Flying anywhere is pretty expensive. But thankfully, there are quite a few credit cards with great airline mile rewards programs. The best cards can get you free flights, seat upgrades, hotel discounts and more. Here are four of the best cards for frequent fliers and travelers of all kinds.
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred
With this card, you can redeem your rewards in several places. You're not tied to a specific airline or hotel chain. This card will get you 2 points on dining and travel for each dollar spent and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. Points are worth 25 percent more when you use them to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Another big perk is you can transfer your points at a 1:1 rate to several airline and hotel rewards programs. Chase Sapphire Preferred is a well-rounded card that should work for any traveler.
2. Capital One Venture Rewards
This card also lets you redeem your points with several airlines and hotels. You earn 2 miles per $1 spent on everything and those points can be redeemed for most travel expenses. This gives you flexibility when booking your travel. Also, there are no foreign transaction fees, so this card is great if you're planning on traveling internationally. One drawback is if you're loyal to a particular airline. This card doesn't offer some of the perks of airline cards like free checked baggage. But if you're just looking for a decent card that will work for any travel expenses, then the Capital One Venture Rewards card is for you.
3. Bank Americard Travel Rewards
The big drawback of many decent credit cards is the annual fee. With the Bank Americard Travel Rewards card, you don't have to worry about that. You earn 1.5 points per $1 spent and each point is worth 1 cent. If you're a Bank of America customer, you can earn between a 10 percent and 75 percent bonus when you redeem. That depends on how much is in your bank account. You can even use your points for credit against purchases up to 12 months after the purchases post to your account. That's a much larger window than most cards will give you. And your points will never expire. If you want decent rewards without having to commit to an annual fee, this card is for you.
4. Any airline card
If you're loyal to a particular airline, opening its affiliated credit card might be worth it. These cards usually have premium perks like priority boarding, free checked bags and discounts on in-flight food. Frequent fliers will love the perks and rewards that come with these cards. Some will even give you a free companion ticket if you spend a certain amount in a year. However, these cards aren't the best option for the occasional vacationer. These cards often are only worth it if you spend quite a bit on travel every month. Airline cards are great for frequent fliers, but not for planning one big trip a year.