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You may not be traveling right now, but trust me, vacation days will be on the horizon again. The best travel rewards credit cards for 2020 and beyond will get you where you wanna go well into 2021 — in some cases for free!

Why? Because if you choose to sign up for a new travel credit card — most of which come with a signup bonus or incentive — you’ll typically receive your reward (whether that’s points or miles) three months after start of use. Which is just in time to book travel for late 2020 or next year.

I’ve included each credit card’s APR below, but I strongly recommend only using your credit card for amounts you can pay off each month — that way you’ll never pay interest, which can run up to 26%. Yikes! Better yet, a balance is not required to redeem your bonus or points, meaning you can spend the required amount, pay it off, and still cash in your rewards.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about the best travel credit cards for 2020.

And don’t forget to download the Krazy Coupon Lady app to hear about the latest travel deals.


Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card makes travel for two cheap.

A little girl with Minnie Mouse ears looks out the window at the airport at Alaskan airlines.

The Perks: The best aspect of the Alaska Airlines credit card is arguably the Companion Fare. You can buy your friend/travel partner a ticket for as little as $121 — $99 plus taxes and fees — even if you’re trying to go to Costa Rica and that ticket would normally cost $650. Boom! About $500 saved.

Earn three miles for every $1 spent with Alaska Airlines purchases, and one mile for every $1 spent elsewhere. You’ll also get 20% back on Alaska Airlines inflight purchases, and 50% off Alaska Lounge day passes. Plus one free checked bag for you and up to six guests on every Alaska Airlines flight (normally $30).

If you are smart about how you earn points, you can take your whole family on vacation — twice! —for free.

Sign-up Bonus: Spend $2,000 in the first 90 days of opening your account, and you’ll get a $100 statement credit (so $100 off your bill) and 40,000 miles. An Alaska Airline point is worth about $0.012. You can redeem the points for an Alaska flight, or travel with one of its many airline partners.

Annual fee: $75

APR: 15.99%–23.99%

Foreign transaction fees? No.


RELATED: How I Flew My Whole Family to Disney for Free (Twice!)


Enjoy the equivalent of $750 in free travel with Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Travel credit cards sitting on top of a suitcase.

The Perks: The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is a great all-around card, especially for beginners who want to reap the rewards of travel credits without a hefty annual fee (its sister card, the Sapphire Reserve, is $550 a year).

Benefits include double the points on dining and travel, a free DoorDash membership (normally $9.99 a month), $100 every four years for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership, and five times the points on DoorDash orders and Lyft rides. Most travel credit cards have benefits like lost baggage and flight cancellation reimbursement, but Sapphire’s are particularly generous, including baggage delay insurance (up to $100/day for five days), and trip delay reimbursement (up to $500 per ticket for meals and lodging if your flight is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay).

Sign-up Bonus: New Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders get 60,000 points if they spend $4,000 in the first three months. One point is worth about $0.01, so that 60,000-point bonus is worth about $600. But if you use your points to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, they’re worth 25% more — so your 60,000 points would actually be worth $750 (that’s enough to get you to Thailand and back if you find a well-priced flight).

Annual fee: Free the first year, then $95 after that

APR: 15.99%–25.99%

Foreign transaction fees? No.

PRO TIP: Not all points or miles are created equal. They vary per card, and can even fluctuate depending on how you spend them: travel credit cards often have partnerships with hotels, airlines, or other companies, for example, and they incentivize you spending with them by increasing the point value for those vendors.


RELATED: What You’re Missing by Not Using a Travel Rewards Credit Card


Get global hotel credits through the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card.

The Perks: The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card is great for someone looking for an entry-level (read: low risk) card that could earn them free room stays at one of Marriott’s 7,000-plus locations — even if just from the bonus, which is generous considering there is no annual fee. Marriott Bonvoy Bold cardholders will earn three points for every $1 spent at participating hotels and two points for every $1 spent on any other purchases. You will also automatically be bumped up to Silver Elite Status, which has the modest benefits of late checkout and access to an “elite reservation” line. Nothing to write home about, but worth noting.

Sign-up Bonus: You’ll get 30,000 points — worth about $240 if used for a Marriott booking — once you spend $1,000 within the first three months of opening the account.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 15.99%–22.99%

Foreign transaction fees? No.

PRO TIP: In a financial pinch or have an excess of points you won’t be using anytime soon? Most rewards credit cards will let you use your points to pay off your statement balance. It’s not the best use of the points as they usually don’t hold as much value this way, but good to know it’s an option.


RELATED: Understand Credit Card Rewards to Maximize Benefits



Earn two miles per $1 spent with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

A Capital One envelope with a bill in it

The Perks: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has a straightforward earning system, making it great for beginners, or just about anyone sick of the complicated reward programs most of these have. Cardholders earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on any purchase, and 5 miles for every $1 on hotel and rental car purchases through Capital One Travel. You will also be reimbursed $100 for a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership. Miles can be redeemed through Amazon or transferred to one of the airlines or other merchants that Capital One partners.

While the accrual system for this travel credit card is simple, when you transfer points to a travel partner, your points aren’t a straight 1:1 transfer, which means you won’t get one airline mile for every Capital One mile. The ratio for most partners is 2:1.5, which means for every two Capital One miles, you get 1.5 partner airline miles. Need 30,000 miles to fly round trip in the continental U.S.? That’ll cost you 45,000 Capital One miles.

Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of opening the account, which is worth around $500 in bookings depending on where you book your travel.

Annual Fee: $95

APR: 17.24%–24.49%

Foreign transaction fees? No.


Get free hotel stays around the world with the Hilton Honors Card.

The Perks: The Hilton Honors Amex Card earns seven points for $1 spent with the hotel; five points for every $1 spent on groceries, dining, and gas; and three points for every $1 spent elsewhere. Being a cardholder will also get you Silver Status, the lowest level member tier with Hilton, which basically just means you can do late and express checkout for free.

Sign-up Bonus: The Hilton point system is a little more complex. But with a 75,000 point bonus for spending just $1,000 in the first 90 days of your account opening, it’s worth the investment if you plan to stay at a Hilton anytime soon.

Hilton points are worth anywhere from $0.44 to $0.85 each (depending on the hotel location or room type you are booking with points), but those points will still get you at least one free night — if not several — at one of Hilton’s 6,000-plus properties around the world. Most locations range from about 20,000 to 80,000 points per night. So you could stay one night somewhere luxurious, or spend three or four nights somewhere average.

Not bad considering there is no annual fee and the $1,000 spending threshold

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 15.74%–24.74%

Foreign transaction fees? No.


Take a free round-trip flight with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card bonus.

The Perks: Southwest’s entry level credit card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, will earn one point for every $1 spent, and twice the points on all Southwest purchases, including travel and in-flight purchases. You’ll also get an automatic 3,000 points each year on the anniversary of your account opening.

Earning points with any Southwest credit card can feel tedious, but the sign-up bonus alone makes this one worth it. You can always use the credits, and then cancel within your first year — you’re still making money on your $69 investment. Southwest’s other credit cards have the same sign-up bonus, except their annual fees (which are not waived the first year) are $99 and $149.

Sign-up Bonus: 40,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first three months, which is worth about $640 in Wanna Getaway airfare (one point = $0.016 cents) or $440 in Anytime fare (one point = $0.011)

Annual Fee: $69

APR: 15.99%–22.99%

Foreign transaction fees? 3%


Get $550 in travel with the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card.

The Perks: Earn triple the miles on Delta purchases and hotels, twice the points at restaurants and grocery stores, and one mile for every $1spent elsewhere. Your first checked bag is free (normally $25 each way), and you’ll get priority boarding too. The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express card also gets you $100 toward Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck.

Sign-up Bonus: Get a $100 statement credit for using your card in the first three months, plus 40,000 bonus miles (about $550 in value) after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $25

APR: 15.74%–24.74%

Foreign transaction fees? No.


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