Travel Credit Cards

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Credit cards are the easiest way to earn miles and points.  I’ve been doing it for years and have earned millions of miles while maintaining my good credit score.

Here are a list of resources which should help you get started with earning miles and points from credit cards:

Credit Card Resources

Airline Credit Cards

Bank Point Credit Cards

Hotel Credit Cards


Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

151 responses to “Travel Credit Cards

  1. Thanks Darius! Paul sends regards.

  2. Airline credit cards are great, I’ve flown to Europe three times in business class in the past three years.

  3. The wife and I will be traveling to and around Europe for a few months later this year on miles we earned through churning.

  4. Do you have any thoughts on the Wells Fargo Rewards card? We are looking to open a card w/ a 0% introductory rate on balance transfers. We want good rewards to use for airline tickets, based on purchases, and we plan to use this card a lot and keep it for a long time. We live in Detroit and travel to Vermont, New York, and Mexico and the Caribbean.

  5. I am thinking of getting the Barclay arrival because of the 40,000 mile bonus and the 10 percent back when redeemed. Would that card be the best for my situation: I’m trying to fly my family of 7(2 adults, 5 kids agest (2-12) to Japan for a month in economy class. Will the Barclay give me the most mileage? I currently spend at least 2,500 on other things but rent and 1650 on rent. ( Going to try to do the Bluebird with that one, have to get my landlord on board.

  6. @Esther – The Barclays card is a good card, but you’ll only get ~$440 from the sign-up bonus. That is very little compared to the cash cost of 7 tickets to Europe. Using miles and points to get to Japan on the same flight will be very, very tough. You could consider collecting American Airlines miles or United miles instead.

  7. I received an offer for 75000 membership rewards point from AE business gold rewards card. (Spend $10k within first 3 months). I wonder if this card is right for me. My family usually travel every year to Asia. Currently I have lots of united miles however finding it hard to redeem using minimum miles for tickets on the dates that we can travel. Is these MR miles from AE easier to redeem tickets to Asia? I heard that the surcharge is really high to redeem for international tickets. So does it benefits me to apply for this card? Thanks.

  8. @kawan999 – The offer is good, but you may have to pay fuel surcharges for flights to Asia if you use Membership Rewards points.

  9. Just started doing this have applied for 7 and approved how bad does 7 inquiries usually affect your credit report !?

  10. @Ko41 – It varies by person, so check your credit score over the next few months.

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  15. I would like to travel to St Croix, Virigin Islands next year, but I am not sure what credit card(s) would be best to get me there. I think AA flys there, but if I’ve already gotten the world mastercard and visa platinum, is the citi executive going to get me and my wife there?

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  17. @Ben – The Citi American Airlines Executive card can get you there with the 100K bonus.

  18. How many times can I open and close a card per year with the intention of racking up, spending, and racking up again miles?

    How will this strategy affect my credit score?

    I asked 3 personal bankers at Chase about this strategy and they all told me there is not limit. I assume the only limitation is how many time Chase approves me to reopen the card say….2 weeks after I close it.

    Your thoughts, please advise!

  19. @George – It varies based on banks, but Chase is unlikely to approve you after 2 weeks (and I don’t suggest trying that!)

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  23. Giorgio Ferrero

    Million Mile Secrets | April 30, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
    @George – It varies based on banks, but Chase is unlikely to approve you after 2 weeks (and I don’t suggest trying that!)

    How about opening a card, closing it, and opening it again after 3/6/12 months? – Do any of these time frames have a high chance of getting approved?

    Thank you in advance for your opinion

  24. I am about to make a few big purchases, so became in interested in credit card bonuses. But I am new to the idea, and want advice on the best offers for my situation. My fiancé and I want to take a trip to Thailand (we currently live in Israel, so not all airlines are available). The mileage needed is 80,000 miles per ticket. Any advice on which credit card bonuses will best help us achieve this? Can miles be used from different credit card bonuses for the same tickets??

  25. @esti – I’d collect United miles and use them for flights on Lufthansa or other Star Alliance airlines. You can get United miles with the United credit card or transfer Ultimate Rewards points to United.

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  27. Hello! I’m looking to fly from the U.S. to Europe in 7 months. We are specifically looking to go to Barcelona. Any thoughts on what card would give us enough points to get something within a few months, even just one flight?


  28. @Kim – I’d consider the United card with 50K miles or Chase Ultimate Rewards cards because you can transfer their miles to United.

  29. Hi, I am new from here and would like to know more about credit churning.
    I am from Asia and I am wondering if I can start my credit churning from today? I do not have any US Credit Card. Am I above to get one? Is it necessary to have a US credit card in order to start credit churning?

    Looking forward your relpy!

  30. I have an American Express “Rewards Plus” gold card that is due to renew next month. Annual fee is $150.
    It accrues 1 point for each dollar spent – and essentially no bonuses that I use.
    It occurs to me that I might be better off switching to a no fee card like the Amex Blue for Business Credit Card that accrues 1 point for each dollar spent, plus a 30% relationship bonus yearly.
    If I switch within the Amex family of charge and credit cards, will by Membership Rewards points (I have a lot) remain intact?

  31. @mjk – They should still be active, as long as your new card is linked to your membership rewards account. That said, I’d consider the new AMEX EveryDay cards instead.

  32. What is the best card to avoid fees oversees? I’m using a Schwab Platinum debit card for ATM’s but for a standard credit card charging, which one is best.

  33. Just got an offer for 60000 points if I open an Amex Platinum account. Should I jump?

  34. Looking for 40,000 Delta miles fast.

    1.) Can I open a credit card in my daughter’s name and link my delta skymiles account?
    2.) I need to spend $1,000 to get the 55,000 on Amex Platinum, any idea how long it takes for the skymiles to be awarded to my account?

    20th Anniversary trip coming up, so fingers crossed I can work this out as a surprise!


  35. HI just wanted to say thank you for all your advice in travailing for low money. I just got my southwest companion pass today! I opened 2 southwest 2 credit cards (charged $4000 total and got the extra 1000 points through he shopping mall) and southwest offered me 5000 point to refer my husband for a credit card, (which he promptly opened) That gave me the 5000 points I needed to fill the 110000, quota. Now we have 160,000 combined points and a companion pass! (my husband charged the $2000 and got 50,000 points too) Thank you!

  36. Hey guys,

    I’m looking to open 1 – 3 cc’s to maximize points to fly back and forth to California from Michigan. Do any of you have any suggestions on cc’s that would enable to to obtain the most points with the lowest spending amount to obtain them. Preferably, any that would enable me to obtain them quickly by 1 purchase or etc.. I currently hold the US Airways (6 mo.), Chase Sapphire Pref. (6 mo.) and Chase Freedom (4 yrs), with the respective times i’ve held them for.

    Also, do you have any recommendations on cancelling cc and possibly reopening them?

    Thank you guys so much on this site, it’s helped me a lot with traveling – keep up the great work!


  37. DTW is my home airport and son and family now live in Dubai. Want to start using credit cards to accrue points. Any suggestions for travel to Dubai and Asia?

  38. Hello there. I click the IHG Chase 70k + 2k bonus link earlier today but it says page no longer exist. Is that possible you could bring it back live again? Thank you so much.

  39. I intend to take 1-2 trips per year – mostly international, but some domestic – and need to get a card that will give me the most benefit in being accepted where I shop in a small eastern NC city, and the best travel benefits to pay for air fare, primarily, and possibly hotels. (I don’t know if some of these cards are accepted everywhere, or if there are some that are accepted more widely than others.) I’d prefer not to have much of an annual fee but wouldn’t mind some fee if the benefits were really good. I’ve looked over various cards being advertised and am completely confused about what I would need. I’d appreciate any advice. Thanks.

  40. Hi Daraius,

    Did you make a recent post on credit card churning, in particular how long between each application, depending on the issuing bank. I was burned with Amex which denied me the bonus after I met the spending requirements, once with Membership rewards, and once with Delta, on the basis that I had one 3 years ago and 2 years ago, respectively. If you did not, do you know another blogger who did and the way to find it?

    Your posts about CC resources are incredibly helpful. Continue the very clear and practical advice you always provide. Thanks.

  41. Daraius,

    You may have addressed this elsewhere, but I didn’t know where to find the information. Once you have applied for a credit card which offers a Mileage bonus after a minimum spend, is there anywhere on the card website to remind you of what that bonus /requirements is? After applying for several cards, I can’t remember which bonuses were for 30,000 or 50,000 miles……or which ones had a minimum spend for $1000 over 3months, or $3000 over 5 months, etc. I’ve tried reading the fine print that they send with the cards, but it doesn’t usually have this information. My husband just got the AA citi bank card, and I believe that was 30,000 miles for a $1000 spend( just finished the spending, but won’t expect to see the bonus til after end of next statement ) …..but I applied for the card later, and it was 50,000 miles for $3000., as an example. Thanks.

  42. I am looking at getting a card this month or next for doing our trip to Disney in January. I notice I could not find the Capital One Venture card on this site. Is this because it is not one of the contributors or a different reason? Thanks.

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  44. Do targeted AA cards from Citi apply to the 18 month rule between cards? I called Citi and they said yes, but the blogs seem to say otherwise. I have a 60,000 offer.

  45. Hi Daraius,
    I was targeted for AMEX Gold card for 50k with 1000$ spend in 3 months…
    I wanted to check which airline partners of AMEX charge fuel surcharge on Award redemptions and in case I want to transfer them to jetblue, is there any way to bypass the 99$ transfer fee..
    Also in case I want to cancel my card what would be the best program to transfer them to..

  46. Just got $100 bonus BOA cash reward. What are odds of approval for their travel reward card?

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