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There are many different travel rewards programs to choose from. Choosing the best bank for travel rewards can help you get valuable travel redemption options and enjoy other complimentary perks while you travel.
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The Best Bank for Travel Rewards
- Chase Bank: Best for Redemption Bonuses
- American Express: Best for Luxury Travel
- Bilt Rewards: Best for Renters and No Annual Fee
- Capital One: Flat-Rate Rewards
Chase Travel Rewards
The Chase Ultimate Rewards® program is a competitive option for leisure and business travel. Several cards offer a travel redemption bonus when booking award trips through the Chase travel portal. Further, the Chase 1:1 airline and hotel transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and World of Hyatt.
To get an idea of how to redeem Chase points, here are some of the common Chase travel redemption examples.
Most travelers benefit from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers a 25% award travel redemption bonus making each point worth 1.25 cents, 1:1 point transfers, up to $50 in annual hotel statement credits, an impressive travel insurance suite, and a reasonable $95 annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a top-notch premium credit card with a 50% travel redemption bonus, an annual $300 travel credit, airport lounge benefits, and more.
To pick the best travel credit card, you can read our Preferred vs. Reserve comparison.
This national bank, one of the best banks for travel rewards, also has an impressive portfolio of co-brand credit cards. Some of the partnerships include:
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Marriott Bonvoy
- fan favorite Southwest Airlines
- World of Hyatt
- and also United Airlines
American Express Travel Rewards
American Express Membership Rewards® is the bank’s flagship travel loyalty program, which is most valuable for booking award flights. There are also several airline and hotel co-brand relationships.
Multiple American Express rewards credit cards earn Membership Rewards, and there are three cards to consider first:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Premium travel card with up to $200 annually in statement credits for airline fees, airport lounge benefits, up to $200 in Uber Cash per year, and many luxury perks with a $695 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).
- American Express® Gold Card: Enjoy up to $120 in Uber Cash, another up to $120 in annual dining statement credits, and special perks through The Hotel Collection. Its annual fee is $250 (See Rates & Fees).
- American Express® Green Card: Earn up to 3x points on travel, dining, and transit purchases instead of specific transaction types like flights and hotels. Travel perks include an annual $100 LoungeBuddy credit and up to $189 in CLEAR Plus credits yearly. The annual fee is $150, and there are $0 foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees).
The highest-level American Express credit card helps luxury travelers enjoy the Concierge feature, which makes it easier to make personalized plans. Platinum members can utilize the International Airline Program to get discounted business or first-class flights.
Each point is worth 1 cent when booking award flights through American Express Travel. The many 1:1 airline transfer partners can be a better option for international flights.
Co-brand American Express credit cards include:
The various portfolios have several high-benefit cards with valuable travel perks with that loyalty program.
This may be a surprise as one of the best banks for travel rewards. Renters are a competitive candidate for the Bilt Rewards loyalty program as you can pay rent without fees and earn points. This loyalty program also has some of the most valuable credit card points, which are worth 1.25 cents for award trips made through the Bilt App.
Membership is free if your rental home is part of the Bilt Rewards Alliance or you have the no-annual-fee Bilt World Elite Mastercard®. This card is ideal when you make at least five purchases per billing cycle to earn points on card transactions. You will also earn bonus points on dining and travel purchases.
The Bilt Credit Card is one of the best travel credit cards without an annual fee as points are worth 25% more for award travel. There are also 1:1 transfer partners, including American Airlines, FlyingBlue, United Airlines, and several others. You can decide if it’s better to book travel with the Bilt App or transfer points with an in-app award travel calculator.
The loyalty program periodically offers limited-time travel offers with its Rent Day programs. You may enjoy temporary airline elite status, transfer bonuses, and exclusive experiences. You can enroll in these specials on the first day of the month, and the promos refresh monthly.
Capital One Travel Rewards
There are several Capital One travel credit cards that earn coveted Capital One Miles that can be redeemed for travel statement credits on recent card purchases, booking future travel through Capital One Travel, or mile transfers.
Leisure travelers may enjoy the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, which is a premium card with a $300 Capital One Travel statement credit each year, lounge benefits, and 10,000 bonus miles after each card anniversary. It has a $395 annual fee, which is budget-friendly in relation to competing cards.
If you’re more focused on earning travel miles and don’t need luxury travel perks, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns 2x miles, provides two one-time lounge passes per year, and provides Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit (of up to $100). The annual fee is a competitive $95.
Business travelers will like one of the Spark Business cards or perhaps the premium Capital One Venture X Business (a better option for the frequent traveler). The business travel credit cards earn Capital One Miles that can be combined with personal accounts to book high-value award trips sooner.
When deciding between Capital One or Chase, you may prefer this loyalty program as the rewards credit cards are flat-rate offerings that earn 2x miles on every purchase plus bonus points when booking trips through Capital One Travel.
The bank doesn’t have co-brand airline or hotel card offerings. However, you may enjoy the flexibility of travel miles that have maximum value for most redemptions.
In conclusion, which bank is best for travel rewards? Each bank mentioned above has its unique strengths and addresses different travel styles and redemption options. Chase and Bilt are best for travel redemption bonuses through the credit card travel portal while offering excellent 1:1 transfer partners. American Express and Capital One are stellar options.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of The American Express® Gold Card, please click here.