 60,000 miles may not sound like a lot and Delta SkyMiles no longer offers an award chart, you can frequently find round-trip flights to Europe from major European cities on Delta for 60,000 miles plus taxes. You could also redeem 60,000 miles for two round-trip domestic flights in some cases.

Check Out the New Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Card

Also note that the long-awaited Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury card is now available with a huge 100k bonus. This card also offers an annual $300 travel credit, a Priority Pass Select membership, automatic Gold status, an annual free night award, and other perks in exchange for its $450 annual fee.

Don’t Forget that SPG and Marriott Merged

If you do sign up for the Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury card, you’ll be in for a welcome surprise when you go to redeem your points. Since SPG has successfully merged with Marriott Rewards, you now have more hotel options than ever to chose from all over the globe.

The New Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card is Intriguing

While the new Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card offers only 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 within three months, it comes with valuable perks. Not only do you get 7,500 points on your cardmember anniversary, but you get 4 upgraded boardings per year, a $75 annual credit toward airfare, and no foreign transaction fees.

Southwest Flights to the Caribbean and within the US

While most people think of Southwest Airlines as a domestic carrier, it’s important to remember all the other destinations they fly to. With the Southwest Rapid Rewards program, you can use points to fly to tropical hideaways like Cancun, Aruba, Turks and Caicos, Grand Cayman, Punta Cana, and Montego Bay.

Source: Read Full Article