Travel Credit Cards

This page lists my top recommended travel reward credit cards. I will update this page routinely to include the latest offers. Please use my referral link by clicking on the name of the credit card to ensure you receive the latest bonus and that I may receive a referral bonus :). Below each card is a brief description of the current bonus and annual fee, benefits of the card, and examples of trips I have used after receiving bonus points from these cards. I am including a variety of cards for you to see which one better suits your needs. If you don’t see yourself paying an annual fee on a credit card forever, keep in mind that you can always downgrade your card to a no-annual fee version after the first year. My top 2 cards are definitely the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Starwood Preferred Guest cards.

 

Hyatt Credit Card

-40,000 points after spending $2000 in the first 3 months of account opening
-5,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user
-$75 annual fee
-Receive a free night at a category 1-4 Hyatt property each year upon card renewal
-I have used the initial bonus points for 2 free nights at a Hyatt Regency Hotel in Hawaii, and I have used the annual free night for a stay in Abu Dhabi. The $75 annual fee was easily cancelled out by $700 worth of hotel free nights.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred


-50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months of account opening
-5,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user
-Benefits: no foreign transaction fees, baggage/trip delay protection, free rental car insurance, 2x points for dining and travel.
-Can transfer points to the following partners: Hyatt, Marriott, Southwest, United, British Airways, Korean Airways, IHG hotels, AirFrance/FlyingBlue etc.
-$95 annual fee
-I have used the initial bonus points for 2 roundtrip flights to Hawaii saving me $1400.

 

Starwood Preferred Guest 

-25,000 points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months of account opening
-Over 20 airline transfer partners: American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Air China, Etihad, AirFrance/Flying Blue, Delta, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, LAN, Aeroplan etc
-For every 20,000 points transferred to an airline, you get a bonus of 5000 points transferred
-Can redeem points at SPG properties for free nights including sheraton, westin, W, four points hotels
-$95 annual fee (waived the first year)
-I redeemed points previously to fly business class on Etihad to Abu Dhabi and Thailand ($2000 flight). I have also used points to stay for free at Sheraton Hotels. I renew this card each year.

 

Delta Gold Business Card

-50,000 points after spending $2000 in the first 3 months of account opening
-10,000 bonus points after spending an additional $1000 in the first 6 months of account opening
-$50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card
-Benefits: free checked in luggage for cardholder and guests on same reservation, priority boarding
-$95 annual fee (waived the first year)
-I use 30,000 points to fly one way to Europe in economy all of the time. I also like the free luggage benefit so when flying on an assignment I don’t have to worry about that extra cost.

 

Business Gold Reward Amex Card

-50,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months of account opening
-Transfer points to partners: Hilton, Jetblue, British Airways, Delta, Aeroplan/Aircanada, Etihad, Aeromexico, Iberia etc
-$175 annual fee (waived the first year)
-I added a business card as an option if you are interested in keeping your business expenses separate. By business expenses I mean working as a sole proprietor, such as a 1099 locum tenens provider. When applying for this card, you can use your social security number as the business tax-id.
-I have used these points to fly roundtrip in business class to South America, worth $3500.

 

Hilton Honors Card

-75,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months of account opening
-$0 annual fee
-Earn 5x points for each dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations
-For a no annual fee card, it’s nice to accumulation hilton points. I have redeemed these points for 3 nights in London (a savings of $650).

 

Southwest Premier Card

-40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months of account opening
-6,000 bonus points after renewing your card each year
-$99 annual fee
-You can earn the Southwest Companion pass after earning 100,000 southwest points in a calendar year (you can earn this between this credit card offer and the chase sapphire preferred card above). The companion pass allows you to have one companion fly with you for free (only paying taxes and fees) for an entire year. You can change your companion up to 3 times.
-I love using southwest points for flights to the Caribbean. Flying from Ft. Lauderdale, I can usually find a roundtrip flight to the Caribbean for 8,000 miles.

 

The Platinum Card

-60,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months of account opening
-Benefits: $200/year uber credit, $200/year airline fee credit, $100 TSA/Global Entry credit, Elite status with hotels such as Hilton and Starwood Preferred Guest
-$550 annual fee
-This card had a high annual fee but it comes with plenty of benefits. After having the card for one year, you can receive $700 worth of credits (not including the bonus points). Since the $200 airline credit is per calendar year not card year, you can technically earn this credit twice during your first card member year. This card also grants you elite status to hotel chains such as Hilton and SPG. This means you can often get free breakfast, free upgrades, and late checkout.
-I used this card to get TSA pre-check which comes in handy with all of the flying I do. I also use the uber credit every month (you can use it on the UberEats app as well).

 

Chase Freedom 

-$150 after spending $500 in the first 3 months of account opening
-5x cash back quarterly categories
-$0 annual fee
-This is a low spend, no annual fee card to test the waters. I personally like this card because each quarter there are different categories that you can earn a high spend bonus on. For example, this quarter you receive 5x points per dollar spent at department stores. I plan on buying new appliances for my house so spending $1500 will give me 7500 points, which I can use for a one way flight to Haiti.
-This card pairs up nicely with the Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) because you can combine points to transfer to travel partners. Without the CSP, you cannot transfer these points to airlines or hotels.

 

Alaska Airline Visa Signature Card

-30,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months of account opening
-Benefits: Annual companion pass, free checked bag for you and companions on the same reservation
-$75 annual fee
-This is one of the most valuable airline mileage programs. I used these points to fly business class from USA to Dubai on Emirates (worth $6000), which was definitely my best flight experience yet.