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