5 Best Travel Credit Cards – September 2016

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Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

There have been a lot of new and exciting offers in the miles & points world lately!

Certain credit cards now come with better travel benefits than ever before, like airline credits and airport lounge access.  Your vacation can be cheaper and more comfortable if you know which cards to sign-up for!

Best Travel Credit Cards 2016 September

The Vacation of Your Dreams Is More Realistic Than You Think! A Single Credit Card Offer Might Be Enough to Take You There

I’ll share my top 5 travel credit cards to help you achieve Big Travel with Small Money.

My Top 5 Picks for Travel Credit Cards

Link:   Hot Deals

Whether you’re new to this hobby or a miles & points professional, these deals will help you achieve your travel goals in a hurry!  And none of these cards charge foreign transaction fees, so they’re great cards to use overseas.

1.   Chase Sapphire Reserve

Link:   Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a terrific card for folks looking for Big Travel with Small Money.

The card comes with a sign-up bonus of 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening your account.  That’s worth at least $1,500 in travel when you redeem your points through the Chase Travel Portal for flights, car rentals, etc.  And even more if you transfer your points to valuable Chase airline and hotel partners, like United Airlines and Hyatt!

This is the highest public offer I’ve ever seen on a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points!

Best Travel Credit Cards 2016 September

Spin the Globe and Stop It With Your Index Finger. No Destination Is Out of Reach With 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points!

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a $450 annual fee, but it can be easily offset by great travel perks like:

Million Mile Secrets team member Keith was one of the first to receive a Chase Sapphire Reserve.  He loves the 3X points he receives on travel & dining, and enjoys the free food and Wi-Fi inside airport lounges!

2.   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   My Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

I always recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred to folks who are new to miles and points.

When you open the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.  That’s at least $625 in travel when you book your travel through the Chase Travel Portal.  And remember, you can get a lot more value from your points by transferring them to Chase travel partners!

And you’ll get another 5,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first 3 months.

Best Travel Credit Cards 2016 September

Transfer Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Southwest for Big Domestic Travel

Everyone here at Million Mile Secrets has the Chase Sapphire Preferred!  Because it comes with solid travel benefits for a comparatively low annual fee of $95 (waived the first year).  We enjoy benefits like primary car rental insurance, which covers any damage or theft to your rental car, and trip delay reimbursement, which will compensate you up to $500 when your trip is delayed more than 12 hours.

3.   Citi Prestige

Link:   Citi Prestige

Link:   My Review of the Citi Prestige

While the Citi Prestige credit card offer used to be a lot better, it’s still an incredible travel credit card!

The card comes with a $450 annual fee, which can be offset by amazing perks like:

  • $250 statement credit for airline fees such as airfare and baggage fees appearing on your statement from December to the following December
  • $100 statement credit for Global Entry application fee
  • Priority Pass Select Lounge access for primary cardholder and immediate family or to 2 guests
  • American Airlines Admirals Club lounge access for primary cardholder, immediate family, or 2 guests, as long as you’re flying on American Airlines or American Eagle that day (through July 23, 2017)
  • 4th night free when you book 4 consecutive nights at any hotel (must be booked through Citi Prestige Concierge and paid in full with your card)
Best Travel Credit Cards 2016 September

The Admirals Club in Paris Had Excellent Coffee and Delicious Pizza!

Million Mile Secrets team member Scott has the Citi Prestige, and loves how easy it is to use the $250 annual airline credit!  He also uses the airline lounge perk, and says the 4th night free benefit alone easily outweighs the annual fee for him!

We don’t earn a commission on the Citi Prestige, but Emily and I will always tell you about the best deals!

4.  Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Link:   Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Link:   My Review of the Ritz-Carlton Rewards

The Chase Ritz-Carlton card recently received some big improvements.  Instead of receiving 2 free nights at participating Ritz-Carlton tier 1 through 4 hotels, you’ll now earn 3 complimentary nights at after meeting minimum spending requirements!

Depending on where you’re staying, you could save thousands with this sign-up bonus.  For example, a night at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay can cost ~$750 per night!

Best Travel Credit Cards 2016 September

The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay Is Located Just Above the Beach Overlooking Pacific Ocean

The Chase Ritz-Carlton card comes with a $450 annual fee.  But it has lots of nice travel perks, including:

One of the most interesting perks is the Visa Infinite Discount Air Benefit.  You’ll get a $100 discount on domestic, round-trip itineraries for 2 to 5 passengers when you use your Chase Ritz-Carlton card to book through the Visa Infinite Discount Air Benefit site.

And there’s no limit on the number of times you can use the discount!  The savings could really add up if you book paid domestic flights often.

Check out my top picks for the best hotels to use your 3 free Ritz-Carlton nights in the USSouth America, Europe, and Asia!

5.   Chase Ink Plus

Link:   Chase Ink Plus

Link:   My Review of the Chase Ink Plus

Link:   How to Fill Out a Chase Business Card Application

You’ll earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your Chase Ink Plus account.  That’s worth at least $750 in travel when you redeem your points through the Chase Travel Portal!

The Chase Ink Plus has a great rewards earning rate, depending on your spending habits:

  • 5X points at office supply stores and cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV (up to $50,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary year)
  • 2X points at gas stations and on rooms booked directly with hotels

The Chase Ink Plus comes with an annual fee of $95.

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn from the Chase Ink Plus to travel partners, too!  We transferred our points to Hyatt for a stay at the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris, a hotel that sells rooms for $700+ per night!

Best Travel Credit Cards 2016 September

We Experienced a True 5-Star Experience at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome

The Chase Ink Plus is a business card, but don’t let that stop you from applying.  You might qualify for a small business card without even realizing it!

Bottom Line

I’ve made a list of my top 5 travel credit cards this month to help you get Big Travel with Small Money:

These cards come with very valuable ongoing travel benefits, like a $100 discount on multi-passenger domestic round-trip itineraries, with the Chase Ritz-Carlton, or primary auto coverage with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Some of these deals have been around for a while, and some are brand new!  And we never know how long anything will last!

What are your top travel credit card picks?

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2 responses to “5 Best Travel Credit Cards – September 2016

  1. Another thing to note on the RC Visa is the COMPLIMENTARY Priority Pass Select access that your Card Authorized Users get. To my knowledge, you have to pay an additional $75 to add an AU to the Sapphire Reserve where as with Ritz Carlton, it’s zero and my Girlfriend has always gotten her lounge card every year so we don’t have to travel together for her to have access to a lounge. Not sure if this will last as I’ve had the card already for a couple years, but it’s nice.

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