Travel and airline rewards are a popular option for credit card shoppers. With more than $560 billion spent on travel in 2012, it’s no surprise that people are on the lookout for ways to save on travel expenses. Who doesn’t appreciate free airfare, discount hotel stays and exclusive travel perks? If you’re a frequent traveler or would like to cut the cost of your next vacation, travel and airline credit cards provide a quick and easy way to earn flexible travel rewards. Here are our top airline / travel credit cards for 2014:
How We Pick the Best Airline & Travel Offers
The right airline credit card will make earning miles fast and easy, with rewards that match your travel needs, including your favorite airline and hotel chains. While determining the top airline and travel credit cards, we evaluated the earnings potential of each offer – along with program benefits and overall flexibility. How fast can you earn rewards? Do any restrictions or limitations apply? Although we chose the offers with the best overall benefits, you may find that another offer works better, depending on your needs and travel habits. These offers are excellent for most consumers, but we strongly recommend that you compare a complete list of travel credit cards before you decide.
#1 – Capital One® VentureOneSM Rewards (Most Flexible)
If you’re looking for a flexible travel card that allows you to fly any airline, the Capital One® VentureOne Rewards card provides higher earnings than most airline credit cards – 1.25 miles for every $1 you spend. Plus, earn 10,000 bonus miles when you make $1,000 in purchases during the first 3 months – equivalent to $100 in travel – and a great reward kick-start. In addition, this card has no annual fee, a 0% APR on new purchases and a moderate ongoing APR after the intro period ends. Redeem for travel on any airline, anytime with no blackouts.
The Capital One® VentureOne Rewards Card is ideal as a secondary card or as a primary credit card for daily use. With no annual fee and a reasonable APR, you won’t have to worry about excessive interest charges if you carry a balance from time-to-time. Plus, with 1.25 miles per dollar, you can earn rewards quickly and you’ll have flexible ways to use them. More Details…
#2 – Capital One® VentureSM Rewards Credit Card (Highest Earnings)
With the same flexible redemption options as the VentureOne Card, the Capital One® Venture Card has one big advantage – faster earning potential! Instead of earning 1.25 miles for every dollar you spend, you’ll earn 2 miles. You can also earn the same 10,000 bonus after $1,000 in purchases over the first 3 months – equal to $100 in travel. On the downside, there’s a $59 annual fee which is waived for the first year and you won’t get the 0% intro rate. Plus, the ongoing APR is 2% higher.
The Capital One® Venture Rewards Card is designed for one thing – earning rewards! Used as a secondary payment option, the perks can add up quickly if you’re vigilant about paying down the balance. With a relatively high APR, it’s important that you pay off this card quickly, otherwise high interest charges will negate any benefit from the bigger rewards. And with an annual fee, don’t choose this card unless you plan on using it regularly. More Details…
#3 – PenFed Premium Travel Rewards Card (Best Frequent Travel)
Although the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards Card requires you to be a PenFed member, it’s very easy to join. This card lacks a 0% APR, but it has a competitive 9.99% interest rate and no annual fee. Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $650 within 3 months – equal to $200 in travel. Where this card really stands out is the 5 POINTS FOR EVERY $1 on airfare purchases – one of the best incentives in the industry! For all other purchases, earn the standard 1 point for every dollar.
For frequent flyers, the 5 points you’ll earn from your airline purchases will add up quickly. This is five times the earnings of most airline credit cards! And with a competitive APR and no annual fee, you don’t have to worry about your rewards being diminished by high interest and fees – you could comfortably carry a balance if necessary. More Details…
Earning Travel Rewards Quicker
With most airline reward programs you’ll need a minimum of 25,000 miles to claim a free flight. Use your card exclusively for all purchases and especially for travel arrangements to earn free or discounted airfare, upgrades and other rewards faster. Choose a card based on the benefits that work best for your travel plans and consider which airlines serve the airport nearest you. Be sure to take advantage of special offers and promotions to increase your reward miles, and try not to carry a balance since most airline credit cards have higher rates than standard, low APR cards.
* To compare these and other offers, visit www.wowcreditcards.com