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What are the best credit cards for millennials in 2023? It’s true millennials have more credit card debt than the generations before them, for a myriad of reasons. While they might be tempted to take advice from parents or other well-meaning members of other generations when it comes to choosing a card, it’s worth remembering that millennial spending habits are much different from their predecessors.
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The Best Credit Cards for Millennials 2023
Because of this, the travel credit card that works best for mom or dad usually doesn’t work best in a millennial wallet. So, what are some of the best travel credit cards for millennials? Here are four that are sure candidates for a good pick.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – Best Bonus Worth $1,000 in Award Travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® – Premium Millennial Travel Card
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – 2x Miles on Spending
1. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
If you want an easy-to-use card that earns rewards on all purchases, this is the card for you. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns you 2x miles on every purchase. You don’t have to worry about whether or not your purchase will fall into a bonus category.
However, if you are wanting to earn a few more miles on travel, there’s good news—earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
There’s a $95 annual fee, which is pretty typical for most credit cards. But you won’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees.
If you do want to spend your earned miles with airlines, this Capital One credit card gives you the ability to transfer your miles (and fly for free!). Plus, cardholders can transfer miles to leading travel loyalty programs.
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel, with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
2. Chase Sapphire Reserve
If you’re a frequent traveler, you may appreciate this premium pick that is one of the best credit cards for millennials. The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Preferred family of cards are well revered in the travel community. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is quite a good option for millennials who travel a lot and want to be paid for it, but they’re not necessarily looking to tie the knot just yet with a specific airline or hotel credit card.
New Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Cardholders can earn unlimited:
- 10x total points on hotels and car rentals purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
- 10x total points on Chase Dining purchases with Ultimate Rewards
- 5x total points on flights when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
- 3x points on other travel worldwide (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
- 3x points on other dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out
- 1x points for all remaining purchases
You will not receive rewards points on your first $300 in annual travel purchases as the annual travel statement credit reimburses these purchases.
Additional Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits
Travel credit card pros highly recommend using the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal for spending your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, as you can usually get more value for those points when you book travel there versus elsewhere.
Other benefits that come with the card include fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, airport lounge access, and rental car privileges.
The bad thing about this card? It is a premium card, which means it comes with a hefty annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a $550 annual fee, one of the highest in the industry. If that’s something you’re looking to steer clear of right now, you definitely will want to bypass this card for another on this list.
Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve® worth it? Some say so. When you look at the signup bonus, travel statements, and perks, it can be one of the best, especially for frequent travelers.
3. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
If cash is a bit tight right now, consider signing up for a different card with a lower annual fee, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (which is also the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s sister card). The annual fee is $95 and there are no foreign transaction fees to worry about. It’s definitely a worthy option and one of the best credit cards for millennials.
New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Member FDIC
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns unlimited:
- 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit)
- 3x points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out)
- 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target®, Walmart®, and wholesale clubs)
- Also 3x points on select streaming services
- 2x points on all other travel purchases
- 1x point per $1 spent on all non-bonus purchases
Sapphire Preferred Perks
There is a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit. It comes in the form of a statement credit that will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for hotel accommodation purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards program, up to an annual maximum accumulation of $50.
Plus, on each account anniversary, you’ll earn bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year. So, if you spend $25,000 on purchases, you’ll get 2,500 bonus points.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits are well worth considering.
There is a $95 annual fee.
4. Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card
Say you want an airline-branded travel credit card. Well, those do often come with annual fees as well, though not so large as that of the Chase Sapphire Reserve. But if you fly frequently or stay often with a certain brand, that annual fee could be worth it to you.
There is one travel co-branded credit card that does not require an annual fee or foreign transaction fee: the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card (See Rates & Fees). It is one of the best credit cards for millennials.
It also earns:
- 2x miles per dollar at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
- 2x miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases
- 1x mile on all other eligible purchases
Plus, you can Pay with Miles: take up to $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.
Cardholders also receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after using their card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
The potential downsides to this card include the dedication you’ll need to make to the Delta brand. With miles worth the most when you actually spend them with Delta or a partner airline, you’ll have to hang your hat at the Delta door for most of your flights to get top value out of this card.
But, if you prefer the Delta brand and fly it occasionally, this could be no problem for you. Check out our review of the best Delta credit cards if you want to read more or want to see what other Delta options are available.
New Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card cardholders can earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on their new Card in their first 6 months.
These cards are not only some of the best credit cards for millennials, but they are also some of the best miles credit cards, best travel credit cards, and even some of the best credit cards for international travel. Each of these cards comes with plenty of travel perks and benefits. Depending on what you’re looking for, one of these credit cards can fuel your travel for when you are ready to hit the road or take to the skies.
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For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, please click here.