The 10 Best Credit Cards For Travelers in April 2019

Hilton Guam Resort and Spa

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Many of our readers ask me, “What’s the best travel credit card?” In an effort to narrow your options, here’s my monthly list of 10 worthy credit cards to consider. With such an enormous variety of travel credit cards from which to select, narrowing the field down to some of the best cards available can be helpful and a time saver!

Also, since credit card introductory bonuses, benefits, and offerings can change frequently, this monthly list can change accordingly so you have the most up-to-date information.

This month, with spring break coming up, the recommended cards partner well with family travel. Spring break is one of the busiest times of year for travel but many families, large and small, have difficulty putting together an affordable getaway.

While it may be too late to secure a travel rewards credit card for spring break travel this year, summer is approaching quickly and with the kids out of school, a new travel season will be upon us.

By thinking of which travel credit card is best suited for you, you have time to build a bank of travel rewards to offset some of those family summer travel expenses and take advantage of any limited time offers.

Recommended Personal Credit Cards

1. Citi Prestige® Credit Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now:

  • 4th night credit when booking consecutive nights – unlimited use until Sept 1, 2019
  • $250 travel statement credit each calendar year
  • Lounge access for the cardholder and 2 guests to over 1,200 Priority Pass™ lounges
  • 5 ThankYou® points per dollar spent on air travel and restaurant purchases
  • 3 ThankYou® points per dollar spent on hotels and cruise lines
  • A generous sign-up bonus worth hundreds of dollars in travel

Why We Like the Card

The 4th-night free benefit can be worth hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. Book your stay through the Citi ThankYou Rewards Travel Portal and receive a discount in the amount of the average base cost per night of the 4 hotel nights. This benefit is being reduced to 2 uses per year beginning September 1, 2019, but until then, you can book as many 4-night stays as you want, even stays beyond September 1st.

With elevated earnings of 5 points per dollar spent on travel and restaurant purchases and 3 points per dollar on hotel and cruises, points will be accumulating quickly.

Additionally, airport lounge access is a great benefit that can offer tremendous value. A family of 4 can have access to the Priority Pass lounges for a total of $32 per visit (3 for free, $32 for the 4th person).

The Perfect Cardholder

Since the card comes with a $495 annual fee, the ideal cardholder will need to be a frequent traveler who spends a lot on travel and dining to maximize the value of the card.

The cardholder who uses the complimentary lounge access benefit, 4th-night hotel credit, and the $250 travel credit will find plenty of value with the card.

Hot Tip: Securing the Citi Prestige Card now allows you to use the 4th-night free benefit for all your family summer travel. There is currently no limit on how many times you can use the benefit. 

An Excellent Redemption

Book any hotel through the Citi ThankYou Rewards Travel Portal and receive a credit for the 4th consecutive night. For example, book the Hilton Hotel and Suites Niagara Falls Fallsview for $176 per night this summer. Receive a $176 credit on the 4-night booking with the Citi Prestige Card. Use the benefit as many times as you’d like this summer and enjoy discounted hotel stays.

Hilton Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls makes a great summer family getaway. Image courtesy of hilton.com

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • Hundreds of dollars in travel value as a sign-up bonus
  • 2x earnings on travel (includes airfare, hotels, taxis, and trains)
  • 2x earnings on dining
  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Why We Like This Card

We like the 25% extra value you receive when redeeming Ultimate Rewards points on 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. With the current sign-up bonus of 60,000, you’d have points to spare. Check out our inspiring list for other great Ultimate Rewards redemption options.

 

Hyatt Place Los Cabos
Transfer Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt and book an entire week for just 35,000 points. Image courtesy of hyatt.com

3. Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • No annual fee
  • 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent.
  • After the first year, 1.5% cash back earned on every purchase and your Cash Bank rewards do not expire as long as your account is open

Why We Like the Card

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® is a great option.

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 even 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.com

4. The American Express® Gold Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • Welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars in travel
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants
  • 4x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in purchases
  • 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
  • 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

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 a 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 award travel, 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

  • Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges in the American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ for cardholder and up to 2 guests
  • Airline and Uber credits
  • Welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars
  • 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flight purchases directly with the airlines
  • 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels (hotel booked and bailed in advanced) booked on amextravel.com

Why We Like the Card

If you have a large family or frequently travel with others, you find a lot of value in the lounge access offered with the Platinum Card.  While the annual fee is higher than other cards, you receive great value in return.

Airline Lounge membership can cost upwards of $600 annually and limit the number of guests you’re allowed. With the American Express Platinum Card, authorized users receive the same lounge access as cardholders. Add up to 3 additional users for a total of $175 annually and each user will have full lounge access plus be able to bring 2 guests.

Access includes thousands of lounge locations in the American Express Global Lounge Collection which includes 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, luxury perks, and elite status will get 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 more great ways to use Membership Rewards points, check out the article on 10 great ways to use 60,000 Membership Rewards points.

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

6. The Hilton American Express Honors Aspire Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • 14x points per dollar spent at participating hotel or resorts
  • 7x points per dollar spent on flights directly booked with airlines or amextravel.com
  • Hilton Honors Complimentary Diamond status
  • Priority Pass™ lounge access
  • $250 Hilton Resort Statement Credit
  • Two Weekend Night Rewards

Why We Like the Card

The card offers a great deal of value, even with the premium annual fee. With Priority Pass lounge access, Hilton property credits, $250 in airline credits, and free weekend night rewards, the value adds up quickly to justify 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

Families who include Hilton Resorts in their summer vacation can utilize the $250 resort credit to reduce the expense of their family getaway.

Book a vacation at any of these 266 Hilton Resorts this summer and use your $250 resort credit.  The 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 redemptions, check out  the 13 best ways to redeem Hilton points for maximum value.

La Quinta Resort and Club
Use your $250 resort credit at La Quinta Resort and Club. Image courtesy of hilton.com

7. Bank of America® Cash Rewards Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • A cash sign-up bonus
  • Earn 3% cash back on your category of choice (limited to $2,500 in purchases per quarter)
  • Earn 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (limited to $2,500 in purchases per quarter)
  • No annual fee

Why We Like the Card

You can select your 3% bonus category from 6 everyday expense categories: gas, gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/ furnishings. This allows you to select the category you spent the most on, and in turn, get the most points from.

The Bank of America Cash Rewards Card is a card that can be easily maxed out each quarter in 3% and 2% earning categories. That’s $500 in cash back annually on a card with no annual fee. Plus you’ll receive a cash sign-up bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements in the first 3 months after card approval.

The Perfect Cardholder

The ideal cardholder will spend $2,500 per quarter in each of the 3% and 2% bonus categories. With categories that align with everyday expenses, the card could serve a family well.

An Excellent Redemption Option

Use your cash back for a budget family getaway. A family of four can enjoy 3 nights of hotel accommodations ($300) plus 4 entrance tickets to White Water park ($120) in Branson, MO for less than $500. There will even be cash left to use toward gas, food, and beverages.

Branson Water Park
Use your cash back for a budget family getaway. Summer hotel rooms run less than $100 per night near White Water Park in Branson, MO. Image courtesy of White Water.

Recommended Business Credit Cards

8. Chase United℠ Explorer Business Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • 2 miles per dollar spent on United purchases
  • 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores
  • Primary cardholder and companions receive priority boarding on United flights
  • Primary cardholder and 1 companion each receive 1 free checked bag on United flights

Why We Like the Card

The sign-up bonus can secure a round-trip economy flight to Europe, or a 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.

There are a lot of other great options on how to maximize your United sign-up bonus miles.

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

9. Chase Ink Business Cash Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchase at gas stations and restaurants
  • No annual fee

Why We Like the Card

The Ink Business℠ Cash card is a great 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 other purchases earn 1% cash back.

Cash back is earned in the form of Chase 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 card a good match. You can reinvest your rewards back into the business to offset travel expenses or build a vacation travel bank for a family getaway.

An Excellent Redemption Option

Treat yourself and your family by transferring your Ultimate Rewards Points to Hyatt and upgrading your paid hotel room to a suite. Upgrades start at 3,000 Ultimate Rewards 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.

Hyatt Fort Lauderdale Suite
Upgrade your Hyatt hotel room to a family-friendly suite. Image courtesy of hyatt.com

Wildcard Recommendation for April

10. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Top Reasons to Get the Card Now

  • 7,500 bonus points at card anniversary
  • $75 annual Southwest travel credit
  • 4 upgraded boardings per year
  • 20% back on inflight drinks and Wi-Fi
  • 2x points per dollar spent on Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners
  • A generous sign-up bonus
  • Earn tier qualifying points towards A-List status

Why We Like the Card

Even though the card comes with a $149 annual fee, the $75 Southwest credit, bonus anniversary points, and upgraded boarding helps that fee.

Spending on the card earns points that count towards a Southwest Companion Pass, one of the most valuable benefits offered by Southwest. The pass allows you to add a companion to your reservation for just the cost of taxes/fees.

The Perfect Cardholder

Those travelers who frequently fly on Southwest will gain the most value from having the card.

An Excellent Redemption

The best value for your Southwest Rapid Rewards will be discounted airline tickets on Southwest. Southwest’s Wanna Get Away fares offer great value for your points. For example, a Chicago to Denver fare in June can be purchased for 7,451 rewards points each way but searching for any Wanna Get Away fares can result in an excellent redemption.

Denver skyline
Use Southwest points to fly to Denver for a summer family getaway. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Final Thoughts

It’s impossible to include all the best travel credit cards in one article, which is why each month offers a different list of best cards with all the information you need to help you decide what card is best for you. You can be sure that if you like to travel and want to travel for less, this is an excellent resource to help you learn how to travel on points and miles.

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


*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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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

2 comments

  1. Agness | the adventure traveler · April 7, 2019 · Reply

    I was actually wondering about this one. I really appreciate the list you’ve compiled here. I’m going to look it up individually and see what I like the most. Thank you!

    • Christine Krzyszton · April 8, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Agness and thank you for your comment. We’re glad you found the information helpful.

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