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Having a travel rewards credit card in 2024 means you can earn points or miles on more purchases, regardless of your travel plans. Over the last few years, banks have enhanced card bonuses and revamped their products. They also added new partnerships with top companies, giving more opportunities to make use of their cards. With that in mind, finding the right card for your lifestyle is key.

You can narrow your search down to credit card reviews that offer the best rewards. Or maybe you want a valuable credit card signup offer that can be used to pay for any upcoming travel. Whatever you choose, there’s a good chance you will want to know the credit score needed to be approved for each travel credit card. Here’s where this post can help.

Regina Isabella Ischia’s view from the pool. Credit: Johnny Jet

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Credit Score Needed For The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards

That number (or range) is virtually impossible to nail down, as each bank looks at different criteria and pulls from different credit reporting bureaus. But this article will give you a solid guide to applying for the best rewards cards for you:

  1. Best overall: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  2. Best Miles Credit Card 75k bonus: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  3. 60k Points Offer: American Express® Gold Card
  4. Best Airlines Miles Credit Card Premium: The Platinum Card® from American Express
  5. Airline Credit Card for Incidental Fees: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  6. 75,000 bonus miles: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Free Credit Report

Additionally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion announced that they are offering credit reports for U.S. consumers. You can check to see if your information is up to date and check for any errors. Plus, if you don’t know your credit score already, this can be a helpful service for you. To see your report, visit

Credit Score Needed for the Best Travel Cards

Let’s break down the average credit score needed to be approved for some of the top travel rewards credit cards on the market. Fair credit usually ranges from 649-699, good credit from 700-749, and excellent credit is anything above 750. Here are a few of the best travel credit card options and what credit score is needed.

For Travelers with Fair-Good Credit: 649-749

If you have good or excellent credit, you’d probably have a shot at being approved for most midrange travel rewards cards. Here are some of the most popular options. You’ll also find some of their key features.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

With an effective 2x rewards rate, some nice travel benefits, and the option to redeem your Capital One miles with a transfer partner, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is firmly situated as a straightforward, midrange travel rewards card. The credit score needed will generally require good credit to be approved, but depending on other factors (like your income and relationship with Capital One), you may be approved with a credit score leaning more toward the mid-to-high-600s. Here’s how Capital One describes the ideal applicant:

“I’ve never declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan; I haven’t been more than 60 days late on any credit card, medical bill, or loan in the last year; I’ve had a loan or credit card for 3 years or more with a credit limit above $5,000.”

The Capital One Venture card also comes with a fee credit of up to $100 for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Earning 2x miles on every $1 spent and no foreign transaction fees, this card is a solid choice for travel.

The annual fee is $95.

However, if you want 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. 

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.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card earns a flat reward rate of 1.5 points for every $1 spent. You can redeem your rewards as a statement credit toward travel purchases, including flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees. And if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Reward Member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase, which means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 spent. This card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Chase is a bit pickier about who they’ll approve for their rewards cards—especially the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit score is a bit more flexible, which is why it’s also a great travel card for beginners.

But Chase takes a lot of factors into account, including its unofficial 5/24 rule — in most cases, you won’t be approved if you’ve applied for 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months. At the same time, applicants with a lower credit score (think somewhere in the high 600s) but who have applied for only a couple of credit cards in the last 2 years have been approved.

If you aren’t approved but have a credit score over 700, you can always call a Chase representative to find out what impeded your approval. Knowing why is worth it, as you may have other options that you can apply for.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Rewards

There are several Chase Sapphire reward categories. The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns unlimited:

  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠ (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 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 Chase Travel℠ 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.

There is a $95 annual fee.

American Express Gold Card

The American Express® Gold Card is another straightforward rewards card. It earns 4x Membership Rewards® points at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earns 4x Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x). Plus, earn 3x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on

Another perk is the ability to earn up to $10 in statement credits on a monthly basis when you use your Gold Card to pay at the following dining establishments (enrollment is required):

  • Grubhub
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Goldbelly
  • Milk Bar
  • Shake Shack (only at participating locations)

This perk can save you up to $120 annually.

There are no foreign transaction fees, but there is an annual fee of $250 (See Rates & Fees).

New American Express® Gold Card cardholders can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months. Cardholders can choose between Gold or Rose Gold. Terms apply.

Credit Score Needed For Travelers with Good-Excellent Credit: 700-850

The credit score needed for these credit cards tends to range in the higher category. If you have good to excellent credit, you’ll find a variety of perks available.

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 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 earns 5x Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Cardholders can get up to $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 the Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.

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.

This can be one of the best miles credit cards

Plus, American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. 

Additional 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®. Enrollment required.

In addition to enjoying TSA PreCheck or Global Entry access, cardholders can also enjoy CLEAR perks. Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus 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 in the form of statement credits on an Equinox+ subscription or any Equinox club membership when they pay with their Platinum Card. Enrollment required.

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.

Welcome Bonus Offer

New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $8,000 on purchases on their new Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership.

The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees) but can be offset with the perks, which are valued at over $1,400.

How hard is it to get the American Express Platinum? The credit score needed should be good or excellent credit, ideally 700 or more. If you have an even higher score and/or an excellent credit history, you might want to consider the AMEX Platinum.

Citi Double Cash Card

The information for the Citi® Double Cash Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Citi® Double Cash Card is a unique one as it earns up to 2% cash back — earn unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. It has no annual fee. This makes it a great companion card to use instead of one that only earns 1% cash back. You’ll need fair to excellent credit for this card.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a great option if you want premium benefits, such as a fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, Capital One Lounge and worldwide Priority Pass and Capital One lounge access, and $300 back annually for bookings through Capital One Travel. 

Cardholders also 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

Plus, get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on the first anniversary. 

Use the miles you earn to cover your travel expenses. This can include flights, hotels, rental cars, and more. You can also transfer your miles to several Capital One travel partners

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.

The annual fee is $395, but there are no foreign transaction fees.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, while the numbers in this article are a good jumping-off point, keep in mind that there are always exceptions. The credit score needed may vary. Don’t be discouraged from trying for a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture card if your credit score is somewhere around 670-680.

Banks take a few more factors into account than just your credit score. They look at:

  • Your credit history
  • The number of cards that you currently carry
  • The number of cards you’ve applied for recently

All of these factors can impact your application.

If all else fails, you can apply for a card with a bank you already have a relationship with. Or, apply for an everyday rewards card while you boost your credit score.

Related Articles:

For rates and fees of The American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Johnny Jet has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Johnny Jet and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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