Prepare for Holiday Travel With These 4 Credit Cards

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

Smiling woman booking travel with her credit card rewards on phone
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Editor's Note: Money Talks News has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Money Talks News and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

It may be too early for decorations to hit the shelves, but it’s just about the right time to book your flight for the holidays. The second half of September into early October is generally seen as having the best price point, offering the chance to beat procrastinators to the most affordable seats.

But you could save even more with a sweet credit card offer. (To be clear, you’ll probably need a few months to meet the spending requirements for the best introductory offers, and a billing cycle or two for your account to be credited. However, you can look at it as your holiday flights helping pay for themselves!)

Here are the cards we think offer the best travel rewards right now:

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier

Why we like it: For a limited time, you can earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months. That’s a low bar for a big bonus, on top of the everyday rewards.

What to know:

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier
Chase
  • Get 50,000 points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Get 6,000 bonus points each year for your cardholder anniversary.
  • Get 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest flights.
  • Get 2 points per $1 spent on transit and commuting.
  • Get 2 points per $1 spent on internet, cable, phone service and certain streaming purchases.
  • Get 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.
  • $99 annual fee.

Note: This card has no foreign transaction fees.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Why we like it: Like its cousin the Chase Sapphire Reserve, this card offers great bang for your buck on travel rewards and currently has a compelling introductory offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months, worth $750 toward travel. Combined with all the other high reward points opportunities, this card more than pays for itself.

What to know:

Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase
  • Get 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. 60,000 bonus points are worth $750 toward travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Get a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit.
  • Get a 10% anniversary points boost each year.
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on other travel.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
  • Get trip cancellation insurance if your trip is canceled due to sickness or severe weather conditions.
  • Get complimentary DashPass for a year or more for $0 delivery fees on DoorDash.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $95 annual fee.

Capital One Venture

Why we like it: An early spending bonus offer of 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 within the first three months is worth $750 in travel.

What to know:

Capital One Venture
Capital One
  • Earn 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar on every other purchase with no annual cap or expiration.
  • Get up to a $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • $95 annual fee.

Note: This card has a $95 annual fee. The Capital One VentureOne card does not, but doesn’t have the same early spending bonus offer and offers a lower rate of return.

Citi Premier

Why we like it: You’ll earn 80,000 bonus points with the Citi Premier card after spending $4,000 on purchases in your first three months of card membership, redeemable for travel or for $800 in gift cards.

What to know:

Citi Premier
Citi
  • 80,000 bonus ThankYou Points after making $4,000 in purchases within three months of signing up.
  • 3 points per $1 for spending at restaurants and supermarkets.
  • 3 points per $1 for spending at gas stations, hotels and on air travel.
  • 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • $100 off a hotel stay of $500 or more, once per year, when booked through Citi’s rewards website.
  • $95 annual fee.

Note: This card has no foreign transaction fees.

Whatever you need in a credit card — whether it’s a balance transfer, reward points, cash back or a low interest rate — you can find it with our credit card search tool. Click here to search for the plastic that best fits your needs.