Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards (2020)

Updated: 4 months ago

One of the keys to traveling the world for next to nothing is having the right credit cards.

Virtually all airlines and hotel chains have co-branded credit cards that allow you to accrue points in your preferred program.

Not only do credit card companies offer huge sign-up bonuses just for being approved for a card, but they also offer bonus points for spending in certain categories, even on cards with no annual fee, or the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.

I earn around a million miles a year through credit cards, about half of which come strictly from the sign-up bonuses earned by being approved for a credit card and completing a minimal amount of spend. The other half I earn through maximizing everyday spend (allowing me to earn anywhere from 2x to 5x points per dollar) and taking advantage of every bonus promotion available to me. Every year I redeem these points for a handful of first class trips around the world.

There are a lot of misconceptions about how credit scores work, as most people believe that applying for a credit card will negatively impact their credit score. As long as you keep your credit utilization low and make your payments on time, you shouldn’t see a negative impact on your credit score from applying for cards. Keep in mind you’ll need Very Good or Excellent credit to be eligible for many of the more lucrative cards below, and I would recommend never carrying a balance on a rewards-earning card, as the monthly interest payments can easily negate and exceed the value of the rewards.

My credit score is actually much better now than it was before I started applying for lots of credit cards, and I apply for multiple each year.

Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points
on American Express' secure site
Why we like this card

While the annual fee is high the card comes with lots of benefits that help negate the annual fee, and this is a great welcome bonus on this card.

Read our Review

Current Offer

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • PAY OVER TIME OPTION: A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.
  • Terms Apply.

Card Details
5X Membership Rewards on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com (Hotels must be booked and paid in advance to be able to use the benefit).

Get 50% more points on each large business eligible purchase of $5,000 or more, up to 1 million additional points per calendar year.

on American Express' secure site
Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points

American Express® Business Gold Card

Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month.
Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Annual Fee: $295
Terms Apply.
on American Express' secure site
Why we like this card

Earning 4X Membership Rewards® for small business expenses is an awesome return, and we especially like that it automatically applies to the categories you use most in a billing cycle, rather than having to choose just one or two each year.

Read our Review

Current Offer

  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • MORE REWARDS: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases. **
  • **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • AIRLINE BONUS: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • PAY OVER TIME OPTION: A flexible payment option with interest to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.*
  • *Terms Apply
on American Express' secure site
Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards® points

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7%
Annual Fee: $95
The card details for the Amex EveryDay Preferred have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Why we like this card

If you make frequent transactions in a month the Amex EveryDay cards are a great option. In addition to accruing points in bonus categories, these cards offer an additional incentive based on how many times the card is used in a month. This can be quite lucrative, especially as these cards accrue Membership Rewards points. Membership Rewards points can be transferred to airline partners for the best value, or used to pay for all or part of your flight, prepaid hotel, vacation or cruise through amextravel.com.

Current Offer
Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Card Details
3x points at US Supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases; 2x points at US gas stations; 1x points on other purchases. Use your Card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.

Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7%
Annual Fee: $0
The card details for the Amex EveryDay Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Why we like this card

If you make frequent transactions in a month the Amex EveryDay cards are a great option. In addition to accruing points in bonus categories, these cards offer an additional incentive based on how many times the card is used in a month. This can be quite lucrative, especially as these cards accrue Membership Rewards points. Membership Rewards points can be transferred to airline partners for the best value, or used to pay for all or part of your flight, prepaid hotel, vacation or cruise through amextravel.com.

Current Offer
Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Card Details
2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases. Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.

Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards points

Business Green Rewards Card

Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $95
The card details for the Business Green Rewards Card have been collected independently by OMAAT and have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Why we like this card

Read our Review

Current Offer
Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards you they spend $3,000 on qualifying purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Card Details
2 Membership Rewards for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases at amextravel.com.