We’ve simplified things with our “Best Of” rankings here. If you don’t have time to research cards, take advantage of our expertise! Travel Freely is here to help you with the best credit card offers. Need a primer on Rewards Cards? Check out Rewards Cards 101 or watch our Free Travel 101 webinar for absolute beginners.
Don’t Let Offers Disappear – We’ve seen a LOT of offers come and go. Some offers have clear expiration dates, and others just vanish without warning. My advice: If you are ready for another card, and you know the card you want… Don’t delay!
Beginner? Free Travel Starts Here.
1. Make sure you sign up for Travel Freely – it’s free, and you’ll immediately get access to the short ebook Free Travel 101 and receive custom card recommendations. (We don’t ask for credit card info or any sensitive information).
2. Sign up for our new LIVE webinars called Reward Hacking 101: Stay Smart & Maximize Rewards In These Uncertain Times.
3. If you’re just starting out, we recommend starting slow by getting the very best personal card (or business card) and hitting your bonus. This is often the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Ink Preferred for business cards.
Highlights for April 2020
Referral contest has 2 weeks left!
Two weeks remain for our first-ever Travel Freely member referral contest! It goes from March 1st to April 15th. The winner will receive a $500 Amazon card. Plus, anyone who refers at least one person to Travel Freely will be entered for a chance to win a $100 Amazon card. Check out the full details and start referring friends.
It’s really important to be smart with the kinds of rewards and credit cards you are getting right now. Remember, the Travel Freely approach to racking up rewards does NOT involve traveling. If you spend $1,000+ per month on regular monthly expenses, you stand to earn a lot of great rewards or cash back right from home. Seriously, join a live webinar if you want to learn more.
With that said, big travel discounts are happening now and more are coming in the future. I think most of these discounts will come in the form of cash prices, not award prices. So make sure you have the most flexible types of cards and rewards, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, to book these discounted rates with points. For the best strategy, please read our Ultimate Flexibility Strategy for Travel AND Cash options.
Best Credit Card Offers
At Travel Freely, we are all about maximizing great sign-up bonuses. It’s part of our approach to get the most amount of points in the least amount of time. Sign-up bonuses are the #1 way to rack up points WITHOUT traveling or spending a lot of money. Some people get more rewards in one bonus than they would in an entire year’s worth of spending on the same old card they’ve had for 5 years. Check out the BEST deals here.
- Overall Best Starter Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (60,000 points)
- Best “No-Thinking” Card for Beginners: Capital One® Venture® Rewards (50,000 points)
- Overall Best Business Travel Card: Chase Ink Business Preferred (80,000 – 100,000 points)
- Best Travel Business Card With No Annual Fee: Chase Ink Business Cash (50,000 points / $500 bonus)
- Best Hotel Personal Card: Chase World of Hyatt (50,000 points) or Chase IHG Premier (140,000 points)
- Best Hotel Business Card: Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business Card (75,000 points)
- Best Airline Personal Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (60,000 points)
- Best Airline Business Card: United Explorer Card (100,000 miles) or Citi Business AAdvantage Card (70,000 miles) or Southwest Performance Business Card (70,000 miles)
- Best Cash Back Personal Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred ($535 cash value)
- Best Cash Back Business Card: Chase Ink Unlimited ($500 or 50,000 points) or Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business ($500)
- Best Ultra-Premium Card: Amex Platinum or Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Best Card for College Students/Grads: Citi Rewards+ Student Card or Discover It Student
- Best 0% APR Personal Cards: Citi Double Cash or Wells Fargo Cash Wise or Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Best 0% APR Business Card: Chase Ink Unlimited (50,000 points and 0% Offer)
- Best Balance Transfer: Citi Simplicity Card, Citi Double Cash, Wells Fargo Cash Wise
- Best Business Balance Transfer: Amex Blue Business Plus, or Amex Blue Business Cash
Our Top Recommendations for 0% APR
Best cards for 0% APR and Balance Transfer
0% Balance Transfer APR: If you’re looking for the best balance transfer options, think about the Citi Simplicity Card with 21 months at 0% for balance transfers. This card also comes with 0% Purchase APR for 12 months. The next best option would be the Citi Double Cash Card with 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. It does not have a 0% Purchase APR offer. Note: You will not earn rewards for the actual balance transfers. Make sure to check terms when applying. For 0% APR, check out the Wells Fargo Cash Wise or Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Best 0% Business Cards
What’s Our Criteria for the Best Cards?
- Value of points – Not all points and miles have the same value when it comes time to redeeming them. We take this seriously.
- Bonuses – Travel Freely seeks to maximize sign-up bonuses, so if great sign-up bonus offers come out, those cards will move up in the rankings.
- Type of Card – We value airline cards higher than hotel cards because airfare never goes on sale (whereas hotel sites can get you almost 50% retail rates). So airfare is the highest value in free travel. So, if we see airlines and hotel cards as similarly great deals, the airline card will get the edge in the rankings.
- Bonus spending requirement – We rank cards lower that require major spending as part of sign-up bonus. For example: Some cards offer 50,000 points if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, but then they’ll offer an add’l 25,000 points if you spend $10-15k in additional spending over the course of the year. This is considered major spending to us and we do not factor that in for the normal free traveler.
- Ease-of-use – Factors such as customer service and redemption fees play a factor in our rankings. We don’t want you to spend hours on the phone with poorly trained, off-shore customer service when you have a question about your card. Avoiding ridiculous fees for redeeming free travel are also important to us. For example: Frontier – You might get a “free flight” on Frontier Airlines with 20,000 points. But, you have to spend a reward redemption fee, bag fee for carry-on or checked luggage, and a seat booking fee. You might spend $96 in fees for a “free” $110 flight!
Here’s Help with Rewards Programs:
The three major bank rewards programs are Chase, Amex, Citi, and Marriot Bonvoy. Here are some comprehensive guides to help you understand them better.
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