3 Top Rewards Cards for Your Holiday Travel

Stockpile bonus points while shopping and get ready to jet off on a dream vacation

3 Top Rewards Cards for Your Holiday Travel Photo by wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

It’s that time of year. Holiday shopping and travel are on the horizon and, then, if you’re lucky, a spring getaway. Maybe you also have to fit in some business travel. Whatever your plans, be sure to leverage the best travel rewards cards on the market to get where you’re going for less. Here are some card offers we like right now:

Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express

What we like about it: For a relatively modest credit card user — who spends $1,000 on the card in the first three months (Christmas gifts anyone?) — there’s a welcome bonus of 30,000 miles. Delta is one of the biggest U.S. airlines that also offers extensive international flights, and it generally gets high ratings. Delta is headquartered in Atlanta, so it has the highest concentration of flights out of that hub.

Other features of this card offer include:

  • If you make a Delta purchase in the first three months, get a $50 statement credit.
  • Get two reward miles for every dollar spent with Delta, as well as one reward mile per $1 spent on other purchases.
  • Get your first checked bag free on Delta flights. (If you’re traveling round-trip as a family of four, that’s a $200 savings.)
  • Get settled in your seat sooner with priority boarding.
  • Pay no annual fee for the first year, then $95 per year.
Click here for more details on this card and to compare it with other offers.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

What we like about it: This Visa card also offers a hearty welcome bonus — 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 within the first three months your account is open. That’s a great start on savings for Southwest flights, among other perks. The Southwest Rapid Rewards frequent flier program gets consistently high ratings among airline rewards programs. U.S. News & World Report ranked it fifth, describing it as “most beneficial for budget-minded travelers based in the United States who frequently fly to major cities around the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean.”

Here are more highlights:

  • Get 7,500 bonus points on your one-year anniversary as a card member.
  • Receive a $75 Southwest travel credit each year.
  • Get 2 reward points for each $1 spent on Southwest and its partner hotels and car rentals, and 1 point for each $1 spent using the card for other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
Click here for more details on this offer and to compare it with other cards.

If you’re inclined to ring up larger balances on plastic, and expect to do lots of travel, here’s a terrific credit card option for you — one that offers even more flexibility for redeeming reward points through an array of airline and hotel loyalty programs:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

What we like about it: This highly rated travel card racks up whopping 50,000 reward points when you use it for $4,000 worth of purchases within the first three months of opening the account. In addition, you can:

  • Earn 2 points for each $1 spent on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.
  • Points transfer 1:1 to other leading hotel and airline loyalty programs. And, if you book through Chase Ultimate rewards, you get 25 percent more value — for example, 50,000 points are worth $625 for travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Click here for more details on this card and to compare it with other offers.

Whatever you need in a credit card — whether it’s 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.

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