Shannyn Allan | 

7 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards to Sign Up for in 2023

The Krazy Coupon Lady is an ad-supported service. Many offers on our site contain affiliate links, and we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase using them. Some posts are sponsored by the maker of the product, and we receive a fee for the post. Learn More.

So, you want to travel more in 2023, but with prices rising, you feel like you may need to put off that dream vacation another year. Thinking you can’t make your dream vacation happen this year due to cost? Think again; it’s time to find the best rewards credit card for travel.

By utilizing credit cards with travel rewards, you can redeem your points to help cover the cost of airfare, hotels and even theme park passes. You’ll also be able to get travel credits for expenses like TSA PreCheck, and perks like airport lounge access, that can help cut costs for big trips.

We’ve rounded up the best rewards credit cards for travel that can help you reduce your spending and make your bucket-list trip a reality!

Download the Krazy Coupon Lady app so you never miss out on the best tips and discounts.

Skeptical About Traveling For Free?

Before you look into our list of the best rewards credit cards for travel, you might want to know just how much you can get for a sign-up.

So, you’re probably wondering — how far do points get you? While redemption rates can vary due to location and demand, if you were looking to book three nights at a hotel near Disneyland in Anaheim, and you had Chase points through a card we mention below, the Chase Sapphire Reserve — your 60,000 sign-up bonus would just about completely cover it.

So yes, with just the sign-on bonus, you’d have enough points to cover 3 nights for free in a popular tourist destination. In less popular areas or slower times of year, your points can get you even further.

TIP: If you’re wondering if travel reward points are like arcade game tickets that don’t add up to much when you go to redeem them, you can always check the conversion rates before you sign up, as their redemption rate can vary. We’ll break them down below.

1. Get $900 for travel with Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a solid card for anyone planning international travel and wants a lot of flexibility to transfer points to other loyalty programs like Southwest, Marriott and Hyatt to pool points. While it has a steep $550 annual membership fee, you’ll immediately get $300 of it back in travel credits that reimburse you for travel expenses.

You’ll need excellent credit to get this card, and works best for anyone planning to book a trip within the first year of opening their card. If your trip is further out, or you’re not sure you can make the minimum spending, another card might be a better fit.

What You Get

60,000 Chase Rewards Points that can be redeemed in their portal, which amounts to about $900 in signup bonus travel credits that can be used on airfare, hotels, rental cars or experiences. To trigger this bonus, you’ll have to spend $4,000 in the first 3 months.

Get three points per $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, and 10 points per $1 spent on Lyft rides.

Other Perks

Chase partners with 14 major airlines and hotel chains like Southwest, United and Marriott so your points can be transferred to combine with any airline miles or hotel points you’ve accumulated in other programs

You’ll also have access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide and a $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck. Finally, one of the best perks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve is that it offers trip insurance for cancellations or interruptions (up to $10k), lost luggage insurance (up to $3k) and rental car insurance (up to $75k).

As an added perk, you’ll also receive a complimentary 12-month Instacart+ membership and a $15 statement credit each quarter.

  • Annual Fee: $550, but comes with a $300 Travel Voucher, netting you at about $250 a year.

  • APR: 20.74% – 27.74% (Variable Rate)

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

2. Get $750 to travel with Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Travel credit cards sitting on top of a suitcase.

This card is a solid bet for someone who is only planning about one big trip a year and doesn’t care about luxe perks like airport lounges. If you’re not planning on any international trips where insurance or a TSA PreCheck discount is helpful, this may be a better fit.

What You Get

You’ll earn 60,000 sign-on points bonus, when you spend at least $4,000 in 3 months. This is worth about $650 in points to book for travel. While the Ultimate Rewards portal conversion rate isn’t as good as with the Reserve, you’ll still get about 2-3 nights in a hotel or a flight. Additionally, the Preferred offers you a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit.

Build up your points on your regular purchases: Earn 2x points when you use your Preferred card for travel and dining, 5x the points for Lyft rides and 3x for streaming services. You’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Other Perks

Enjoy trip cancellation and interruption insurance, (up to $20k), an auto rental collision damage waiver (up to cash value of rental), Lost Luggage Insurance (up to $500) and more. You’ll also receive a complimentary 6-month Instacart+ membership and a $15 statement credit.

  • Annual Fee: $95 per year

  • APR: 19.74% – 26.74% (Variable Rate)

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

3. Want points for your rent? The Bilt World Elite Mastercard has no annual fee.

Bilt rewards program

When we were looking over the best rewards credit card for travel we know that not everyone is jazzed about paying an annual fee, even if it comes with perks. If you’re new to using rewards credit cards for travel, we recommend the Bilt World Elite Mastercard. While it doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, it is a card with comparatively little risk.

Another unique feature of the Bilt card is that it is connected to over 2 million rental properties and if you want to earn points while paying rent, you can, with no fees! If you’re not a Bilt property, you can still pay as long as your landlord accepts credit or checks as payment. Pretty sweet!

What You Get

While there is no points bonus, you can earn points when you make 5 transactions that post each statement period, including your monthly rent. Earn 1x points on rent payments with no fees if you live in a Bilt residence (up to 50k points each year), 2x points on travel, and 3x points on dining.

You can also transfer your points 1:1 to major airline and hotel reward programs, so if you’ve been building up points elsewhere you can redeem them directly. Some partners include Hawaiian Airlines, American Airlines, IHG, and United Airlines.

But how far can you get on Bilt Points? The conversion rate is 1.25%, which is on par with other cards we’ve mentioned. So, 10,000 Bilt Points would have a value of $125.

Other Perks

With Bilt, you’ll get extra perks for when you travel, that can make booking with the Bilt card a smart bet. You’ll get complimentary trip cancellation and car rental insurance. You’ll also be covered with cell phone insurance (up to $800 per claim).

Outside of travel, you can get treated to $120 in DoorDash credits a year ($5 off per order, up to twice a month) and $60 worth of Lyft credits per year (take three rides per month to activate).

  • Annual Fee: $0

  • APR: 20.49%, 23.49%, or 28.49% (varies based on your credit score)

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

4. If you like flying United, get free checked bags and $780 in points with the United Explorer Card.

United Airlines close up of an airplane

Still shaky on annual fees? We’ve got you! The United Explorer Card is a solid way to earn a free plane ticket (or a cheap one, depending on where you fly) and still has no annual fee for the first year!

If you like to save money on United, pay attention. While there are several United credit cards out there, this one is a solid start with a 60k miles bonus and some excellent perks to make your travel more comfortable, even if you can’t afford to fly first class.

What You Get

You’ll get 60,000 bonus miles (another name for points) after you spend $3,000 within three months. So, how much are United MileagePlus miles worth? If you use your points to book through United, that’s a value of around $780 — which can cover the cost of a round-trip international flight!

To boot, with the United Explorer Card, you’ll also enjoy priority boarding privileges and you’ll be rewarded each anniversary with access to the United Club℠, an exclusive members-only lounge with 2 one-time passes.

If you’re not a big United Airlines flyer, you can transfer your points to redeem in the Star Alliance, which includes 25 other airlines that fly internationally. Unlike Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you’ll have a bit less flexibility on how to redeem your points, but with so many airlines in the Star Alliance, you aren’t completely locked in to one airline. Earn 2x points per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and travel booked with United Airlines.

Other Perks

Another solid perk that makes this card one of the best travel rewards credit cards is that cardholders get a $100 credit to cover the fee for TSA PreCheck or NEXUS, along with a free checked bag — a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip.

You’ll also get a complimentary one year DashPass membership with Doordash.

  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, $95 after that

  • APR: 20.24% – 27.24%

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

5. Buying a lot of groceries and love JetBlue? Check out the JetBlue Plus Card for a $600 bonus.

Man showing his jet blue credit card

While most of the credit cards on this list will give you extra points or miles for purchases at restaurants, the JetBlue Plus Card sets itself apart by giving you 2x points for what you spend at grocery stores and restaurants.

So, if you’re dining in a lot to save money for that big trip, you’ll be able to bank some more points, making it one of the best rewards credit card for travel if you are planning on flying domestically this year.

What You Get

You’ll earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases and paying the annual fee of $99 within 90 days. Jet Blue points seem to go a bit further in terms of redemption, and your 40,000 points equal about $600 in value, which can easily cover travel for 1-2 people domestically.

Other Perks

JetBlue also offers you the ability to pool your points with up to seven other people. You’ll get 2x points on restaurants and groceries, along with 6x the points for JetBlue flights you book using the card.

If you’re planning on flying at least once a year, your points can help earn a free flight, and you’ll also enjoy free checked bags on JetBlue for yourself and up to three people on your reservation.

You’ll also receive 50% off on any food and drink purchases made while onboard. This card would be ideal if you’re a JetBlue loyalist, or you’re planning on using it for an upcoming trip a

  • Annual Fee: $99

  • APR: 19.74%, 23.74% or 28.74% (Variable based on your credit score)

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

6. The Credit One Bank Wander Card is the best rewards credit card for travel if your credit score isn’t good.

Woman at airport gate

If your credit score is in the fair range (usually 580-699) you may find it difficult to get some of the cards with higher bonuses as you build up your credit. Good news: The Credit One Bank Wander Card is designed for those of us with less than stellar, or newer credit, in mind.

Of course, this is one card with a higher-than-average APR, so use this card wisely to ensure you aren’t wiping out the benefits of any points you acquire with a high interest rate on purchases. It won’t be as easy to rack up points as with other cards, but it can be a great starter card.

What You Get

Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or to book travel.

Earn 5X points on eligible travel, dining, and gas purchases and 10X points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked using the Credit One Bank travel portal.

Other Perks

While this card doesn’t have some of the luxe perks that come with other travel rewards cards, it seems to be geared for folks building, or rebuilding credit. As such, you’ll get one free online credit score report with this card to help keep track of your progress.

  • Annual Fee: $95

  • APR: 26.99% (varies based on your credit score)

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

7. Try the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card to get 2 points for every $1 you spend.

A Capital One envelope with a bill in it

What You Get

Get 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of opening your account, which is about $525 in value when redeemed for travel.

​​You can also rack up more miles to use later, and earn unlimited 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One Travel portal.

Other Perks

Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. You can also transfer your points to over 15+ travel loyalty programs including British Airways, Virgin and Air Canada to help pool your points.

  • Annual Fee: $95

  • APR: 20.24%, 25.24% or 28.24% (Varies)

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Get our best deals on the go

By entering my phone number, I want to receive promotional messages from The Krazy Coupon Lady. Message frequency varies. Text STOP to 57299 to end or text HELP for help. Msg & data rates may apply. View Terms & Privacy.