dcsimg
Advertiser Disclosure

Mr. Money Mustache Top Credit Cards From Our Partners

Our credit card articles, reviews and ratings maintain strict editorial integrity; however we may be compensated when you click on or are approved for offers from our partners. How we make money.

Welcome to MMM Credit Card HQ!

By Brandon Cronan, Mr. Money Mustache Contributor and Author of LifeReengineeredblog.com

A great way to start earning travel rewards is to get two complimentary cards; an airline specific card and a non-airline specific card. For example, if you fly American Airlines often, you could get the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser). You'll earn AAdvantage miles and you can transfer Starpoints® to American Airlines (in fact, if you transfer 20,000 Starpoints®, you'll get an extra 5,000 bonus miles with American). I’d call this a synergy between these two cards since the Starpoints® points transfer to American Airlines. Where applicable I’ve listed other card synergies below for cards that complement each other.

We've recently lost the ability to list any credit card deals from Chase on this page. While we don’t agree with Chase’s corporate policy on this, they do offer some pretty sweet credit cards which can be found on other parts of the internet. So reader beware: this is a truncated list of credit cards and we cannot claim to have all of the best card offers available on the market.

This list is curated by travel hacker and fellow Mustachian Brandon Cronan. At the bottom of the list you’ll find a brief intro to him and his blog where you can learn more about the credit card bonus a.k.a. the travel hacking game. If you’re new to the game and find the whole thing a bit overwhelming you can reach out to Brandon via his blog at LifeReengineeredblog.com

 

Rewards Credit Cards for Travel

These cards are for people who like to travel – people who intend to travel lots. Some people just want the cash. Those people can check below for a list of cards with decent cash bonuses.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Learn More

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Get 50,000 miles, equal to $500 in travel after spending $3k in three months. Annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year. No foreign transaction fees. Redeem your miles directly to book travel or request a refund for travel you've booked on this card. That means that if you charge Air, Bus, Taxi or Hotel expenses to this card, you can submit a request for those expenses to be credited back to your account. This card offers great flexibility as the benefits are not tied to any single travel company.

Each dollar you spend is worth 2 miles, which essentially means you get 2 percent back on all purchases. Furthermore, thanks to a partnership with Hotels.com, Venture® cardholders who book through Hotels.com/Venture will receive 10x the miles for every $1 spent on the booking. Those Venture® miles are in addition to the regular Hotels.com rewards program through which you earn a free night after staying 10 nights through the site.

Compare this card against other cards in the travel rewards industry.

Synergies:

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Apply Now

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Earn a $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months, then earn another $100 credit after you make your first purchase with an SPG® or Marriott Rewards® hotel within the first six months.

Until July 31, 2018, you'll earn two Starpoints® per $1 spent at SPG® and Marriott Rewards® properties and one point per $1 on everything else. On Aug. 1, 2018, each Starpoint® in your account will be converted to three points. Also on Aug. 1, 2018, you'll begin earning six points per $1 spent at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® properties; four points per $1 at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless phone service purchased from U.S. providers and on U.S. shipping purchases. Earn two points per $1 on everything else.

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees

Synergies:


Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Apply Now

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first three months. Also earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first three months. You'll also earn rewards not just for Delta purchases, but on all your purchases. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees

$95 fee is waived for the first year. Earn two miles per $1  spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and one mile for all other purchases. Check your first bag free on Delta flights.

Synergies:

  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Apply Now

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Special offer: Earn 35,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $1,000 in three months, and you'll earn five miles per $1 spent on eligible purchases for your first six months as a card member up to 35,000 bonus miles (special offer expires July 31, 2018). Plus, you'll receive a $100 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase within the first three months.

Annual fee of $195. Terms and limitations apply. See Rates and Fees

The primary cardholders, as well as a limited number of companions traveling on the same itinerary, can check their first bag for free on Delta flights. Also, you'll receive a round-trip main cabin companion ticket each year after your account renewal.


Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Apply Now

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. Also, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first three months. 

$95 fee is waived for the first year. Terms and limitations apply. See Rates and Fees

Take advantage of perks such as a free checked bag for you and up to eight companions traveling on the same itinerary. That perk alone could quickly offset the annual fee after your first year. You'll also enjoy priority boarding and discounts on in-flight purchases as well as earning bonus rewards for your Delta purchases.


Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®

Apply Now

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®

This is an excellent all-around travel card and my go-to card for everyday purchases. Here's why: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5k in the first 90 days and paying your annual fee – that’s enough to redeem for a $600 travel statement credit. See Rates and Fees

The annual fee is $89 and there are no foreign transaction fees to cut into your travel-abroad budget.

If you charge Air, Bus, Taxi or Hotel expenses to this card you can submit a request for those expenses to be credited back to your account. Each dollar you spend is worth 2 miles and upon redemption you are awarded 5 percent of your miles back, which essentially means you get 2.1 percent cash back on all purchases. Not bad for a travel rewards card. For all these reasons, this card has become my go-to card for everyday purchases.


Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Apply Now

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Rake in 50,000 bonus ThankYou® points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. Those points are worth up to $625 in travel or $500 in gift cards.

The annual fee is $95, waived the first 12 months.

The current bonus offer is much higher than we’re used to seeing on this card, so it’s a great time to apply if you’ve been looking for a general travel rewards credit card. Plus, ThankYou® points are transferable to a number of airline loyalty programs or redeem your points through the ThankYou® Travel Center and they’re worth 25 percent more.


Discover it® Miles

Learn More

Discover it® Miles

Earn 1.5 miles per $1 spent and for the first year of card membership Discover will MATCH all the miles you earn. That means you'll effectively earn three miles per $1 spent for the first year, making this card one of the highest earning travel rewards cards out there for that first year.

Even after year one, this is a solid card. There is no cap to the amount you can earn, no rotating categories to keep up with and no minimum miles required to redeem. Plus, when you do redeem, you do so by making a travel purchase on your card and requesting statement credit to cover that purchase. 

All this and there's no annual fee.

As an added bonus, Discover offers up to $30 in statement credit each year to cover your in-flight Wi-Fi fees


Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

For a limited time, earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening (Citi is a CardRatings advertiser). This is a higher-than-typical bonus on this card, so if you're in a position to apply now, you might want to go for it. You could be cashing in on those bonus miles in no time. Furthermore, if you spend at least $20,000 on your card in a membership year and then renew your card, you'll receive a $100 American Airlines flight discount.

Annual fee: $99, waived for first 12 months*

Your first checked bag is free for you and up to four companions on domestic itineraries, a feature that could save you a big money on a single round-trip flight not to mention what it could do for you over the course of a year. Plus, you'll receive discounts on in-flight purchases and enjoy priority boarding status. You'll also earn 2 miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases as well as purchases at gas stations and restaurants and one point everywhere else.


Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Learn More

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Very similar to the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®. Get 50,000 miles, equal to $500 in travel after spending $3k in three months. Annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year. No foreign transaction fees. Redeem your miles directly to book travel or request a refund for travel you've already booked. That means that if you charge Air, Bus, Taxi or Hotel expenses to this card, you can submit a request for those expenses to be credited back to your account. Each dollar you spend is worth 2 miles, which essentially means you get 2 percent back on all purchases. Plus, thanks to a new partnership, cardholders who book a stay on Hotels.com/Venture will receive 10x the miles per $1 spent on the booking. That's in addition to the Hotels.com rewards program through which you earn a free night for every 10 nights booked on the site.

Compare this card against other cards in the travel rewards industry.

Synergies:


Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Learn More

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

The no-fee little sister to the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card above. Get 20,000 bonus miles, equal to $200 in travel, after spending $1k in three months. No annual Fee. No foreign transaction fee. Your miles can be redeemed as cash back in the form of statement credits for travel expenses. That means that if you charge Air, Bus, Taxi or Hotel expenses to this card you can submit a request for those expenses to be credited back to your account. Each dollar you spend is worth 1.25 miles. However, when you book through Hotels.com/Venture with your card, you'll earn 10x the miles per $1 spent. That's in addition to the Hotels.com rewards program through which you earn a free night for every 10 nights stayed. 

Compare this card against other cards in the travel rewards industry.

Synergies:

  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

Apply Now

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® bonus points when you spend $1k in the first three months of card membership.

Since you don't pay an annual fee with this card, you can keep it around as a storage spot or holding tank for your Membership Rewards® points. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees

Then again, if you do find yourself at a supermarket, you just might be glad you have this card in your wallet since you'll earn two points per $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually, then one point) and one point per $1 on all your other purchases. Furthermore, new cardholders can take advantage of no interest on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (then, 14.74% - 25.74% Variable) AND no balance transfer fees on transfers made within the first 60 days of card membership. Basically, don't be afraid to put this card to good use. 


Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Apply Now

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

American Express Membership Rewards® are highly valued among the travel hacking community. Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $2k in the first three months of card membership. 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. $195 fee is waived for the first year. No foreign transaction fees. $100 Airline Fee Credit – Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one, pre-selected airline. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees

Synergies:


The Platinum Card® from American Express

Apply Now

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Earn 60,000 of those valuable Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5k in the first three months of card membership. Also, enjoy five points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel as well as on hotel stays booked through amextravel.com. You'll earn one point per $1 on all your other purchases.

Terms apply. See Rates and Fees.

The $550 annual fee is significantly offset by a $200 airline fee credit for baggage fees and more with one pre-selected airline and up to $200 Uber savings annually. Cardholders also can enjoy complimentary airport lounge access around the globe.


Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Apply Now

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first three months. Also earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first three months. You'll also earn rewards not just for Delta purchases, but on all your purchases. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees

$95 fee is waived for the first year. Earn two miles per $1  spent on purchases made directly with Delta and one mile for all other purchases. Check your first bag free on Delta flights.

Synergies:

  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Citi Prestige® Card

Citi Prestige® Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

Earn 40,000 Citi ThankYou® points after spending $4k in the first 3 months of account opening. Additionally, receive $250 per calendar year airfare credit.

$450 fee is not waived.

With $250 per calendar year airfare credit (or gift cards) you have the potential to earn $500 in airfare credit in one cardmember year. Add in the 40,000 Citi ThankYou® points and you’re able to offset the $450 fee by a large margin.


Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

Apply Now

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

Earn 50,000 AAdvantage® miles when you spend $5,000 in the first three months. Plus, each year your spend at least $40,000 on your card you'll receive 10,000 bonus Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs).

$450 annual fee not waived for the first year.

This card provides Admirals Club® airport lounge access for you and guests with you, so if you really love that Admiral's Club®, this may be the card for you. Additionally, it also reimburses you with a $100 credit for your Global Entry or TSA Precheck® application fee every 5 years. You can check your first bag for free on domestic itineraries and you'll enjoy priority boarding privileges as well.


JetBlue Plus Card

JetBlue Plus Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1k in the first 90 days of account opening. Also, book a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more and receive a $100 statement credit. Plus, the bonus earnings keep coming: Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary. This is a great card for those people traveling JetBlue often.

$99 fee is not waived.

Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and $1 on all other purchases. You'll also receive 50 percent off your in-flight purchases and check your first bag for free. 


Rewards Credit Cards For Hotels

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

Apply Now

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

This card is offering 100,000 bonus points as a welcome offer. Earn it by spending $2,000 in the first three months. Plus, you'll earn a weekend night reward stay each calendar year you spend at least $15,000 on your card.

Annual fee is $95.

This is a solid hotel-branded card to keep in rotation for even your everyday purchases since you’ll earn six points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations and three points per $1 everywhere else. That’s in addition to the 12 points per $1 spent at participating Hilton portfolio properties. Furthermore, cardholders receive 10 complimentary airport lounge visits each calendar year after a one-time signup for Priority Pass™ Select. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees


The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Apply Now

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Welcome offer: Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after your spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months.

Annual fee is $95.

In addition to the rewards you’ll earn on your Hilton stays as well as on your business and travel purchases (among other purchases), you can also earn two weekend night stays per calendar year. Earn your first night after spending $15,000 and earn another night by spending an additional $45,000 in the same calendar year. You’ll also receive 10 complimentary airport lounge visits each calendar year after a one-time signup for Priority Pass™ Select. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees


Rewards Credit Cards for Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

Learn More

Discover it® Cash Back

No annual fee. You could turn $200 into $400 with Cashback Match™. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. This is like a free $200 if you spend enough to earn $200 in cash back during your first year.

Earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 spent when you sign up in bonus categories that rotate each quarter. Max out that spending and you'll earn a total of $75 cash back. Thanks to Cashback Match™, that's actually worth $150 back after your first year as a card member. Plus, earn 1 percent cash back on all other purchases, and that too is eligible for the match after your first year.

2018 categories include: January-March 2018: gas stations and wholesale clubs; April-June 2018: grocery stores; July-September 2018: Restaurants; October-December: Amazon.com and wholesale clubs.


Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months

Learn More

Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months

Enjoy a $150 cash-back bonus after spending just $500 in the first three months. On an ongoing basis, use this card to earn 1.5 percent cash back on all your purchases everyday with no spending caps or specific categories to keep up with and rest assured knowing your points won’t expire for the life of the account. After the intro period, the interest rate goes to 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable).

No annual fee.

If you’re looking for a good card to take abroad, this one fits the bill as you won’t be charged foreign transaction fees, but you will receive travel accident protection against covered incidents as well as rental car collision coverage. Not bad perks at all for a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee.


Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Apply Now

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Earn $200 after you spend $1,000 in the first three months.

$95 annual fee is NOT waived for the first year. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees

This card has an ongoing rewards earning rate of 6 percent at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6k spent annually, then 1 percent), 3 percent at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1 percent on all your other purchases. Cash back is earned as rewards dollars which can be redeemed as a statement credit or for gift cards or merchandise.

If you're looking for an ongoing no-annual-fee situation, you may prefer to get the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, discussed below.


Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Apply Now

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Earn $150 back after you spend $1k on your new card within the first three months of account opening.

No annual fee. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express cash back earning opportunities include 3 percent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases then 1 percent, 2 percent at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1 percent on your other purchases. If you're a regular grocery shopper, that cash back could add up quickly.

Your cash back accrues as rewards dollars which you can then redeem in a variety of ways, including as a statement credit or for gift cards or merchandise.


Rewards Credit Cards for Small Business

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Apply Now

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Welcome offer: Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after your spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months.

Annual fee is $95.

In addition to the rewards you’ll earn on your Hilton stays as well as on your business and travel purchases (among other purchases), you can also earn two weekend night stays per calendar year. Earn your first night after spending $15,000 and earn another night by spending an additional $45,000 in the same calendar year. You’ll also receive 10 complimentary airport lounge visits each calendar year after a one-time signup for Priority Pass™ Select. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees


Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Apply Now

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Earn a $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months, then earn another $100 credit after you make your first purchase with an SPG® or Marriott Rewards® hotel within the first six months.

Until July 31, 2018, you'll earn two Starpoints® per $1 spent at SPG® and Marriott Rewards® properties and one point per $1 on everything else. On Aug. 1, 2018, each Starpoint® in your account will be converted to three points. Also on Aug. 1, 2018, you'll begin earning six points per $1 spent at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® properties; four points per $1 at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless phone service purchased from U.S. providers and on U.S. shipping purchases. Earn two points per $1 on everything else.

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees

Synergies:


The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

Apply Now

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

Welcome offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5k in the first 3 months.

$0 fee for the first year, then $175. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees

Normally this card bonus is 25,000 points so now is the time to apply if you’re interested! It offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to earning rewards. For instance, you can choose a category (from among a list of five) in which you'll earn three times the points (on the first $100,000 spent annually). You'll earn two points per $1 on the other four categories (again, capped at $100k spending each year) and one point per $1 on your other purchases. It's rare that a card lets you choose where you'll earn that most points/rewards, so take note of this card.


Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Apply Now

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. Also, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first three months.

$95 fee is waived for the first year. Terms and limitations apply. See Rates and Fees

Take advantage of perks such as a free checked bag for you and up to eight companions traveling on the same itinerary. That perk alone could quickly offset the annual fee after your first year. You'll also enjoy priority boarding and discounts on in-flight purchases as well as earning bonus rewards for your Delta purchases.


Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Apply Now

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Special offer: Earn 35,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $1,000 in three months, and you'll earn five miles per $1 spent on eligible purchases for your first six months as a card member up to 35,000 bonus miles (special offer expires July 31, 2018). Plus, you'll receive a $100 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase within the first three months.

Annual fee of $195. Terms and limitations apply. See Rates and Fees

The primary cardholders, as well as a limited number of companions traveling on the same itinerary, can check their first bag for free on Delta flights. Also, you'll receive a round-trip main cabin companion ticket each year after your account renewal.


Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Apply Now

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. Also, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first three months.

$95 fee is waived for the first year. Terms and limitations apply. See Rates and Fees

Take advantage of perks such as a free checked bag for you and up to eight companions traveling on the same itinerary. That perk alone could quickly offset the annual fee after your first year. You'll also enjoy priority boarding and discounts on in-flight purchases as well as earning bonus rewards for your Delta purchases.


CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

For a limited time, earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first four months. This is jumbo bonus on this card, so it's a great time to apply if that fits into your plans.

$95 annual fee waived the first 12 months.

You and up to four traveling companions can check the first bag for free on domestic itineraries. Reward flights are available for as little as 7,500 miles so the intro bonus alone could be enough for multiple round-trip tickets.


Author Bio: This page is curated by Brandon Cronan. When Brandon is not working as a project engineer he uses the principles of badassity combined with credit card bonuses and other travel hacks to enjoy extended mini-retirements in exotic locations around the world. On his most recent twelve-month hiatus he used frequent flyer miles to visit Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Spain and Portugal, paying only the fuel surcharge and miscellaneous taxes. Check out his free guide on how to earn your first 60,000 airline miles available on his blog lifereengineeredblog.com.

Follow him on Twitter for credit card updates. 

Interested in learning more? Check out Travel Miles 101 – a free online course with Alexi Zemsky of MilesDividendMD.com and Brad Barrett of RichmondSavers.com.

Updated, July 12, 2018
®