There are so many great credit card offers out there that sometimes it is hard to figure out which one has the best benefits or would be the best fit for you. Whether you are looking for travel benefits, cash back, or maybe some type of travel protection, we have you covered.
Our Best Credit Card List will give you our favorite offers based on the value of points, fees, and bonuses. They will also be listed based on if you are under 5/24 or over 5/24. (I recommend taking a quick peek at our 5/24 guidelines if you don’t know what those are or just need a quick refresher.)
Most of these credit cards offer some type of benefit to keep the card in your wallet year after year. I’m going to dive into which ones are our favorites and why.
New here? Learn The Essentials for Traveling with Points and Miles to go on your DREAM destination.
Lastly, you’ll want to know other banks ‘rules’ you can find on our Basic Breakdown of Bank Rules. Also be sure to join our Basic Travel 101- Points, Miles & More Facebook group for more daily finance and travel tips.
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- $95 annual fee
- 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Offer
- 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 3x on dining
- 2x on travel
- $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has one of the best credit card sign-up bonuses and has some pretty great Travel Perks. Coming in at 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This card can net you over $750in travel when booking travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal. Learn more about our Top Travel Card here.
Along with the very generous welcome offer, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has many options when it comes to travel benefits. You can read more about these benefits in detail on our comparison of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs Chase Sapphire Reserve card. I will give a quick breakdown of my favorite benefits:
- Trip Cancellation Insurance (up to $10,000 per covered trip)
- Baggage Delay Insurance (up to $500 per day for 5 days)
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement (up to $3,000 per person)
- Rental Car Insurance
- Trip Delay insurance (12 hours or more)
If you are an avid traveler, be sure to check out the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to earn 60,000 points after $4,000 spend but also have access to Priority Pass lounges, Complimentary Global Entry, and $300 statement credit. If you are interested in this great offer, be sure to check out our Top Travel Credit Cards for more information to learn how to apply.
You can learn more information about our Top Travel Credit Cards Here.
- $149 annual fee
- Earn 50,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
- $75 travel credit each year
- 7,500-anniversary points on your cardmember anniversary
Southwest Rapid Rewards actually offers multiple personal cards. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority is my favorite because even though it has the highest annual fee on credit cards, you get $75 back on a travel credit each year. This makes the net annual fee to be $74 which is only $5 more than the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card also gives you more anniversary points and upgraded boarding 4x per year. You even get 20% back on inflight purchases (such as wifi, food, and alcohol). The Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards are a great way to get the Southwest Companion Pass for buy-one-get-one-free flights! If you prefer to start with the lower annual fee, then I would go for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, which will also give you the Companion Pass offer.
Our Favorite Cash Back Credit Cards
- $200 Cash Rewards Bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months
- $0 Annual Fee
- 5% on travel purchased through Chase
- Earn 5% Cash Back up to $1,500 in purchases in each quarter you activate
- 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and drugstores purchases
The Chase Freedom Flex pretty quickly became our top Cash Back Card when it was first launched Mid-September. Not only does it give you a 20,000 welcome offer (convertible to $200 cash back), there is NO annual fee, and it has rotating 5x quarterly category bonuses. The quarterly categories change each quarter and max out at $75 per quarter. In your first year, you can earn $300 on the quarterly categories, plus the $200 welcome offer for an extra $500! You also get 3% on dining and drugstores.
The Chase Freedom Flex is a MasterCard that provides additional benefits, such as:
- Cell Phone Protection
- Lyft Credits
- Free Shop Runner Membership
- Earn 5x on Boxed purchases
Lastly, you also get a few travel perks with this card, similar to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (above).
- Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Rental Car Insurance
- Trip Delay insurance
Another comparable card to the Chase Freedom Flex is the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. You don’t get the quarterly categories, but it IS unlimited 1.5% cash back on purchases. It also has the $200 welcome offer after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
- $0 Annual Fee
- 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Offer
- 5x on the first $25,000 combined you spend on office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services each card anniversary year
- 2x on gas stations and restaurants each anniversary year
- 1x on all else with no limits
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card normally has around a 50,000 Chase points offer. Right now (for an unknown amount of time), they are offering 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points. This equates to $750 cashback. You can also transfer these points to another chase branded card that utilizes the Chase Pay Yourself Back promotion until April 30, 2021, to get 25 or 50% more.
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card also comes with a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months and a Variable APR 13.24% – 19.24% afterword the 12 months. Terms Apply. To learn more about Chase Ink Products, click the banner below.
- $0 Annual Fee
- 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Offer after you spend $7,500 in the first 3 months
- UNLIMITED 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Similar to the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card normally has around a 50,000 Chase points offer. 75,000 Ultimate Rewards Points equates to $750 cash back. If you qualify for a Small Business Credit Card, this is a no-brainer. No annual fee and a set 1.5% cashback make it easy to get extra money on business purchases. The Chase Ink Business Unlimited also offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months, with a variable APR of 13.24% – 19.24% afterwords. Click here to learn more about the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card.
- $95 Annual Fee
- 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Offer
- 3x on Travel, Shipping & Technology on the first $150,000
- 1x on all else
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has one of its highest welcome offers right now out of the Chase Ink cards. You will receive 100,000 Ultimate Rewards Points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months. This also equates to $1,250 or more if you utilize the Chase Pay Yourself Back promotion where you can get 25% more.
- Trip Delay insurance
- Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Baggage Delay Insurance
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement
- Rental Car Collision Damage Coverage
- Cell Phone Insurance (up to $600 if employees phone is lost or damaged)
- $99 annual fee, waived the first year
- Earn 140,000 Bonus Points + 1 free night after spending $3,000 in 3 months
- Free reward night when you redeem points for any stay 4 nights or more
- Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
- Earn up to 26 points per $1 when you stay at an IHG hotel
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit up to $100 every 4 years
IHG hotel group encompasses some of my favorite hotel brands, including Kimpton hotel brands, like Kimpton Goodland Fort Lauderdale and Kimpton SeaFire Grand Cayman. As well as the Intercontinental group such as the hotel we stayed in Japan. They also offer Holiday Inn, Candlewood Suites, and many more. Redemption rates can vary, but you can find some nights starting at 10,000 points per night. For higher-end stays, this can cost you 60,000-70,000 points per night. With the 150,000 point offer, you can earn up to 15 nights on points! With no annual fee the first year, this card is absolutely a no-brainer. To learn more, be sure to check out our Top Hotel Credit Card Offers.
- $95 annual fee
- Earn 3 free nights (each valued at 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Earn 3x on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
- Annual free night (up to 35,000 points) on the account anniversary
- Earn up to 17x Bonvoy points per dollar at over 7,000 hotels participating
- 15 Elite Night Credits each Calendar Year
- Automatic Silver Elite Status
- Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend
You can earn 3 free nights valued at 50,000 points each after qualifying purchases. You also get an annual free night certificate each year for holding onto this card. This is a great hotel credit card offer if you are looking at higher-end stays that are up to 50,000 points per night. Be sure to check out all of our Hotel Credit Cards to learn more about this offer.
If you need some inspiration for where to stay within the Marriott brand, be sure to check out the Top 5 Aspirational Marriott Properties. You can also learn more about Earning Marriott Bonvoy points as well as Redeeming Marriott Bonvoy Points.
- $95 annual fee
- Earn 30,000 World of Hyatt points after you spend $3,000 in 3 months, plus earn up to another 30,000 points with 2 points per $1 up to $15,000 spend within 6 months of opening the account
- Annual free night (category 1-4)
The World of Hyatt is by far my FAVORITE Hotel credit card. You can read how you can up to 17 free nights for doing simple home improvements with this card as we did. My favorite thing about WOH points is that redemptions start as low as 5,000 points. We have been able to stay all over the US (and even out of the country) at some pretty nice Hyatt properties. There have even been some gray Hyatt properties along our National Park Road trip to Utah. If you need to learn more about earning Hyatt points, you can do so here. You can also learn how to redeem the World Of Hyatt points here. If you fancy a stay at an all-inclusive for a relaxing getaway, be sure to check out the beautiful Miraval properties that are located in Tuscon, Austin, and Berkshires.
Our Favorite Travel Cards Over 5/24
Earn 75,000 welcome miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. This is equal to $750 in travel. Other perks include:
- Receive up to $300 in annual credits for bookings made on Capital One Travel
- 10,000 bonus miles every anniversary year
- Unlimited complimentary access for you and 2 guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
- Earn unlimited 10xmiles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One travel and 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
- Earn unlimited 2x miles on all other purchases
Basic Thoughts: Capital One Venture X is Capital One’s First Premium credit card and packs a ton of great perks. You can read our full review here.
Learn More Here.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card recently launched and really has blown me away. One of my favorite perks of this card is having the ability to have Priority Pass Lounge access, which includes Restaurants, but being able to add up to FOUR authorized users for NO additional cost! This is huge and I can see a lot of people making the shift from Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to Capital One Venture X. If you want to read more about this amazing card, check out the Basic Review here.
- $695 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
- Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 on your card in the first 6 months
- $200 Hotel Credit: Each year you can get $200 back in statement credits on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM and The New York Times. Enrollment Required.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline
- $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash available to Basic Card Member Only
- Complimentary Global Lounge Collection access at airports- expanded to 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio Locations worldwide.
- Terms Apply.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is an amazing card for travel benefits, once you are over 5/24 status. One of the biggest is you have access to airport lounges, such as Centurion Lounges. We have visited JFK Centurion Lounge and DEN Centurion and they did not disappoint. Some other benefits you will get with this card are:
- Up to $200 in savings on rides or Uber Eats annually. Enrollment Required.
- Complimentary benefits through American Express Travel
- Up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card. (Up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually). Enrollment required.
- Terms Apply.
For a limited time: Earn 80,000 ThankYou Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Other perks include:
- 3x at Restaurants, Supermarkets and Gas Stations
- 3x on Airfare and hotels
- 1x on all other purchases
Basic Thoughts: Citi Premier Card is a great travel card with transferrable points, cash back options, and easy-to-earn points. Read our full review of ThankYou Points here.
Citi Premier ThankYou points are some of our favorite points for booking that coveted business or first-class flights. There are definitely multiple uses for ThankYou points and you won’t be disappointed with this less talked about card. Right now, their 60,000 ThankYou points is a great welcome offer. One of my favorite uses was when we booked ANA First Class Flights to Japan by transferring our Citi ThankYou points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. This trip saved us over $40,000 to Japan and the flight was an amazing experience.
- $250 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $4,000 on your card in the first 6 months
- Earn 4x Membership Rewards Points on eligible purchases at Restaurants, Plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
- Earn 4x Membership Rewards Points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x)
- Earn 3x Membership Rewards Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
- Terms apply.
You can get this elevated 60,000 Membership Rewards Points offer once you open the American Express Gold OR Rose Gold card after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 6 months. These points can be combined with other AMEX Cards such as AMEX Platinum or business cards.
Our Favorite Business Card over 5/24
- $295 annual fee. (Rates & Fees)
- Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $10,000 in the first 3 months of card opening
- 4x on the 2 select categories that your business spends the most on each month- up to $150,000 each year. 1x per dollar after.
- Terms Apply.
The AMEX Business Gold card’s normal offer is 35,000 MR rewards points. At once cent per point, the 70,000 MR points could cash out to be $700. If you are over 5/24, this is a great offer that I would get as a business owner.
The comparable offer with Chase would be their Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, so if you are still under 5/24, that would be your best bet. It has a little higher spending requirements, but you also get 100,000 points vs 70,000.
- $695 annual fee. (Rates & Fees)
- Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $15,000 in the first 3 months of card opening
- 5x Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels and flights booked on amextravel.com
- Earn 1.5x Membership Rewards Points on eligible purchases at US Construction Material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else up to $2 million per calendar year.
- Enroll to get up to $400 in statement credits annually by getting up to $200 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Enrollment required.
- Wireless credit: up to $120 annual statement credits for purchases made directly from any US wireless telephone provider, up to $10 per month.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit per calendar year towards baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline. Enrollment Required.
- Terms Apply.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a great card to maximize your business spending. They recently updated the offer to give even more credits per year. If you have significant charges of over $5,000 on purchases, you can get 50% more membership rewards points. If you are a frequent business traveler, this is a great card for you. You can get 5x on travel purchases, as well as:
- Centurion Lounge access
- Priority Pass Lounges. (Enrollment Required)
- Delta Sky lounges when flying Delta
- For frequent travelers, you will also automatically receive:
- Hilton Honors Gold Elite Status. (Enrollment Required)
- Marriot Bonvoy Gold Elite Status. (Enrollment Required)
I will also note that this is a charge card, which means the statement must be paid in full each month. Adding employees will cost you $300 per card, but they will also receive access to lounges, as well as the elite hotel statuses.
Our Favorite “Everything” card over 5/24
- $95 annual fee
- 75,000 Venture Miles after spending $4,000 within 3 months from account opening
- Unlimited 2x on all purchases
Capital One Venture Credit Card can be a great bonus with a value of up to $750 for easy redemption miles. I also only suggest getting this if you are over 5/24. If you are not, I would still focus on Chase cards. Capital One Venture Miles are great because they are super easy to use and redeem as a statement credit for travel on your credit card.
Some other perks I like are:
- $100 application fee credit for TSA Pre Check or Global Entry
- Miles don’t expire
- No limit to how many you can earn
Our Favorite Cash Back Cards
- $95 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
- $350 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months of card membership.
- 6% cash back on purchases at U.S. Supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases. 1% afterwords.
- 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services
- 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, transit which includes taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, busses, trains & more.
- Terms Apply
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is a great card to keep in your wallet. With a low annual fee of $95, it will give you plenty of bang for your buck. Blue Cash Preferred offers a welcome offer of $350 statement credit, along with another max of $360 for U.S. Supermarket purchases (6% cash back up to $6,000). If you have higher than average grocery spending, getting an extra $360 back per year is a nice little perk. You can also get cash back for U.S. streaming subscriptions, U.S. gas stations, and on transit that includes taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, busses, and more.
- No annual fee (Rates & Fees)
- $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months of card membership
- 3% cash back on your first $6,000 of purchases per year at U.S. Supermarkets, then 1%
- NEW: 3% cash back on your first $6,000 of purchases per year on U.S. Online Retail Purchases, then 1%
- Earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations up to $6,000 per year, then 1%
- Terms Apply
The Blue Cash Everyday Card is one of my favorite no-annual fee cashback cards as you can earn 3% on your first $6,000 of purchases per year at U.S. supermarkets (1% afterward). You will also earn 3% at U.S. gas stations, up to $6,000 per year, then 1%. You can see the list of department stores available at americanexpress.com/rewards-info. I also want to note that superstores, supermarkets, and warehouse clubs that sell gasoline are not considered gas stations. Terms apply.
- 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from account opening date. After that variable APR will be 15.49%-26.49% (Rates & Fees)
- American Express Experiences
Limited Time Offer: Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of card opening.
- $0 annual fee
- 2% cash on every purchase- 1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay for purchases
- Great Balance Transfer Offer
The Citi Double Cash Card is a great balance transfer and everyday card. Earning 2% cash back for all purchases- whether it be gas, groceries, or just whatever you need. You will get the first 1% as you purchase, and the other 1% when you pay that balance.
If you have a large purchase that you might need extra time to pay off, or maybe some debt from a last-minute expense, this could be a great option. Citi Double Cash is a great balance transfer offer. Currently offering a 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% – 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness. There will be a balance transfer fee.
Our favorite Airline card over 5/24
- 50,000 AAdvantage Miles after $2,500 in purchases in the first 3 months
- 2 miles per dollar on restaurants and gas stations
- 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases
- $0 annual fee for the first year, $99 after
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card will give you priority boarding, free checked bags and a 50,000 bonus points boost once you meet the spending requirements. We particularly love AA miles to book Q-Suites on the way to the Maldives.
Our favorite Hotel card over 5/24
- 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points after $3,000 spend within the first 3 months.
- Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of card membership for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
- $450 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
- Receive one free night award on cardmember anniversary (50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points or less)
- Free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (Enrollment Required)
- Priority Pass Select (Enrollment Required)
- Terms Apply
This Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card has steadily held a slot in my wallet over the years. This is a great offer that we recommend if you are over 5/24. It helped to get us a FREE hotel night in Japan at the Sheraton Hiroshima by utilizing our free certificates and a mixture of points. We also have been able to utilize the $300 statement credits each year at participating hotels. My favorite way is to charge food/services to the room and pay with your Marriott card upon checkout!
If you also don’t already have a card that utilizes a priority pass, this card will give you unlimited visits to participating priority pass lounges in the airport. We love the priority pass lounges and have been able to visit The Club BUF, The Club LAS as well as The Club MSY when it first opened in 2020.
With the Hilton Honors American Express card you can easily top off your Hilton Honors points balances. There are currently THREE separate Hilton Honors personal cards, which we love to be able to maximize value for Hilton Honors points bookings. There is also one business card. Let’s break these down.
Hilton Honors Cards:
- Hilton Honors American Express Card– $0 Annual Fee (Rates & Fees). Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Points after you spend $1,000 in 3 months. Terms Apply.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card– $95 Annual Fee(Rates & Fees). Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors points after $2,000 spend within 3 months. Terms Apply.
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card– $450 Annual Fee (Rates & Fees), 150,000 welcome points after $4,000 spend. Terms Apply.
All information about Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by basictravelcouple.com
When comparing to the three personal cards, if you just need to easily add on some points for no fees, I’d go with the Hilton Honors Card to earn 80,000 points. However, I DO still HIGHLY recommend the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card for many reasons, which you can find in the 11 reasons why you need the Hilton Honors Aspire in your wallet.
New to Credit Card Rewards Points? Check out the BASICS Below!
- Learn how to utilize credit card points with our Basic Travel Course
- Basic Travel 101
- Basic Travel 102
- Credit Scores 101
- Knowing the Rules
- 5/24 Status
- Top Credit Card Offers
- How to Earn Credit Card Bonuses
- Expedited Airport Screening
- Cashback Sites