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Wanderlust Wallet: January 2024’s 16 Must-Have Travel Credit Cards

As travel resumes and wanderlust kicks in, having the perfect credit card for you can significantly enhance your travel experience. Whether you’re a frequent flyer, a road trip lover, or someone who just enjoys exploring, a travel credit card can offer a range of benefits, from earning rewards on everyday purchases to providing access to exclusive perks. In this guide, we’ll explore the 16 best travel credit cards of January 2024, each catering to different preferences and needs.

1. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Our pick for: Flat-rate points

This card is renowned for its flat-rate rewards structure. You can earn 5 miles on every dollar spent on hotels and rentals through Capital One Travel. You can also earn 2 miles on every dollar spent for all other purchases. With no blackout dates or restrictions, these miles can be withdrawn at a value of 1 cent apiece for any travel purchase. The card also offers a compelling sign-up bonus and additional perks.

2. B of A® Travel Rewards credit card

Our pick for: Flat-rate rewards + no annual fee, and for transfers

The B of A® Travel Rewards credit card stands out as an excellent no-annual-fee option. It provides a solid rewards rate on all purchases, and points can be redeemed for any travel purchase without restrictions. The card’s broad definition of “travel” adds flexibility, making it a versatile choice. It’s also a great option for balance transfers.

3. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Our pick for: Bonus travel rewards + high-end perks

While the Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with a high annual fee, its benefits can outweigh the cost for frequent travelers. Enjoy bonus rewards on dining and travel (up to 10X), a substantial sign-up bonus, annual credits, lounge access, and a 50% boost in point value when withdrawing points for travel through Chase. These rewards can be transferred to various airline and hotel partners.

4. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Our pick for: Flexibility + point transfers + big sign-up bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a reasonable annual fee. It earns bonus rewards (up to 5X) on travel, dining, select streaming services, and select online grocery purchases. Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase, and they can also be transferred to airline and hotel partners. The card offers a stellar sign-up bonus.

5. Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

Our pick for: Bonus rewards + no annual fee

The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card delivers exceptional value without an annual fee. Benefit from a generous bonus offer and earn extra rewards in various common spending categories, including restaurants, gas stations, transit, travel, streaming, and more.

6. Citi Premier® Card

Our pick for: Triple points in multiple categories

The Citi Premier® Card stands out with its triple points on airfare, hotels, supermarkets, dining, and gas stations. It also features a solid sign-up bonus, making it an attractive choice for those seeking versatile rewards.

7. U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card

Our pick for: Road trips

For road trip enthusiasts, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card is a top choice. Earn quadruple points on travel, gas stations, and EV charging stations. It also provides solid rewards for everyday expenses like groceries, dining, and streaming. With an annual fee of $0 for the first year, it offers great value.

8. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Our pick for: Travel portal benefits

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card caters to those who prefer booking through a travel portal. Earn high rewards rates and enjoy credits that can offset the annual fee. It’s a premium option for travelers who make extensive use of the issuer’s online booking portal.

9. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Our pick for: Cash back for travel bookings

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® enhances its value by offering bonus rewards on travel booked through Chase, as well as at restaurants and drugstores. With a 0% introductory APR period for new cardholders and an attractive bonus offer, it’s a well-rounded choice.

10. Chase Freedom Flex℠

Our pick for: Cash back for travel bookings

Similar to its Unlimited counterpart, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ provides bonus cash back in quarterly categories, including travel booked through Chase, restaurants, and drugstores. While category activation may be required, the potential rewards can be substantial.

11. The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our pick for: Luxury travel perks

The Platinum Card® does come with hefty annual fee but offers extensive luxury travel perks. Enjoy airport lounge access, travel and shopping credits, hotel benefits, and a high rewards rate on eligible travel purchases. The rich welcome offer adds to its appeal.

12. American Express® Gold Card

Our pick for: Big rewards on everyday spending

The American Express® Gold Card excels in earning points from everyday spending, particularly at U.S. supermarkets, restaurants, and on select flights booked through amextravel.com. With available dining and travel credits, plus a solid welcome offer, it’s a top choice for big rewards.

13. Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card

Our pick for: Rewards on rent payments

The Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card stands out by offering credit card rewards on rent payments without additional fees. Earn bonus points on dining and travel, and enjoy redemption options that include transfers to partner hotel and loyalty programs.

14. PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Our pick for: Credit union rewards

The PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card, with a $95 annual fee (waivable in some cases), offers premium perks. Benefit from a generous rewards rate on travel purchases, a flat rate on other expenses, travel credits, and a Priority Pass membership for airport lounge access.

15. Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Our pick for: Airline credit card

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is an excellent choice for Delta loyalists. Earn bonus rewards on Delta flights, at restaurants worldwide, and at U.S. supermarkets. Enjoy a first bag free benefit and priority boarding, making it a valuable airline credit card.

16. World of Hyatt Credit Card

Our pick for: Hotel credit card

For those who frequent Hyatt properties, the World of Hyatt Credit Card is a compelling option. Earn points even on non-Hyatt spending, and enjoy benefits like free nights, automatic elite status, and a valuable sign-up bonus.

Not a Delta flyer? Explore our best airline cards for other options. Not a Hyatt customer? Check out our best hotel cards for alternative choices.

These 16 travel credit cards have a lot of features and benefits, helping you pick the one that aligns with your spending habits and travel preferences. Whether you prioritize flat-rate rewards, luxury perks, or specific category bonuses, finding the right travel credit card can make your next adventure an unforgettable one. Happy travels!

Note: The information provided, including fees, benefits, finances personal, and features, is accurate as of January 2024. Please check with the respective credit card issuers for the most up-to-date information.

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