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It may come as a surprise that this is one of the most exciting times to earn travel credit card rewards. There are bonus-earning categories to take advantage of, major enhanced bonuses on a number of cards, and even more redemption options than ever before. Even better, you can earn these points now to have them ready for the new year.
The best rewards credit cards in 2023 can help you maximize your daily spending while offering exciting card benefits. If you’re ready to maximize your credit card spending, now is one of the best times to explore the many credit card reviews to find what option fits you best.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
The Best Credit Card Rewards in 2023
We all have different spending styles and reward preferences. That’s why we’re giving you several options for some of the best travel credit cards for 2023 and some of the best cash back credit cards for 2023.
Here are some of the best rewards credit cards in each category.
Also, these are the best credit cards for online shopping.
Here are our picks for the credit card rewards and perks in 2023. You can jump to specific cards using the table below:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – $1,000 Award Travel Bonus (Application Info)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® – Premium Rewards Travel Card (Application Info)
- The Platinum Card® from American Express – Largest bonus offer (Additional Info)
- Avianca LifeMiles credit cards – Airline miles (Additional Info)
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – 2x miles on spending
Travel, Hotel, Airline, and Business Credit Cards
Use this table to jump to our picks for specific subgroups of credit cards like travel, airline, hotel, cash back, and business credit cards:
- Flexible Travel Credit Cards
- Airline Credit Cards
- Hotel Credit Cards
- Cash Back Credit Cards
- Business Credit Cards
Flexible Travel Credit Cards
If you like options, you need a flexible credit card that earns travel rewards. These are the best options when you’re not loyal to a certain airline or hotel brand. The following rewards credit cards may also offer point redemption bonuses and point transfers that help make each point worth more than the benchmark 1-cent redemption value.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – 60,000 Bonus Points and 1:1 Point Transfers
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is arguably the best credit card for travel miles. You have flexible point redemption options and a reasonable $95 annual fee.
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
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 best reason to consider this card is for the point redemption options. Each point is worth 25% more (1.25 cents each) when booking any award travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Here’s an example. Your 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth $125 in award travel. However, you need 12,500 points with other cards to book the same travel reward.
Another option that makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred card unique is the 1:1 airline and hotel transfer partners. Some partners include Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, British Airways, and World of Hyatt. You might be able to squeeze more value by transferring and booking directly through the travel provider.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits for travel also make this a worthwhile option.
Chase Sapphire Reserve – $300 Annual Travel Credit & Up to 10x Rewards
If you travel constantly, the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve® can be a better option than the Sapphire Preferred. If you can use the Sapphire Reserve travel benefits, you can help justify its $550 annual fee. These benefits include a $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass lounge membership, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit.
This is one of the best dining credit cards.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® purchases earn up to 10x Ultimate Rewards. Cardholders can earn unlimited:
- 10x total points on hotels and car rental 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.
You also have access to the 1:1 Chase travel transfer partners and you get a 50% redemption bonus when booking award travel directly through Chase. Aesthetically speaking, this is one of the best metal credit cards to have.
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®.
The Platinum Card from American Express – Premium Air Travel Perks
The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best premium credit cards this year. Frequent flyers benefit the most from this card.
Cardholders earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, and earn 5x Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
Cardholders can get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when they pay with your Platinum Card®.
Also, select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Card.
Plus, American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
Other Platinum Card from American Express Benefits
There’s also a digital entertainment credit. Cardholders can get up to $20 in statement credits each month when they pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, The New York Times, and other participating providers. Enrollment required.
In addition to enjoying TSA PreCheck or Global Entry access, cardholders can also enjoy CLEAR perks. Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus at 45+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per year on your membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card.
Another exciting benefit is the ability for cardholders to get up to $300 back each year on an Equinox+ subscription or any Equinox club membership when they pay with their Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
Plus, get a $155 Walmart+ credit, which covers the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. The cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
Get the full details and learn more in our in-depth The Platinum Card from American Express review.
The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees) but can be offset with the perks, which are valued at over $1,400.
Welcome Bonus Offer
New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $6,000 on purchases on their new Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership.
Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards
Citi Premier Card – Earn 3x Points on Air Travel
The Citi Premier® Card is a good alternative to the Chase Sapphire Preferred when the Chase 5/24 rule flags you for too many recently opened credit card accounts. In fact, you might earn more points on your daily purchases with the Citi ThankYou rewards program:
- 3x points on air travel, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations
- 1x points on all remaining purchases
You can also transfer your points to airlines including Asia Miles, JetBlue, and Avianca LifeMiles. There is an annual $100 hotel benefit. Cardholders can enjoy $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, through thankyou.com, once per calendar year.
The annual fee for the Citi Premier Card is $95, and there is no foreign transaction fee.
New Citi Premier® Card cardmembers can earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus is redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards when redeemed at thankyou.com. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – 2x Miles on Purchases and Global Entry Fee Credit
Flat-rate rewards credit cards don’t receive a lot of attention. But they are a better option if you have trouble maximizing another card’s tiered bonus categories. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns unlimited 2x miles on every $1 spent. However, earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
Miles are redeemable as travel statement credits, upcoming travel, and even transferrable to airline and hotel loyalty programs. There isn’t a redemption minimum when getting a travel statement credit.
Capital One also covers your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee by offering a fee credit of up to $100. The Capital One Venture is another good travel card that often gets compared with the top cards available, such as the Sapphire Preferred. Check out our review of the Capital One Venture Rewards vs Chase Sapphire Preferred to learn more about each.
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.
Bonus: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
If you’re looking for a little more oomph in your travels, consider the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. This addition to the Capital One lineup includes the ability to earn unlimited:
- 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
- 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
- 2x miles on all other purchases
Cardholders can also enjoy unlimited access to all-inclusive amenities at the Capital One Lounge and at Priority Pass lounges worldwide. Plus, they’ll receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®.
Additional benefits include up to $300 back annually (as statement credits) for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get access to thousands of options. Plus, get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary.
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel, with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
This offer is perfect for a relaxing vacation either domestically or abroad. The annual fee is $395, but there are no foreign transaction fees.
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card – No Annual Fee
The information related to Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card has been collected by Johnny Jet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card defies the expectation that travel credit cards without an annual fee are lackluster. This card, one of the best Wells Fargo credit card options, has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. If you want a travel credit card with a premium credit card-like rewards program without the additional benefits and fees, this is a great option.
You get unlimited 3x points on these purchases:
- Eating out and dining in
- Gas, rideshares, transit
- Popular streaming services
Points are worth an impressive 1.5 cents each (50% more) when redeemed for award flights using the Wells Fargo Travel Center. One downside is that the Propel doesn’t have point transfer partners. If no annual-fee credit cards are of interest to you, you may want to review our best no-annual-fee travel credit cards list.
Note that the Wells Fargo Propel isn’t accepting new applications and is likely going to be updated.
Airline Credit Cards
Loyalty has its perks, especially in the travel industry. These airline credit cards offer plenty of perks that are worth the annual fee.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card – $75 Travel Credit and 4 Upgraded Bookings
Southwest Airlines continues to push the envelope with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. You get a $75 Southwest travel credit and four Upgraded Bookings (when available) each year.
Cardholders earn unlimited:
- 3x points on Southwest® purchases
- 2x points on local transit and commuting, including rideshares
- 2x points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming purchases
Additionally, get 25% back on inflight purchases.
Plus, you earn a 7,500-point anniversary bonus each card anniversary. As short-haul award flights start around 5,000 points each way, this bonus can be enough for a free flight. Additionally, get 25% back on inflight purchases.
New Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points plus a 30% off promo code after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Related: Best Southwest Credit Cards
Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card – Up to 9 Free Checked Bags
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card lets you and up to 8 travel companions check your first bag for free on Delta flights. That’s potentially $540 roundtrip savings in waived checked bag fees.
You get priority boarding on Delta flights plus Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
The Delta SkyMiles Gold Credit Card earns 2x Miles on Delta purchases at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and at U.S. supermarkets (1x Mile for everything else that is eligible). It also has 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
Additionally, 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.
When you want the chance to earn Medallion Qualification Miles or get an annual companion certificate, you might try upgrading to one of the higher-end best Delta credit cards.
Cardholders can also get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
Plus, Gold card members will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit after spending $10,000 in purchases on their card in a calendar year. Cardholders can use the Credit for future travel.
New Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card cardholders can earn 40,000 bonus miles after they spend $2,000 in purchases on their new Card in their first 6 months.
The introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $99 (See Rates & Fees).
Learn more: Airline Credit Cards
United Club Infinite Card – Premier Access benefits
United Airlines has one of the best premium co-brand airline credit cards in the United Club℠ Infinite Card. The first two checked bags are free for you and one companion. You also get complimentary access to the United Club lounge which can save you up to $650 a year. Bear in mind this card’s annual fee is $525.
Cardholders earn 4x miles per $1 spent on United® purchases including tickets, Economy Plus®, inflight food, beverages and Wi-Fi, and other United charges. They also earn 2x miles per $1 spent on all other travel, 2x miles per $1 spent on dining, including eligible delivery services, and 1x mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Being a cardholder also gives you United Premier Access perks including priority check-in, security and baggage processing, and boarding. Space-available Premier Upgrades are also available. Like the cards listed above, there are other United credit card options if this isn’t exactly what you’re looking for.
Cardholders can also get 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages, and Wi-Fi onboard United-operated flights when paying with their Club Infinite Card.
Plus, get a fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck®, or NEXUS.
New United Club℠ Infinite Card cardholders can earn 80,000 bonus miles + 1,000 Premier qualifying points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Hotel Credit Cards
You can also scoop up good travel deals, such as the ability to earn 75k bonus points with some of the best Marriott credit cards. One of the best benefits of having hotel credit cards can be annual night certificates that can be worth more than the annual card fee.
The World of Hyatt Credit Card – Up to 2 Free Nights Each Year
Hotel points are generally worth less than airline miles. However, Hyatt points are a rare exception to this rule as you can usually get 1.5 to 2 cents per award booking. The World of Hyatt Credit Card is one of the best ways to earn Hyatt points.
Hyatt purchases earn up to 9x points (4x points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5x per $1 as a World of Hyatt member). You also get 2x points on dining, plane tickets purchased directly from the airline, local transit and commuting, and fitness club and gym memberships. Non-bonus spending earns an unlimited 1 point per $1 spent.
One of the most exciting card perks is getting up to two free nights at any category 1-4 hotel that normally costs 15,000 points or less per night. The first free night is automatic for each card anniversary. You get a second free night by spending $15,000 during a cardmember anniversary year.
Owning this card also gives you instant Hyatt Discoverist loyalty status. Discoverist status benefits include 10% bonus points, free breakfast at SLH hotels and select Hyatt Place locations, and space-available room upgrades.
New The World of Hyatt Credit Card card members can earn a signup bonus of up to 60,000 World of Hyatt bonus points. Earn the first 30,000 points by spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, earn up to 30,000 more bonus points with 2 bonus points per $1 spent on purchases that earn 1 bonus point, up to $15,000, in the first 6 months of account opening.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card – Up to $600 Travel Credits
The information for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
There are four different co-brand Hilton credit cards. The Hilton Honors Aspire American Express Card is the crown jewel of the Hilton lineup. Although you pay a $450 annual fee (See Rates & Fees), you can enjoy at least $600 in yearly travel credits and perks.
Here is everything you can get by owning the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card:
- First Weekend Night Reward at card opening and each anniversary
- Second Weekend Night Reward after spending $60,000 in a calendar year
- $250 Hilton Resort statement credit
- $100 Hilton on-property credit
- $250 airline fee credit
- Priority Pass Select membership (you and up to two guests per visit)
- Hilton Honors Diamond status
- Earn up to 14x points per $1 spent on eligible purchases at participating hotels and resorts
You can also earn a welcome offer of 150,000 bonus Hilton Honors points by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Award nights start at 5,000 points making this bonus worth up to 30 free Hilton nights. Or you can also bank your points for swanky stays like the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island which costs 95,000 points per night.
Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards
Sometimes there’s nothing better than getting cash rewards. These cards help you earn more than the standard 1% cash reward.
Chase Freedom Flex – Up to 5% Back
One of the most exciting cash rewards credit cards is the Chase Freedom Flex℠. You get up to 5% back on the first $1,500 spent in rotating quarterly bonus categories, once activated. Some of the bonus categories include gas stations (making it one of the best gas credit cards), grocery stores, and tolls.
- 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1% back)
- 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
- 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
- 1% on all other purchases
There isn’t an annual fee.
New Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders can earn a $200 bonus after they spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
This card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You may consider this card if you own a Chase Sapphire product for the 5x bonus categories. Then you redeem your points for travel with your Sapphire card for the travel redemption bonus or 1:1 point transfers, making this one of the best Chase credit cards.
The Blue Cash Preferred from American Express – 6% Back at U.S. Supermarkets
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express can be one of the best credit cards for millennials.
- 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
- 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
- 3% cash back on transit, including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more
- 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
- 1% cash back on other purchases
You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
Cardholders can also enjoy $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after spending $12.99 or more each month on an eligible The Disney Bundle package (which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+) subscription with the Blue Cash Preferred Card. Enrollment required.
The welcome bonus is the ability to earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. There is a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (See Rates & Fees).
Learn more: Cash Back Credit Cards
Business Credit Cards
Your business spending can be more rewarding with these rewards credit cards. Because business spending tends to be different, you’ll see how these cards offer perks for business spending.
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card – Signup Bonus
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points on the first $150,000 in combined spending for travel, shipping purchases, social media and search engine advertising, and cable, phone, and Internet service provider purchases.
Your points are worth 25% more when redeemed for award travel on Chase or you can transfer them to the 1:1 Chase airline and hotel partners.
You will earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months of your card membership with the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. This is the best Chase business credit card sign-up bonus.
The annual fee is a reasonable $95 per year.
For a no-annual-fee business credit card, consider the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card which earns 1.5x cash back on every card purchase.
One of the best business credit cards for office supplies, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is another option.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Rewards Credit Card – Flight Perks
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card brings various air travel benefits. And you can earn 80,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points. New card members can earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card earns:
- 4x points on Southwest® purchases
- 3x points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners
- 2x points on rideshares
- 2x points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services
- 1x points on all other purchases
Cardholders also get unlimited tier qualifying points (TQPs) that can be earned toward A-List status. There is also a $500 annual fee credit for Rapid Rewards points transfers.
You get four Upgraded Bookings per year (when available), inflight WiFi credits, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit, and 9,000 Rapid Rewards card anniversary points.
It’s easy to earn bonus points on almost any of your most common purchases. More importantly, these cards make have valuable rewards and sometimes additional card perks. If you want to strengthen your spending power, these best credit cards to earn travel rewards are a good starting point.
Here are the best rewards credit card offers this year:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Platinum Card’s bonus offer
- Avianca LifeMiles credit cards
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, please click here.
And for rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.
Many travel cards have recently discontinued insurance for rental cars. Please include this benefit (or lack of benefit) when you discuss travel cards. Thanks!