If you like to travel or plan to travel this year, then it may be an opportune time to get a travel rewards credit card.

A travel rewards credit card can help you earn rewards, save money and get all types of benefits when it comes to your next vacation.

Here’s what you need to know to pick the best travel rewards credit card.

Travel Rewards Cards: The Basics

Should I get a travel rewards credit card?

There are several reasons why you should get a travel rewards credit card.

1. Rewards: Now is a great time to get a travel rewards card because credit card issuers are offering attractive rewards to increase their market share.

According to Make Lemonade, which analyzed the leading travel rewards credit cards, you could earn almost $1,000 in rewards, on average, in your first year with a travel rewards credit card.

2. Waived Fees: Many travel rewards cards waive the annual fee in the first year, which means you can use those savings to help pay off your credit card.

3. Sign-up Bonus: If you spend a minimum amount (such as $1,000 – $5,000) in the first few months of receiving a travel rewards credit card, you could earn about $400-$500 in benefits, net of fees.

How do you apply for a travel rewards credit card?

To qualify for the best rewards credit cards, you’ll need to meet the following qualifications:

  1. Good to excellent credit: You will need at least good credit to qualify for the best rewards cards, including cash back cards and travel rewards cards. One exception is a secured credit card, which can be used to build credit and earn rewards benefits.
  2. You use a credit card for everyday purchases: If you regularly use your credit card for everyday purchases, you can start earning points, cash back and other benefits for every dollar you spend.
  3. You regularly pay your balance in full: It always makes good financial sense to pay off your credit cards balance in full each month. This rule is particularly important for travel rewards cards, which may include a higher annual percentage rate (APR). Therefore, not paying off your credit card balance can result in higher interest costs and potentially negate the benefits of travel rewards cards.
  4. You are loyal to a particular hotel or airline: If cash back cards are not your preference, but you would like to find the best travel rewards cards, you can choose a certain airline co-branded credit card or hotel co-branded credit card. This can help you earn travel points and rewards faster by concentrating your spending with one airline or hotel.

When should I apply for a travel rewards credit card?

While you can apply for a travel rewards card anytime, the best time is about 4-5 months prior to your trip. Why?

You will want enough time to earn your travel rewards and redeem them for your vacation.

What are the key benefits of travel credit cards?

Travel credit cards have many benefits, including the ability to earn free travel. You also can receive other travel benefits, such as waived luggage fees, car insurance and even emergency assistance.

What criteria should I consider when choosing the best travel credit card?

Comparison shop for the best travel credit card for your personal situation. Travel rewards credit cards are best for people who travel frequently so that you can take advantage of the travel rewards.

Here are some criteria, among others, to consider in your search:

  • sign-up bonus
  • how you earn rewards
  • how you redeem rewards
  • annual fees
  • foreign transaction fees
  • other perks

What are the best travel rewards credit cards?

While there are many travel credit cards from which to choose, there are two travel rewards credit cards that continually rank at the top:

1. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000

Fees: $95, but waived the first year

Rewards: 10x miles on thousands of hotels; 2x miles on every day purchases

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000

Fees: $95, but waived the first year

Rewards: 2x miles on travel and dining; 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Happy travels.

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I love to travel and I love reading and writing about traveling, that is why I started 2traveling. I want everyone to see the wonderful places around the world and experience everything that is awesome about it.