The Best Travel Credit Cards

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Last updated on May 22nd, 2023

People travel for many reasons, so finding the ideal travel rewards credit card can be challenging. With so many options to choose from and endless variables, it can be tough to separate the best from the rest.  Never fear, here are our selections for the best travel credit cards of 2022:

At a Glance

The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards of 2022

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve
Excellent
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, 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. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Excellent
Visa Processing Network
$550, each authorized user: $75 per year Annual Fee

Chase Sapphire Reserve

  • 22.49% to 29.49% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 22.49% to 29.49% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
  • 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, luxury and travel rewards come together with this upper-tier card, which offers an attractive points system and includes a lengthy list of perks for any jet setter.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
  • Regular Purchase APR: 22.49% to 29.49% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 22.49% to 29.49% variable based on creditworthiness and Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee: $550, each authorized user: $75 per year
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • You travel often and want a card that provides worldwide value
  • You eat at restaurants frequently
  • You plan to use rewards for travel, which provides the best value for redemption
  • You want a card with no foreign transaction fees

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, luxury and travel rewards come together seamlessly. Chase’s flagship credit card features a steep $550 annual fee (with another $75/year for each authorized user) – but packs plenty of bang for that buck.

Cardmembers earn 5X Ultimate Rewards points on air travel and 10X points on hotels and car rentals when booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal (immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually, more on that soon). They also earn 3X UR points on other travel purchases and dining, plus 1X on all other purchases.

If the points with the Sapphire Reserve are tasty, the 50% more value when using points for travel booked through the Chase travel portal is the icing on the cake. Even better, cardmembers enjoy $300 in annual travel credits, Priority Pass Select airport lounge access, and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®.  

Other features of the Chase Sapphire Reserve include a complimentary DashPass membership, Visa Infinite concierge, and 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express
Excellent
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, 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. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Excellent
American Express Processing Network
$695 Annual Fee

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • See Pay Over Time APR Regular Purchase APR
  • 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

Luxury is always within reach when you use The Platinum Card® from American Express. This exclusive rewards card offers premium travel rewards and a host of additional perks for the savvy voyager. Uber Cash and complimentary lounge access are just a few of the more practical perks that lend ongoing value to Platinum Card members beyond the impressive signup bonus.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • 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
  • Regular Purchase APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% 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
  • You travel often and can take advantage of a myriad of benefits including access to airport lounges and Uber credits
  • you intend to sign up for Global Entry or TSA Pre?®
  • You prefer airline flexibility when redeeming points for travel
  • You’re likely spend $6,000 within the first six months as a cardholder to receive the card’s welcome offer
  • You’ll take advantage of exclusive events and experiences available only to Platinum cardholders
The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Rates & Fees

Where the Sapphire Reserve emphasizes points, the Platinum Card® from American Express packs a punch with a dizzying array of statement credits. This exclusive rewards card offers premium travel rewards and a host of additional perks for the savvy voyager.

If you’re looking to upgrade your trip from start to finish, The Platinum Card won’t disappoint. The card provides Priority Pass Select access (like the Sapphire) – but tacks on Centurion Club access via the American Express Global Lounge Collection. Travelers also enjoy a $100 credit for Global Entry, or an $85 credit for TSA Pre✓® (whichever is charged to the card account first), and a $189 CLEAR statement credit. CLEAR® security fast pass.

Beyond airport perks, the Platinum Card’s travel and everyday statement credits provide over $1,500 in annual value. These credits include:

  • $200 airline incidentals credit for one airline of your choosing
  • $200 hotel credit for eligible stays in the Fine Hotels + Resorts® and The Hotel Collection portfolios
  • $15/month in Uber Cash (and $20 in December)
  • $25/month Equinox credit
  • $12.95 Walmart+ membership rebate (when using the Platinum Card as the payment method)
  • $300 SoulCycle credit
  • $20 digital media/streaming credit
  • $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credits

Sam’s Club® Mastercard®

Sam's Club® Mastercard®
Excellent-Good-Fair
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, 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. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Excellent / Good / Fair
Mastercard Processing Network
None Annual Fee

Sam’s Club® Mastercard®

  • 20.9% or 28.9% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 20.9% or 28.65% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
  • 25.90% or 31.65% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

The Sam’s Club® Mastercard® offers Sam’s Club members everywhere up to 5% cash back on gas purchases, 3% back on dining, and more – all for no annual fee. From Synchrony Bank, the card also features no foreign transaction fees, Mastercard’s near-global acceptance, and special savings when shopping at Sam’s locations nationwide.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • Earn 5% cash back on gas anywhere Mastercard is accepted (on first $6,000 per year, then 1%)
  • Earn 3% cash back on Sam’s Club purchases for Plus members. Club members earn 1% cash back
  • Earn 3% cash back on dining and takeout
  • Earn 1% cash back on other purchases at Sam’s Club and wherever Mastercard is accepted
  • No annual fee
  • Regular Purchase APR: 20.9% or 28.9% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 20.9% or 28.65% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.90% or 31.65% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • You’re a current Sam’s Club or Sam’s Club Plus member
  • You frequently purchase gasoline with a credit card
  • You do’t want to pay an annual fee or foreign transaction fee
  • You spend heavily on dining each month

The Sam’s Club® Mastercard® won’t get you lounge access to upgraded suites at exclusive hotels. But if you are hitting the road on your travels, it can save you big money. The Sam’s Club® Mastercard® earns 5% cash back on gas station purchases anywhere Mastercard is accepted (on the first $6,000 per year, then 1% back after that). These impressive rewards make it one of the premier gas rewards credit cards on the market today.

The card also earns 3% cash back on wholesale club purchases and dining, making it ideal for pitstops on the journey. And suppose you really need to stock up before the trip. In that case, Sam’s Mastercard also earns accelerated cash back for Plus members on Sam’s Club purchases. The card earns 3% back on Sam’s Club purchases for Plus members, with regular members earning 1% back on Sam’s Club purchases. That 3% back takes the form of the 1% all Sam’s Club members earn on purchases and the additional 2% Plus members earn on qualifying in-club and Pickup purchases. All other purchases with the card earn 1% back wherever Mastercard is accepted worldwide.

Other notable features of the Sam’s Mastercard include no foreign transaction fees, Mastercard Zero Fraud Liability protection, free shipping at Sam’s Club, early shopping hours in-store, prescription savings, and more. The card also doubles as the accountholder’s Sam’s Club membership card.

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Excellent
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, 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. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Excellent
Mastercard Processing Network
$95 Annual Fee

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • 19.99% – 28.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 19.99% – 28.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
  • 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

Make memories while funding future adventures with the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card. This exclusive entertainment credit card boasts an unlimited 4% cash back on streaming, dining, and entertainment is a great card for couples, families, and social butterflies.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • Unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services
  • Earn 3% at grocery stores
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases
  • Earn 8% cash back on tickets through Vivid Seats
  • Receive $9.99 statement credit after paying for Postmates Unlimited membership
  • Enjoy comprehensive, personalized assistance in dining, entertainment and travel— 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Regular Purchase APR: 19.99% – 28.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 19.99% – 28.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: 3% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR that we may offer you. None for balances transferred at the Transfer APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • You want to earn an unlimited 4% cash back on streaming, dining, and entertainment, 3% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases
  • You see yourself spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of opening the card to earn that one-time $300 cash bonus
  • You live for unique dining, entertainment, and sports experiences
  • You want complimentary food delivery membership through Postmates
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Terms & Conditions

Vacations and business trips aren’t just about the journey. A great travel credit card helps you save money at your final destination – wherever that may be. The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is ideally-suited for these tasks thanks to its generous cash back rewards.

The Savor earns an unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services like Apple TV, Hulu, Spotify, and more. Not only that, but the card also earns 3% back at grocery stores and 1% back on all other eligible purchases.

The entertainment features with the Savor can also help you save if taking in a concert or sporting event on your travels. The card earns a huge 8% cash back on tickets through Vivid Seats, helping you to pay down the cost of your journey – or to start planning your next escape!

Mastercard® Black Card™

Mastercard® Black Card™
Excellent
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, 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. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Excellent
Mastercard Processing Network
$495 Annual Fee

Mastercard® Black Card™

  • 21.24%, 25.43% or 28.24% Regular Purchase APR
  • 21.24%, 25.43% or 28.24%, based on your creditworthiness. There is a fee for balance transfers. Balance Transfer APR
  • 30.49%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

An exclusive and complete credit card, the Mastercard® Black Card™ is a statement piece that offers a wide range of unique benefits not found anywhere else. Beyond a 2% redemption rate for airfare and 1.5% for cash back, the Black Card provides a full lifestyle experience that goes beyond just amassing points – and that more than makes up for its annual costs. Once approved, customers can expect 24/7 personalized concierge service, VIP discounts, and attractive memberships.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • Stainless steel and carbon card. Tailored to be an everyday essential. Rewards and protection benefits that are designed to be used everywhere you go, rather than select categories and purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees.
  • Simple and flexible rewards without the hoops. 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 1.5% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent. No minimum threshold requirement for cash back or airfare redemptions.
  • Annual Airline Credit—up to $100 in statement credits toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more. Just pay for airline purchases with your Mastercard Black Card and we will automatically apply the credit to your account. That’s it. No need to activate or designate an airline.
  • Up to a $100 application fee credit for the cost of TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry. Also, enjoy automatic enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select with access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide with no guest or lounge limits. Includes credits at select airport restaurants for cardholder and one guest.
  • 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge®—available by phone, email, SMS and chat in the app. Around-the-clock service to help you save time and manage tasks big and small. There is no requirement to make a purchase in your requests and no fees are associated with using the concierge’s assistance.
  • Exclusive Luxury Card Travel® benefits—average value of $500 per stay (e.g., resort credits, room upgrades, free wifi, breakfast for two and more) at over 3,000 properties. Plus, peace of mind protection benefits like trip cancellation and interruption, auto rental car collision waiver, travel accident and baggage delay.
  • Regular Purchase APR: 21.24%, 25.43% or 28.24%
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening
  • Balance Transfer APR: 21.24%, 25.43% or 28.24%, based on your creditworthiness. There is a fee for balance transfers.
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 30.49%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $495
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
  • You’re a frequent traveler who aims to earn rewards that can be redeemed for airfare at an unmatched rate
  • You’re looking to minimize your wallet via an everyday credit card that rewards on every redemption
  • You aim to stand out from the crowd with an expertly-crafted metal credit card weighing 22 grams
  • You’re seeking a dedicated 24/7 Concierge service offering personalized assistance to meet a variety of requests
  • You stay at high-end hotels and exclusive resorts that offer Cardmembers amenities, breakfast vouchers and resort credits
  • You’re interested in premium travel benefits and protections found in few competing credit cards

The Mastercard® Black Card™ offers the best luxury benefits for a travel card at a lower price point. Luxury Card’s Black Card™ also features an annual fee significantly lower than the Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum ($495 for the Black Card, vs. $695 for Amex and $550 for Chase).

Despite that lower price point, the Black Card packs a serious punch. The list of luxury perks is astonishing, including Priority Pass lounge access, airline credits, complimentary luxury gifts from leading brands, access to the Luxury Hotel Collection, no foreign transaction fees, and more. That doesn’t even mention the card’s award-winning Luxury Concierge service. All told, the card offers over $500 in hotel savings and credits – per stay.

Rewards with the Mastercard Black Card aren’t spectacular, but they provide solid value. The card provides 2% back in value for airline redemptions and 1.5% for cash back redemptions, making it a decent airline rewards card with exceptional perks.

Featured image by john_Ioannidis/ PixaBay

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About: Cory Santos
Cory Santos

Cory is the senior credit card editor at BestCards, specializing in everything credit card-related. He’s worked extensively with credit cards and other personal finance topics, including nearly five years at BestCards. Cory’s extensive knowledge is an essential part of the BestCards experience, helping readers to live their best financial lives with up-to-date insights and comprehensive coverage of all facets of the credit card space, including market trends, rewards guides, credit advice, and comprehensive credit card reviews.

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