The best travel credit cards of 2019

CapitalOne ChaseSapphirePreferred GoldDeltaSkyMiles MarriottBonvoyBoundlessCreditCard ThePlatinumCard




It’s October, a time for frights and things that go bump in the night. But there’s nothing more scary than missing out on great travel rewards because you don’t have the right travel credit cards in your purse or wallet. While there are lots of great credit cards for travel out there, the reality is that the best one for you is the one that suits your specific travel needs.

In this guide I’ll review all the details, including bonus offers and perks such as Global Entry fee credits and Priority Pass lounge access, to bring you a list of the very best cards. Remember that travel rewards can add up quickly, especially when a welcome bonus is involved, so it’s important to apply and start earning as soon as you can to start maximizing your points and miles.

Without further do, here are my top picks:
Best travel credit cards of October 2019 The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best total value Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Best for beginner travelers Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best for travel purchases and perks Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard: Best for Virgin Atlantic flyers Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: Best for regular Delta flyers Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Best for Hotels.com Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: Best for occasional Delta flyers Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: Best for Marriott loyalists American Express® Gold Card: Best for worldwide dining United Explorer Card: Best for United Airlines flyers Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card: Best for everyday spending Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express: Best for Delta road warriors IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card: Best for IHG-branded hotel loyalists
To start our analysis, here are some comparisons of the best travel credit card offers available right now:
Summary of the best travel credit card offers credit card Current Bonus*** Bonus value** Annual fee Total value (including perks) The Platinum Card from American Express 60,000 Points. Terms apply $1,200 $550
(see rates and fees) $1,575 Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 60,000 Points. Terms apply $1,200 $95 $1,105 Chase Sapphire Reserve 50,000 Points. Terms apply $1,000 $450 $1,049 Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard 60,000 Miles. Terms apply $900 $90 $810 Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express 75,000 Miles. Terms apply Up to $1,000 $195 ($250 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020)
(see rates and fees) Up to $805 Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 50,000 Miles. Terms apply $700 $95* $800 Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express 60,000 Miles. Terms apply Up to $770 $95*
(see rates and fees) Up to $770 Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card 100,000 Points. Terms apply $800 $95 $705 American Express Gold Card 35,000 Points. Terms apply $700 $250
(see rates and fees) $670 United Explorer Card 40,000 Miles. Terms apply $520 $95* $620 Bank of America Premium Rewards 50,000 Points. Terms apply $500 $95 $605 Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express 75,000 Miles. Terms apply $900 $450 ($550 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020)
(see rates and fees) $550 IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card 80,000 Points. Terms apply $625 $89 $331
*Annual fee waived the first year.
**Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer.
***After meeting minimum spend requirements.

I’ve done lots of research for you, so let’s take a look at the details of each of these travel credit cards and offers, including their bonus values and some of the ways I’ve been able to put the credit cards’ benefits to use. (Note that the bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer.)
Best Travel Credit Cards The Platinum Card from American Express (Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
Best travel credit card for total value

Current bonus: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months (valued by TPG at $1,200).

Standout benefits:
Earn 5x points on airfare booked directly with the airline or Amex Travel and prepaid hotels purchased through Amex Travel. You can transfer the Membership Rewards points you earn with this credit card to a total of 20 airline and hotel partners. $200 annual airline rebate for incidental fees Up to $200 in annual Uber credits Up to $100 in credit at Saks Fifth Avenue Up to $100 rebate for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee once every four years Centurion Lounge access, plus Delta Sky Club access when you’re flying Delta (valued by TPG at $250 annually) Priority Pass lounge membership without restaurant access (valued by TPG at $75 annually) Terms Apply
Annual fee: $550 (see rates and fees)

Why it’s worth it: As you can see, a ton of factors contribute to this credit card’s overall value; it’s not just the 60k bonus that lands it near the top of this list. But even apart from the $200 annual airline fee credit, the $200 in Uber credits awarded each year, the recently added $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit and the various lounge access options, the Amex Platinum is a stellar premium travel card that can pave the way to some amazing award flights and other redemptions. Among the Membership Rewards program’s 20 travel partners is Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, which is your only option if you want to book the ultra-premium Singapore Suites using miles. Other highlights include an amazing 5 points per dollar on airfare (equal to a 10% return on these purchases), complimentary Hilton Honors Gold and the ability to add three authorized users for a total of $175 (see rates and fees).

Further reading:
American Express Platinum review
APPLY HERE: Platinum Card from American Express
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
Best travel card for beginner travelers

Current bonus: Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months (valued by TPG at $1,200).

Standout benefits:
Earn 2 points per dollar on travel Earn 2 points per dollar on dining Transfer points to 12 travel partners Redeem points for 1.25 cents apiece through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal No foreign transaction fees
Annual fee: $95

Why it’s worth it: We’ve long suggested the Chase Sapphire Preferred as a great option for those who are new to earning travel rewards, because it lets you earn valuable, transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points with strong bonus categories and a reasonable annual fee. This travel credit card just increased its sign-up bonus from 50,000 points to 60,000 points, so if you’ve been holding out, you’ve been rewarded for waiting. The $95 annual fee is no longer waived the first year, but based on TPG’s valuations the additional 10,000 points are worth $200, so it’s still an improvement.

Further reading:
Chase Sapphire Preferred review
APPLY HERE: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
Best travel credit card for travel purchases and perks

Current bonus: Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months (valued by TPG at $1,000).

Standout benefits: 
Earn 3 points per dollar on travel (excluding $300 travel credit) and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar on everything else Redeem points directly through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a rate of 1.5 cents apiece $300 annual travel credit Priority Pass Select lounge access (valued by TPG at $99 annually) Up to $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit No foreign transaction fees Trip cancellation coverage Primary car rental insurance
Annual fee: $450

Why it’s worth it: The Chase Sapphire Reserve won our battle of the premium credit cards for a reason: It offers a stellar selection of perks, from a $300 annual travel credit that can be used toward a wide variety of purchases to the ability to redeem points for 1.5 cents apiece through the Chase travel portal. Best of all, if you have this card, the Ultimate Rewards points you earn on other Chase Credit Cards can also be redeemed at the 1.5-cent rate. You also get an impressive 3x points on travel (after the $300 travel credit is exhausted) and dining purchases, which equates to a 6% return based on my valuations. This credit card is a prime example of benefits more than making up for a steep annual fee.

Further reading:
Chase Sapphire Reserve review
APPLY HERE: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard


Best travel credit card for Virgin Atlantic flyers

Current bonus: Earn 60,000 Virgin Atlantic miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening, 5,000 bonus miles when you add additional authorized users, and 15,000 bonus miles at your card anniversary after you spend $25,000 in purchases in 12 months  (valued by TPG at $900).

Standout benefits:
Earn 3 miles per dollar on direct Virgin Atlantic purchases Earn 1.5 miles per dollar on all other purchases Spend $25,000 in purchases annually to qualify for a companion award in the same cabin class when you redeem Flying Club miles for a Virgin Atlantic award ticket Earn 25 tier points toward Virgin Atlantic elite status for every $2,500 in purchases (maximum 50 tier points per month) No foreign transaction fees
Annual fee: $90

Why it’s worth it: Most people get frustrated when they try to use Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles to fly to the United Kingdom on Virgin Atlantic, and rightly so, since Virgin adds significant carrier surcharges to its transatlantic awards. But the real value in Virgin miles is using them to book on partners, especially for Delta flights. The current up to 80,000-mile bonus is slightly lower than the up to 90,000 miles we’ve seen before on this credit card, but the current offer comes with a much lower and more manageable spending requirement, which should make it a better choice for a lot of folks. And if you’re aiming to earn Virgin Atlantic elite status, the tier points earned from this card can speed you along.

Further reading:
Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard review
APPLY HERE: Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express


Best travel credit card for regular Delta flyers

Current bonus: For a limited-time, earn 75,000 Delta SkyMiles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new credit card in your first three months (valued by TPG up to $1,000). Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new credit card within your first three months. Offer expires 10/30/2019. Terms apply.

Standout benefits: 
Earn 2 miles per dollar on eligible Delta airlines purchases (3 miles per dollar starting on 1/30/2020). Starting on 1/30/2020, earn 3 miles per dollar on purchases at hotels Starting on 1/30/2020, earn 2 miles per dollar at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets Earn 1 mile per dollar on everything else First bag checked free Priority boarding Get a companion certificate for a domestic round-trip flight in the main cabin each year upon renewal of your credit card Earn 10,000 MQMs toward status and 10,000 redeemable miles when you spend $25,000 on the credit card in a calendar year, and an additional 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 redeemable miles when you spend $50,000 in a calendar year. (Starting on 1/30/2020, you will only receive the MQMs at each threshold and not the redeemable bonus miles.) Starting on 1/30/2020, cardmembers will receive a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit (every 4 years for Global Entry, every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck)
Annual fee: $195 ($250 for renewals or new cardmembers applying on or after 1/30/2020; see rates and fees)

Why it’s worth it: Aside from a higher welcome offer than the entry-level Gold Delta Amex, the Platinum Delta Amex also comes with a companion certificate each year (you only need to pay taxes and fees) and the ability to earn additional MQMs toward Delta elite status by meeting spending thresholds. Plus, starting on January 30, 2020, the card will have new bonus categories for hotels (3x), restaurants (2x) and U.S. supermarkets (2x), as well as a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee rebate every 4 to 4 1/2 years. The icing on the cake is that if you apply now, you’ll only have to pay the old $195 annual fee for the first year you have the card — you won’t be charged the increased $250 fee until the start of your second year — but you’ll still get all the new benefits beginning at the end of January.

Further reading:
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card review
APPLY HERE: Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
Best travel credit card for Hotels.com

Current bonus: Earn 50,000 Capital One miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months (valued by TPG at $700*).

Standout benefits:
Earn 10x miles on Hotels.com purchases at Hotels.com/Venture Earn 2x miles on all other purchases Get up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit every four years Transfer your miles to a selection of airline partners at a 2:1 or 2:1.5 ratio
Annual fee: $95 (waived the first year)

Why it’s worth it: The Capital One Venture was already a very strong value proposition with 10x miles at Hotels.com and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee, but now you can also transfer the miles you earn with this credit card (as well as the VentureOne credit card and Capital One’s two Spark Miles cards) to 15 airline transfer partners including Avianca, Etihad and Singapore Airlines. The transfer ratio is 2:1.5 for 12 partners and 2:1 for two, meaning for every dollar you spend on this card you’re getting 1-1.5 points or miles with a partner airline. This greatly enhances the potential value you can get with this card, as miles are no longer worth a fixed 1 cent apiece.

Further reading:
Capital One Venture Card review
APPLY HERE: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

*Bonus value based on TPG valuations and not provided by issuer
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express (Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
Best travel credit card for occasional Delta flyers

Current bonus: For a limited-time, earn 60,000 Delta SkyMiles after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first three months, and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new credit card within the first three months (valued by TPG up to $770). Offer expires 10/30/2019. Terms apply.

Standout benefits: 
Get a first bag checked for free on Delta flights Priority boarding 20% off inflight purchases Earn 2x miles on Delta purchases, and 1 mile per dollar on everything else Starting 1/30/2020, earn 2x miles at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets Starting 1/30/2020, earn a $100 Delta flight credit after spending $10,000 in a calendar year Terms apply
Annual fee: $95 (waived the first year, increasing to $99 in 2020; see rates and fees)

Why it’s worth it: The Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex could definitely be worth a look if you want to enjoy some freebies like a checked bag and a discount on inflight purchases when you travel on Delta. Plus, American Express recently announced that the card will be getting some new benefits in January 2020, including 2x points on both restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets, plus a $100 Delta flight credit when you spend $10,000 on the card in a calendar year. Add those perks together with the current limited-time increased welcome bonus and a waived annual fee for the first year, and it’s a good time to consider this card.

Further reading:
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card review
APPLY HERE: Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

 
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
Best travel credit card for Marriott loyalists

Current bonus: For a limited time, earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first three months (valued by TPG at $800).

Standout benefits: 
6 Marriott Rewards points per dollar at participating Marriott properties 2 points per dollar on all other purchases Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status Earn Marriott Gold elite status if you spend $35,000 on the card in a calendar year Get 15 elite credits toward the next level of status Receive a free award night good for stays costing up to 35,000 points every year after your account anniversary No foreign transaction fees
Annual fee: $95

Why it’s worth it: If you stay at Marriott properties on a regular basis, this is a great time to get this card and score its current welcome bonus of 100,000 Marriott points. Those bonus points alone are enough for a four-night stay at the Courtyard Isla Verde Beach Resort in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Just make sure you’re aware of the card’s complicated application restrictions, which could prevent you from earning the sign-up bonus depending on what Marriott cards you have had in the past or currently have across both the Chase and American Express Marriott card portfolios.

Further reading:
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card review
APPLY HERE: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
American Express Gold Card (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
Best travel credit card for worldwide dining

Current bonus: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months (valued by TPG at $700).

Standout benefits:
Earn 4x points at restaurants Earn 4x points at U.S. supermarkets, on the first $25,000 spent each year; then 1x Earn 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com Up to $120 in statement credits each year when you pay with the Gold card at participating dining partners Up to $100 annual airline fee credit Terms Apply
Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees)

Why it’s worth it: Amex revamped its Premier Rewards Gold Card and reintroduced it as the Amex Gold Card, with new bonus categories and a strong focus on dining. With 4x points at restaurants, the card now offers the second-most competitive return on dining spending (8% based on our valuations, compared to 8.5% with the Citi Prestige® Card), and the category has now been expanded to restaurants worldwide. The card also earns 4x points on the first $25,000 spent per year at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000, then 1x), and 3x points on select flights. With this credit card, Amex finally has a strong option for dining purchases. The annual fee is now $250 and not waived the first year, but thanks to the new earning rates and benefits, it could be worth it for you.

Further reading:
American Express Gold review
APPLY HERE: American Express Gold Card
United Explorer Card


Best travel credit card for United flyers

Current bonus: Earn 40,000 United miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months (valued by TPG at $520).

Standout benefits:
Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per dollar on everything else. Access to enhanced award availability Priority boarding and a free checked bag for you and one companion on the same reservation 2 one-time United Club passes each year Up to $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit No foreign transaction fees
Annual fee: $95 (currently waived the first year)

Why it’s worth it: Just as the Citi / AAdvantage cards make sense if you frequently travel on American, this cobranded option can make your life easier if you often fly with United. The United Explorer card is currently waiving the annual fee for the first year, so now could be an ideal time to add it to your wallet. One of the most appealing benefits is the extra United award seat availability you get access to, letting you book seats that non-cardholders can’t. Another solid perk is the ability to a waive the Premier-Qualifying Dollar (PQD) requirement for United elite status (excluding Premier 1K) when you spend $25,000 on the credit card (or across multiple United Cards) in a calendar year.

Further reading:
United Explorer Card review
APPLY HERE: United Explorer Card
Bank of America Premium Rewards


Best travel credit card for everyday spending

Current bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening (valued by TPG at $500).

Standout benefits:
Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on travel and dining purchases Earn 1.5 points for every dollar on everything else Bank of America Preferred Rewards elites earn an additional 25%-75% points on every purchase $100 Airline Incidental statement credit annually for qualifying purchases Up to $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
Annual fee: $95

Why it’s worth it: You might not think of the Bank of America Premium Rewards card as a typical travel credit card, since the points it earns can’t be transferred to travel partners but rather are redeemable at 1 cent apiece for cash, gift cards or by booking travel at the Bank of America travel portal. But it can potentially be a valuable option for your purse or wallet as an everyday spending card. Its basic earning rates are reasonable, but where the card really shines is if you’re able to participate in Bank of America’s separate Preferred Rewards program. Reach the top Platinum Honors tier in Preferred Rewards and you’ll earn a 75% bonus on each purchase you make with this card, bringing the earning rate on travel and dining expenses to an impressive 3.5x points per dollar and the everyday earning rate on all other purchases to a market-leading 2.625x points per dollar.

Further reading:
Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card review
APPLY HERE: Bank of America Premium Rewards
Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express (Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)
Best travel credit card for Delta road warriors

Current bonus: For a limited-time, earn 75,000 Delta SkyMiles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new credit card in your first three months (valued by TPG at  $900). Offer expires 10/30/2019. Terms apply.

Standout benefits: 
Earn 2 miles per dollar on eligible Delta airlines purchases (3 miles per dollar starting on 1/30/2020). Earn 1 mile per dollar on everything else Complimentary Delta Sky Club access when you fly Delta (valued by TPG at $100 annually), plus discounted rates of $29 per person for up to 2 people First bag checked free Priority boarding Get a companion certificate each year upon card renewal for first-class, Comfort+ or main cabin round-trip travel Earn 15,000 MQMs toward status and 15,000 redeemable miles when you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year, and an additional 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 redeemable miles when you spend $60,000 in a calendar year. (Starting on 1/30/2020, you will only receive the MQMs at each threshold and not the redeemable bonus miles.) Starting on 1/30/2020, cardmembers will also receive: An additional 15,000 bonus MQMs after spending $90,000 on the card in a calendar year, and an additional 15,000 bonus MQMs after spending $120,000 in a calendar year Complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges when flying Delta with a ticket purchased on the card (up to two guests may also enter for a fee of $50 each) Two, one-time guest passes for the Delta Sky Club (to complement the existing individual Sky Club membership) A Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit (every 4 years for Global Entry, every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck) (up to $100) Access to complimentary upgrades for non-Medallions
Annual fee: $450 ($550 for renewals or new cardmembers applying on or after 1/30/2020; see rates and fees)

Why it’s worth it: If you’re a Delta fanatic, this is probably the best chance you’ll ever get to grab the personal Delta Reserve credit card. That’s because right now for a limited-time, you can get not only a 75,000-mile welcome bonus, plus 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles on this card after spending $5,000 in the first three months, but you’ll also pay the lower current annual fee of $450 for the first year you have the card before it goes up to $550 in 2020. But even though you’re paying less, you’ll still get the benefit of all the new perks when they’re added to this card at the end of January 2020, including access to the exclusive Amex Centurion Lounges when you’re flying Delta, additional opportunities to earn bonus MQMs from spending and access to complimentary upgrades on Delta if you don’t already have Delta elite status.

Further reading:
Delta Reserve SkyMiles Credit Card review
APPLY HERE: Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card


Best travel credit card for IHG loyalists

Current bonus: Earn 80,000 IHG Rewards Club points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months (valued by TPG at $400).

Standout benefits:
Earn 10x points per dollar spent at IHG Hotels Earn 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and 1x point on all other purchases Complimentary IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status 4th Night Free on award redemptions Receive 10,000 bonus points each account anniversary year after spending at least $20,000 and making one additional purchase at least one day after spending  $20,000 on the card. No foreign transaction fees
Annual fee: $89

Why it’s worth it: You’ll earn 10x points for every dollar spent at IHG properties during that initial year, and that stacks with another 15x you get for your stays that come with the card’s automatic IHG Platinum status. Earn 2x for gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1 point for everything else. This is attractive if you’re an IHG fan.

Further reading:
IHG Rewards Premier Club Credit Card review
APPLY HERE: IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
How we choose the best travel credit cards
I reviewed numerous travel credit card offers and spent countless hours studying the pros and cons of each offer. My method for assigning value to these credit cards relied on assessing the real value of the sign-up bonus, travel perks, APR, annual fees, redemption difficulty and more. Each points program has its own point valuation, which you can study here. The value of each individual type of point will always be a vitally important factor when rating travel credit cards and their promotional offers.

Things to consider before applying:
5 things to understand about credit before applying for cards 3 key considerations for improving your credit score Debunking credit card myths: Does applying for a card permanently impact my credit score?
As always, head to the all cards hub to see our best credit cards currently available.
What are the advantages of a travel credit card?
Travel credit cards are a great way to earn rewards that allow you to travel the world for less money — or even practically for free — simply by using a credit card to buy the same daily items you’d otherwise buy with cash or a debit card. With certain travel credit cards, you can also get perks to use while traveling, which include everything from airport lounge access and hotel elite status to free airline companion certificates and discounts or credits on your travel purchases.
What types of travel credit cards are out there?
There are two main types of travel credit cards. The first are travel credit cards that earn a specific type of airline miles or hotel points. These are sometimes known as cobranded credit cards because they usually have the name of the airline or hotel on the card. Examples of cobranded travel credit cards include the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card, among many others.
The second type of travel credit card are the ones that earn flexible travel points. Generally these points can then be redeemed either directly for purchases you make through a travel portal like Amex Travel, or they can be transferred to many different airline or hotel programs. Examples of these types of cards include the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture Rewards card, among others. How much is a point or mile worth on a travel credit card?
Every type of airline, hotel and flexible bank point and mile is worth a different amount, so you can’t assume that a 50,000-point bonus on one card is equivalent to a 50,000-point bonus on another. That’s why The Points Guy maintains a guide to point and mile valuations, which explains how much each type of points and miles are worth for all the major programs. You can use those valuations to determine how much a sign-up bonus is actually worth, or even a bonus category.

For instance, Amex Membership Rewards are worth 2 cents each based on TPG’s valuations, which means the 60,000-point bonus on the Amex Platinum is worth $1,200. That’s because 60,000 x 2 cents = $1,200. And since that card earns 5 points per dollar on airfare, you can also determine that each dollar you spend on airfare will get you 10 cents back in points, because 5 points x 2 cents = 10 cents.
How do I choose a travel credit card?
With so many travel credit cards on the market, there are a ton of options and it’s important to ask yourself what credit card benefits would best meet your travel goals. If you fly multiple times a year on Delta and pay to check a bag every time you fly, you should strongly consider getting a Delta credit card that waives the fee for your first checked bag every time you fly on the airline. That perk would save you from paying the $30 fee every time you fly, and would quickly make up for the annual fee on the card.

On the other hand, if you only fly occasionally and aren’t exclusive to one airline, you might be better off with a flexible travel credit card that doesn’t offer perks on any one airline, but that earns points or miles that can be redeemed across a variety of different airlines, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred. And if you’re a road warrior who flies every week, you’ll want to think about a premium travel credit card that offers lots of travel perks, such as the Amex Platinum with airport lounge access and hotel elite status.
Final notes on ranking travel credit cards
As you can see, the bulk of the value comes from the bonus itself — I used my latest valuations to calculate a dollar amount for each offer. From there, I added in the value of perks such as annual travel credits and lounge access. For instance, for the Platinum Card from American Express, which offers Centurion Lounge access plus Delta Sky Club access when you’re flying Delta, I assigned a value of $250 for these perks, not including the value of Priority Pass access. But for the Delta Reserve card, which won’t provide Centurion Lounge access until the end of January 2020, I only assigned a value of $100 for the current Sky Club access when flying Delta. I also didn’t include a value of any of the other new benefits of the revamped Delta cards, since they aren’t in effect until January.

While I haven’t added in the value of Priority Pass lounge access and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit in the past, we now factor these into a card’s total value, as not everyone has multiple cards that confer these benefits. We peg the value of the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit at its face value of $100. That’s the application fee for Global Entry; PreCheck costs $85, but applying for Global Entry is the way to go since it includes PreCheck as well. And don’t forget: If you already have Global Entry and PreCheck, you can use your credit card’s application fee credit to gift it to someone else.

The value of Priority Pass lounge access is a bit more complicated, especially now that American Express-issued cards with this benefit no longer get access to the lounge’s networks restaurants, where you can get $28-$30 worth of food and drink per visit. I’m pegging Priority Pass Select membership with restaurant access at the purchase price of $99, and Priority Pass Select membership without restaurant access at $75.

Finally, in the case of cards offering tiered bonuses, if the total spending requirement across multiple tiers is higher than $5,000, I’ve focused on the value you’d get by meeting the lowest spending requirement.
Related Credit Card Guides Best rewards credit cards of 2019 Best airline credit cards of 2019 Best hotel credit cards of 2019 Best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees of 2019
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Amex, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Gold Delta Amex, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Delta Amex, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please click here.

This is The Points Guy’s permanent page for the best travel credit cards, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for updates. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older offers below.
#CapitalOne®Venture®RewardsCreditCard #GoldDeltaSkyMiles®CreditCardFromAmericanExpress #MarriottBonvoyBoundlessCreditCard #ChaseSapphirePreferred®Card #ThePlatinumCard®FromAmericanExpress
CapitalOne GoldDeltaSkyMiles MarriottBonvoyBoundlessCreditCard ChaseSapphirePreferred ThePlatinumCard



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