Geeky Insights:

Best Travel Credit Cards - October 2020

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DollarGeek's team has spent countless hours researching and analyzing the best credit cards. Start comparing today’s best credit cards and offers, from travel and cash back, to business and balance transfers. We focus on the features that matter: rewards programs, affordable APR, welcome offers and more. Choose a category below and find your best credit card today.

OVERALL RATING:
(4.8)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

BEST FOR: High rewards rates on travel and dining
Geek Approved

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

OVERALL RATING:
(4.8)
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    N/A
  • Transfer Intro APR:
    N/A | Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% - 22.99% (Variable Rate)
Compare Card Apply Now on Chase's website
Credit Score Range
690
850
Annual Fee
$95
Purcahse Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
15.99% - 22.99%
Rewards Rate
1 - 2 points / $1
Rewards Bonus
60,000 points
Reward Details:
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Geeky Insight:
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OVERALL RATING:
(4.6)

American Express® Gold Card

BEST FOR: Dining and travel points

American Express® Gold Card

OVERALL RATING:
(4.6)
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    N/A
  • Transfer Intro APR:
    N/A | Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Regular APR:
    100% - 100% (Variable Rate)
Compare Card Apply Now on American Express's website
Credit Score Range
690
850
Annual Fee
$250
Purcahse Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
100% - 100%
Rewards Rate
1 - 4 points / $1
Rewards Bonus
35,000 points
Reward Details:
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Terms Apply.
Geeky Insight:
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
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OVERALL RATING:
(4.7)

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

BEST FOR: High rewards + annual travel credits + access to airport lounges worldwide
Geek Approved

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

OVERALL RATING:
(4.7)
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    N/A
  • Transfer Intro APR:
    N/A | Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Regular APR:
    16.99% - 23.99% (Variable Rate)
Compare Card Apply Now on Chase's website
Credit Score Range
720-850
Annual Fee
$550
Purcahse Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
16.99% - 23.99%
Rewards Rate
1 - 3 points / $1
Rewards Bonus
50,000 points
Reward Details:
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
Geeky Insight:
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
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OVERALL RATING:
(4.5)

The Platinum Card® from American Express

BEST FOR: Frequent travelers that want luxury ameneties

The Platinum Card® from American Express

OVERALL RATING:
(4.5)
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    N/A
  • Transfer Intro APR:
    N/A | Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Regular APR:
    100% - 100% (Variable Rate)
Compare Card Apply Now on American Express's website
Credit Score Range
690
850
Annual Fee
$550
Purcahse Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
100% - 100%
Rewards Rate
1 - 5 points / $1
Rewards Bonus
60,000 points
Reward Details:
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply.
Geeky Insight:
  • $550 annual fee.
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Best Travel Credit Cards Recap

Overall Rating

Best For

Rewards Rate

Rewards Bonus

Annual Fee

(4.8)
High rewards rates on travel and dining
1 - 2 points / $1
60,000 points
$95
(4.6)
Dining and travel points
1 - 4 points / $1
35,000 points
$250
(4.7)
High rewards + annual travel credits + access to airport lounges worldwide
1 - 3 points / $1
50,000 points
$550
(4.5)
Frequent travelers that want luxury ameneties
1 - 5 points / $1
60,000 points
$550

Best Travel Credit Cards of October 2020

Gain some clarity on the best student credit cards with our geeky insight.

BEST FOR: High rewards rates on travel and dining

Rewards Rate

1 - 2 points / $1

Rewards Bonus

60,000 points

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Details:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

Geek Point Of View:

The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is one of the top card deals out right now. With everything that the Chase Sapphire Card has going for it, there is no reason to consider this card! If you travel and have fantastic credit, you can have great on-going travel rewards.

To qualify for the big signup bonus, you will need to use at least $4,000 in the first three months of owning this card to qualify. The enormous travel bonus is 60,000 points, which is equivalent to either a $750 travel through Chase or a $600 credit card statement credit.

For those of you who love to get into the details about the benefits cards have to offer here is the nitty gritty on this offer.

Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card:

  • Cash Money: The bonus of up to $750 towards Travel through the Chase Travel Portal after spending a minimum of $4000 in the first 3 months of card ownership or 60,000 travel points or a $600 cash value against your credit card balance.
  • Travel and Food: For every $1 you spend, you earn 2 points for future travel and dining out. You can earn points for just eating, which if you are like most people that’s multiple times a day! Whether you use your points for cash back or travel this card has a great return rate for you! If you prefer the cash option, you receive 2% against your statement balance. If you choose to use your travel rewards, it is 2.5% back. Spending on this card other than food or travel is 1 point for $1 spent.
  • Winning with Lyft: If you use Lyft to get from here to there you will earn 5 points per $1 spent with when riding with Lyft, through March 2022. Who doesn’t love getting extra points for doing what you were going to do anyway! Getting those 3 extra points per $1 spent. That means earning up to 6.25% cash back for riding with Lyft when you pay with your Sapphire Preferred credit card.
  • Annual Fee: This card comes with an annual fee of $95, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers you so much more than $95 worth in cash back options, travel rewards, it should be no trouble at all for anyone to not earn $95 cash back on their card making this fee disappear by just using the card to earn cash back towards your statement balance.
  • Being Average is OK with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Why is average ok? Because an average cardholder will earn at least $1450 within a 2-year period through rewards. Covering not only the annual fee but putting some extra change in your pocket for paying down or paying off your monthly balance.
  • More Food: You get fee free or discounted delivery when you use DoorDash to get your food delivered to your door. Again, if you eat, you will use this benefit! You can get a year’s subscription to the DashPass with DoorDash, you must start your subscription by  12/31/2021.

The bottom line: The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is in a category of its own, and one of the top credit cards for a reason. With a big initial bonus and excellent ongoing rewards, this card definitely justifies the annual fee.

APPLY ON THE LINK BELOW:

BEST FOR: Dining and travel points

Rewards Rate

1 - 4 points / $1

Rewards Bonus

35,000 points

Annual Fee

$250

Rewards Details:

  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Terms Apply.

Geek Point Of View:

The American Express Gold Card is the ultimate credit card for foodies and travelers. This card will give you 4 points per $1 spent at restaurants worldwide, 4 points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 spent per year), and 3 points per $1 spent on flights booked directly through airlines or through amextravel.com. All other purchases made on this card will get you 1 point per $1 spent. Cardholders can take advantage of these rewards bonuses each year so whether you’re cooking at home, going out to eat or want loaded travel perks, the American Express Gold Card should be at the top of your list.

The Amex Gold card will give you $100 per year in statement credits for fees charged by airlines and up to $120 in credits each year for dining purchases from partners like Grubhub and Seamless. Also, as an intro bonus, if you spend $4,000 within three months of opening the American Express Gold card, you’ll receive 35,000 points.

The Amex Gold Card has an annual fee of $250. If you take advantage of all the rewards and perks the annual price can be justified. Check out our summary on the Amex Gold Card below, we will highlight the pros and cons.

American Express Gold Card Review Highlights:

  • Annual Fee: With a $250 annual fee, the Amex Gold could still be worth it to cardholders that will use the card’s rewards and other perks each year.
  • Initial Bonus: 35,000 points for spending $4,000 within three months. That’s worth roughly $300, depending on how you redeem.
  • Airline Fee Credits: Up to $100 per year from one airline. You get to choose your airline when you open an account, and you’ll have the opportunity to switch each January.
  • Dining Credits: Get up to $10 per month ($120 per year) with eligible dining partners like Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.
  • Restaurant Rewards: Get 4 points per $1 at restaurants worldwide. This is one of the highest earning rates available from a credit card for restaurant purchases.
  • Rewards on Groceries: Get 4 points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 spent per year, then 1 point per $1). The average person spends just north of $4,100 per year on groceries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Airfare Rewards: 3 points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. So, if you’re into shopping around for flights on third party websites you’ll have to change your ways to get airfare rewards with this card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee: Travel at ease with no foreign transaction fees.
  • “Pay Over Time” Feature: $100+ purchases are eligible to be paid down over an extended period, for a fixed fee. Amex must approve transactions for Pay Over Time status.
  • Good or Excellent Credit Needed: For high approval odds, you’ll want a credit score of 700 or higher.

The bottom line: The American Express Gold Card is one of the best cards for food lovers and travelers. The annual fee can be easily justified if you do the bulk of your spending on food and travel, and take advantage of the yearly statement credits.

APPLY ON THE LINK BELOW:

BEST FOR: High rewards + annual travel credits + access to airport lounges worldwide

Rewards Rate

1 - 3 points / $1

Rewards Bonus

50,000 points

Annual Fee

$550

Rewards Details:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

Geek Point Of View:

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is one of the best credit cards around, but it also comes with a steep annual fee. If you use a credit card often, the perks this card offers might be hard to ignore. Check out some of the major details below:

  • Great initial bonus: If you’re able to spend at least $4,000 within three months of getting your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, you’ll unlock a 50,000-points initial bonus. That alone can be worth around $750 in travel booked through Chase or $500 in the form of a statement credit.
  • Up to 4.5% back on travel and dining: With this card you’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel and dining, which translates to 4.5% cash back when you redeem for travel through Chase. Aside from that, you’ll earn up to 1.5% back on all other purchases.
  • Annual fee that’s pricey: Yes, the Sapphire Reserve Card does have some amazing rewards, but the card comes with a eye watering price of $550 per year. So, if you’ll be using this card on a regular basis it can make sense, but for a purchase here and there – not so much.
  • $300 worth of annual travel credit: If you’re trying to reason with the Sapphire Reserve Card’s annual fee, you can feel better about it with the perk of $300 in free travel credit each year. As you make travel-related purchases, the credits will automatically be applied to your statement. After you reach the $300 worth of travel credits you will earn 3x point on travel. This is a great perk you for many cardholders, especially those who travel often.
  • 3x point on dining at restaurants: Like eating out? This card will get you 3x points on dining at restaurants.
  • Get cozy with airport-lounge access: The Chase Sapphire Reserve card enables you to sign up for complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which gives you access to 1,000+ airport lounges around the world. Membership ordinarily costs at least $99 per year, but this perk only adds value if you actually use it.
  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck: Get up to $100 application fee credit for either Global Entry or TSA Precheck.
  • Book travel through Chase and get 50% more: When you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards you’ll get 50% more value. So for example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel. Keep in mind this will prevent you from price-shopping on third party sites for airfare and hotel reservations.

The bottom line: The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is one of the highest annual cost cards, but it also has some of the best perks of any credit card. If you use your credit card often, travel, and love eating out at restaurants this card needs to be at the very top of your list.

APPLY ON THE LINK BELOW:

BEST FOR: Frequent travelers that want luxury ameneties

Rewards Rate

1 - 5 points / $1

Rewards Bonus

60,000 points

Annual Fee

$550

Rewards Details:

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply.

Geek Point Of View:

The Platinum Card from American Express is best for frequent travelers that want luxury amenities. This card comes with a hefty annual fee but the rewards can more than make up for it. Check out some of the major things you should be aware of below:

  • Attractive Sign Up Bonus: The American Express Platinum Card gives you 60,000 bonus points for spending at least $5,000 within three months of account opening, that is worth north of $500. That is a competitive initial bonus that can be hard to ignore.
  • Big Annual Fee: Aside from its luxurious travel rewards, another thing that stands out with the American Express Platinum Card is the whopping $550 annual fee. That alone will turn a lot of people off, but frequent travelers can definitely still get their money’s worth from the card’s rewards and other perks.
  • Big Travel Rewards: Amex Platinum gives you 5 points per $1 spent on airfare, as long as you book directly with the airline or through American Express. You’ll also get 5 points per $1 spent on prepaid hotel reservations booked through Amex. That equates to about 4.25% cash back, which is great compared to the 1.07% you’d earn with the average cash rewards card. Aside from that you will get $200 per year in statement credits for baggage fees and other airline incidentals (with one qualifying airline) as well as $200 in annual Uber credits. One of the biggest perks with the Platinum Amex is that it will provide you with 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide, including the Amex Centurion Lounge network. These perks are great if you will be using them.
  • Automatic Hotel Status: Looking for loyalty rewards programs with no prerequisites? As an American Express Platinum Card user, you will be able to join Hilton’s and Marriott’s loyalty rewards programs as a Gold member – without meeting any of the standard spending requirements. This gives you access to perks like complimentary room upgrades and enables you to earn free nights faster.
  • Pay Your Statements In Full: The American Express Platinum is a charge card. A charge card means you must pay your monthly bill in full if you want to continue making purchases — unless certain charges qualify for the “Pay Over Time” feature, which allows you to carry an interest-accruing balance. If you’re looking for a card for a big-ticket purchase you should look elsewhere.
  • Healthy Credit Score: For the American Express Platinum Credit Card you’ll need good or excellent credit to get approval.

Bottom line: The Platinum Card from American Express is great for travelers who want the luxury perks.