These 4 Cards Can Save Hundreds on Flights, Hotels and Upgrades

Happy couple using laptop and planning travel with credit card rewards
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As travel continues to thaw, warmer weather approaches, and the idea of vacations becomes less scary, travelers won’t want to miss out on the latest great credit card bonus offers.

If you’re not using a credit card that offers points, you’re leaving money on the table — think free hotel nights, free flights and upgrades. Get a card that fits your spending and travel habits and reap the rewards.

Capital One Venture

Why we like it: An early spending bonus offer of 60,000 miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months is worth $600 in travel.

What to know:

Capital One Venture
Capital One
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase.
  • Get a $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Extended warranty protection.
  • Travel accident insurance.
  • 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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Why we like it: Like its cousin the Chase Sapphire Reserve, this card offers amazing bang for your buck on travel rewards and currently has a compelling introductory offer: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months, worth $1,000 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 80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • 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 streaming services and online grocery purchases.
  • 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.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $95 annual fee.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus

Why we like it: Southwest’s Companion Pass is almost like a buy-one, get-one-free deal on flights, and for a limited time this card makes it much easier to earn — just spend $5,000 in the first three months and earn 30,000 points, plus a Companion Pass!

What to know:

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus
Chase
  • Earn a Companion Pass and 30,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months.
  • Get 3,000 bonus points each year for your cardholder anniversary.
  • Get 2 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.
  • $69 annual fee.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier

Why we like it: For a limited time, this card has the same introductory offer as the Rapid Rewards Plus card: Earn the Companion Pass through February 2023 when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. It also offers a higher annual bonus and has no foreign transaction fee.

What to know:

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier
Chase
  • Get Companion Pass through Feb. 28, 2023 plus 30,000 points when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months. Companion Pass lets you bring a designated friend along on a flight without paying a second fare.
  • 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.

If you’re just after the Companion Pass and looking at these two cards, the Plus has the lower annual fee. But the added benefits on the Premier — the extra annual bonus points and lack of foreign transaction fees — might be worth the difference to many travelers.

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