We’ve simplified things with our “Best Of” rankings for best credit cards for travel rewards. 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? Sign up for Travel Freely (for free) or check out Rewards Cards 101.
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.
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Highlights for July 2020
Citi AA Cards with good offers and first year fee waived
Both the Citi AA Business card with a 65,000 offer and the Citi personal card with a 50,000 miles offer have first year annual fees waived. The business card is notable because people are still having success with approvals right now (compared to Chase Ink business cards that are routinely getting denied). With domestic travel on the rise for the foreseeable future, these cards could make sense if you live near an American hub.
Stay Vigilant With Financial Companies (except for SoFi Deal – Easy $75 or $225+ for Couples)
I have noticed companies like Credit Karma and others pushing me to try new services – credit related, savings accounts, stocks, etc. They are obviously looking to make more money at this time. Be careful with these “great offers” and don’t be fooled. There is one great deal still going if you want in. You get $75 in “stock bits” for signing up with a referral link – then, you can refer others for $75 more.
7/2/20 Update: This is now $50 for signing up and $50 for referring – act now if interested as it will probably go to $25 soon. The reason it’s so easy is because the full process can all be done online in a matter of 2-3 minutes from your phone. If you have SoFi money, you are still eligible for this. Start by signing up with a referral link (Zac’s referral link). If you do not have SoFi money or not into stocks, here’s an easy $25 option ($100 for couples) – just setup an account using a referral link and transfer in $500. It takes 3 minutes from your phone!
Easy $20 at Amazon Deal
Did you get this Easy Deal for $20 at Amazon? It’s embarrassing to admit, but I missed it. All you needed was to use an Amex consumer card for a $50 purchase on items shipped & sold by Amazon. Then, you got a $20 coupon towards a purchase in their Amazon Moments store (4-star or higher products). I am going to include these deals in future email alerts.
Free Hotels on Road Trips
The summer road trip is trending. So if you are not going to fly, consider some of the best hotel cards in order to get huge points and extra benefits. Couples can definitely double up for some big redemptions. Best Hotel Programs and Hotel Card Offers.
In addition, 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.
0% APR and Balance Transfer Offers
I’m getting more requests lately for good options on 0% APR or Balance Transfer cards. Many balance transfer options are actually disappearing because banks are nervous about taking on more debt. We have some good options listed below for personal and business cards, including the Citi Diamond Preferred, Citi Double Cash, and Citi Rewards+.
COVID-19 Related Posts: Tips and Travel Policies from all major brands | Check out this updated article for stay at home travel boosts
Best Credit Card Offers
At Travel Freely, we are all about maximizing great sign-up bonuses with the best credit cards with travel rewards. 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: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (50,000 points)
- Overall Best Business Travel Card: Chase Ink Business Preferred (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 Personal Card With No Annual Fee: Amex Hilton Honors (75,000 points) or Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold (30,000 points)
- Best Hotel Business Card: Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business Card (75,000 points)
- Best Airline Personal Card: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard (50,000 miles and first year fee waived)
- Best Airline Business Card: Citi Business American Airlines (65,000 miles)
- Easiest Cash Back Earning Personal Card: Citi Double Cash (2% back on everything)
- Best Cash Back Business Card: Chase Ink Unlimited ($500 or 50,000 points) or Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business ($500)
- Best 0% APR Business Card: Chase Ink Unlimited (50,000 points and 0% Offer)
Our Top Recommendations for 0% APR
Best cards for 0% APR and Balance Transfer: If you’re looking for the best balance transfer options, think about the Citi Diamond Card for a balance transfer and 0% on purchases option. The next best option would be the Citi Double Cash Card with 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. Note: You will not earn rewards for the actual balance transfers. Make sure to check terms when applying. For 0% APR, check out the Amex Blue Cash Everyday or Chase Freedom Unlimited because they also have a welcome bonus.
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 when helping you with the best credit cards with travel rewards.
- 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!
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