Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Credit Cards for Traveling

I'm planning on going on a vacation this summer so I decided to look into some of the best traveling credit cards right available right now. Here are a couple good offers:

Barclay's Premium Arrival World Mastercard

  • You get a bonus of 40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months. 
  • 40,000 points is good for $400 statement credit on any traveling expense (airlines, car rentals, cruises, hotels, etc). 
  • You will get a bonus of 10% when you redeem on travel. So really 40,000 points = $440. 
  • This is also a good card cause it earns 2% on ALL purchases. 
  • There is an annual fee of $85, but it's waived the first year
I'll probably cancel after having it for a year or ask them to waive the fee for another year. This offer probably won't last too long. If you don't like the idea of an annual fee, you can go with a similar card, but will smaller rewards. Barclay's Arrival.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • 40k bonus after spending $3,000. 
  • 20% bonus on air travel -- that is 40,000 points can get you a $500 plane ticket. 
  • 2% on travel and dining 1% on all other purchases. 
  • You earn Ultimate Rewards points with this card, which are probably the best travel rewards points out there because of how flexible they are. 
  • There are many ways you can use the points -- statement credits, check, gift cards, airlines, hotels, etc. So basically the points can be used like the above card, plus many other options. 
    • Using these miles to transfer them to United Miles is one of the best ways to get a lot of value out of the points.  
  • Annual fee waived 1st year and $95 after that.
Once again, I'm not sure that I'll keep the card longer than a year because of the annual fee, but the bonuses are pretty good. 

Other cards that may be good for traveling:

Chase Ink Bold/Chase Ink Plus -- 50k bonus. This is a business card.
Chase British Airlines - 50k avios. Avios are not as valuable as other rewards points, but they are actually really good for domestic flights. They have had 100K bonuses, so it may be wise to wait for one of those promotions.
Southwest airlines -- 25k bonus. They periodically have 50k bonuses, so I would wait for those promotions to get the card.
U.S bank Flex Perks Travel -- 17.5K bonus...20K = $400 in air plane ticket redemption
Marriott Hotel -- 50K bonus, plus 1 free night. These are only redeemed on hotel stays.
Club Carlson (Radisson Hotel's) - 85K bonus. Only redeemed on hotels.
Delta Skymiles -- 35K bonus

WARNING: DON'T get this or any other credit card if you aren't going to be responsible with it! See previous post about Credit Cards.

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Previous relevant posts:
Credit Cards
Credit Card FAQ and FREE credit Reports
$400 NFL Card
$50 Discover Card
Reaching your spending limits
Vanilla Reload

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