The 10 Best Credit Cards For Travelers in March 2019

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One of the most common questions we receive here at Upgraded Points is which credit cards are best to apply for right now.

Since credit card introductory bonuses, benefits, and offerings can change frequently, the answer to that question can often change.

For this reason, I’ve decided to start a monthly feature highlighting those credit cards worthy of a current recommendation.

I’ll include credit cards with the best bonuses, cards with new unique benefits, and any special new credit card offers that present great value.

Here’s my list of the top 10 credit cards for March 2019:

Recommended Personal Credit Cards

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • Hundreds of dollars in travel value as a sign-up bonus
  • No annual fee the first year
  • 2x earnings on dining and travel

Why We Like This Card Overall

We like the fact that the fee is waived the first year, giving you plenty of time to try the card and see how well it fits your spending profile.

We also like the 25% extra value you receive when redeeming Ultimate Rewards Points for travel.

Another benefit of Ultimate Rewards is the flexibility to transfer Ultimate Rewards to travel partners.

The Perfect Cardholder

If you spend a lot on dining out and travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will match up with your spending profile and result in maximized earnings.

The card is also a great first travel rewards card because it earns valuable, flexible Ultimate Rewards Points and delivers great value when redeeming for travel.

An Excellent Redemption Option

Book the Hyatt Place Los Cabos for an entire week with just 35,000 Ultimate Rewards points after transferring points to Hyatt. Check out our inspiring list for other great Ultimate Rewards redemption options.

Hyatt Place Los Cabos
Book the Hyatt Place Los Cabos for just 5,000 points per night. Image courtesy of Hyatt.

2. Capital One© Venture® Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • Exciting increased sign-up bonus
  • 10X earnings at Hotels.com/venture
  • Ability to transfer miles to travel partners
  • Fee waived the first year

Why We Like the Card Overall

The Capital One® Venture® Card has simple earnings, flexible redemptions, and good overall value.

With 2 miles earned per dollar spent on all purchases and 10 miles per dollar at Hotels.com/venture, earnings add up fast.

Redeeming your miles for travel will deliver great value as well. You can wipe out previous travel purchases with Purchase Eraser, book travel directly with Capital One using your miles, or transfer miles to airline partners.

To learn even more reasons we like the card, take a look at all benefits of using the Capital One® Venture® Card.

The Perfect Cardholder

The ideal cardholder will need to “spend more than $1,056 per month” on the card, according to Capital One. Otherwise, the Capital One® VentureOne® card may be a better fit.

While the Capital One® Venture® Card earns 2 miles/dollar, it has an annual fee the second year. The Capital One® VentureOne® Card has no annual fee but earns just 1.25 miles/dollar.

If you spend a lot on hotels, you’ll also find value with the card since it earns 10 miles per dollar spent on Hotels.com/venture.

An Excellent Redemption

Use your miles to fly from Bangkok to New Zealand in business class on Thai Airways for only 53,333 miles. To learn more about the best ways to redeem Capital One miles, our guide has some inspirational ideas!

THAI New 787-9 Business Class
Transferring Capital One miles to fly Thai’s newest 787-9 Dreamliner offers great redemption value. Image courtesy of 9spin.me.

3. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • No annual fee
  • Sign-up bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements in the first 3 months
  • 1.5% cash-back earned on every purchase

Why We Like the Card Overall

No need to keep track of complicated bonus earning categories, as every purchase earns 1.5% cash-back.

Cash-back is earned in the form of valuable Ultimate Rewards Points.

Pairing the card with a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning credit card delivers incredible value when redeeming points for travel.

The Perfect Cardholder

If you are against paying an annual fee and want simplicity in your earning structure, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® will work for you.

An Excellent Redemption Option

When the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is paired with a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning credit card, you can receive up to 50% more value for your points. It’s possible to take a family of 4 to Disney World for 66,772 Ultimate Rewards points!

Ultimate Rewards Booking
Use the Ultimate Rewards travel portal with a premium Chase credit card and get good value for your points. Image courtesy of Chase.

4. The American Express® Gold Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • Welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars in travel
  • An entire year to maximize reward earnings and build value that offsets the annual fee.
  • Great time to use the $100 airline fee statement credit

Why We Like the Card Overall

The card functions both as an everyday spending card and a travel rewards card. That’s because it’s a go-to card for dining and supermarket spending with $25,000 in annual purchases adding up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points!

In addition to earning 4x points at U.S. restaurants and supermarkets, you’ll earn 3x points on airline purchases. And, you can redeem Membership Rewards points for travel!

The Perfect Cardholder

If you’re a foodie, love to cook, and you spend money on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, you’ll be earning lots of Membership Rewards points with the American Express® Gold Card.

The card can also serve a family well since everyday purchases for dining out and supermarket purchases are key bonus earning categories.

Excellent Redemption Option

Transfer Membership Rewards points to Singapore Airlines so you can redeem miles for Virgin Atlantic Upper Class round-trip to Europe from the U.S. You’ll pay just 100,000 miles to enjoy this luxury trip.

For more ways to turn your Membership Rewards points into aspirational moments, check out our best ways to redeem Membership Rewards points.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Cabin
Fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class, where every seat has direct aisle access. Image courtesy of AusBT.

5. The Platinum Card® from American Express

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • Centurion Lounge Access for cardholder and 3 authorized users for additional $175
  • Airline and Uber credits
  • Welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars
  • 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flight purchases directly with the airlines

Why We Like the Card

If you have a large family or frequently travel with others, you won’t find less expensive lounge access than the Platinum Card® from American Express. It’s not inexpensive, but it is a good deal.

A normal lounge membership can cost $600 annually, and you may only be able to bring 2 guests. With the American Express Platinum® Card, you can have 4 lounge memberships that could each guest 2 people by adding just $175 to the annual fee.

Access includes thousands of lounge locations worldwide, including Centurion lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and cardholder access to Delta Sky Clubs. Your authorized users do not have to be traveling with you to enjoy this amazing benefit.

The card has tremendous additional value, including free global internet, hotel and rental car elite status, and retail credits.

The Perfect Cardholder

The frequent traveler who enjoys lounge access (without having to fly business or first class!), luxury perks, and elite status will realize the most value from the card.

Good Value Redemption Option

Transferring 50,000 Membership Rewards points to Avianca will yield enough Avianca miles to secure a round-trip transcontinental flight in business class on United’s new 787-10.

For 10 great ways to use 60,000 Membership Rewards points, you’ll want to check out our list!

United Polaris Middle Seats
Fly the prestigious United Polaris across the country and back. Image courtesy of united.com.

6. The Hilton Honors Aspire Credit Card from American Express

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • 150,000 Hilton Honors Points
  • Hilton Honors Diamond status for the entire year
  • Lounge access for the entire year
  • A free weekend hotel night

Why We Like the Card Overall

The card offers a great deal of value, even with the premium annual fee. With Priority Pass lounge access, $350 in total Hilton credits, $250 in airline credits, and a free weekend night, the value far outweighs the annual fee.

The Perfect Cardholder

Hilton loyalists will realize the most value from this card. They’ll earn 14 Hilton Honors Points per dollar spent at Hilton, a $250 resort credit, and complimentary top elite status.

An Excellent Redemption Option

Use 60,000 Hilton Honors Points per night for this lovely Hilton Resort in Queenstown, New Zealand. Your $250 resort credit can help cover the cost of additional nights or offset food, beverage, and activity charges.

To learn more about the best way to maximize Hilton Honors redemptions, you’ll want to check out our great list!

Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
The Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa in New Zealand. Image courtesy of Hilton.

Recommended Business Credit Cards

7. Chase United Explorer Business Credit Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • The sign-up bonus has been increased from 50,000 miles to 75,000 miles.
  • The annual fee is still waived the first year, and is $95 after that

Why We Like the Card Overall

The sign-up bonus alone can secure a round-trip economy flight to Europe, or business class round-trip to the Caribbean.

The Perfect Cardholder

Frequent United flyers will benefit from having the United Explorer Business card due to priority benefits and earnings on United.

An Excellent Redemption Option

A real bucket list item for many aviation enthusiasts is to take the United island-hopper flight route. The flights begin in Honolulu and stop in the Marshall Islands, Kwajalein Atoll, Kosrae, Pohnpei Island, Weno, and Guam. For just 67,500 United miles, you can check this route off your bucket list!

We’ve also put together some other great options on how to maximize your United sign-up bonus miles.

Hilton Guam
Spend a couple days in Guam at the end of your island-hopper adventure. Image courtesy of Hilton.

8. Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • The sign-up bonus is stellar, with up to $1,000 in travel value
  • Earn 3 points per dollar on up to $150,000 per account anniversary year
  • Low annual fee of $95 for a premium business card

Why We Like the Card Overall

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card rewards a long list of business expenses with 3x earnings. Bonus categories include advertising via social media and search engines, travel, shipping, internet, cable, and phone services.

We also like the ability to pair no-annual-fee Chase credit cards with premium Ultimate Rewards-earning cards like the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card for maximum redemption value and transfer options.

And Chase allows the transfer of Ultimate Rewards points between business and personal credit cards.

The Perfect Cardholder

Any business owner who travels and spends a lot in the bonus spending categories will maximize the value of this card. We also dig into many of the benefits of being an Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card holder.

An Excellent Redemption Option

Transferring Ultimate Rewards points and using 89,000 Singapore Krisflyer miles allows you to fly from the West Coast to Singapore in business class.

Singapore Airlines Business Class 777
Fly in business class on the Singapore Airlines 777 for 89,000 miles.

 9. Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • No annual fee
  • A sign-up bonus worth hundreds of dollars
  • 5% and 2% cash-back earning categories

Why We Like the Card Overall

The Ink Business℠ Cash Credit Card is a solid small business card that rewards common business expenses. On the first $25,000 in purchases each card anniversary year, you’ll earn 5% cash-back on office supplies, internet, cable, and phone services.

In addition, you’ll earn 2% cash-back on up to $25,000 in purchases at U.S. restaurants and gas stations. All purchases earn at least 1% cash-back.

We also like that cash-back is earned in the form of Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to Chase premium Ultimate Rewards-earning cards and redeemed for travel at up to 50% more value.

The Perfect Cardholder

If you’re a small business owner starting out, you’ll find the Ink Business℠ Cash Credit Card card a good match.

An Excellent Redemption Option

Treat yourself after all your hard work by transferring your Ultimate Rewards Points to Hyatt and upgrading your paid hotel room to a suite. Upgrades start at 3,000 points for a Regency Club/Grand Club upgrade, and increase to just 6,000 points for a suite upgrade and 9,000 points for a premium suite upgrade.

Park Hyatt Sydney Suite
An elegant Park Hyatt Sydney suite upgrade could be in your future. Image courtesy of Hyatt.

Wildcard Recommendation for March

10. The Wyndham Rewards Cards

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • All Wyndham properties can be booked with 15,000 Wyndham Rewards Points regardless of cash price
  • A sign-up bonus equivalent to 2 free hotel nights
  • A full year to build points for next year’s spring break vacation

Why We Like the Card Overall

There are 2 Wyndham Rewards credit cards: one that has an annual fee and one that doesn’t.

Both cards have the same name, but we recommend the version with the $75 annual fee because it comes with an opportunity to earn the equivalent of 2 free hotel nights as a sign-up bonus.

It also provides greater earnings of 5 points per dollar spent at Wyndham properties.

Learn all the ways to earn lots of Wyndham Rewards by accessing our complete guide.

The Perfect Cardholder

Wyndham hotel property enthusiasts and families looking for good value will enjoy the perks of this card.

An Excellent Redemption

Use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to fly your family to Florida, book the Grand Orlando Resort for 15,000 points per night, and enjoy Disney World.

For more exciting properties you can book with your Wyndham Rewards, access our great list of possibilities!

Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek
Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort. Image courtesy of booking.com.

Final Thoughts

It’s not practical to list all the best credit cards in 1 article — that’s why we work diligently every day to deliver a wealth of ongoing information to help you decide which cards make sense for you.

Whether you’re dealing with no credit or poor credit, looking for luxury travel benefits, prefer a no-annual-fee credit card, or you’d find a 0% introductory APR useful, chances are we’ve done the homework and analyzed the options available.

Each month I’ll dig into some of the best available offers, share my recommendations, and provide you with the highlights that I think help make each of these cards a worthy consideration.

Until next month….


*Featured Image: Courtesy of Hilton

Alex Miller

About Alex Miller

Alex has been traveling for over 25 years and from a young age was lucky enough to set out on numerous family trips all over the world, which gave him the travel bug. Alex has since earned millions of travel points and miles, mainly through maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and taking every opportunity to earn the most points possible on each dollar spent.

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