Best airline and travel rewards credit cards
Airlines caught criticism over the past year for devaluing their frequent-flier miles in the wake of mergers and cost-cutting. Banks seized the opportunity to entice road warriors with alternative travel rewards programs.
- PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card. Originally designed for military families, this no-annual-fee card offers points and perks for all kinds of frequent air travelers. It's worth noting that credit union membership is a requirement but not a guarantee than an applicant will be approved for this credit card.
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. This relative newcomer boasts a generous, flexible rewards program along with World Elite MasterCard perks for a relatively low annual fee of $89, which is waived for the first year.
- Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card. Citi's co-branded hotel rewards card offers the benefits of HHonors Gold status as long as you're a cardmember, plus opportunities to earn points for hotel nights.
What our editors love: Even once-loyal business travelers now hunt for bargains using travel reservation websites. Banks have recognized the trend with cards that offer real savings by waiving foreign transaction fees, extending rewards across multiple brands, and matching elite status at partner hotel chains.