Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2014

by Sean Bryant on October 4, 2012

My wife and I love the thrill of traveling. We usually will take at least one big trip each year and sometimes we try for two. To make our trips a little bit more affordable, we both carry travel rewards credit cards. This allows us to earn airline miles just for making our normal purchases, like groceries or a night out with friends. Below I have listed off what I personally feel are the best travel rewards credit cards.

4 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card – This is easily one of my favorite cards on the market right now.  You will get 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Those points can be transfered to any of the Chase Ultimate Reward partners (my favorite are Southwest Airlines and Hyatt). You will receive two points per dollar spend on travel and at restaurants and one point for all other purchases. You will receive a 7% Annual Points Dividend on all new points earned on purchases – even on points already redeemed.

Sign up for Chase Sapphire Credit Card

Starwood Preferred GuestStarwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express – Let me eliminate the first misconception about this credit card. It is not just good for free hotel stays.  You are also able to redeem points on over 350 different airlines. You will receive 10,000 points when you make your first purchase and another 15,000 points after $5,000 in purchases the first six months. These 25,000 miles would be good for a free weekend stay at a category 4 (Westin) hotel. You will get 5,000 bonus Starpoints when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to a frequent flyer program at one of 30 different airlines.

Sign up for Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit CardGold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express – Not only is this card one of the best airline credit cards, but it is also a top travel card. You will receive 30,000 miles when you spend $500 in the first three months. Additionally, you’ll get the opportunity to earn two miles for every Delta purchase and one point for all other purchases. Another perk is getting your first checked bag for free and receiving free priority boarding.

Sign up for Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

Blue Sky From American ExpressBlue Sky from American Express® – As a welcome bonus you will receive 7,500 points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months.  This is redeemable for a $100 statement credit.  You will earn one point for each dollar spent.  The best feature is that you can redeem for travel rewards and have no blackout dates on airlines, hotels and car rentals.  The Blue Sky card also has no annual fee.

Sign up for Blue Sky from American Express Credit Card
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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.

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  • I have a crappy travel rewards card from about 6 years back that I keep because it has a big credit line. I almost never use it because the rewards are so terrible. I would have a hard time getting another travel card after that because I am biased towards my Discover cash back card.

    • If you are not going to be buying a home or car soon, I would highly suggest looking into the Chase Sapphire card. You can always grab the bonus which is worth $500 in travel and then cancel it if you don’t find it worth the annual fee that you will get in year two.

  • Kim

    I have heard so many good things about Chase Sapphire, but I just really don’t want to apply for another card and don’t know that I’d have 3K to put on it unless I could pay the mortgage with a credit card!

    • Kim

      OK, I just have to get that travel reward before the holidays so I applied through your site. I realized I can use it for my business and will meet the reward minimum in less that a month. Hope you get a good reward as well.

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