5 Top Travel Credit Cards

I love traveling for pennies on the dollar using credit card points and miles. The question I get asked most often is; “Which credit card should I apply for?” The answer almost always requires me to ask a few questions. Those questions help me better understand the needs of the person traveling. For the most part though, there are certain travel hacking credit cards that come up time and time again. So, here are my 5 top travel credit cards for the beginner travel hacker.

Travel Credit Card Number One

For most people getting started, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is my absolute favorite first travel credit card. There are many reasons I recommend this card.

  • Currently it has a sign up bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards Points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed in the Chase Travel Portal
  • Earn 2 x points on all Travel and Dining
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad
  • The annual fee is only $95

As a starter travel hacking credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred can’t be beat. The 60,000 bonus points at sign up are worth $750 at a minimum. By transferring them to Chase airline and hotel partners, you can stretch those points even further. I did this on my trip to Norway and got a value of 10 cents per point on my business class fare on Lufthansa. Also, you get the additional perk of travel and purchase coverage. All of the above makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred a great first travel hacking credit card.

Travel Credit Card Number Two

I’ve written about why I like business credit cards so much as a travel hacker. However if you think that you don’t have a business, you might be surprised at what counts as a business for the purpose of applying for business credit cards.

Have you ever sold something on Etsy, eBay or Amazon? How about a little side gig playing or teaching music? Do you board or walk dogs? What about babysitting and tutoring students? Do you own a rental property or rent out a room on Airbnb? How about selling tickets on StubHub? Maybe you drive occasionally for Lyft, Uber, Door Dash or GrubHub… There are lots of business activities that qualify you for a business credit card.

Now that we got that out of the way let me tell you about my favorite business credit card. It’s the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card.

  • Currently it has a sign up bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards Points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed in the Chase Travel Portal
  • You can combine your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points from this card with those earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and or Reserve cards
  • Earn 3 x points on all Travel, Shipping, Internet, Cable, Phone and Advertising spending on Social Media and Internet
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad
  • Get Employee cards at no additional cost
  • Get up to $600 per claim in coverage for cell phone loss and damage
  • The annual fee is only $95

Need I say more? As with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can get greater points value by transferring them to Chase airline and hotel partners. This card has a permanent spot in my wallet.

Travel Credit Card Number Three

For now, let’s stick with business cards. Chase has another excellent business credit card. Travel credit card number three is the Chase Ink Business Unlimited credit card. Here are the reasons this is a great credit card:

  • Currently it has a sign up bonus of $500 cash back equal to 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards Points are worth 1.25 cents each when you combine your points from this card with those earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and or the Chase Ink Business Preferred cards
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 x points on all purchases
  • Get Employee cards at no additional cost
  • Get Purchase Protection against damage or theft
  • Receive Auto Collision Damage Waiver protection
  • The is no annual fee

The fact that there is no annual fee with this card makes it a great card to keep long term. Use your Chase Ink Business Unlimited card to earn 1.5 x points on spending that usually earns only 1 x points with other Chase credit cards.

Travel Credit Card Number Four

Can you tell that I have a love affair with Chase credit cards as well as business credit cards? If you can’t qualify for business credit cards, this next one is for you. It’s the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card. This is a personal credit card from Chase.

  • Currently it has a sign up bonus of $200 cash back equal to 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards Points are worth 1.25 cents each when you combine your points from this card with those earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and or the Chase Ink Business Preferred cards
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 x points on all purchases
  • Get Purchase Protection against damage or theft
  • Receive Extended Warranty Coverage of one additional year
  • The is no annual fee

Again, use this card to earn 1.5 x points to fill in those points earning gaps from other Chase credit cards. We’ve got one more Chase credit card to round out my 5 top travel credit cards.

Travel Credit Card Number Five

I’m sticking with Chase credit cards with this final credit card. This card is also a personal credit card for those who don’t qualify for business credit cards. It’s the Chase Freedom Credit Card a relative of my number four pick credit card.

This credit card has a unique points earning opportunity. Each quarter of the year, you have the opportunity to earn 5 x points in specific categories. In the past, these included, gas stations, grocery stores, department stores and movie theaters. You must register to participate each quarter. Here is the list of perks with this card:

  • Currently it has a sign up bonus of $200 cash back equal to 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards Points are worth 1.25 cents each when you combine your points from this card with those earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and or the Chase Ink Business Preferred cards
  • Earn 5 x points on all purchases in rotating quarterly categories up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter
  • Earn unlimited 1 x points on all purchases
  • Get Purchase Protection against damage or theft
  • Receive Extended Warranty Coverage of one additional year
  • The is no annual fee

This is a great no annual fee credit card to round out your wallet. The biggest benefit it offers is the ability to maximize bonus category spending at 5 x points. This card is on my list to add to my personal wallet.

There You Have It

We’ve come to the end of my 5 top travel credit cards list. There are many more great cards out there. I have more to recommend to you. If you already have one or more of these cards and are looking for your next card, please reach out to me. I am here to help you.

Do you have a favorite travel credit card not listed? Scroll down and leave a comment and tell us which one it is and why you love it so much.

Note that some links in this post are referral links. This means I get rewarded (usually with points/miles) if you apply for and are approved for a credit card. It does not cost you anything to use my referral links but helps me maintain this blog.

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Published by Lisa Joy Phillips

I have a passion for Travel Hacking using Points and Miles to Travel for Pennies on the Dollar.

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