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The Best Travel Credit Cards for 2020

Last updated on November 17th, 2021

All travel rewards credit cards are designed to help consumers earn points towards their next tropical vacation or business trip. The best travel cards, however, offer perks that extend well beyond only earning points. Finding the best bang for your buck isn’t always easy – and there are a lot of cards to pick from. If you are searching for your next travel credit card but don’t know where to start, don’t worry. Our team of editors has got you covered. The credit card experts at BestCards.com have compiled a list of the best travel rewards credit cards for 2020. We’ve examined dozens of airline rewards cards, hotel rewards cards, and general travel credit cards. Our results found the cards that offer the most flexibility for earning and redeeming travel rewards. In addition, you’ll know which give the best value for money. Check out our top travel cards for 2020 below.

Best Premium Travel Rewards Credit Cards

In the travel credit card space, the more lavish offers are usually the winners. Though they have considerably higher annual fees, premium travel cards are full of benefits and perks. There are even attributes that can help reduce the overall cost of the annual fee. Recent years have seen stiffer competition for the top of the totem pole, but established names like American Express and Chase still rule.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Regular Purchase APR See Pay Over Time APR
  • Cash Advance APR 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $695
  • Credit NeededBestCards.com uses a variation of FICO Score 8, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card.
    Excellent
  • Processing Network American Express
Best Benefits
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®
  • VIP status and $200 Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the U.S. annually
  • Complimentary Gold status in Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors programs
  • Complimentary membership in premium car rental programs
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax
  • Terms Apply
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: See Rates & Fees
  • Annual Fee: $695
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
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In the world of travel rewards cards, the Platinum Card is our current champion. This card is the pinnacle of the American Express (Amex) range of charge cards and offers a vast assortment of benefits for travelers who do not mind paying the $595 annual fee. The Platinum Card earns 5X points on flights or hotels booked directly with American Express Travel, but that is just the beginning. Cardholders also benefit from statement credits for TSA Precheck or Global Entry, a $200 credit for additional airline fees each year, and access to over 1,200 airport lounges in the U.S. and abroad, as well as to the AMEX Lounge Collection, which includes the Centurion Lounge. In addition to high-powered rewards, the Platinum Card also offers a dizzying amount of hotel perks, including gold status in the Hilton Honors program and gold elite status with Marriot Bonvoy, making it an exceptional choice for those who often travel and want to get their penny’s worth.

U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 17.74% to 24.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 17.74% to 24.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 26.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $400
  • Credit NeededBestCards.com uses a variation of FICO Score 8, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card.
    Excellent
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Earn 50,000 bonus enrollment points after making $4,500 in the first 90 days as a cardholder
  • Earn 3X points for every $1 on eligible net travel purchases and mobile wallet spending
  • Stay connected with 12 complimentary Gogo® Inflight Wi-Fi passes per year
  • Complimentary 12-month Priority Pass™ Select membership that gives access to more than 1,300 VIP lounges worldwide
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.74% to 24.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 17.74% to 24.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $400
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
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U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

Terms & Conditions

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite is an ultra-premium travel rewards credit card that might not be at the top of everyone’s “best travel rewards card” list – but it should be. Here’s why: The Altitude Reserve earns 3X points on travel purchases, which is standard among luxury travel cards. The card also earns 3X points on mobile wallet purchases, however, making it easy for cardholders to quickly amass a huge point tally with everyday purchases that might only earn a single point with other travel cards such as the Platinum Card from Amex. The Altitude Reserve Card also comes with wonderful travel benefits, such as a TSA Precheck statement credit, 12 complimentary passes to Gogo Wi-Fi each year, a free one-year subscription to Priority Pass Select, and a $350 statement credit for travel fees.

Best Mid-Tier Travel Rewards Cards

For travelers who’d rather not part with close to $600 a year for a credit card, mid-tier travel cards can still offer tremendous benefit. This range of credit cards is typically seen as the “starter card” rank for wanderlusters, but given that the travel category is intrinsically higher up the pole than a traditional unsecured card, they are “starters” in name only.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Regular Purchase APR 16.24% to 23.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 16.24% to 23.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $95
  • Credit NeededBestCards.com uses a variation of FICO Score 8, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card.
    Excellent , Good
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 16.24% to 23.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 16.24% to 23.24% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of each transfer amount, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of each transaction amount, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
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While most attention is usually given to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, its sister card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great travel card for those who want impressive travel perks but would prefer a card that doesn’t share the hefty price tag of the Reserve. For the mid-range traveler, the Preferred is perhaps the best travel rewards credit card of 2019, and it is easy to see why. The card earns 2X points on travel and dining, with a hefty sign-up bonus to boot. Plus, cardholders get an extra 25% in travel redemptions through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, which is one of the best in the business.

American Express® Green Card

American Express® Green Card
  • Regular Purchase APR See Pay Over Time APR
  • Cash Advance APR 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $150
  • Credit NeededBestCards.com uses a variation of FICO Score 8, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card.
    Excellent
  • Processing Network American Express
Best Benefits
  • Earn 3X points on all eligible travel (flights, hotels, transit, taxis, tours, ridesharing)
  • Earn 3X points at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery
  • Earn 1X points on all other purchases
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits to pay for your CLEAR® membership
  • Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases
  • Baggage insurance plan up to $1,250
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee: $150
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
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The Chase Sapphire range of credit cards, including the Preferred Card, may be considered among the contenders for the “best travel credit card 2019,” but for mid-range credit cards 2020 looks to be the year of the American Express Green Card. Recently relaunched, the Green Card packs a lot of punch for its $150 annual fee. The card earns 3X points on travel (including public transport and rideshares) and restaurants, and comes with several excellent perks, including $100 statement credits for both CLEAR security fast-track and Loungebuddy each year.

Best No Annual Fee Travel Rewards Card

Travel credit cards and annual fees almost always go hand-in-hand, but there are some hidden gems that pack the perks without the punch to the wallet.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 16.24% to 23.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 16.24% to 23.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit NeededBestCards.com uses a variation of FICO Score 8, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card.
    Excellent , Good
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Pay no annual fee with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase®!
  • Earn up to 14X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Card
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains)
  • 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, qualifying you for Silver Elite Status. Restrictions apply
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 16.24% to 23.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 16.24% to 23.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
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Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

Terms & Conditions

There are plenty of great no annual fee hotel rewards credit cards on the market, but our money is on the Marriott Bonvoy Bold. The card earns 3X points at over 7,000 Marriott properties worldwide, 2X points on travel, and 1X points on everything else. Cardholders also receive 15 Elite Night Credits each year – suitable for Bonvoy silver elite status. Best of all, these perks are available sans an annual renewal fee.

Find the Best Credit Card for You Today

Deciding which travel card is best can be a daunting task. It’s best to look at your budget, as well as your financial goals, before making a final decision. Take into consideration how often you’ll use this card – will you use it enough to offset a hefty annual fee? Will you take advantage of a generous introductory bonus? Or do you prefer a card that may have a few less perks but saves you money with no annual fee? These questions are a good place to begin, before your credit card search as ultimately, they will help inform your final decision. Do your research – and read our full reviews for each travel card, too! BestCards.com is a leading credit card review site that offers consumers comprehensive – and impartial – reviews on hundreds of cards offers. No matter what you are looking for, from credit cards from the world’s biggest issuers to offers from regional credit unions, you can find it at BestCards. Our team is constantly searching for the latest credit card offers and brings you the information you need – without the filler. So, what are you waiting for? Check out some of our hundreds of credit card reviews and find your best card today.

About: Allan
Allan Guzman Chinchilla

Allan is the Managing Editor at BestCards.com. In addition to leading a robust team of writers in the pursuit of thorough credit cards expertise, he is an avid fan of films, food, traveling, and Star Wars.