Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards 2020


Travel rewards credit cards are a HUGE part of how I afford to travel so often. All of the credit cards I use are travel rewards because I don't ever want to miss an opportunity for points. The more points you have, the more perks you get. And as somebody who tries to travel at least once a month, I need all the perks I can get. Some cards offer cash back, discounted flights, free hotel stays, and even free checked bags on flights.


While travel may be on pause for most Americans, shopping is not (thankfully). And that means you have plenty of time to build up your rewards points.


Each travel rewards credit card has different perks, annual fees, etc. So you'll want to read through each one and find which one fits you best.


How do I know which travel rewards credit card is the best for me?

First and foremost, check your credit score. This way you'll know if you qualify before you read all of the details, so it'll save you some time. For those on a budget, I would check the annual fee next. There are plenty of travel rewards credit cards with no annual fees and many of them are a solid starting point for a lot of travelers. Then you'll want to figure out if there's a certain airline or hotel chain that you frequent already. For example, let's say you only ever fly Delta. It would make sense for you to get a Delta Rewards credit card so you can be rewarded for the purchases that you're already making anyway. So let's check out some cards:





Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Annual Fee: $95; $0 the first year

APR: 17.24% - 24.49%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend

- Offers a $100 application fee credit for the Global Entry or TSA Precheck

- Earns 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on your card within three months of opening it or 100,000 after you make $20,000 in purchases in the first 12 months.

Side note: That may sound like a lot of money, but when you pay for everything with your card, it adds up quick. Think about rent, utilities, car payments, food, hobbies, gas money, coffee, you name it. Let's say your rent is $1200. If you paid just your rent on your travel rewards credit card, you would get 50,000 bonus miles. You can use those miles to pay for flights and all you had to do was pay your rent, which you were going to do anyway.

- You can earn unlimited points and the points don't expire until the account is closed

- It has no foreign transaction fees, which is a huge win for any international travelers. Having no foreign transaction fees means you won't be charged an additional fee every single time you make a purchase when you're outside of the U.S.

- Named "Best Travel Rewards Card", "Best Rewards Card", and "Best Airline Card" by U.S. News & World Report, 2020


Chase Sapphire Preferred

Annual Fee: $95

APR: 15.99% - 22.99%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Those points equal $1,000 towards your next trip.

- You'll get 25% more value when you redeem your points for travel like hotels, flights, car rentals, cruises, etc.

- Earn 2 points on all travel and dining at restaurants

- Earn 2 points on some delivery services and takeout

- 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases

- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and discounted service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one (1) year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass. (DashPass is DoorDash's subscription service.) You just have to activate by 12/13/21... aka hurry.

- Earn 5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022





Chase Freedom Flex

Annual fee: $0

APR: 14.99% - 23.74%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn $200 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months.

- Earn 5% cashback at the grocery store on up to $12,000 spent in the first year (excludes Target and Walmart grocery purchases)

- Earn 5% cashback on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. New 5% categories each quarter.

- Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on restaurants and drug stores, and 1% on all other purchases.

- 0% APR for the first 15 months

- Your points don't expire and you can redeem at any time.

Side note: This is a great feature. A lot of travel rewards credit cards require you to have thousands of points before you can redeem.


Hilton Honors American Express Card

Annual fee: $0

APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors bonus points when you spend $1000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months

- Earn 7x Hilton Honors bonus points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a Hilton hotel or resort

- Earn 5X bonus points for each dollar of eligible purchases at restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations in the United States

- Earn 3X bonus points for all other eligible purchases

- No foreign transaction fees

- You'll receive complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status, which means 15% more bonus points, your 5th night free, and 2 complimentary bottles of water per stay.

- You can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status by spending $20,000 on eligible purchases within a calendar year.


For more information about any of these cards, click here.


United Explorer Card

Annual fee: $95; $0 the first year

APR: 16.49% - 23.49%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months

- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, eligible delivery services, hotels, and United purchases

- Get up to $100 in application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck

- Receive 25% back on United inflight purchases

- Check your 1st bag free and get priority boarding on United flights when you use your card to purchase your tickets

- 2 one-time United Club passes for your card account anniversary


Delta Skymiles Gold American Express Card

Annual fee: $99

APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in 3 months (Offer expires 10/28/2020).

- Earn 2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants worldwide, including takeout + delivery and US Supermarkets

- After $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you'll receive a $100 Delta flight credit

- 1st checked bag free on Delta flights

- Earn 1 mile on all other eligible purchases





Chase Sapphire Reserve

Annual fee: $550

APR: 16.99% - 23.99 %

Credit: 740+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months

- $300 annual travel credit as reimbursements for travel purchases for your account anniversary

- 3x points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit

- 1 point per $1 spent

- No foreign transaction fees

- 50% more value when you redeem points for travel

- 1:1 point transfer to most airline and hotel loyalty programs

- Access to 1000+ airport lounges worldwide after a one-time enrollment in Priority Pass Select

- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck

- One year complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 min. value)

- Complimentary DoorDash subscription after activating by 12/31/21.



IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

Annual fee: $0

APR: 15.99% - 22.99%

Credit: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $2000 on purchases within the first 3 months

- Earn up to 15 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel

- Earn 2 points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants

- No foreign transaction fees

- 4th night free

- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases


The Platinum Card from American Express

Annual fee: $550

APR: Pay over time

Credit: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 60,000 bonus points after $5000 spent in the first 3 months

- VIP Status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the United States

- Earn 5x points for flights and prepaid hotels booked directly through American Express Travel

- Receive access to global lounge collection

- $200 airline fee credit (can be used towards baggage)

- $100 in statement credits annually for Saks Fifth Avenue purchases (enrollment required)


For further information about any of these cards, please click here.


Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Annual fee: $99; $0 the first year

APR: 15.99% - 24.99%

Credit: 740+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 50,000 American Airlines bonus miles after $2500 spent in the first 3 months

- 2 miles for every $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants, and eligible AA purchases.

- Earn $125 flight credit after $20,000 spent during your card membership year and renew your card

- No foreign transaction fees

- 1st checked bag free on American Airlines flights for you and up to 4 companions on the same reservation (domestic flights only)

- Preferred boarding on American Airlines flights





Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card

Annual fee: $0

APR: 15.74% - 24.99%

Credit: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 50,000 points after $1,000 spent in the first 3 months

- 15 points per $1 spent at eligible Choice hotels

- 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases

- 5,000 card account anniversary points after spending $10,000 in a calendar year

- Elite Gold Members earn 10% bonus points every time they stay at eligible Choice hotels


Chase Freedom Unlimited

Annual fee: $0

APR: 14.99% - 23.74%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- $200 statement bonus after $500 spent in the first 3 months

- 5% cashback on grocery stores (not including Target or Walmart grocery) on up to $12,000 in the first year

- Unlimited 1.5% cashback on all other purchases

- 5% cashback on travel purchased through chase, 3% on restaurants and drugstores

- 0% APR for the first 15 months

- No minimum necessary to redeem cashback

- Rewards don't expire until your account is closed


Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee: $0

APR: 15.49% - 25.49%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend 1,000 within the first 3 months

- Unlimited 1.25x miles on every purchase every day

- No foreign transaction fees

- Miles don't expire until the account is closed

- Unlimited point earning potential

- 0% APR for the first 12 months


Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Annual fee: $95

APR: 13.99% - 23.99%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- $250 statement credit after spending $1000 in first 3 months

- 6% cashback at US Supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year

- 6% cashback on select US streaming subscriptions

- 3% cashback at gas stations, transit (taxis/rideshare/trains/buses/tolls/etc.)

- 1% cashback on all other purchases

- 0% APR for the first 12 months


For further information about any of these cards, please click here.


United Gateway Card

Annual fee: $0

APR: 16.49% - 23.49%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- 20,000 bonus miles

- 2 miles per $1 spent on United Airlines purchases, gas stations, and local transit

- 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases

- 3 miles per $1 at grocery stores on up to $1500 spent per month





Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

Annual fee: $0

APR: 15.99% - 22.99%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 30,000 bonus points after $1,000 spent in the first 3 months

- 3x points per $1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels (7,000+ hotels)

- 2x points for all other travel purchases

- 1x for every $1 spent on all other purchases

- Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, qualifying you for Silver Elite status

- Unlimited point earning potential


Hilton Honors American Express Surpass

Annual fee : $95

APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 130,000 bonus points after $2,000 spent in eligible purchases in the first 3 months

- Spend $15,000 in a calendar year and earn a weekend night reward

- 12x points for each dollar of eligible purchases when you book a Hilton hotel or resort directly

- 6x points at US restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations

- 3x points for all other eligible purchases

- Spend $40,000 in a year and earn Diamond Status for the next year


American Express Gold Card

Annual fee: $250

APR: Pay over time

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- 35,000 points after $4000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months

- 4x points on supermarkets, restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery

- 3x points on flights booked directly with American Express Travel

- $100 airline fee credit

- No foreign transaction fees


Citi Business AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard

Annual fee: $99; $0 the first year

APR: 15.99% - 24.99%

Credit: 740+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 65,000 American Airlines miles after spending $4,000 in first 4 months

- 1st checked bag is free on domestic AA flights

- 25% savings on inflight wifi

- Preferred boarding on AA flights

- 2 miles per $1 spent on gas stations, car rentals, cable, etc.

- 1 mile per $1 spent on other purchases

- No foreign transaction fees





American Express Green Card

Annual fee: $150

APR: Pay over time

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 30,000 points after $2000 spent in the first 3 months

- 3x points on restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery

- Up to $100 in annual statement credits to access 750+ airport lounges globally

- No foreign transaction fees


Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee: $99

APR: 15.99% - 22.99%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1000 on purchases in the first 3 months

- 6,000 bonus points after your card account anniversary each year

- 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases, and hotel and car rental partners

- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

- No foreign transaction fees

- No blackout travel dates or seat restrictions

- Your points don't expire until your account is closed


For more information about any of these cards, please click here.


Delta Skymiles Gold Business American Express Card

Annual fee: $99; $0 for the first year

APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Credit Needed: 740+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 60,000 bonus miles after $3000 spent in the first 3 months (expires 10/28/2020)

- No foreign transaction fees

- First checked bag free

- Main cabin priority boarding

- Spend $10,000 in a calendar year and receive a $100 Delta flight credit

- 2 miles for every $1 spent directly with Delta or at restaurants

- 1 mile for all other purchases


American Airlines AAdvantage Mile Up Card

Annual fee: $0

APR: 15.99% - 24.99%

Credit Needed: 740+

The Breakdown:

- 10,000 bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months

- 2 miles for every $1 spent at grocery stores or for grocery delivery services

- 1 mile for every $1 spent on other purchases

- Save 25% inflight on American Airlines flights






The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Annual fee: $95

APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Credit Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $3000 in eligible purchases in the first three months

- 12x bonus points on Hilton resorts and hotels

- 6x bonus points on certain business + travel purchases

- 3x on all other eligible purchases

- Complimentary gold status

- Weekend night reward after you spend $15,000 in a year

- 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership, which gives you access to 1000+ lounges in over 120 countries).



The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Annual fee: $595

Credit Score Needed: 740+

The Breakdown:

- 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 in the first 3 months

- 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked directly through American Express Travel

- 50% more points on each eligible purchase of $5000 or more (up to 1 million additional points a year)

- Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits for US purchases with Dell

- 35% Airline Bonus: when you pay all or part of your flight with your selected qualifying airline, you can get 35% of your points back (up to 500,000 a year)


Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express

Annual fee: $125

APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Credit Score Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 75,000 bonus points after $3,000 spent in the first 3 months

- 6x points at certain hotels

- 4x points at US restaurants, gas stations

- 2x points on other eligible purchases

- 1 free night every year after your card account anniversary

- 1 free night after $60,000 spent in a calendar year

- No foreign transaction fees


For more information about any of these cards, please click here.


Delta Skymiles Blue American Express Card

Annual fee: $0

APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Credit Score Needed: 740+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 10,000 points after $500 spent in the first 3 months

- Earn 2x miles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide

- Earn 2x miles per dollar spent for Delta purchases

- 1 mile on all other purchases

- No foreign transaction fees





United Club Infinite Card

Annual fee: $525; $0 for the first year

APR: 16.49% - 23.49%

Credit Score Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases including tickets, inflight food, etc.

- 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel, restaurants, and eligible delivery services

- 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases

- Up to $100 application fee credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry

- Free first and second checked bags on United flights


Delta Skymiles Reserve American Express Card

Annual fee: $550

APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Credit Score Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after $3000 spent in the first 3 months

- Up to $100 in application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck

- 1st checked bag free and main cabin priority boarding on Delta flights

- 3x miles on Delta purchases

- 1x miles on all other purchases

- Access to Delta Skyclubs when on a Delta flight

- Complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge

- 20% savings as a statement credit for eligible inflight purchases

- No foreign transaction fees


Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Annual fee: $450

APR: 15.99% - 24.99%

Credit Score Needed: 740+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 50,000 miles after $5,000 spent in the first 3 months

- Admiral's Club Membership for you and access for up to 2 guests or immediate family members traveling with you

- No foreign transaction fees

- 10,000 AAdvantage Elite Qualifying Miles are $40,000 spent in purchases within the year

- 2 miles for every $1 spent on AA purchases

- 1 mile for all other eligible purchases

- 1st checked bag free on domestic AA flights for you and up to 8 companions on the same reservation


Delta Skymiles Platinum American Express

Annual fee: $250

APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Credit Score Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 60,000 miles and 5,000 MQMs after $3000 in purchases in the first 3 months

- Earn 2x miles at restaurants worldwide, US supermarkets/takeout/delivery

- Receive a domestic main cabin round-trip companion certification each year on your account anniversary (*Must pay for government-imposed taxes and fees.)

- Up to $100 in application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck

- 1st checked bag free on Delta flights

- 3x miles on Delta purchases

- 1x miles on all other eligible purchases

- No foreign transaction fees

- Exclusive rate of $39 per person, per visit to Delta Skyclub for you and up to 2 guests





American Express Business Gold Card

Annual fee: $295

APR: 14.24% - 22.24%

Credit Score Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 35,000 points after $5000 spent in the first 3 months

- 4x points on 2 select categories where your business spent the most money each month

- Get 25% points back when you pay for all or part of an eligible flight booked with American Express travel (up to 250,000 per calendar year)


For further information about any of these cards, please click here.


Delta Skymiles Reserve Business American Express Card

Annual fee: $550

APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Credit Score Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 45,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs after $4,000 spent in the first 3 months

- Status boost for additional MQMs after $30,000 spent in a year

- Delta Skyclub Access and The Centurion Lounge when on same-day Delta flights

- No foreign transaction fees

- 3 miles on every $1 on eligible purchases


Delta Skymiles Platinum Business American Express Card

Annual fee: $250

APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Credit Score Needed: 740+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 70,000 miles and 5,000 MQMs after $4,000 spent in the first 3 months (Offer expires 10/28/2020)

- 3x miles on $1 spent on eligible Delta purchases

- First checked bag free and main cabin priority boarding on Delta flights

- 1.5x miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5000 or more (up to 50,000 additional miles per year)


Southwest Rapid Reward Performance Business Credit Card

Annual fee: $199

APR: 15.99% - 22.99%

Credit Score Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 70,000 points after $5000 spent in the first 3 months

- 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases

- 9,000 bonus points for your account anniversary

- 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising

- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

- 4 upgraded boardings per year when available

- inflight wifi credits

- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck





Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Annual fee: $99

APR: 15.99% - 22.99%

Credit Score Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 60,000 points after $3000 spent in the first 3 months

- 6,000 points after your account anniversary

- 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases

- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

- No foreign transaction fees


United Business Card

Annual fee: $99; $0 the first year

APR: 16.49% - 23.49%

Credit Score Needed: 670+

The Breakdown:

- Earn 75,000 bonus miles after qualifying purchases

- Receive 5,000 miles each account anniversary when you have both a business card and personal card

- First checked bag free on United flights

- 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores and more

- 1 mile per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases

- 2 United Club one-time passes at account opening and each anniversary



About the Author:

I’m Anna Mills - a travel agent, blogger,

and author of the book “100 Ways to Make Travel More Affordable”. I have been a guest on The Trip Sisters Podcast and TripScout’s RoadTrip Expert Panel. You may have seen me in Texas Lifestyle Magazine, Opploans.com, or Travel Market Report as a Rising Star.

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