Best Airline Credit Card For Young Adults

Are you a young adult who loves to travel? If so, then you’re going to want to check out this guide. In this guide, we review the aspects of Best Airline Credit Card For Young Adults, best credit card for travel miles, best credit cards for rewards, and best travel credit cards for beginners.

In this guide, we review the aspects of Best Airline Credit Card For Young Adults, best credit card for travel miles, best credit cards for rewards, and best travel credit cards for beginners.

You might not know it yet, but having a good credit card can help you save money on your travels. You might think that all airline credit cards are the same and it doesn’t matter which one you choose. But this is not true! There are many differences between airline credit cards that can make one more beneficial than another for your specific needs.

This guide will explain how airline credit cards work and how they differ from other types of credit cards such as reward cards or cash back cards. We’ll also tell you what to look for when choosing an airline card based on your own personal preferences so that you can find one that works best for YOU!

Best Airline Credit Card For Young Adults

It can be challenging to find the greatest credit card. However, you have the savvy WalletHub community on your side. We welcome everyone’s contributions as long as they adhere to our content policies. Please note that no financial institution has approved or otherwise endorsed the editorial or user-generated information on this page. Furthermore, the financial institution is not obligated to guarantee that all comments and inquiries are addressed.

Due to its 60,000 initial bonus points granted for spending $4,000 in the first three months, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best credit card to use when purchasing airline tickets. You also receive 1 to 10 points for every dollar you spend on goods.

The card’s benefits are sufficient to make up for its $95 annual cost, but getting one requires at least excellent credit. You have more options with Chase Sapphire Preferred since you may transfer your points to popular airline loyalty programs.

Here are the best credit cards to buy airline tickets:

60,000 bonus points are awarded by Chase Sapphire Preferred for spending $4,000 in the first three months. With this card, you can earn 5 points for every $1 you spend on travel booked directly through Chase, 2 points for every $1 you spend on all other travel, 3 points for every $1 you spend on dining and online groceries, 3 points for every $1 you spend on certain streaming services, and 1 point for every $1 you spend on all other purchases. Additionally, you can transfer your points to well-known airline loyalty schemes. The yearly charge for the card is $95. preferably good credit is required.

After making $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days and paying the annual fee, the JetBlue Plus Card offers 80,000 points. With this card, you can accrue 6 points for every $1 spent at JetBlue, 2 points at restaurants and grocery stores, and 1 point for every $1 spent elsewhere. Additionally, cardholders receive 50% off in-flight purchases and free checked bags on JetBlue flights. The yearly charge for the card is $99. good credit is necessary.

When booking travel through Chase, customers receive 5 points for every $1 spent, 2 points for every $1 spent on all other travel purchases, 3 points for every $1 spent on dining and online groceries, 3 points for every $1 spent on a few streaming services, and 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases. There is no annual charge for the card. preferably good credit is required.

Offers for upgraded credit cards. Every time you make a payment using this card, you will receive 1.5% cash back on all transactions. There is no annual charge for the card. a minimum of fair credit is required.

The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card offers 5% cash back on two categories of your choosing (up to $2,000 each quarter), 5% back on reservations for pre-paid flights, hotels, and cars made through the Rewards Travel Center, 2% back on one everyday category of your choice (such as gas stations, EV charging stations, grocery stores, or restaurants), and 1% back on all other purchases. There is no annual charge for the card. accepts candidates that have poor credit.

You have two options: either check to see if the airline you fly with most regularly offers a credit card, or choose a credit card that offers more flexibility and incentives for general ticket spending. In that aspect, the JetBlue Plus Card is an excellent choice, but there are others that offer enticing rewards and varied benefits for other airlines.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the best credit card for travel benefits because it provides benefits like access to airport lounges, credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, and excellent rewards. New cardholders initially receive 75,000 extra miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Additionally, cardholders receive 10 miles for every $1 spent on lodging and auto rentals booked through Capital One Travel, 5 miles for every $1 spent on flights, and 2 miles for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

In addition, Venture X now provides coverage for travel booked through Capital One up to $300 per year. If you have the great credit required for approval, all of these advantages might easily cover the card’s $395 annual cost.

Best Credit Cards for Benefits on Travel

There is a long list of outstanding credit cards with travel perks. Just pick the one that best suits your requirements. Because those with higher scores receive the best offers, you must also evaluate your credit score.

The United GatewaySM Credit Card offers 2 miles every $1 spent with United, petrol stations, local transit, and commuting, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other transactions, making it the finest airline credit card available without an annual fee. In addition, cardholders who spend $1,000 in the first three months receive an introductory bonus of 30,000 miles. Also, there are no foreign transaction fees with this card.

Best Credit Cards for Airlines without Annual Fees

Overall, there aren’t many annual fee-free airline credit cards available. Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a wonderful choice if you want to use miles to pay for any type of travel spending, including flights on any airline. The rewards program offers 5% cash back on trips booked through Chase, 3% cash back at dining establishments and drugstores, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases (with an additional 1.5% cash back on everything, up to $20,000 spent the first year). The annual cost for Chase Freedom Unlimited is also nothing.

According to the most recent Frequent Flyer Report from WalletHub, United MileagePlus is the finest airline rewards program. It doesn’t matter if you travel frequently, infrequently, or anywhere in between because MileagePlus is the best option overall. This is largely because MileagePlus miles don’t expire if your account is inactive, there are dozens of transfer partners, and there aren’t any blackout dates for flights you book with miles.

But by using WalletHub’s Frequent Flyer Calculator, you can determine which airline rewards program is ideal for your individual requirements.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that using credit cards is a completely different experience. The loyalty program for an airline may be excellent, but the credit card may be awful. So keep the following essential qualities in mind as you examine airline rewards credit cards. You will be led to the most lucrative mileage program by doing this.

How to Choose the Best Airline Reward Scheme:

There aren’t typically many airline credit cards for people with bad credit, and your options don’t really expand when you add other travel perks like hotel points or gas discounts. Even though the majority of credit cards for people with bad credit don’t offer rewards, you’re not completely out of luck. To determine the best options for various applicant types, WalletHub compared the offers that were on the market. The choices they made are listed below.

Best Rewards Credit Cards for People with Poor Credit

Learn more about WalletHub’s picks for the best airline rewards credit cards for people with bad credit in the sections below.

No issuer has provided or commissioned this content. The author’s views are the only ones expressed here; an issuer has not reviewed, approved, or in any other way supported them. Please note that although some offers may come from WalletHub’s advertising partners, the sponsorship status of the cards was not taken into consideration when choosing them.

The number of miles required for a free flight depends on the cost of the flight in dollars. Depending on the airline, a one-way domestic flight typically costs between 6,000 and 20,000 miles. An international coach flight will set you back 35,000–50,000 miles one way.

Although their value can vary, airline miles and points typically have a value of around one cent each. For instance, depending on the route and date of the flight, the value of each Southwest point when redeemed for a free flight ranges from 1-1.5 cents. Each United mile is worth between one and two cents.

How many miles are required by major airline for a free flight:

With significant sign-up bonuses, getting an airline credit card can speed up your earning of miles and free flights compared to using just a frequent flyer program. For instance, the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard offers a 50,000-mile sign-up bonus after you spend $2,500 within the first three months. You can earn the bonus miles and redeem them for free flights without having to pay an annual fee the first year because the $99 annual fee is waived.

An airline miles credit card can be beneficial to anyone, but frequent traveler status certainly helps. Anyone can benefit from an initial bonus worth a few complimentary plane tickets, for instance. However, if you frequently use a miles card and don’t have many opportunities to cash in your rewards, the value of the miles you accumulate will decrease. And don’t you want to regularly take advantage of your rewards? Additionally, there is no reason why you cannot use cash-back savings for an upcoming flight.

Therefore, the more erratic your flight schedule, the more you ought to think about cash back credit cards and travel rewards cards that aren’t connected to a particular airline.

One of the best credit cards with lounge access is Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which grants you access to 1,300+ lounges worldwide with a Priority Pass Select lounge membership ($429 annual value). Depending on the lounge, you might also be permitted to bring in visitors without charge. Additionally, Sapphire Reserve offers a $1,200 introductory bonus toward travel through Chase, as well as a $300 annual travel credit.

Another great airport lounge credit card is Amex Platinum, which grants you access to six airport lounge networks and offers up to $200 in annual credits for incidentals on a pre-selected airline. Check out the Citi Executive/AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard or the Delta Reserve American Express card if you’re looking for a credit card associated with a specific airline. Each allows access to the lounges of its own airline.

Best Credit Cards for Access to Lounges

Free Priority Pass membership to more than 1,300 lounges worldwide with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. annual value of $429. $32 for each visitor. $550 yearly fee Needs excellent credit.

The Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club, Centurion, International American Express, Airspace, and Escape lounge networks all offer free membership to holders of the Platinum Card® from American Express (one-time enrollment required). More than 1,300 locations altogether. Most places offer free admission to at least one guest. $695 yearly fee Need for good credit.

best credit card for travel miles

And the benefits of each card.

The best airline credit cards offer the chance to rack up rewards with your favorite airline every time you fly. Free checked baggage, discounts on in-flight purchases, and priority boarding are typical perks on offer, but some cards go above and beyond with privileges like discounted airport lounge access, companion fares, and more. As you consider some of the best airline credit cards on the market, here are some of the top options — and the benefits of each — to help you choose the right card for you.

Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card

If you live in or frequently travel to the Pacific Northwest or Alaska, the Alaska Airlines Visa credit card from Bank of America could be a solid option. The card offers:

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

Many top airline cards charge annual fees under $100, but some cards charge a higher fee in exchange for more benefits. The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card is one of those cards, charging $250 a year.

Considering that Delta Air Lines is one of the largest airlines in the world, it can be a smart choice for people who want to travel domestically, internationally, or both, if they live near a Delta hub. Here’s what card holders will get:

If you want a Delta credit card with a lower annual fee, consider the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card.

United Explorer Credit Card

The United Explorer Credit Card from Chase is another solid option for both domestic and international travel. With no annual fee the first year (then $95 after that), users have the opportunity to essentially see if the card is right for them before the fee kicks in. (That said, please note that opening and closing credit cards may have implications for your credit score, which should be researched before opening and closing any card.)

If you want more benefits and are comfortable with a higher annual fee, consider the United Quest Card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

Unlike other airline credit cards, Chase Southwest’s cards don’t offer free checked bags, but that’s because the airline offers two free checked bags to all its passengers. That said, the airline doesn’t have a big international presence outside of the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.

If most of your travel is domestic or to those regions, here’s what the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card can offer:

Southwest also offers the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card, which have varying benefits and annual fees.

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

For travelers who aren’t keen on a large minimum spend requirement to get a sign-up bonus, look no further than the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard from Barclays — you’ll earn the welcome offer with just one purchase. And because American Airlines is the largest airline in the world, it’s a solid choice for all travelers. Here’s what the card offers:

If you want to compare this option with a similar American Airlines credit card, consider the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard.

JetBlue Plus Card

JetBlue Airways has a strong presence on the East Coast, the Caribbean, and northern South America, as well as a handful of destinations along the West Coast. But it’s not an international heavyweight, and the majority of middle America is skipped entirely.

With that in mind, the airline offers free Wi-Fi and more legroom than any other domestic airline. Here’s what you’ll get with the JetBlue Plus Card from Barclays:

How to Choose the Right Airline Credit Card for You

There’s no credit card out there that’s right for everyone, and that’s especially true for airline credit cards, because most are tied to just one airline. While you can also book flights with that airline’s partners, it’s still important to think carefully before you apply.

Start by considering which airlines have a large presence at your local airports and whether you prefer to travel domestically, internationally, or both. Be sure your preferred destinations align with the flights on offer at your closest airports and your most frequent destinations. Also, take a look at each card’s annual fee and which benefits it provides to make up for it. The important thing is that you consider your travel and financial goals and research which card will do the most to help you achieve them.

best credit cards for rewards

The Best Rewards Credit Cards to Apply for Right Now

Team Clark spent hours reviewing the market for these cards and put them under the scrutiny of the guidelines for usage set by Clark himself. In addition to rewards programs, we considered factors like annual fees, welcome bonuses, introductory APR and bonus categories when assembling the list.

Clark believes credit cards with exorbitant annual fees are a bad idea for most consumers. So, for the purposes of these rankings, we eliminated from consideration any card with an annual fee of more than $100.

Best for Cash Back Rewards

Cash back is the most straightforward of all the credit card rewards programs out there. And in this case, Team Clark is of the mindset that predictability is a good thing.

“My favorite reward cards are ones that actually pay you money,” Clark says.“I want cash, because nobody can tell you when you can or can’t spend your cash.”

“I want cash, because nobody can tell you when you can or can’t spend your cash.”

If you like cash as much as Clark does, we’ve picked out a few of the best cash back rewards cards here.

You can use 2% cash back on all purchases as the benchmark for a good everyday spending card. If you are a high-volume spender, you may be able to secure a higher rewards rate than that in exchange for an annual fee.

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: It’s incredibly simple. There are no limits to the amount of 2% cash back you can earn with this card, so you can spend it anywhere Mastercard is accepted and know exactly what you’ll get in rewards each time. This no-annual-fee card is in Clark’s wallet, so it has his stamp of approval.

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: It brings all the simplicity of the Citi Double Cash, but it gives you an extra half-percent on your cash back returns. There are some hoops to jump through, though. They include signing up for a checking account and maintaining a “Tier One” status to receive the 2.5% rewards. This card is on our list for best cash back credit cards.

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: This card checks a lot of boxes. Not only do you get the rotating 5% cash back categories, but you also get a steady 3% on restaurants and drug stores. It also has grocery, ride-sharing and food delivery perks. An easy welcome bonus is the cherry on top. This card is on our list for best credit cards with no annual fee.

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: Much like the Chase Freedom FlexSM, this card offers 5% cash back on a rotating bonus category each quarter. But the real win here is the first-year bonus you get with the cash back match. For example, if you earn $700 in cash back rewards during your first 12 months with the card, Discover will award you an additional $700 at the end of that year — free and clear. This card is on our list for best 0% credit cards.

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: Much like the Citi Double Cash, this card offers a simple and straightforward path to 2% cash back on every dollar you spend. And since we’re big proponents of making sure you stay on top of your retirement savings, having this reward dump straight into your Fidelity investment account is a stress-free way to add to your long-term savings. This card is on our list of best credit cards for savings and investments.

Best Rewards Cards for Shopping

We all have different shopping habits, so picking a credit card that best serves your personal spending may require some personal reflection and a hard look at your recent bank statements.

Clark says that most people will benefit from the simplicity of rewards programs that don’t focus on categorical spending, but there are some exceptions to that for people who could consistently beat 2% cash back with a card that rewards their specific spending patterns.

For example, many store-branded cards offer as much as 5% cash back for shopping there. And other cards may match that level of return for spending in one category such as dining or grocery shopping.

We have assembled a group of credit cards that should give you top rewards based on your type of spending.

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: If you need to buy something online, there’s a good chance that Amazon has it and will deliver it to your front door tomorrow-ish. So if you had to pick just one card for your online shopping, getting 5% off everything you buy from Amazon and Whole Foods seems like a sound strategy. This card is on our list of best credit cards with no annual fee.

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: The 6% cash back for spending at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. streaming services is the best in the market. 3% at U.S. gas stations is competitive as well. If you view the welcome bonus as a way to cover your annual fee for the first few years of card membership, you could really see some good returns with this card.

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: Much like Amazon, Walmart is a “catch-all” retail experience that could include groceries, clothes and a tire rotation all in the same shopping trip. And with Walmart+ now on the market, that same type of shopping can be done at home. Being able to snag up to 5% on your purchases here has the potential to be a big win. If you’re not a Walmart person, you may be better served by the Target RedCard which also awards 5% cash back.

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: Being the Costco fanatic that he is, Clark has this card in his wallet. This card doesn’t offer much in the way of welcome bonuses or introductory APRs, but it does offer a strong list of spending categories to earn rewards. And while it may be disappointing that Costco purchases themselves are worth only 2% cash back, at least that rate holds consistent whether you’re shopping online or in the store. This card is on our list of best cards with no annual fee.

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: This card has pretty broad definitions for dining and entertainment, so you can cast a pretty wide net on that 4% cash back spending. If you are unsure about paying an annual fee for this type of reward, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Reward Credit Card offers 3% Cash Back on dining and entertainment and does not carry an annual fee. Team Clark compared the two cards to help you decide. This card is on our list of best cash back cards.

Best Rewards Cards for Travel

Are you a travel enthusiast who wants a credit card that rewards you specifically for your trips?

Before you make a move, you should examine the amount of travel you log per year to see if it’s worth it. Clark says that these types of cards are “aspirational” for people who like travel, but you need to travel at least twice a month to make a travel card worth more than a different type of rewards card.

If you fall into that category, we have curated a selection of cards that may be right for you. Keep in mind that many brand-specific cards are similar, so if you prefer a different hotel chain or airline than the ones listed here, it may be worth checking to see if there’s a branded card that matches up to the rewards we’ve highlighted here.

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: If you’re an avid traveler, you’re likely going to want a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership. Getting one of those for free through this card offsets the $95 annual fee. Also, the simplified points structure allows you to earn miles on everyday purchases.

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: A lot of the perks some other airline cards offer, such as waivers on bag fees or change, are standard for all Southwest Airlines customers. That allows this card to focus on going a little deeper with its promotions, like unlimited rewards seats and no blackout dates on redeeming points earned with the card.

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: If you make frequent hotel stays, you’ve probably figured out that it’s best to pick one of the major brands and stick with it for the rewards perks. The next level to that methodology is to get the branded credit card to earn even more points. There are several options for both Marriott and Hilton, but this one strikes us as the best bang for your buck. The free reward night each year should cancel out the $95 annual fee on this card. Oh, and you get the free premium WiFi during your Marriott stays (it’s the little things, right?).

What to Know About This Card

Why We Like It: If you’re a Sam’s Club member, you may find that getting this credit card is the easiest way to save the most on gas purchases. It also has competitive perks on dining and travel. However, the most disappointing part about this card is that it’s good for only 1% cash back at Sam’s Club itself as a regular member. You must be a Sam’s Club Plus member to get 3% back on Sam’s Club purchases.

best travel credit cards for beginners

The world of credit cards can seem overwhelming when you’re just starting. But if you’re looking to move on from your cash-back card (or even a student card), you’re in the right place. The right starter travel card can offer much more rewarding perks — a rite of passage into adulthood.

With so much information and so many options, how do you know which card to choose? Do you want transferable points? Airline miles? Free nights at a hotel chain?

Analysis paralysis and decision fatigue can really hold you back at the beginning. The key to picking the right credit card is to start by setting your travel goals.

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions — it’s all about what’s important to you. You may even change your mind as you gain experience in the world of points and miles. Once you’ve decided, you can start matching your answers to the right card.

We’ve assembled this list of the best starter credit cards so you don’t end up with rewards that don’t match your goals. We also kept simplicity in mind when compiling this list. None of these cards are tied to complicated, difficult-to-understand programs, nor do they have intimidating annual fees, though they all have the potential for outsize value.

And all of them are worth keeping in your credit card inventory for the long term.

Best starter travel rewards credit cards

Comparing the best starter travel rewards credit cards

Here are the key details of the best starter travel rewards cards, including the welcome offers and the key earning features.

Now, here’s a deeper dive into each of these cards.

The information for the Bilt Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on the card within the first three months of account opening.

Why it’s a great starter card: There’s a good reason why the Chase Sapphire Preferred is our top pick for our list of starter cards. In addition to the lucrative welcome offer, cardholders earn 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal, along with the following:

The Ultimate Rewards points it earns are easy to use with 11 airline and three hotel loyalty program partners, such as United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt. Your points can also be redeemed for 1.25 cents apiece to book flights on any airline or rooms at any hotel through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

The card also has terrific travel benefits, including primary insurance when renting a car and no foreign transaction fees. You’ll also enjoy $50 in annual statement credits for hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards, and each year on your account anniversary, you’ll enjoy a 10% points bonus on your spending from the previous year.

When you add in the sign-up bonus of 60,000 points and an annual fee of only $95, you’ve got a card that offers great value, especially if you’re starting in the world of travel rewards.

For more information, read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Official application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card with a 60,000-point bonus.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.

Why it’s a great starter card: Travelers getting started in the points and miles world, or those who aren’t inherently loyal to a single hotel chain or airline, can take full advantage of this card’s flexibility.

First, you earn a flat 2 miles per dollar spent on everything, meaning you don’t have to keep track of different spending categories. However, that earning rate jumps to 5 miles per dollar for hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel.

While you won’t get airline-specific perks, such as free checked bags, you get two passes a year to the Capital One Lounge (and pay a special rate of $45 per visit after that). This perk was recently extended to Plaza Premium lounges as well. You also get an up-to-$100 credit to cover the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, as well as automatic Five Star status with Hertz.

Use your rewards to jump on the cheapest cash ticket to wherever you’re going while still taking advantage of 14 airline partners in all three major airline alliances (Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam), along with three hotel partners. This card packs a lot in for a $95 annual fee and even makes the cut as one of our overall best travel credit cards.

For more information, read our full review of the Capital One Venture Rewards card.

Official application link: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card available with 75,000 bonus miles.

Citi Premier Card

Sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $4,000 on new purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Why it’s a great starter card: The beauty of the Citi Premier Card is its breadth of bonus categories. The card earns 3 ThankYou points per dollar on air travel, hotels, restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets, helping you to rack up lots of points in no time. When it comes to spending those points, you can transfer them to any of Citi’s 14 airline and two hotel partners.

You can also receive $100 off one hotel stay of $500 or more per year when booked through thankyou.com (or by calling 800-THANKYOU). The card has no foreign transaction fees and a $95 annual fee.

For more information, read our full review of the Citi Premier Card.

Official application link: Citi Premier Card with an 80,000-point bonus.

American Express Gold Card

Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within six months of account opening. However, be sure to check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for an even higher bonus (offers are subject to change at any time).

Why it’s a great starter card: The Amex Gold Card is fantastic for anyone looking to leverage their everyday spending for excellent rewards — while also enjoying useful statement credits for things like dining and ride-hailing services. You’ll earn 4 points per dollar at restaurants and on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1 point per dollar), 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Cardholders also receive up to $120 in annual statement credits ($10 per month) toward dining and up to another $120 per year ($10 per month) in Uber Cash toward U.S. Uber rides and Uber Eats orders. Added together, that brings the out-of-pocket cost of the card’s $250 annual fee closer to a mere $10. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Other perks include access to The Hotel Collection, the Global Assist Hotline, and several shopping and travel protections on the card.

Keep in mind that you could be targeted for a higher offer through the CardMatch tool or referral offers (so check there first). Offers are subject to change at any time.

For more information, read our full review of the Amex Gold Card.

Official application link: American Express Gold Card with a 60,000-point welcome offer.

Bilt Mastercard

Why it’s a great starter card: Many beginners in this hobby also pay monthly rent. If you pay by bank deposit, cash or check, your landlord shouldn’t charge you a fee. Paying your rent by credit card often involves fees, but that’s not true with the Bilt Mastercard. The Bilt card even works with landlords who don’t accept credit card payments, so you can earn points without paying a fee.

However, you need to make at least five transactions on your card each month to earn rewards, which come at the rate of 1 point per dollar on rent and everyday purchases, 2 points per dollar on travel and 3 points per dollar on dining.

Additionally, the card offers several perks like trip cancellation and interruption reimbursement, trip delay protection, car rental insurance and no foreign transaction fees. The card also offers World Elite Mastercard benefits, including cellphone protection and $5 in Lyft credits every month you use your card to pay for three or more Lyft rides.

The points earned on this card can be transferred to 12 airline and two hotel partners. Notably, Bilt is the only permanent transfer partner of American Airlines AAdvantage.

For more information, read our full review of the Bilt Mastercard.

Editor’s note: TPG founder Brian Kelly is a Bilt advisor and investor.

The information for the Bilt Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card

Welcome offer: Earn 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening.

Why it’s a great starter card: For beginners, points and miles can seem daunting, so it’s good to have a card that offers an unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases without having to worry about different categories (and without paying an annual fee).

What’s more, if you are a Bank of America banking customer, you can earn additional points under the Preferred Rewards program, where members earn a bonus between 25% and 75% (depending on your tier) on every purchase. Just note that you’ll need a three-month average of at least $20,000 across your Bank of America and Merrill accounts to qualify.

The points earned on this card can be redeemed at a flat rate of 1 cent apiece as a statement credit for travel or dining purchases. The card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. Thus, this is a great card for “erasing” travel purchases you had to pay cash for, such as tours or even the taxes and fees on award flights booked with miles.

For more information, read our full review of the Bank of America Travel Rewards card.

Official application link: Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card with a 25,000-point welcome offer.

How to choose the right starter travel card for you

There is no one-size-fits-all travel card. With so many great options, it can be hard to decide which card (or cards) to get to begin building your credit card portfolio. Make sure you choose a card that fits your spending habits, travel goals and budget.

Start by taking inventory of what categories you spend the most money on each month.

Do you live in a large city where groceries and dining typically make up most of your monthly spending? If so, consider cards such as the Citi Premier or Amex Gold that offer rewards across those categories. From there, narrow your options based on your travel goals.

Last, consider your budget. If you don’t think you’ll get more than $250 in value from the Amex Gold every year, maybe the Premier’s lower $95 annual fee is a nice compromise between your travel goals and budget.

At the end of the day, it’s all about considering which cards will give you the most value each year through earned rewards, perks or a mix of both.

What credit score do you need for a travel credit card?

Most travel credit cards require good-to-excellent credit, meaning you’ll want a score over 650, at least. A score of over 700 is ideal.* That’s not to say that you won’t be approved if your score isn’t that high, but it is a good rule of thumb when you consider applying for a credit card.

It may be a bit easier to get approved for one of the cards on this list than luxury cards such as The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve. However, you’ll still need to have established credit and a good score to have the best chance of getting approved.

If you don’t currently have a good credit score or lack credit history, you’ll want to build credit with a beginner card, a secured card or by becoming an authorized user on someone else’s card. If your credit score is less than stellar, it’s a good idea to take the necessary steps to improve your score before applying for a travel rewards credit card.

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