Best Travel Credit Cards of September 2021: Top Rewards and Offers


There are four types of travel rewards credit cards. You’ll find a description of each type below.

Airline credit cards

An airline credit card is tied to an airline loyalty program, also known as a frequent flyer program. When you use an airline card, it earns miles in that program. You can redeem your miles for award airfare. Instead of paying $250 for a ticket, you may be able to buy it for 25,000 miles. Airline credit cards often include additional perks with the airline, such as free checked luggage or airport lounge access.

Hotel credit cards

A hotel credit card is tied to a hotel loyalty program. When you use a hotel credit card, it earns rewards points in that program. You can redeem your points for award hotel stays, such as paying 30,000 points per night instead of $150 per night. Hotel credit cards also frequently offer extra perks with the hotel chain. These could include a complimentary late checkout, elite status in the hotel’s loyalty program, or a free night award every year.

Travel credit cards with fixed-rate rewards

A travel credit card with fixed-rate rewards lets you redeem your rewards for cash travel purchases. Rewards are always worth the same amount toward travel this way. For example, if your card offers $0.01 per point, then 10,000 points will always be worth $100 in travel. Depending on the card, you can either use your rewards as a statement credit toward previous travel purchases, use them in the card issuer’s travel portal to book travel, or both.

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Travel credit cards with transferable rewards

A travel credit card with transferable rewards lets you send your rewards to other loyalty programs. For example, if your travel card has rewards you can transfer to Hyatt Hotels, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, then you could send your points to any of those programs. You would then be able to book travel through that loyalty program using your points.

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