Best Credit Card Rewards Programs For Travelers

When it comes to travel awards, not all credit cards are created equal. KCBS Radio’s Kim Wonderley has a look at a few that you may want to add to your wallet, in this week’s Road Report.

Travel awards are one of the main reasons many people charge everything. Credit companies know this, which is why there are so many vying for a spot in your wallet. Of course, the trick is to pay off your balance every month to avoid piling up debt from the interest. 

For fans of Southwest Airlines, there’s an incredible deal going on now for customers opening new Southwest Plus, Premier or Priority accounts. Spend $4,000 within the first three months and you’ll earn 30,000 points and a companion pass, which is good for the rest of the year. That means another passenger can travel with you for free for the rest of 2019. The cheapest annual fee is $69 with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card. The offer ends February 11. 

For good overall travel rewards, experts at consumer websites Nerd Wallet and the Points Guys agree on a few cards. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card gives you 50,000 bonus points after reaching $4,000 in charges in the first three months. That correlates to $625 to apply for travel. Travel and dining purchases earn double the regular amount of rewards points. The card comes with an $95 annual fee, but that’s waived in the first year. 

The Capital One Venture card is a similar product with a $95 annual fee that waived for the first year. With this option, you need to spend just $3,000 in three months to earn 50,000 miles and you also get double miles on every purchase. 

For international travel, the Capital One and Chase Sapphire cards are handy, because unlike many of their competitors, they don’t charge foreign transaction fees.

To avoid paying an annual fee, experts suggest the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card or the Bank of America Travel Rewards card.