If would be great if we could design a credit card to meet all our needs. The card would give us Elite Status at our favorite hotels and airlines. It would give us 5x in the categories we decide, etc. The truth is that although there are some amazing credit cards out there, we end up mixing and matching several cards to meet all or most of our needs.
These are my favorite travel related cards, this list fits my needs, I either have the card or plan to get it at some point:
1. Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR)
This might be the best credit card for travel ever. 3x points on travel, $300 hustle-free travel credit, and the overall best travel insurance in the business make this my top card.
2. American Express Platinum
Gold status with SPG/Marriott, and Hilton. Access to Centurion Lounges, $200 Uber credit.
3. Chase Freedom Unlimited
1.5x on all transactions, which I can then transfer to the CSR and get an effective 2.25 per point when used on the Ultimate Rewards portal.
4. United Explorer Card
I’ve stated it before, early boarding and access to additional award space make this card a keeper.
5. Hyatt Card
Automatic explorer status, may not be worth much, however the free night at a 1-4 category Hyatt justifies the annual fee.
6. Marriott Card
Automatic Silver status isn’t that enticing, however, the 15-night credit brings you closer to Gold and Platinum Elite status.
7. Delta Platinum
Only get this card when the sign-up bonus is 70,000 SkyMiles or higher, and 10,000 Medallion qualifying miles. The annual companion pass and $100 credit made me get this card. I’m not sure if this is a keeper in the long run. But After JetBlue/Alaska, Delta is my favorite airline.
8. Alaska Visa Card
Alaska has one of the best loyalty programs around, this card comes with a companion pass.
9. Barclaycard Arrival+
I needed a MasterCard on the list. This card’s signup bonus can offset certain expenses when traveling to Disney World or similar places.
10. Citi Prestige card*
This is one of the top 3 premium cards and can be great for some people. The 4th free night and flight delay perks are its standout features. This card could be higher on my list if Citi had not diluted some of its former great perks. It barely made the top 10 because you need to spend a whopping $7,500 in the first 3 months. For those of us who only do organic spend that sum can mean meeting the spend on several of the cards on this list.
What’s on your list?