Top 5 Credit Cards for Travelers

Finances & Savings — By on December 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

By Kristen Putch
LG North American Travel Editor

In a less-than-stellar economy, we’ve all heard the warnings about credit cards and how they have the potential to financially ruin our futures if we’re not careful. But credit cards aren’t as evil as many may suggest, and for a young traveler, finding the right card with the right rewards may actually be beneficial to your plans.

Many credit cards offer rewards to customers that can help them land deals on flights and hotels around the world, but some offer more perks than others, which is why it is important to shop around before signing up. The cards with the best reward packages are also usually much harder to be approved for, and you may have to settle for a card with less bonuses until you build up your credit history and become a good candidate for the cards with better perks.

Below, we have compiled a list of credit cards which offer some of the best travel rewards in order to help you decided which is best for your style of travel.

Citi Premier Pass:

This is an all-inclusive card which not only rewards with travel for being a customer, but protects your when using your card on travel-related purchases. Using their ThankYou rewards program, you can earn 1 point for every $1 spent, as well as 1 point for every 3 miles flown. The program is teamed up with Expedia to help you get the most for your eligible points, and offers both the traditional frequent flyer miles program, or a fixed flight option. Card holders also receive $1500 in travel insurance for arrangements booked using the card. If you need to cancel or reschedule your trip, you will be reimbursed for the nonrefundable portion of your deposits.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card:

This card is great for international travelers, as there is no foreign transaction fee when the card is used abroad. And because card holders earn 2 points for every $1 spent, flights and other rewards are earned even quicker. You also receive a one-time bonus of 10,000 miles if you spend $1000 in the first three months. If you are looking to redeem your points for flights, there is no limit to how many miles you can earn, and your miles do not expire. Points are also good towards hotel rooms and car rentals. And because the Venture Rewards card is a Visa signature card, you are eligible for complimentary upgrades and special savings at hotels, resorts and spas.

JetBlue by American Express:

For those who do most of their travel within the US, the JetBlue Card from American Express is the card for you. You can earn 10,000 TrueBlue points with the first purchase on your card, and use it for a flight, as round trip flights start at just 10,000 points. This card offers some of the fastest ways to earn point. Cardholders can earn up to 8 TrueBlue points for every eligible dollar spent on jetblue.com, 6 points when you purchase a flight and an additional 2 points when you use your JetBlue Card to do so. You can also earn 2 points for every eligible dollar you spend at restaurants, movie theatres, and other fun places. Earn one point for every eligible dollar you spend anywhere else. There are no blackout dates so you can redeem points for any seat, anytime. JetBlue also allows you to book one-way flights for just 5000 points.

ZYNC by American Express:

A new addition to the AmEx family, the ZYNC card is great for building up travel related awards, as well as taking advantage of perks when you use the card. Members earn two-times membership Rewards points on airfare ticket purchases on the first $5,000 of eligible purchases. Card holders can also save on travel-related expenses, including up to 25% off at Avis and Budget when you book your rental vehicle, or op to 20% off at Hertz and get 2 days of free GPS when you rent for 3 days or longer. Card holders are also enrolled in Credit Card Registry at no additional cost, which provides peace of mind by canceling and replacing all
lost or stolen cards, including non-American Express Cards. They also offer invaluable assistance in replacing a passport in an emergency and even include coverage of a spouse at no additional cost.

Miles by Discover:

As a Miles cardmember, you get flexibility with no annual fee. Card holders earn double miles on up to $3,000 in travel and restaurant purchases each year. And you’ll get 1 Mile for every $1 you spend on all your other purchases. Eligible travel purchases include commercial airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, cruises, tour operators and vacation packages purchased through travel agents, and online travel sites. Eligible restaurant purchases include those made at full-service restaurants, cafes, cafeterias and fast food locations. With this card, there is no cap on the number of miles you can earn, so every dinner and getaway provides you with an opportunity to earn more and rake in rewards up faster. The miles on this card also have no expiration date and won’t expire as long as you use your credit card and there are no blackout dates or advanced bookings and no restriction periods.

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