To be candid, we gather the majority of our travel credit card information from one of our favorite blogs: The Points Guy. Brian Kelly shares blogs monthly highlighting the best travel credit cards available for each respective month. We’ve chosen to choose 6 travel credit cards you need in your wallet.
We have a plethora of cards with various benefits, but each serves a unique purpose. Our goal is to maximize each category (think miscellaneous travel, hotel, restaurant, grocery store, gas station, etc.) we spend in as well as possible. This enables us to maximize our mileage return. The sign-up bonus for each of the following cards should be enough to get you a round trip international flight, or at least greatly subsidize your trip.
Here are the top travel credit cards you should have in your wallet and why. And, yes, we have (or have had) each of these cards. We never promote products, brand, or services to you guys that we don’t personally use.
Top Travel Credit Cards
1. Chase Sapphire Reserve
We would be surprised if you didn’t hear about the infamous 100,000 mile sign-up bonus that Chase offered when the CSR was introduced. Chase allows members to redeem CSR travel points at a 50% higher value than they’re worth (i.e. While you can take $1000 cash back for the 100k miles, you can get closer to $1500+ in travel value should you choose to use the points on travel). Unfortunately, the bonus is only 50k miles right now (after spending $4000 in the first 3 months).
Use this card for: Food and travel – Chase gives you 3x points on all dining and travel purchases. And they don’t discriminate on “travel,” so the category is quite loose.
Other benefits: $300 travel credit annually (to be used on ANYTHING travel related – literally even parking meters on your city streets), Priority Pass (global lounge access)
It pains me that Chase will not let me generate a referral code for this card because EVERYONE who travels needs this card in his or her wallet.
The signup bonus for the AMEX Platinum is awesome right now. After you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of membership, you’ll get a bonus of 60,000 miles. This card is GREAT for perks. You’ll get SPG Gold status – which also gives you Marriott Gold status – (something even the SPG card won’t get you), Boingo wifi access, rental car status.
Use this card for: Flights and hotels. AMEX gives you 5 points for every dollar spent on flights (directly with the airline) and hotels.
Other benefits: $200 Uber credit annually ($15/month and $20 in December – you can use this for Uber Eats also), $200 airline credit (you have to choose an airline – for Delta you can purchase 4 $50 gift cards), $100 resort credit (circumstances apply), Priority Pass global lounge access and much more
This card might arguably have the best offering right now. Chase has been offering 80,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of card membership for the better part of a year and haven’t reneged on the offer. This card offers members comforting benefits like lost and delayed baggage insurance
as well as 3x points on travel, shipping purchases, internet, and cable purchases. The card is technically a “business card.” However, you can use your social security number if asked to provide a tax identification number (TIN). Reference yourself as a contractor/consultant and note that you work in the capacity of a 1099 contractor with companies to provide consulting on projects.
Use this card for: travel, shipping, internet, cable, and mobile phone charges
You’ll enjoy 50,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
This card offers 3x points in a category of your choice: we chose gas stations. Similar to the Ink (above), use your SSN as a TIN if asked.
Use this card for: triple points at gas stations
40,000 Delta miles when you hit your spending requirement of $1000 in 3 months. You’ll also enjoy a $50 statement credit when you make a purchase with Delta in the first 3 months. If you don’t need to travel/pay for extraneous expenses, buy a $50 gift card.
This card is great for those trying to attain status with Delta. If, however, you don’t fly Delta 1) You should start flying Delta……2) Well, honestly it might not make sense for you to get the card.
Use this card for: Delta purchases. Plus you’ll enjoy 20% off in-flight purchases on Delta as well as a complimentary checked bag.
The SPG AMEX card is said to be on the short list to be discontinued, but for now, you’ll get 25,000 when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. With the Marriott acquisition of SPG, you’ll enjoy benefits at Marriott properties as well.
Use this card for: SPG/Marriott purchases