Top 5 Travel Credit Cards for 2018

January 29, 2018, Written By John H. Oldshue
Top 5 Travel Credit Cards for 2018

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(Note: the Citi ThankYou Preferred card is no longer available)

People are already planning their summer getaways. Traveling can be quite expensive, which is why so many people have to cut back on their vacations. But with the right credit card rewards program, you can save money on your trip and get extra bonuses while you’re on the road. Some credit cards are better for traveling than others, and the right one for you may not be the right one for someone else. It all depends on what kind of trip you take.

Here is a list of the top travel credit cards for 2018 so you can get the most of your next vacation.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards

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The Capital One VentureOne card is considered one of the best travel rewards card in the industry due to its low fees and great rewards opportunities. It offers 0% APR for the first 12 months on purchases, and then a relatively low 14.24% - 24.24% (Variable) APR after that. For those who like to travel abroad, VentureOne has no foreign transaction fees. You can enjoy your time without having to worry about currency conversions. Best of all, you can get 1.25 miles for every $1 you spend on the card, which can be redeemed for travel expenses. This is in addition to the 20,000 bonus miles you’ll receive (equivalent to $200) if you spend more than $1,000 on your card during the first three months of card ownership. These miles can be used on any airline or hotel, and have no blackout dates. The card has no annual fee. If you make a lot of purchases on your credit card, you may want to consider the Capital One Venture card. This does have an annual fee of $95 after the first year, but pays two miles for every dollar you spend. In addition, it has an upfront bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 during the first three months.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred

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The Citi ThankYou® Preferred card has a very attractive rewards program. It pays two ThankYou Points per dollar spent on dining at restaurants and entertainment purchases, and one ThankYou Point per dollar spent on all other transactions. The card has no annual fee. There is an introductory APR of 0% for the first 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. Then, the ongoing APR is between 15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable) , based on your credit worthiness. This card does have both a 3% foreign transaction fee and balance transfer fee.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards

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The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card is not necessarily a “travel” card but it is one of the best cash back cards on the market. Consumers receive 1.5% back on all purchases—there is no limit on the amount you can earn and no rotating categories. In addition, you receive a $150 bonus after spending $500 on the card during the first three months of ownership. There is a 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months and then an ongoing APR between 15.24% - 25.24% (Variable). There is no annual fee or a foreign transaction fee on the card.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus®World Elite Mastercard®

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The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is a terrific credit card for those who are planning to do a lot of traveling. The card offers 70,000 bonus miles if you make $5,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of card ownership. You’ll also get double the miles on all purchases that you make. It offers a 0% APR for 12 months on balance transfers if they are made within 45 days of opening your account, with a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. There is an $89 annual fee for this card, but it is waived the first year. The card has no foreign transaction fee. The card may be difficult to obtain since it is designed for people with excellent credit scores.

Capital One Spark Miles

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The Capital One Spark Miles card offers double miles on all purchases, and each mile is worth one cent each as statement credits towards travel purchases. Cardholders can use their card to reserve flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises, and then redeem their miles to pay for these purchases. To redeem miles, cardholders log into their account, and select from the eligible travel purchases on their previous statements. Once selected, the cardholder’s miles are redeemed at a rate of one cent per mile, and a statement credit is issued. When traveling on their miles, cardholders never have to worry about blackout dates, seat restrictions, or the rules imposed by complicated award programs. Another great feature of this card is the sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles, worth $500, after making $4,500 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and unlike most credit card issuers, there are never any foreign transaction fees. The standard interest rate for this card is 19.24% (Variable).

The best travel credit card is the one that gives the most perks for your particular spending pattern. These cards offer some terrific rewards. But make sure you choose one that maximizes the rewards for your specific needs.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 29, 2018. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.

About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for
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