Best Travel Credit Cards and Airline Cards for 2018

The Best Travel Credit Cards for 2018

Going into 2018, you may benefit from having a travel credit card. There are many benefits to owning one, and you don’t necessarily have to travel a lot to benefit. There are dozens to choose from, and we’ll review and company the best travel credit cards. Whether you want a general travel rewards card or the best airline credit cards, we’ll help you.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Ranking as one of the best travel card for 2018, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent choice. Cardholders get a generous welcome bonus to start that comes in the form of 50,000 unlimited reward points. You also get double points for travel and dining including taxi fares, takeout, and dining in. There are no foreign transaction fees, and your points are transferable to hotel and frequent flyer programs. Finally, you also get multiple redemption options for your points. This allows you to be flexible with how you reward yourself.

You’ll have a $95 annual fee with this card, and that is very reasonable. You won’t get an introductory APR with this card either. If you’ve recently applied and opened multiple cards, Chase may deny your application due to the Chase 5/24 rule. Additionally, you need higher than average credit to qualify for this card.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Another one of the best travel credit cards is also from Chase. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card gives you three points for every dollar you spend on dining and travel. Chase has a generous category for dining, and this includes taxi fares, coffee, dine in and takeout. You also get one point for every dollar you spend in other places. You’ll get a $300 travel credit that Chase will automatically credit to your account once a year. Spend $4,000 in the first four months, and you’ll get 50,000 bonus points. This equates to a $500 statement credit. Your points are transferable to other to other travel loyalty programs as well.

This card has a higher annual fee of $450. The application process is very selective, and many people won’t get approval. Additionally, you also have to have excellent credit for this card.

Comparing the Chase Preferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve

As two of the best travel credit cards for 2018, you have to see how they compare to each other. Both cards have a generous welcome bonus, but you do have to spend quite a bit to get them. Both cards let you transfer your points to frequent travel programs. However, Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you double points on dining and travel, and Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you triple.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a lower annual fee, but Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you a $300 annual credit. This can help to offset the higher annual fee this card has. Additionally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t penalize you for adding authorized users while the Chase Sapphire Reserve does.

Depending on your spending, either one of these cards could be the best travel credit cards for you. If you spend more than $2,750 annually, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is most likely the better choice. Also, the welcome bonus and points are more flexible on the Reserve card.

Comparing General Travel Rewards Cards of 2018

Now that we’ve compared the Chase Sapphire cards, we’ll move on to other great general travel rewards card. We want you to find the best travel card for 2018, and this means looking at one more general travel rewards credit card.

Compare the best travel credit cards for 2018.

Capital One VentureOne

The Capital One VentureOne Card is one of the best travel credit cards on the market. You can get miles, bonuses, and no annual fees with this card. As it has no annual fee, you can use this card as it suits you without trying to justify an annual fee. Use it as little or as much as you want without any worry. Your bonuses won’t expire as long as your account is open and in good standing. This allows you to let your awards accumulate and use them for big redemptions. Your rewards and miles are also unlimited. For every dollar you spend, you get 1.25 miles. There is no foreign transaction fee, and you get a nice sign-up bonus.

The APR is higher on this card, and you need good or excellent credit to qualify. While you do earn rewards, the rates are lower than other rewards cards. You also have to spend $1,000 in the first three months to get the welcome bonus.

Comparing the Best Airline Credit Cards of 2018

United TravelBank Card

United Airlines has several credit cards available. However, this card ranks as one of the best travel credit cards because it has no annual fee. You get TravelBank Cash as your rewards, and you get 2% for every dollar spent on airline tickets. United Airlines will also give you 1.5% for every dollar you spend elsewhere. There are statement credits available when you use your card to buy in-flight food or beverages. You also get travel insurance, price protection, no foreign transaction fee, and much more.

The United TravelBank Card card does come with a purchase APR from 16.99% to 23.99%, and this can be higher than other cards. You are also restricted in how you can redeem your rewards. You can only use them with United Airlines. Your credit score also has to be excellent to get this card.

JetBlue Plus Card

Another great travel card for 2018 is the JetBlue Plus. Cardholders come with large point earning possibilities. When you buy something from JetBlue, you get six reward points. You get two points for every dollar you spend on groceries and dining. There is also a generous welcome offer, and you get 5,000 points each year on your anniversary date. There are also unlimited rewards, and you get in-flight savings. Every time you redeem your rewards, you get a 10% redemption bonus. Finally, there are no blackout dates, foreign transaction fees, and you can qualify for TrueBlue Mosaic.

This card does come with an annual fee of $99, but that is reasonable for a travel card. It also has a higher APR, and you’ll get an additional fee for cash advances. There is also no grace period on your cash advance fee.

2018 Best Travel Credit Cards Runnerups

Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card

Bottom Line on the Best Travel Credit Cards

When it comes to the best travel credit cards, you do have options. As we’re heading into 2018, a great travel card and airline credit card may be just what you need. We’ve reviewed several excellent travel rewards credit cards to help you decide which one is best for you. When you’re looking for the best travel card for 2018, take your time and do your research. It’ll pay off, and you’ll reap the benefits.

Monica Kowollik

Director at
Monica has covered credit card and personal finance news for over 15 years. From an early age, she developed an interest in financial literacy and saving money. Monica hopes to help others to improve their personal finances one article at a time.

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