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The Ultimate Guide To The Best Debit Cards For Traveling

The ultimate guide to the best debit cards for traveling by travel done simple

This page may contain affiliate links which means I get a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase with them. This helps keep the site running and the travel tips coming! For more info, check out my Privacy Policy & Disclosure .

Having the right debit card for traveling is extremely important as it can mean the difference between:

  • A stressful experience because your card doesn’t work in your destination / you blew your budget because you didn’t account for hidden fees most banks charge you.
  • Being able to pay for things easily both online as well as in person while also saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year on fees that you don’t need to pay.

The second option sounds much better, right?

Well the truth is that most banks will charge you fees for foreign transactions, foreign currency conversions, and foreign ATM withdrawals, and if you only travel once a year, the amount you lose on them might not be that much, but if you travel more often than that, you could be losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year on these fees!  

In addition, some banks still haven’t caught up to the 21st century and the debit cards that they give you might not even work in other countries because they lack basic functionalities such as a chip & 4-digit number PIN, contactless payments, and Visa or Mastercard integration.

However, there are banks out there that offer no-fee 21st century debit cards that are perfect for traveling.  When it comes to finding the right one for you, it depends on where you live.  

If your current bank offers a card that has all those functionalities and also none of the fees I mentioned earlier, then great!  But most standard banks won’t so you might have to look for a different one.

Luckily for you, I have put together a guide to the best debit cards and bank accounts you can get no matter where you live in the world!

Important information about debit cards:

  • Try to limit the amount of payments you make with your debit card since it’s your money that is lost if something happens.  Use it to take out cash and use credit cards for payments if you can as they are safer since you aren’t technically paying with your own money when you use a credit card.
  • If you do choose to make payments, always choose to pay in the local currency because the exchange rate offered by Visa & Mastercard will always be better than the one offered by foreign merchants.  The same goes for ATMs.  I go into more detail about this in my Guide to Getting Cash While Traveling .
  • If your bank offers this feature, lock your card using the mobile app when you’re not using it to prevent fraud.
  • Keep a backup debit card hidden in your luggage in case something happens to your main one and know what to do if your card is lost, stolen, or copied.  See #6 in my Guide to Money Management While Traveling for all the steps you should take.

Table of Contents

The US flag which represents all American travelers

Best Travel Debit Card in the USA

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Debit Cards For Traveling

Charles Schwab Bank

Charles Schwab Bank’s debit card is often recommended by travelers because of its lack of fees and the fact that any fees you have to pay when using any ATM in the world get refunded to you!  

This is a feature that not many banks offer so this is why they stand out above the rest.  If you’re a US resident, you definitely need to look into getting your hands on this bank account and debit card.

Note: if preventing fraud is a priority and you are looking for a card that has instant notifications for transactions + the ability to freeze & unfreeze your card instantly from the mobile app, check out N26 below .

  • No monthly account fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No foreign currency conversion fees
  • No foreign ATM withdrawal fees
  • ATM fees imposed by ATMs themselves worldwide get refunded to you by the bank (huge benefit)
  • Visa debit card & a US Dollar checking account
  • Can sign up online

Eligibility

  • You need to be a US resident (with proof of residence) and have a US address (no P.O. boxes) to open an account.
  • If you are outside the US when opening an account, you must do it using a VPN or else risk requiring a visit to a branch in person.
  • You also have to open a brokerage account with them at the same time to use the checking account.  However, it’s free and you don’t even have to touch it if you don’t want to.

The flag of Canada which represents all Canadian travelers

Best Travel Debit Card in Canada

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Debit Cards For Traveling

While not technically a bank, what STACK offers is the best option for Canadian travelers since there is no Canadian bank that has a similar offering.  

Signing up with STACK gets you a free reloadable Canadian Dollar Mastercard that doesn’t have any foreign transaction, currency conversion, or ATM withdrawal fees.  You can also fund it quickly and easily with e-transfers. Think of it kinda like a prepaid debit card. 

  • Sign up using this link and receive $5 for free! (You must click the link with a mobile device to get your $5).
  • No foreign transaction fees (max 15 in-person transactions per day)
  • No foreign ATM withdrawal fees (max 2 withdrawals per day, max $500 per withdrawal, max $2,000 a month)
  • Instant push notifications for any transactions
  • Instantly freeze and unfreeze your card anytime from the app
  • Contactless Mastercard with a chip & PIN
  • Digital wallet compatible
  • Easily load the card instantly using e-transfers
  • Discounts at certain Canadian retailers
  • You need to have a Canadian address (no P.O. boxes) to open an account.  You might be able to use a friend’s address.
  • It is not available in Quebec (yet). Use a friend’s address in another part of Canada until they offer it in Quebec

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Debit Cards For Traveling

Best Travel Debit Card in the UK

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Debit Cards For Traveling

Starling Bank

There are a few different options available in the UK, but the absolute best option is Starling Bank thanks to the fact that it doesn’t charge you any fees whatsoever for your travel needs.  

Other similar UK banks like Monzo and Monese have limits to the amount of ATM withdrawals you can make, charging you extra fees for going over those limits. This is why Starling Bank stands out as the best choice for UK residents.

  • In addition to British Pounds, you can also hold Euros in your account and even make purchases in Euros using the same card 
  • Contactless Mastercard debit card with a chip & PIN
  • You need to have a UK address (no P.O. boxes) to open an account.  They may also ask for proof of address information so you might not be able to use a friend’s account.

The flag of Australia which represents all Australian travelers

Best Travel Debit Card in Australia

The logo for HSBC which is the best bank and debit card that Australian travelers can use while traveling

HSBC Everyday Global Account

There are a few decent banking options in Australia, but the HSBC Everyday Global Account takes the cake not only because there are no fees to use it, but also thanks to the fact that it lets you hold a total of 10 different currencies in your account!  

You can choose to pre-load your account with a certain currency before traveling or use your main currency and benefit from no foreign currency conversion fees.

  • In addition to Australian Dollars, you can hold 9 other currencies in your account: US Dollars, British Pounds, Euros, Hong Kong Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Japanese Yen, New Zealand Dollars, Singapore Dollars, and Chinese Yuan
  • Contactless Visa debit card with a chip & PIN
  • You need to have an Australian phone number and address (no P.O. boxes) to open an account.  If you don’t live in Australia, you might be able to open an account by visiting the nearest HSBC bank to you or by simply using a friend’s phone number and address. 

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Debit Cards For Traveling

Best Travel Debit Card in Europe

The logo for N26 which is the best bank and debit card that European travelers can use while traveling

If you live in Europe (or even if you don’t, see below), you gotta go with N26 .  They don’t offer completely free accounts, but compared to all the others available, they are the best.

You are able to open a Euro account with N26 in any one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.  

Note: they used to be available in the UK, but have left ever since Brexit.  

And even if you don’t live in any of those countries, you can ask a friend living in one of them if you can use their address to receive the card, after which you can change the address no problem!

*N26 has also expanded to the US, but Charles Schwab  is still the better travel bank account and debit card for Americans to use for the time being unless your priority is fraud prevention, in which case N26 is best since it has instant notifications for transactions + the ability to freeze & unfreeze your card instantly from the mobile app.

  • No monthly account fees for the standard account (9.90 EUR for N26 You & 16.90 EUR for N26 Metal)
  • Free ATM withdrawals in Euros* (See Eligibility)  
  • Foreign currency ATM withdrawals come with a 1.7% fee (this fee is waived if you pay for a premium account)
  • Free cash withdrawals and deposits at select stores across Germany, Austria, and Italy using their CASH26 feature (deposits over 100 EUR a month get charged a 1.5% fee)
  • TransferWise integration for cheaper transfers than most banks
  • Online account and customer support also available in Spanish, French, German, & Italian
  • Premium accounts come with Travel Insurance, Car Rental Insurance, and even Mobile Phone Theft Insurance!
  • The number of free ATM withdrawals in Euros that you get depends on the country you sign up in.  Signing up in Austria or Italy gets you unlimited free withdrawals in Euros, whereas signing up in any of the other countries gets you 5 free ATM withdrawals in Euros in Eurozone countries (and only 3 of them if you sign up in Germany), after which they will cost you 2 EUR per withdrawal.
  • You need to have an address (no P.O. boxes) in one of the eligible countries to open an account.  You can easily use a friend’s address when creating your account to receive the card and then change the address in your account once you get it without any issues.  Try to get a friend in Austria or Italy for the unlimited free withdrawals!

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Debit Cards For Traveling

Best Travel Debit Card in the Rest of the World

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Debit Cards For Traveling

TransferWise Borderless Account

Even if you don’t live in any of the countries I just mentioned or you just want another alternative, you should consider opening a TransferWise Borderless Account.  

In addition to super low international transfer fees, you can keep money in more than 50 different currencies in your account as well as have real bank accounts for the USA, UK, Eurozone, Australia, New Zealand, and Poland which also let you receive payments in those currencies like a local!

You also get a contactless Mastercard debit card which you can use to make purchases and take out cash anywhere in the world.  Whenever you use that card, if you already have the currency in your account, you don’t get charged any fees and if you don’t have it, you only get charged a small conversion fee, making it a great option for travelers.  

Sign up  using this link  and get a no-fee international transfer of up to £500!

Keep in mind that TransferWise is only able to send cards to residents of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, or the USA (but you can always use a friend’s address to get the card as well).

  • Foreign currency conversion fees range from 0.24% – 3.69% depending on the currencies involved, but are typically under 2%
  • Free ATM withdrawals up to $250 USD (or your currency’s equivalent) per month if you have the currency you’re withdrawing on your balance.  After that, a 2% withdrawal fee will be charged
  • Can keep money in 50+ different currencies in your account
  • Real bank account details for the USA, UK, Eurozone, Australia, New Zealand, and Poland
  • Online account and customer support also available in Mandarin, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Russian, Turkish, Polish, Romanian, and Hungarian.
  • You need to have an address (no P.O. boxes) in one of the eligible countries to open an account.  You can easily use a friend’s address when creating your account to receive the card and then change the address once you get it without any issues.
  • The Mastercard debit card is free, but you need to have a minimum of $20 USD (or the equivalent in another currency) in your account before you can order it unless you’re in Australia, in which case you don’t need a minimum balance to get the card.

And that’s all there is to it!

Having the right debit card while traveling can make a world of difference when it comes to all those annoying fees that most banks charge.  Don’t be afraid to get a debit card from more than one bank on this list either! It doesn’t hurt to have the best option for every currency possible.

Let me know in the comments below if this guide helped you find the right debit card for your travels and if there are any similar or better cards or banks in your country, let me know so I can update the list!  

And if you want to add a credit card to your wallet as well, check out my Guide to the Best Credit Cards for Traveling .

Sebastian, the travel expert and traveler who is also the creator of a travel website called Travel Done Simple

About The Author

Hi there,  I’m Sebastian , founder and creator of Travel Done Simple. Since I turned 20, I have lived in 5 different countries and traveled to over 40 others! You can learn more about me on my  About page   and find me on social media.

Hi there, I’m Sebastian , founder and creator of Travel Done Simple. Since I turned 20, I have lived in 5 different countries and traveled to over 40 others! You can learn more about me on my About page   and find me on social media.

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I’m Sebastian , the founder and creator of Travel Done Simple! I was born in Europe and raised in Canada, but I now consider myself to be a citizen of the world. When I’m not busy exploring new destinations, I’m here giving you the best travel tips so you can do the same! 

You can learn more about me on my About page and if it’s your first time on my site,  start here !

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travel rewards debit card

How To Earn Travel Rewards With A Debit Card

Credit cards dominate the travel rewards universe. From the large sign up bonus, to the category multipliers on everyday spend, credit cards offer tremendous point and mile earning opportunities. However, credit cards are not the only avenue to earn valuable points and miles. One, relatively unknown, method to earn points and miles, is a travel rewards debit card. 

The Travel Rewards Debit Card

Prior to the United States financial crisis in 2008, while still not common, multiple banks offered a travel rewards debit card. After the financial crisis, and ensuing legislation, competition in the travel rewards universe was no longer profitable for banks. However, a few debit cards, which offer points and miles on everyday spend remain. 

Delta SkyMiles World Debit Card

travel rewards debit card

The Delta SkyMiles World Debit Card , issued by SunTrust (now Truist), is the most well known travel rewards debit card on the market today. Despite being a debit card, the Delta SkyMiles World Debit Card offers the opportunity to earn Delta SkyMiles on any purchase.

Sign Up Bonus:

5,000 Delta SkyMiles

Annual Fee:

Earning Categories:

1/2x All Other Purchases

** 4,000 Delta SkyMiles Monthly Cap

This card is perfect for individuals who do not qualify for credit cards, but still want the ability to earn Delta SkyMiles on everyday purchases. 

travel rewards debit card

** There is also a Business version of the same card, but the annual fee is higher ($120) and the monthly earning limit is lower (2,000 Delta SkyMiles).

The Delta SkyMiles World Debit Card Alternative

travel rewards debit card

If your goal is earning Delta SkyMiles, consider the AMEX Delta SkyMiles Gold credit card. The annual fee on the Delta SkyMiles Gold credit card ($99, waived first year) is similar to the Delta SkyMiles World debit card ($95). However, the Delta SkyMiles Gold credit card earns you 2x Delta SkyMiles on Dining, Groceries, and Delta purchases. In addition, at 70,000 Delta SkyMiles, the credit card has one of the best sign up bonuses of any credit card. The Delta SkyMiles Gold credit card also provides you with a free first checked bag, $100 Delta credit, and 20% off inflight purchases. 

Bankoh Hawaiian Airlines Visa Debit Card

travel rewards debit card

The Bankoh Hawaiian Airlines Visa Debit Card , issued by Bank of Hawaii, offers one of the few ways to earn Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles directly. The debit card offers the opportunity to earn HawaiianMiles on every purchase and bonus HawaiianMiles for purchases through the HawaiianMiles Marketplace . 

1/2x HawaiianMiles Every Purchase

** 1,000 HawaiianMiles Monthly Cap

Bonus HawaiianMiles on HawaiianMiles Marketplace

** No HawaiianMiles Cap

This card is perfect for individuals who do not qualify for credit cards or who are looking for a quick and easy way to top up their HawaiianMiles balance. 

The Bankoh Hawaiian Airlines Visa Debit Card Alternative 

travel rewards debit card

Outside of flying Hawaiian Airlines itself, earning HawaiianMiles directly is notoriously difficult. One alternative option is the Barclays Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard . While the annual fee is significantly higher ($99 vs $36), so are the benefits. The sign up bonus sits at 80,000 HawaiianMiles and you earn HawaiianMiles at a rate of 3x on Hawaiian Airlines purchases and 2x on gas, dining, and groceries. In addition, the credit card benefits include the first checked bag free, a one-time 50% off companion discount, and a $100 companion discount. 

Disney Visa Debit Card

travel rewards debit card

The Disney Visa Debit Card , issued by Chase, offers a fantastic way to earn cash back on a wide range of Disney purchases at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

10% on select purchases at shopDisney.com

Pose for special photos at a private cardmember location

10% off select merchandise purchases of $50 or more

10% off selection dining locations

15% off select guided tours

10% off select recreation experiences

The Disney Visa Debit Card Alternative

travel rewards debit card

The Chase Disney Premier Visa credit card offers all the same benefits as the Chase Disney Visa Debit card, and more. The credit card comes with a $300 statement credit and the opportunity to earn Disney Reward Dollars on everyday purchases; 2% on groceries, restaurants, gas, and Disney purchases and 1% on all other purchases. In addition, the credit card offers you a special 0% financing opportunity on Disney vacations. 

Bask Mileage Savings Account

travel rewards debit card

The Bask Mileage Savings Account , issued by Bask Bank, is one of the most unique opportunities to earn points and miles. The Bask Mileage Savings Account functions exactly like a normal savings account, with one exception. Instead of earning interest on your savings in cash, you earn interest in American Airlines AAdvantage miles. The AAdvantage miles accrue daily and a deposit occurs monthly. Here is the calculation:

Average Monthly Balance ÷ 365 x Days Per Month = AAdvantage Miles

The relative annual interest rate on the account is 1.4%; the interest is taxable. Bask Bank also offers various mileage bonus opportunities, including an account opening bonus. The current bonus earns you 1,000 AAdvantage miles on an initial deposit of $5,000. 

There is no comparable product anywhere else in the travel rewards universe. 

What Are The Benefits Of A Debit Card

travel rewards debit card

Why should you consider a debit card over a credit card? To start, it is relatively easy to open a bank account and get a debit card. There is no “hard pull” on your credit score, which opens up debit cards to individuals with poor credit. Once you have a debit card, your account balance limits your spending ability. This helps avoid excessive debt and compounding interest. A travel rewards debit card is perfect for individuals who want points and miles, but either do not qualify for a credit card or have trouble controlling their spend. 

What Are the Drawbacks Of A Debit Card

travel rewards debit card

The main drawback to a debit card is the inability to positively effect your credit score. A debit card does not affect your FICO credit score . You are not rewarded for sound financial behavior and prompt payments. Debit cards also carry the risk of overdraft fees and the potential for AMT fees. Furthermore, in regards to travel rewards, debit cards pale in comparison to credit cards. Both the sign up bonus and earning potential of a travel rewards credit card far exceed that of its debit card counterpart. In addition, credit cards often provide valuable insurance and various purchase protections lacking in a debit card. 

Final Thoughts

Imagine a Venn Diagram with two circles. The first circle represents the world of Dave Ramsey . The second circle represents the world on travel rewards. A travel rewards debit card occupies the microscopic space where the two circles overlap. However, if your goal is earning large volumes of points and miles, a travel rewards debit card is not the answer. First, very few travel rewards debit cards even exist. Second, the opportunity to earn valuable points and miles via a credit card dwarfs that of a debit card. With that said, a travel rewards debit card provides a unique points and miles opportunity to individuals with poor credit. 

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This page may include: credit card ads that we may be paid for (“advertiser listing”); and general information about credit card products (“editorial content”). Many, but not all, of the offers and clickable hyperlinks (such as a “Apply Now” button or “Learn More” button) that appear on this site are from companies that compensate us. When you click on that hyperlink or button, you may be directed to the credit card issuer’s website where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer. Each advertiser is responsible for the accuracy and availability of its ad offer details, but we attempt to verify those offer details. We have partnerships with advertisers such as Brex, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo and Discover. We also include editorial content to educate consumers about financial products and services. Some of that content may also contain ads, including links to advertisers’ sites, and we may be paid on those ads or links.

For more information, please see How we make money .

Are There Any Debit Cards That Earn Miles, Points, and Cash Back?

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Million Mile Secrets reader, John, commented :

Thanks for your question, John!

Are There Any Debit Cards That Earn Miles Points And Cash Back

Find out why I don’t often write about debit card rewards!

Are There Debit Cards That Offer Rewards?

Here are a few examples.

1.   PayPal Business MasterCard Debit Card

I don’t have the PayPal Business MasterCard anymore.  But a couple of my friends still use it to earn 1% cash back on signature purchases such as paying rent with RadPad .

Are There Any Debit Cards That Earn Miles Points And Cash Back

2.   Chase Disney Visa Debit Card

Link:   Chase Disney Visa Debit Card

With the Chase Disney Visa debit card , you can save when you visit Disney stores, restaurants, spas, and more.

Are There Any Debit Cards That Earn Miles Points And Cash Back

Mention the discount and pay with your card to save:

  • 10% on certain merchandise purchases of $50+ at Disney Stores and Disney parks
  • 10% on dining at select Disney restaurants and certain recreation activities
  • 15% on select guided tours and certain spa and salon services
  • $50 onboard credit on a Disney cruise

You also get access to an exclusive Chase cardholder character meet-and-greet at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

Make sure you read the full list of restrictions because certain purchases like gift cards are excluded!

This card could be worth it for folks who are planning a trip to a Disney resort and expect to spend a lot of money on souvenirs, dining, and tours.  See my full review of the Chase Disney Visa debit card for more details.

3.   UFB Direct Airline Rewards Debit Card

Link:   UFB Direct Airline Rewards Debit Card

If you like earning miles for travel, the UFB Direct Airline Rewards debit card may be a good choice.

Are There Any Debit Cards That Earn Miles Points And Cash Back

You’ll get 1 American Airlines mile for every $3 spent for a maximum of 120,000 miles per year.

However, there are exclusions :

  • Purchases at supermarkets, super stores, grocery stores, wholesale stores, discount Stores, USPS, and financial or money transfer institutions are NOT eligible.
  • Purchases made using virtual wallets, funds transfer services, or other similar technology are NOT eligible

Why Don’t You Typically Read About These Cards on Million Mile Secrets?

While debit cards can be a nice way to earn miles, points, and cash back for purchases where credit cards aren’t accepted, I don’t write about them often.

That’s because you can earn more points, faster with credit card sign-up bonuses !

Are There Any Debit Cards That Earn Miles Points And Cash Back

For example, you can earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points by signing-up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and spending $4,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

You can redeem those points for:

  • $500 in cash back
  • $625 in travel with no blackout dates through the Chase Travel Portal
  • Big Travel by transferring to airline and hotel partners like United Airlines, British Airways, and Hyatt

You’d have to spend $50,000 on the PayPal Business MasterCard debit card to earn $500 in cash back!

And while the Chase Disney Visa debit card can save you 10% to 15% on things like souvenirs and dining, you can save thousands on your flight and hotel stay with credit cards like the  Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card .

The UFB Direct Airline Rewards debit card earns 1 American Airlines mile for every $3 you spend.  But there are 3 credit cards that give you 2 American Airlines miles for every $1 you spend with American Airlines and 1 American Airlines mile for every $1 you spend everywhere else.

Plus, you can earn 50,000 American Airlines miles on each card when you complete the minimum spending.  That’s enough for 2 coach round-trip tickets anywhere in the continental US, Alaska, and Canada!

Are There Any Debit Cards That Earn Miles Points And Cash Back

Here are the major steps to earning lots of miles and points for travel:

  • Make a Travel Plan –  It’s important to decide what kind of travel you’re working towards before signing-up for credit cards.  The Beginner’s Guide can help you get started.
  • Sign-up for Credit Cards With Great Sign-Up Bonuses – The Hot Deals page has all my latest recommendations.
  • Earn the Sign-Up Bonus – Many cards require you to do a certain amount of spending to earn the sign-up bonus and there are 40+ great ways to easily meet these requirements .
  • Start Traveling! – Don’t use your miles and points as long term savings.  Award charts change and programs devalue.  So it’s better to use them quickly.

Bottom Line

There are still debit cards like the PayPal Business MasterCard , Chase Disney Visa , and UFB Direct Airline Rewards that give you miles, points, and cash back for your spending!

These cards can be good way to get rewarded for purchases where you can’t pay with a credit card.

But  the quickest route to Big Travel with Small Money is earning credit card sign-up bonuses !

More Topics

Credit Cards,

Points and Miles

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Home / Saving / 10 Best Debit Card Rewards Programs for 2024

Mar 10, 2023

10 Best Debit Card Rewards Programs for 2024

A hand is shown holding an illustrated debit card, alluding to the topic of finding the best debit card rewards programs.

Whether you’re an avid online shopper or hate carrying cash, a debit card is a helpful tool for spending your money, and a great alternative for those who don’t want a credit card.

Many credit cards are known for their fancy rewards programs, and your plain jane debit card may make you feel left out.

Don’t worry, as there are also debit cards with reward programs that you can use to earn cash back, points, or investments for your future, all on your regular spending.

So get ready, as we’ve gathered the 10 best debit card rewards programs in 2023 in no particular order, including:

Discover Cash Back Debit Card

Axos bank cash back checking debit card, extra rewards + credit building debit card, ando visa debit card, bank of america advantage plus banking debit card, serve american express cash back prepaid debit card, upgrade rewards checking debit card, truist delta skymiles debit card, aspiration spend and save debit card, stash stock-back® card.

Read along to learn more about the best reward debit cards, from cash back to airline miles.

A graphic highlights four different types of debit card rewards.

Shop like an investor.

Earn stock every time you swipe with our Stock-Back® Card.

Best for: Cash back with zero fees

A graphic showcases the Discover Cash Back Debit Card, a popular card for those looking for debit card rewards.

With the Discover Cash Back Debit Card , you can earn credit card-like rewards, all without needing to meet a minimum balance or pay any fees. With 1% cash back on up to $3,000 worth of purchases, you can earn up to $30 a month on regular spending.

When you choose this debit card with cash back, you’ll get access to their mobile-first banking experience, providing you with mobile check deposit, fraud protection, overdraft fee protection, and early payday, which allows you to get your paycheck up to two days early when you enroll in direct deposit.

To get the card, you’ll need to open a checking account with Discover. In addition to your cash back rewards, this card will give you access to over 60,000 no-fee ATMs in the U.S.

Best for: Cash back and frequent ATM use

A graphic showcases the Axos Bank Cash Back Checking Debit Card, a popular card for those looking for debit card rewards.

The Axos Bank Cash Back Checking Debit Card is another no-fee debit card with rewards. With this Axos card, you’ll get 1% cash back on up to $2,000 worth of spending each month. 

But, unlike the Discover card, only purchases that require your signature are eligible for rewards. Because of this, purchases made at grocery stores, super stores, and markets aren’t eligible for 1% cash back.

Additionally, you must maintain an average daily balance of $1,500 to receive the 1% cash back rewards. If you maintain a lower balance, you’ll only be eligible for 0.5% cash back.

Best for: Building credit

A graphic showcases the Extra Rewards + Credit Building Debit Card, a popular card for those looking for debit card rewards.

The Extra Rewards + Credit Building Debit Card is the first debit card that allows you to build your credit with everyday purchases. Unlike other debit cards, the Extra card connects to your existing bank account.

Whenever you swipe your Extra debit card, Extra will spot the money and then automatically cover it the next day using your connected bank account. At the end of every month, Extra will report your transactions to credit bureaus, similar to how a credit card provider would.

This allows you to build credit without having to sign up for a credit card or pass a credit check , making it perfect for those with poor credit or no credit history.

In addition to its credit-building features, the Extra Rewards + Credit Building Debit Card earns you up to 1% in points for everyday purchases. With these rewards points, you can redeem them for products and benefits on their rewards store, such as Apple AirPods.

Best for: Environmentally conscious spending

A graphic showcases the Ando Visa Debit Card, a popular card for those looking for debit card rewards.

If you’re environmentally conscious and want to bank with a company that cares about fighting climate change, then the Ando Visa Debit Card may be the right debit card for you.

When you enroll in their Change that Counts program, every time you swipe your card, Ando will round up your purchase to the nearest dollar, and Ando will donate the spare change to projects that work to help save the environment.

For example, if you buy a coffee for $5.75, you’ll pay $6.00, and the added $0.25 will go toward helping plant trees or fund other environmental causes.

Not only that, but every rounded-up transaction helps you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back, helping you save the planet and your wallet, making this one of the coolest debit cards on our list.

Best for: Store-specific cash back

A graphic showcases the Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking Debit Card, a popular card for those looking for debit card rewards.

While a typical Bank of America debit card may not seem flashy at first, it is actually one of the best debit cards with rewards. By signing up for a Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking Debit Card , you’ll have access to BankAmeriDeals, which allows you to browse and activate cash back deals for spending at your favorite restaurants, stores, and more.

After selecting the deals you want, you’ll receive cash back to your account 30 days after your eligible purchase. On top of that, every time you redeem a BankAmeriDeals offer, you’ll receive a “Coin.”

If you earn 4 “Coins” within 60 days, you will earn a $5 cash reward that will be deposited into your Bank of America checking account.

In addition, you may also be able to waive your monthly fee by meeting one of the following requirements during each statement period:

  • Have at least one qualifying direct deposit of $250 or more
  • Be enrolled in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program
  • Maintain a daily balance of at least $1,500

Best for: Prepaid card users

A graphic showcases the Serve American Express Cash Back Prepaid Debit Card, a popular card for those looking for debit card rewards.

The Serve American Express Cash Back Prepaid Debit Card is a great option for those looking for the perks of a rewards debit card without having to sign up for a checking account. Unlike the other options on this list, this Serve card is entirely prepaid.

This means you can reload the card with cash in stores or transfer money from an existing checking or savings account . 

Also, this prepaid debit rewards card gives you access to American Express Card Membership Benefits and Services, including Roadside Assistance and exclusive Amex Offers at your favorite businesses, including stores, restaurants, and more.

Best for: Everyday cash back

A graphic showcases the Upgrade Rewards Checking Debit Card, a popular card for those looking for debit card rewards.

The Upgrade Rewards Checking Debit Card is one of the best cash back debit cards available. With this card, you’ll earn 2% cash back (up to $500 per calendar year) on everyday expenses at merchants such as gas stations , restaurants, drug stores, utility companies, and more. 

In addition, any transaction that doesn’t fall into one of these categories will still earn 1% cash back, making this one of the best no-fee cash back debit cards available. On top of that, you’ll continue earning 1% cash back even after you’ve hit your $500 limit on 2% cash back.

Best for: Travel

A graphic showcases the Truist Delta SkyMiles Debit Card, a popular card for those looking for debit card rewards.

If you love to travel, then the Truist Delta SkyMiles Debit Card is a good debit card for you. With this Truist card, you’ll earn 1 mile for every $2 you spend and additional miles on direct purchases from Delta, including tickets and in-flight purchases.

You can redeem these miles for Award Travel, Delta Sky Club memberships, Delta Vacation Packages, and more, making this the best debit card for travelers. Plus, Delta SkyMiles never expire, enabling you to save your miles for the summer vacation of your dreams.

Best for: Eco-friendly shoppers

A graphic showcases the Aspiration Spend and Save Debit Card, a popular card for those looking for debit card rewards.

The Aspiration Spend and Save Debit Card is another eco-friendly option for those who want to get cash back while also supporting a company that is working to turn the tide on climate change . Not only is your debit card made from recycled plastic, but Aspiration pledges to donate 10% of its profits to charity and sustainable initiatives.

When you use the Aspiration Spend and Save Debit Card, you’ll also be rewarded for shopping with companies that care about the environment, earning up to 10% (up to 3-5% for free members) cash back on purchases made at Conscience Coalition businesses. Examples of Conscience Coalition businesses include Tony’s Chocolonely, Dropps, and Cloud Paper.

If you’d like to spend even greener, you can round up every purchase to help plant a tree every time you swipe your card, making this a unique choice compared to most other debit cards with cash back.

Best for: Investors

A graphic showcases the Stash Stock-Back® Card, a popular card for those looking for debit card rewards.

The Stash Stock-Back® Card 1 is the only debit card that invests in you every time you spend. Unlike a debit card that gives cash back, the Stock-Back® Card gives you rewards in the form of fractional shares of stock .

For example, if you buy something from Starbucks, you’ll be rewarded with SBUX Stock-Back® as a reward. If the company you’re shopping with isn’t available as an investment on our platform, you’ll instead earn Stock-Back® in your reward of choice.

With the Stock-Back® card, you can earn up to 3% in Stock-Back® rewards 3 that can grow over time, making this the perfect debit card for building wealth rather than accumulating debt.

On top of that, you can increase your investing power with Stock Round-Ups , which automatically rounds up each of your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the spare change in your Stash account.

To start saving and building wealth with the Stock-Back® card, you can sign up for one of our monthly plans costing between $3 and $9 per month. Our subscription-based platform offers a variety of tools for investing, banking , and saving, including personalized advice and the option for an automated investing portfolio.

Things to consider when choosing debit card rewards

A graphic highlights things to consider when choosing a debit card rewards program.

With the top debit cards with rewards in mind, it’s time to pick the one that fits your spending and rewards needs. While looking for the best debit card to get, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Rewards type: When choosing a debit card with rewards, you’ll want to choose a card with perks that will benefit you the most. For example, if you love to travel, you may want to select a debit card that rewards you with travel miles. 
  • Fees : While some debit cards may be fee-free, others may include monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, or other additional costs. Before deciding on a debit card, always do your research to ensure you avoid surprise fees.
  • ATM access: If being able to withdraw cash at ATMs is a priority for you, you may want to prioritize a debit card that has ATM fee reimbursement or free ATM use in your area.
  • Balance requirements: Before getting your heart set on a specific debit card rewards program, check and see if you meet the minimum balance or deposit required to open the account. Depending on the card, this can range from zero to hundreds of dollars.

Now that you know the best debit card rewards for 2023, you can level up what’s in your physical or digital wallet and get rewarded while you shop.

FAQs about debit card rewards

Still scratching your head with questions about debit card rewards? We got you covered.

Which banks give reward points on debit cards?

Some banks and financial service companies that offer rewards debit cards include Discover, Axos, Ando, Bank of America, American Express, Upgrade, Truist, Aspiration, and Stash.

How do you earn points on your debit card?

While the specifics can vary from card to card, most debit cards allow you to earn points based on your spending. In some cases, you may earn a certain number of points for every dollar spent.

Other times, you may have to spend money at a specific type of store (grocery stores, restaurants, etc.) to earn debit card points, and not every transaction may be eligible.

What are cash back debit cards?

Cash back debit cards are debit cards that allow you to earn a certain percentage of cash back on every eligible purchase.

Are cash back debit cards worth it?

In short, it depends. If you frequently use a debit card and feel that the cash back will outweigh any monthly or annual fees, then a cash back debit card may be worth it. If you rarely use a debit card, it may not be worth the fees that some cash back debit cards have. Fortunately, some of the debit cards on our list have zero fees.

Which debit card gives the most cash back?

Of the cards featured on our best debit card rewards list, the Upgrade Rewards Checking Debit Card offers the most cash back, with up to $500 in cash back on eligible 2% cash back purchases and unlimited cash back on eligible 1% cash back purchases.

What are the different types of debit card rewards?

Similar to credit card rewards, debit card rewards can vary depending on the card. Some common types of debit card rewards include:

  • Travel miles

What store gives the most cash back on debit cards?

When you use a cash back debit card, the rewards are given to you by the card issuer rather than the store itself. If you shop at a specific store more than others, look for a debit card that offers a higher amount of cash back for specific purchases, such as transactions at grocery stores.

Which debit card is best for rewards?

Most debit cards offer specific rewards that can vary from card to card. Because of this, no debit card offers the best rewards for everyone. When choosing a rewards debit card, keep your spending habits and needs in mind.

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Investment products and services provided by Stash Investments LLC, and are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value. Ancillary fees charged by Stash and/or its custodian are not included in the subscription fee.

1 Stash Banking services provided by Stride Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. The Stash Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard® is issued by Stride Bank pursuant to license from Mastercard International. Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. Any earned stock rewards will be held in your Stash Invest account. Investment products and services provided by Stash Investments LLC, not Stride Bank, and are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value. In order for a user to be eligible for a Stash banking account, they must also have opened a taxable brokerage account on Stash.

All rewards earned through use of the Stash Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard® will be fulfilled by Stash Investments LLC and are subject to Terms and Conditions. You will bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the investments that you earn, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash. In order to earn stock in the program, the Stash Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard must be used to make a qualifying purchase. Stock rewards that are paid to participating customers via the Stash Stock Back program, are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value. What doesn’t count: Cash withdrawals, money orders, prepaid cards, and P2P payment. If you make a qualifying purchase at a merchant that is not publicly traded or otherwise available on Stash, you will receive a stock reward in an ETF or other investment of your choice from a list of companies available on Stash. See Terms and Conditions for more details.

2 Early access to direct deposit funds depends on when the payor sends the payment file. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

3 Limitations apply; 3% Stock-Back rewards available only for qualified bonus merchants on Stash+.

4 Samsung Pay is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

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The Best Travel Credit and Debit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees (Updated 2022)

travel rewards debit card

No matter where you go or how long you travel, using a credit or debit card with no foreign transaction fees is one of the easiest ways to save money while travelling, period.

Currency exchange booths at airports and banks can be convenient, but a lot of your money goes towards exchange fees (e.g. $10 per exchange) and hidden commissions padded into poor exchange rates (especially the booths advertising “no commissions”). With a bit of research and planning, you can save  hundreds , if not thousands of dollars in fees over the long-term!

Credit and debit cards with no foreign transaction fees are the cheapest, easiest ways to get money and make payments overseas.  Credit cards are accepted worldwide, and ATMs are internationally networked through the Visa/Plus and Mastercard/Cirrus networks. You enter your PIN and withdraw your cash just like you would at home, while the exchange rates are automatically handled by the banks.

However, some credit and debit cards are better than others!  For the majority of cards, banks still try to add commissions and fees to each payment or ATM withdrawal made abroad. Even if you don't travel a lot, these fees add up quickly.

We've rounded up the best credit and debit cards around the world that minimize or eliminate these fees, putting more money back into your adventure funds!

NOTE: These are cards to be used overseas to avoid foreign transaction fees. For the best all around travel points cards, check out the travel rewards cards section of CardRatings , as well as our free guide “ How to Get Free Flights with Travel Credit Cards and Points “!

The best travel credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

Credit cards have various features that can make or break your travel savings. Ideally, these are the features to look for in a credit card:

  • Foreign transaction fee of 0%
  • Competitive points or cash-back rewards program (at least 1% of the purchase price)
  • Extra perks, like free car or travel insurance

Our top U.S. credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

Not only do the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards have no foreign transaction fees, but they offer major sign-up bonuses that can already cover a free domestic flight. You also earn 2x-3x the points when spending on travel and dining worldwide, making them essential cards for travelling.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • 60,000 reward points (worth $750 ) after meeting the minimum spend of $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x points for purchases on Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, and 2x points on all other travel purchases.
  • Points are worth 25% more on airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises when booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards (e.g. 60,000 points worth $750 toward travel)
  • Includes trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage insurance and more.
  • Can transfer your reward points to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $95

Capital One Venture Rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • 75,000 bonus miles (worth $750 ) once you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Up to $100 credit for  Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • 2 complimentary lounge visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges
  • Earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Miles don't expire. Book flights, hotels, or transfer points to 10+ travel loyalty programs.

Americans have the cream of the crop when it comes to credit card options, and they're constantly improving. We highly recommend checking out the No Foreign Transaction Fees section on CardRatings.com for up-to-date card comparisons and sign-up bonuses.

Not from the U.S.? Check your country below to see what's best for you!

The best travel debit cards with no foreign transaction fees

These are the ideal features to look for in a debit card:

  • Foreign transaction rate of 0%
  • International ATM withdrawal fee of $0
  • Refund of third-party ATM withdrawal fees (This is rare, but it exists!)
  • Competitive points or cash-back rewards program (at least 1% of the purchase price)

Many banks around the world have come together to establish the Global ATM Alliance . If your card belongs to a bank in the alliance, you can make withdrawals from banks at other alliance member ATMs around the world without paying additional fees . Here's our roundup of the best debit cards for travel.

Essential tips for using debit and credit cards while travelling

1. pay using a credit card whenever possible..

Foreign ATMs can still inflate their exchange rates and charge withdrawal fees, but a direct credit card payment only involves the credit card you signed up with in your home country. And with a good points or cashback program, this beats any other method of foreign payment.

Bottom line? Always pay with a credit card, but  NEVER withdraw cash from an ATM with one. Credit cards charge interest on cash advances from the moment you withdraw it at the ATM.

2. Never take the option of paying in your own currency

Card terminals at shops and hotels will often detect that your card is from another country and offer to bill you in your home currency. Never choose this option – always pay in the foreign currency!  The exchange rate offered will be inflated by the card terminal, so if you’re using one of the credit cards recommended above, you will receive a much better exchange rate.

3. Inform your debit and credit card providers of your travels

Credit and debit cards are frequently being monitored by security departments for suspicious activity. If you're from the U.S. and you make an ATM withdrawal in Thailand when they don’t know you’re overseas, this could appear suspicious to your bank, and your card might be locked the next time you withdraw. Give your bank or credit card provider a call and let them know when and where you’ll be travelling. Take it from us – you  do not want to be stuck without cash and a useless card!

4. Obtain at least one debit and credit card on each of the Visa/Plus and MasterCard/Cirrus networks.

Even if you follow the advice in tip #3, it’s possible your card could get locked anyway. On top of that, it’s easy to find yourself in a situation where an ATM accepts only one network and not the other. For example, when we travelled in Japan, the only ATMs we could find that would even accept international cards were at 7-Eleven, and they only worked with cards on the Visa/Plus network. I speak from experience – there’s nothing more stressful than needing more cash and not being able to withdraw it, so be prepared and bring multiple cards on multiple networks .

5. Consider a credit card with included insurance

The jury is still out on whether it's safe to rely on car and travel insurance that is sometimes provided by credit cards, and unfortunately, the only way to know for sure is to file a claim after the accident has happened. If you're concerned about insurance, its best to be safe and purchase it from the car rental company, but if not, you might as well pay with a credit card that offers car insurance and hope for the best if you do end up in an accident. We generally try to use American Express cards when thinking about insurance, as they are managing the insurance on the cards worldwide, whereas Visa/Mastercard insurance is often handled by the card's issuing bank, and may not be as straightforward to redeem.

6. Keep backup cards in your hotel room

If you lose all your credit and debit cards while overseas, you're going to be in quite the pickle. Always keep at least one extra card back at your accommodation in case your main card or entire wallet is lost or stolen while you're out.

7. Bring $100 USD as backup cash

When all else fails, U.S. dollars are the closest thing to a global currency that we have today. It's the most commonly accepted currency, not only at exchange booths, but even at shops and restaurants in other countries. If there are no ATMs in sight or your cards have been stolen, an emergency backup of U.S. dollars will get you out an emergency situation.

Do you have another card recommendation? Know something we don't? Write it in the comments below!

Psssst : for more guides like this, Like Us on Facebook  and  follow us on Twitter !

Thrifty Nomads has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Thrifty Nomads and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Nice! This is really helpful thanks!

Great tips for travelers!

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What are the best U.S. debit and credit cards to use overseas?

Just got off a long phone call with HSBC Canada. They are unable to tell me what their card issuer exchange rate surcharge. I had just come back from Mexico and used my HSBC ATM card on a HSBC ATM machine and I calculated the fee to be about 2.1% based on that days interbank rate. Shouldn’t this fee be in the disclosure statements? There was a class action lawsuit I believe many years ago because the credit card companies failed to state their foreign exchange surcharge. From what I’m reading on the Global ATM website is that Visa is involved with the foreign exchange when using an ATM and it states they add a 2.5% foreign exchange fee. You didn’t show this in your nice graphics above. Is it berried in the base exchange rate?

We use Visa Avion, which is good in all categories but I believe they do charge a slight foreign transaction fee. But we have claimed through their default insurance, both car, health, and travel. All minor things, but ya, no issues. The card is not free however, and unless you spend a lot each month or travel frequently it’s not worth it. For us, the points for the business transactions transfer to personal, so it really adds up! (Currently we have more than enough to fly the entire family pretty much anywhere. ) When abroad we usually only use the card for car rental or nicer hotels and of course flights or trains and such (to access insurance benefits one must book the flight etc on that card…) But read the fine print, confirm with the agent. For example, usually to get car insurance you have to wave the rental companies insurance. (This saved us a ton in Africa!) The rental agencies will even phone and confirm if they don’t know the card. These cards were set up for frequent business travelers originally. But read the fine print too, I know our card covers 30 days from home, but you can add insurance to the card for longer trips too. It’s all through RBC, and like any blood sucking corporation there are advantages for the savvy but their ultimate goal is to get you to pay twice for the same thing. Read the fine print, phone your card agent, etc… But we honestly have found the Avion worth it for us because of the company points.

This info is super helpful! For Canadians, what about the Marriott Rewards® Premier Visa® Card? I’ve been looking into credit and debit cards for an upcoming trip to Southeast Asia, and came across this card today. From what I can tell, it seems pretty good (no foreign currency transaction charges and has perks). Anyone have any experience or thoughts on this card? Thanks!

so where do you find that tangerine thrive chequing account info? I have an account with tangerine and I can find no info on this animal on their website

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Disclosures Many of the listings that appear on this website are from companies which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. Thrifty Nomads has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Thrifty Nomads and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Fixed-rate travel rewards: U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card review

Katie Genter

Editor's Note

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here .

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card is a travel rewards card with multiple bonus-earning categories. There's no need to worry about maximizing redemptions, because your points are worth 1.5 cents each when used toward travel. This card may be particularly appealing to those who donate to charity frequently, prefer fixed-value rewards, want to use one card for all their purchases, don't want to pay a high annual fee and/or have lower credit. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG's editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card is one of the few cards to still offer bonus earning for charitable donations . The card also offers other interesting features. You can get reimbursed for up to $25 per round-trip air travel award ticket for baggage fees or in-flight food and drink. You earn 2x at airlines, gas stations or grocery stores -- whichever you spend most on each monthly billing cycle. Let's take a closer look at this card and who should consider adding it to their wallet.

The information for the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer

Who is this card for?

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card isn't for everyone. But you may be well suited for the card if you satisfy one or more of the following criteria:

  • Donate to charity frequently : A 3% return on charitable donations is one of the best returns you'll find
  • Prefer fixed-value rewards : If you don't want to maximize transfer partners and search for award availability, the simplicity of redeeming for travel with this card may provide value
  • Want to use one card for all purchases : Since you'll earn 2x at airlines, gas stations or grocery stores — whichever you spend most on each monthly billing cycle — this may be a reasonable choice if you only want to use one card
  • Don't want to pay a high annual fee : With a $49 annual fee that's waived the first year, this travel rewards card may appeal if you have sticker shock at the annual fees charged by other travel rewards cards
  • Have lower credit : This card may be easier to be approved for than some other travel rewards cards, while still allowing you to earn and redeem points toward travel

You'll only get 1.5 cents per point if you redeem those points for travel; other redemptions will provide a lower value for your points. If you already have cards that provide a similar or better earning rate for charitable donations , groceries , gas stations , airlines and everyday spending , then the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card likely won't provide much value for you.

Further reading: 7 travel rewards credit cards that pay for themselves

Sign-up bonus: As much as $375 in value

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card currently offers a sign-up bonus of 25,000 FlexPoints after you spend $2,000 in eligible net purchases on your card within the first four months of account opening. These FlexPoints are worth $375 when redeemed for eligible travel including airfare, hotel stays and car rentals.

There's a $0 introductory annual fee for the first 12 months, after which most people will need to pay a $49 annual fee. U.S. Bank Platinum Checking customers receive a second year annual fee waiver.

Main benefits and perks

One of the most impressive-sounding benefits of the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card is a reimbursement for up to $25 per round-trip air travel award ticket toward baggage fees or inflight food and drinks. However, this perk has a number of restrictions:

  • You must redeem a minimum of 10,000 FlexPoints per round-trip airline award ticket
  • Charges must post to your account, under the airline carrier providing your award travel flight, between the dates of your award travel flight
  • Reimbursement is only available for FlexPoints redemptions made for airfare through the Rewards Center online or by phone -- not if you purchase airfare from an airline and use real-time mobile rewards to pay for the airfare
  • Reimbursement is not automatic, so you must call to request a statement credit within 90 days of each purchase

Another primary benefit of the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card is access to exclusive Visa Signature card member benefits . These benefits include Luxury Hotel Collection perks and access to the Visa Signature concierge , as well as travel and shopping benefits like purchase security , warranty manager service, auto rental collision damage waiver and travel and emergency assistance services.

Other benefits of the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card include:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel accident insurance
  • National Car Rental, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Alamo Rent A Car discounts
  • Hideaway Report Membership, which U.S. Bank notes is one of the travel industry's most exclusive membership communities

Further reading: U.S. Bank changing FlexPerks Rewards in 2018

How to earn points

You'll earn FlexPoints on all purchases you make with your U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card. Each monthly billing cycle you'll earn two points per dollar spent on purchases with airlines , gas stations or grocery stores . Luckily, you don't have to choose your 2x category, as U.S. Bank will simply give you two points per dollar spent in whichever category you spend the most in during each monthly billing cycle and one point per dollar spent in the other two categories.

You'll also earn two points per dollar spent on all purchases with cellular services providers and at charities, which makes this one of the best cards for charitable donations . To earn two points per dollar spent, the charity must classify itself as a "Charitable and Social Service Organization" when processing credit card payments.

travel rewards debit card

You'll earn one point per dollar spent everywhere else. To maximize your earnings with this card, you'll want to use it for spending on purchases with either airlines, gas stations or grocery stores each billing cycle. But this card can work well even if you use the card for all of your purchases each billing cycle. For example, even if you normally spend more on groceries than gas or airfare, you'll still be rewarded for your increased spending if you have a month where you buy airfare or go on a road trip and purchase a large amount of gas.

How to redeem points

You can redeem FlexPoints earned by the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card in many different ways:

  • Air travel, hotel and car rental rewards
  • Merchandise rewards
  • Statement credit
  • Real-time mobile rewards

However, you'll only get a redemption value of 1.5 cents each — the best of any redemption options — when you redeem your FlexPoints toward travel. You can redeem your FlexPoints at 1.5 cents each for airfare, hotel stays and car rentals through U.S. Bank's Rewards Center either online or over the phone.

If you don't want to book through U.S. Bank's Rewards Center, you can also redeem your FlexPoints at a rate of 1.5 cents each for travel purchases made directly with U.S. merchants that are airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines through real-time mobile rewards . You'll need to activate real-time mobile rewards and set up which types of purchases you'd like to be notified about before you can redeem your FlexPoints. Our friends at Million Mile Secrets have a full guide on how to activate and set-up U.S. Bank's Real-Time Mobile Rewards .

Booking directly with merchants and then getting reimbursed can be better than booking through the Rewards Center for multiple reasons: you'll earn FlexPoints on your purchase, you'll have access to more rates and you can click through a shopping portal while booking . Unfortunately, the minimum purchase amount for redeeming FlexPoints through real-time mobile rewards is $500 for lodging and $250 for car rental.If you purchase airfare from an airline and use real-time mobile rewards to pay for the airfare, you also will not be eligible to receive the $25 airline allowance benefit.

Further reading: Comparing the best fixed-value point credit cards

What cards compete with the U.S. Bank FlexPerks card?

travel rewards debit card

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card doesn't have any direct competitors, although you might assume the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card would be comparable. The Altitude Reserve has a much higher $400 annual fee, but a $325 annual travel credit brings the effective annual fee down to a comparable $75. The Altitude Reserve offers a number of additional benefits, but the most important difference is bonus category earning. The Altitude Reserve earns 3x points on eligible net travel purchases and mobile wallet spending. Both cards earn FlexPoints, but they have relatively little in common. See our full Altitude Reserve card review for more details.

Some cash-back cards can compete with the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card. One of the closest in terms of bonus earning is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. This card earns 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 3% cash back on transit and at U.S. gas stations -- while only having a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (see rates and fees). See our full Blue Cash Preferred card review for more details. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is also a close cash-back competitor that doesn't charge an annual fee. It earns 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings, and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter. After that, you'll earn 1%. Preferred Rewards members get a 25%-75% rewards bonus on every purchase. See our full card review for more details.

Finally, if you're willing to learn to maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards points , it might be worthwhile to pair the Chase Freedom Unlimited with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. In doing so, you'd get a 3% return on all non-bonus spending (based on TPG valuations ) —- which is the same return you'd get from bonus categories on the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card — and a 4% or 6% return on all travel and dining spending.

Further reading: The best starter travel credit cards

Bottom line

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card offers the ability to earn double FlexPoints on one of three categories — airlines , gas stations or grocery stores — in which you spend most during each monthly billing cycle. Plus, earning double FlexPoints on charitable donations makes this card one of the best for charitable donations .

FlexPoints can be redeemed for travel at a value of 1.5 cents each, so this card can be a good option if you'll redeem your points for travel. The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card may be a particularly valuable choice if you're unable to get accepted for other travel rewards cards , don't want to deal with transfer partners and finding award space, or determine that the card's bonus categories align well with categories for which you currently aren't earning bonus points.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred, please click here.

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8 Ways to Earn Airline Travel Points Without a Credit Card

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Most products on this page are from partners who may compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how they appear on the page. However, opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain. This page may include information about American Express products currently unavailable on Slickdeals. American Express is not a partner of Slickdeals.

Travel rewards credit cards  can be an effective way to earn rewards for free travel quickly. But you don't necessarily need a credit card to earn rewards, though. Whether you don't have a credit card or prefer to use them only for emergencies, you can still earn travel rewards without one. Here are eight great strategies you can use to earn travel points without a credit card.

How to Earn Airline and Travel Rewards Without Credit Cards

  • Book flights using frequent flyer membership: Provide your frequent flyer membership number when booking so you don't miss out on earning miles. If you have a flight coming up and aren't part of the airline's rewards program, sign up before booking. If you've already booked your flight, ask the airline if it can add your frequent flyer information to the fare. 
  • Sign up for dining rewards programs: Many loyalty reward programs reward you with points for dining out at select restaurants, clubs and bars. Joining these programs is free, so there's no reason not to sign up and take advantage of your spending habits to earn some extra points. 
  • Use shopping portals: Many travel brands also offer ways to earn points through online shopping. Online shopping portals allow you to earn extra rewards to shop at your favorite retailers.
  • Take advantage of airline and hotel promotions: Airlines and hotels often run promotions that let customers earn double (and sometimes more) points for paid bookings. You can sign up for your favorite brands' rewards programs and opt-in to receive marketing emails.
  • Check out airline and hotel partner programs: Airlines and hotels often partner with other companies to offer deals that earn extra points and miles. You could earn a few hundred points for grocery shopping or fuel purchases with select partners. Bigger offers could earn you tens of thousands of points.
  • Download rewards apps : Using popular rewards apps is another easy way to earn valuable travel rewards. In most cases, you won't earn travel rewards directly but can redeem rewards earned for airline or hotel gift cards.
  • Earn points with car rentals: For example, Hertz partners with several airlines to help you earn airline miles when you rent a car. So do Avis, Budget and several other car rental companies. Some charge a surcharge with these promotions, so verify if there is such a charge and if the deal is worth it.
  • Do airlines surveys : Another way to earn some airline miles is by filling out surveys. Several airlines offer programs that pay customers (in miles) to share their opinions. 

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6 Best Apps to Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards

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Top Frequent Flier Programs

Almost all airlines offer a rewards program that earns points or miles redeemable for flights or other redemptions. Here's a list of some of the top frequent flyer programs: 

  • Aer Lingus AER Club
  • Aeroméxico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France Flying Blue
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Cathay Pacific The Marco Polo Club
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Frontier Miles
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Lufthansa Miles & More
  • Scandinavian Airlines EuroBonus
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • Spirit Airlines Free Spirit
  • TAP Air Portugal TAP Miles&Go
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • United Airlines MileagePlus

Best Travel Credit Cards

suitcase

Dining Rewards Programs

dining at gourmet restaurant

Many dining rewards programs are tied to popular airlines and hotel brands like: 

  • Alaska Mileage Plan Dining
  • American Airlines AAdvantage Dining
  • Caesars Rewards Dining
  • Delta SkyMiles Dining
  • Hilton Honors Dining
  • IHG Rewards Club Dining
  • JetBlue True Blue Dining
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining

Once you join the program, you can search for local restaurants that participate and earn points on eligible purchases that can go towards your travel. Ensure you register the credit or debit cards you plan to use when dining to get credit for your restaurant purchases. 

Each program has different guidelines, so check the fine print. Some may allow you to earn rewards for online orders and take out. Others may only reward individuals who dine in at their establishments. 

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The 5 Best Hotel Loyalty Rewards Programs

Travel rewards shopping portals.

Some popular online shopping portals include: 

  • American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping
  • Amtrak Guest Rewards
  • Delta SkyMiles Shopping
  • JetBlue TrueBlue Shopping
  • Shop Through Chase
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping
  • United MileagePlus Shopping
  • Wyndham Rewards Shopping

Instead of shopping directly with retailers, head to the shopping portal online. Search from hundreds of available retailers to find the one you want. Click on the retailer's link and start shopping and earning rewards for your purchases. Adding this one extra step can help you earn plenty of additional rewards, especially if you shop online regularly. 

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Popular Airline and Hotel Partner Programs

Learn more about partner promotions from the top airlines: 

  • Delta Skymiles
  • United MileagePlus

Rewards Apps the Get Airline Points

Some examples of rewards apps include:

  • Swagbucks  is a popular rewards app that rewards users for completing various tasks such as watching videos, playing games, answering surveys, searching the internet and shopping online. 
  • The Miles app   rewards users for participating in various types of transportation including walking, riding a bicycle, public transportation, rideshare rides, and driving your own car. Then, you can redeem those rewards for gift cards. 

Airline Surveys

Airlines with survey programs include: 

  • Alaska Airlines (The Opinion Terminal)
  • American Airlines (Miles for Opinions)
  • Hilton: (Guest Opinion Rewards)
  • JetBlue Airlines (Points for Surveys)
  • Southwest Airlines (e-Rewards and Rewards for Opinions)
  • Spirit Airlines: (Points for Thoughts)
  • United Airlines (Opinion Miles Club)
  • Wyndham (Opinion Rewards Panel)

The rewards payout for surveys is low considering the time involved. While it's not a huge moneymaker, filling out surveys during your spare time could be worth it. 

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Current Southwest Credit Card Offers: Earn a Companion Pass + 30,000 Points

Can i earn miles or points with a debit card.

While a solid travel rewards credit card is the fastest way to rack up points, you can earn travel rewards with a debit card too. You can earn points by linking your debit card to a dining rewards program and using it when shopping through a bank's online portal. 

Check if your bank offers a travel rewards debit card or do some research on travel debit cards that you may be eligible for. Several banks offer rewards checking accounts that earn cash back on debit card purchases. You can use cash back earnings to offset travel costs as an alternative to earning points and miles. 

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Maximize your rewards with a credit card .

If you have a travel rewards credit card, you can pair it with the above strategies to earn even more rewards. The quickest way to boost your rewards balance quickly with a credit card is to earn sign-up bonuses by hitting card spending requirements.

After earning the bonus, you can continue to earn points and miles with card spending and participate in rewards programs like those mentioned above. If you frequently eat out, signing up for a dining rewards program can help you earn some extra rewards. An online shopping portal can also be another way to bolster your rewards if you shop online frequently. Find what works for you so you can start earning more travel rewards. 

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne is a personal finance, credit card, and travel writer. He is the family travel and budget expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com. Kevin lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids. His work has appeared on several websites, including FinanceBuzz, Credit Karma, Millennial Money, Club Thrifty, Student Loan Planner and Slickdeals.

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Find the best credit card for you

Aviator aadvantage red world elite mastercard review — a solid choice for loyal american airlines flyers, occasional american airlines flyers who don't have aadvantage elite status will appreciate this cards ongoing perks..

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American Airlines miles can be extremely useful for booking domestic and international award flights, and the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard is one of the best ways to earn them. This card has an exceptionally easy-to-earn welcome bonus and a solid set of benefits for American Airlines flyers, making it worthy of consideration for loyal AA customers.

Below, CNBC Select details the benefits, welcome bonus , rewards and fees of the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard so you can decide if it's the right travel credit card for you.

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard

2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases; 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.

Welcome bonus

Earn 60,000 bonus miles after making your first purchase within the first 90 days

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $99

0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening

Regular APR

21.24%, 25.24% or 29.99% variable

Balance transfer fee

Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Foreign transaction fees

Credit needed.

Good/Excellent

Terms apply.

  • Easy-to-earn welcome bonus
  • Generous balance transfer intro APR offer
  • Not very rewarding for purchases

AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard® review

Benefits and perks, how to earn and use american airlines miles, rates and fees, card comparison, is the aadvantage aviator red card right for you.

New AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard members can earn 60,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after making their first purchase during the first 90 days from account opening.

This is one of the easiest intro bonus spending requirements to meet. Many of the best rewards credit cards require new cardholders to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to earn the bonus. With this card, you can qualify by buying a pack of gum at the gas station.

The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard can save you money or improve the experience of your next American Airlines flight in several ways.

Cardholders can use the following benefits:

  • First checked bag free:  You and up to four companions traveling on the same reservation will receive your first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries
  • Priority boarding: The primary cardholder and up to four companions traveling on the same reservation receive Group 5 boarding when traveling with American Airlines
  • In-flight savings:  You'll get a 25% statement credit on in-flight food and beverage purchases with American Airlines when you use your credit card to pay
  • Wi-Fi credit : Receive up to $25 back per year for in-flight Wi-Fi purchases
  • Annual companion certificate : Each card anniversary you can earn one companion certificate valid for domestic economy travel after spending $20,000 on purchases and keeping your account open for 45 days after your anniversary date. With this perk, you can bring along a guest for $99 plus taxes and fees.

Some of the benefits overlap with the perks you would get from having American Airlines elite status. For example, AAdvantage Gold status grants you Group 4 boarding and one free checked bag. But for the occasional American Airlines flyer who hasn't earned status, this card is a good way to experience some of those benefits.

Beyond the travel perks and benefits, the card also provides a good balance transfer offer which can help you save on credit card interest payments and pay off debt . New card members receive an intro 0% APR on eligible balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles, after that a variable 21.24%, 25.24% or 29.99% APR applies. There is a balance transfer fee of 5% of the amount you transfer with a $5 minimum. Keep in mind, to qualify for the intro APR the balance transfer must be completed within 45 days of opening the account.

The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard earns American Airlines AAdvantage miles at the following rates:

  • 2X miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases

Spending on a co-branded American Airlines card also helps you get a leg up on earning American Airlines elite status . With this card you earn one Loyalty Point per dollar spent. However, you won't earn additional Loyalty Points from bonus spending categories. Although this card earns 2X miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, you'd only receive 1X Loyalty Points.

The best way to redeem American Airlines miles is typically for flights with American and its partner airlines. American has a long list of Oneworld alliance and non-alliance partners including:

  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Alaska Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Etihad Airways
  • Fiji Airways
  • GOL Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • Silver Airways
  • SriLankan Airlines

There is no longer a fixed award chart for American Airlines flights . Instead, the miles prices are dynamic with different starting costs depending on the region and ticket class. There are still useful awards, if you can secure a lower price. One-way flights with American from North America to the Caribbean, Mexico or Central America start at 10,000 miles in economy and 20,000 miles in business class, but can cost more.

However, award flights with American's partners have fixed costs. As long as there are award seats available with the partner airline you want to travel with, you can book some amazing deals with your AAdvantage miles. For example, you could fly one-way from the continental U.S. to the Maldives in Qatar Airways Qsuite business class for 70,000 miles. If you want to stretch your miles further, off-peak one-way partner economy awards from the U.S. to Europe only cost 22,500 miles.

You can also redeem AAdvantage miles for rental cars , hotels , travel packages, Admirals Club lounge access and upgrades. However, these types of redemptions usually aren't as valuable.

The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard has a variable purchase APR of 21.24%, 25.24% or 29.99% based on your creditworthiness. There is a $0 annual fee for the first year, then $99. This card has no foreign transaction fees . Late payments and returned payments are both subject to a fee of up to $40.

AAdvantage Aviator Red card vs. Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / aadvantage® platinum select® world elite mastercard®.

2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases; 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

$0 first year, then $99

21.24% - 29.99% variable

5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum

Read our Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® review.

Information about the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® has the same $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99, but it can be more rewarding than the AAdvantage Aviator Red card . It earns 2X miles at restaurants and gas stations — that's double what you earned on those purchases with the Aviator Red card.

For the most part, these cards share similar benefits with a few notable exceptions. Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card members earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after spending $20,000 on the card in a card membership year, instead of the companion certificate you get for spending the same amount with the Aviator Red card. While the Platinum Select's discount could be more useful for solo travelers, the Aviator Red's companion certificate is likely to save you more money, provided you have someone to use it on.

The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card also doesn't offer the Aviator Red's 0% intro APR on balance transfers or a credit for in-flight Wi-Fi purchases.

AAdvantage Aviator Red card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card

Chase sapphire preferred® card.

Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, and $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, plus more.

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

21.49% - 28.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers

Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

Foreign transaction fee

Excellent/Good

Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review .

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an excellent all-around travel credit card . It comes with a healthy intro bonus, useful travel and purchase protections and earns valuable travel rewards. If you want a card that provides benefits you can apply to most travel bookings, the Chase Sapphire Preferred can be a good option.

Sapphire Preferred cardholders receive coverage for lost luggage, delayed baggage, trip delays and trip cancellations/interruptions. The Ultimate Rewards points you earn can be used to pay for flights, rental cars, hotels, cruises and more when you book through the Chase travel portal . You can also transfer Chase points to 14 airline and hotel partner travel programs.

If you expect to mostly fly with American Airlines, the Aviator Red card has benefits that can improve your experience and save you money. Otherwise, a general travel card such as the Sapphire Preferred will give you more options and has benefits that aren't tied to a single travel provider.

The AAdvantage Aviator Red card offers a lot of value for American Airlines flyers. The welcome bonus is not only valuable but also unusually easy to earn. The ongoing perks, such as free checked bags and in-flight Wi-Fi credits can make the annual fee worth it. However, if you're unsure whether you'll travel with American Airlines enough to utilize all of the Aviator Red card's perks, a more general travel card could make more sense . Also, there are better options for earning American Airlines miles from credit card spending.

Bottom line

The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard is a co-branded American Airlines credit card. It has a valuable welcome bonus that is far easier to qualify for than most intro offers. Anyone who travels with American Airlines is likely to find this card's ongoing benefits useful. However, you may find an airline-agnostic travel card a better choice if you don't frequently fly with American Airlines.

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Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every airline credit card review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of credit card products . While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best credit cards .

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Fortune

Best travel credit cards of February 2024

T ravel credit cards make it possible for you to earn free and discounted travel with your everyday spending. What's more, some of the best travel credit cards also offer valuable perks that elevate your trip experience.

At the same time, each card has its own set of rewards rates, intro bonuses, annual fees and other terms, so take your time picking one that aligns well with your travel and spending habits. The Fortune Recommends™ evaluated dozens of travel credit cards to help you get started in your research.

See our full methodology here.

The best travel credit cards

  • Best premium travel card: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Best flat-rate rewards travel card: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Best mid-level travel card: chase sapphire preferred ® card.

  • Best travel card for lounge access: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Best travel card for airline loyalists: United SM Explorer Card

  • Best travel card for hotel loyalists: IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

Best $0 annual fee travel card: Bilt Mastercard

Best 0% intro apr travel card: capital one ventureone.

  • Best travel card for earnings: U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card

Best travel card for fair credit: Credit One Wander

  • Best travel card for credit building: Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

The best travel credit cards in February 2024

Note: Rates, fees, and account requirements are subject to change.

Best premium travel card: Capital One Venture X Card

The Venture X packs a lot of travel rewards into a card that costs hundreds of dollars than its competitors.

Why we like it: The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers rich rewards and travel perks, and unlike many other premium travel credit cards, the Venture X doesn't make you jump through many hoops to earn back the cost of its steep annual fee. In addition to a Capital One Travel credit and bonus miles each year, you'll also get complimentary access to a number of airport lounge networks with more than 1,300 locations around the world. 

The card also offers ultimate flexibility when it comes to redeeming your rewards for travel. You can book with miles through Capital One Travel, or if you want more options, you can use your card to pay for travel-related expenses and request a statement credit. If you're feeling ambitious, you can even transfer your rewards to various frequent flyer and hotel rewards programs and potentially get more value from your miles.

The Venture Card puts the power into hands by earning miles that you can either use against your travel purchases or transfer to travel partners.

Travel rewards can get complicated, which is why the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card feels like a breath of fresh air. The card offers a high, flat rewards rate on your everyday spending, so you don't need to keep track of different bonus rewards categories. It also offers extra miles on select travel booked through the Capital One Travel platform.

You can redeem your miles by booking travel through Capital One Travel or by using your card to pay for travel on your own and requesting a statement credit. Alternatively, you can transfer your miles to airline and hotel rewards program partners for more dynamic redemptions. The card also comes with complimentary Hertz Five Star status, which lets you skip the rental counter and get access to a wider selection of vehicles. When you use it to pay the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, Capital One will reimburse you.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers both robust earnings on travel and a useful suite of travel protections. Plus, Chase's dozen-plus transfer partners offer flexibility in travel redemptions.

Why we like it: If you're looking for a way to maximize your travel rewards without paying a steep annual fee, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Preferred ® Card . The card offers an impressive welcome bonus and several opportunities to earn bonus points on your everyday spending. Annual perks include a $50 credit toward hotel stays booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, a 10% points bonus on your spending throughout the year and benefits with partners like Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Peloton.

The card offers flexible redemption options, including cash back, but you'll get 25% more value if you use your points to book travel through Chase. Alternatively, you can transfer your rewards to one of the card issuer's airline or hotel rewards program partners and potentially squeeze more value out of your points. 

Best travel card for lounge access: The Platinum Card® from American Express 

Why we like this card.

The Platinum Card® from American Express charges an annual fee that some will find hard to stomach. But if you're a frequent flyer, it may well become your favorite travel companion. The card offers access to more airport lounge networks than any other credit card. At larger airports, you may even have your pick among several lounge options. 

The card also comes packed with more than $1,500 in annual travel and lifestyle credits, elite status with select hotel and car rental rewards programs and many other perks that touch just about every aspect of your travel experience. That said, many of the credits are doled out in increments and are for specific vendors, making them harder to redeem.

The United Explorer card makes sense if you are one of the over 140 million passengers that flew United last year.

Why we like it: If you like the idea of enjoying rewards and perks with an airline rather than general travel rewards and benefits, you can't go wrong with the United Explorer Card . The card offers a sizable welcome bonus and a few different bonus rewards categories, and with a strong domestic and international presence, you'll have plenty of options when it comes to redeeming your miles for award flights.

You'll get some standard airline card benefits, such as a free checked bag for you and a companion, priority boarding, and a discount on select inflight purchases. But you'll also get some perks that most mid-tier airline cards don't offer, including expanded access to Saver award tickets, premier upgrade eligibility on award tickets, two one-time passes to the United Club lounge each year, and an application fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Best travel card for hotel loyalists: IHG One Rewards Premier Card

The IHG One Rewards Card offers a free night upon card renewal along with a slew of other benefits, making it well worth the modest annual fee

Why we like it: If you want to focus your efforts on earning free hotel stays, the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card offers an impressive array of benefits. The card makes it easy to earn points quickly, though it also requires a lot of points to get free stays with IHG. 

Where it really shines, though, is in its perks, which offer value that far outweighs the card's modest annual fee. You'll get a free night reward each year worth up to 40,000 points, plus a $100 statement credit and 10,000 bonus points if you spend $20,000 in a calendar year. When you stay at IHG hotels, you'll enjoy Platinum Elite status, which includes perks like the fourth night free on award bookings, reward night discounts, complimentary upgrades, and a welcome amenity. You'll also get an application fee credit toward Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS.

The Bilt Mastercard not only has no annual fee, it has a robust set of travel transfer partners. Even better, it lets you earn rewards for paying rent.

Why we like it: While it technically isn't billed as a travel credit card, the Bilt Mastercard®—the only credit card that offers rewards on rent payments—offers travel benefits that are hard to ignore. Most importantly, the card allows you to transfer your points to several airline and hotel loyalty programs, a rare feature for a travel card with no annual fee. You'll also pay no foreign transaction fees and get a few trip protections, including trip cancellation and interruption reimbursement, trip delay protection and auto rental collision damage waiver.

If your vacation plans stretch farther than your budget, the VentureOne has an extended 0% APR period on purchases so you can enjoy the sun without getting burned with interest.

Most travel credit cards don't offer introductory 0% APR promotions, but if that feature is a top priority and you don't want a cash-back card, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card may be worth a look. 

The card offers an introductory 0% APR promotion on both purchases and balance transfers, giving you plenty of time to pay off a large chunk or all of a significant purchase or high-interest debt from another card. 

The card's rewards rate isn't very exciting, but it does offer flexible travel redemption options, including access to transfer partners.

Best travel card for earning on travel: U.S. Bank Altitude Connect

If cash back is your preference, the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect has a robust rewards rate on travel purchases plus a selection of perks unusual for a sub-$100 annual fee card.

Interestingly enough, many travel credit cards don't offer great rewards on travel spending unless you're booking through the card issuer's travel portal. If you want a card that offers best-in-class rewards on all of your travel spending, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card is your best bet. 

The card also offers great rewards on other everyday spending categories, along with four free visits to Priority Pass lounges each year, an application fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and an annual bonus when you use your card to pay for an eligible streaming service.

The Credit One Wander card flies under the radar but is worth a look for its strong earnings on travel, dining and gas in addition to its more lenient credit score requirements.

Why we like it: You typically need good or excellent credit to qualify for one of the best travel credit cards, but if you're not quite there yet, the Credit One Bank Wander® Card should be on your radar. The card offers great rewards on select travel purchases and other everyday spending. 

Points can be redeemed in a variety of ways, but to get a consistent redemption rate, statement credits are your best option.

Best travel card for credit building: Capital One Quicksilver Secured Card

You aren't out of options if you need to build your credit score before getting a standard travel card. The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Card is a rewarding option while you get on track.

Why we like it : If you're looking to build or rebuild, you'll be hard-pressed to get approved for a true travel credit card. However, the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card can be a solid alternative until you have the chance to establish a good credit score.

The card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, making it a good choice for international travel, and you'll earn a solid rewards rate on every purchase you make. While you need to make a security deposit equal to your desired credit limit when you get started, you don't have to wait to close your account to get your money back. With responsible use, you can start earning unsecured credit line increases after six months, and you can also qualify for an upgrade to an unsecured Quicksilver card down the road, at which point you'll get a deposit refund.

Our methodology

The Fortune Recommends TM team analyzed more than 50 travel credit cards across various issuers to come up with the top picks.

Here are the key elements we ranked each card by:

  • Annual fee: Some card issuers require cardholders to pay an annual fee for cards with rewards and extra features or benefits. For most of our rankings, we rated cards with lower or zero-dollar annual fees higher.  
  • Rewards: Travel cards typically provide rewards in the form of points or miles. For some rankings, we rated cards with better rewards rates higher on our list. 
  • Insurance and protections: When you use your card to make purchases, you may be eligible for different types of protections on those purchases. Some cards offer insurance on travel-related expenses, like trip cancellation insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, and more. Some cards also provide non-travel-related reimbursements like cell phone protection. For some rankings, we rated cards higher based on the number of protections they offered.
  • Welcome bonus: When you sign up for a new credit card, you may be eligible for a one-time welcome bonus in the form of points or miles. You’ll need to spend a certain amount within a few months of card opening to earn the bonus. We ranked cards with higher bonuses and lower spending requirements higher on our list. 
  • Perks: Travel credit cards may offer a variety of perks—like statement credits for TSA PreCheck, airport lounge access, a free checked bag, and more. We rated cards with more perks higher for some of our rankings. 
  • Foreign transaction fees: Some cards charge a flat rate on purchases when you use your card abroad. We rated cards with no foreign transaction fees higher.  

How do travel credit cards work?

Unlike cash-back rewards, which tend to work the same regardless of the card issuer, travel rewards can get complicated quickly. Ultimately, your redemption options and the value of your points and miles will vary depending on the rewards program.

Flexible travel rewards

Flexible travel rewards credit cards offer points or miles through the card issuer's proprietary rewards program. Some examples include Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Capital One Miles. 

With flexible travel rewards, you'll typically get several redemption options, and your rewards are worth a set amount — usually between 0.5 cents and 1.5 cents apiece — depending on how you redeem them. Travel redemptions typically get more value, but that can vary by program.

Many of these programs also allow you to transfer your points to airline and hotel loyalty programs, giving you access to more dynamic redemptions. If you're savvy enough, you could get more value with a transfer partner than if you were to redeem through the card issuer's rewards program.

Airline rewards

Airline miles, or points in some cases, are designed primarily to help you earn award flights with your favorite airline, such as United, Delta, or Southwest. But unlike general points or miles, airline rewards typically don't have a set value. 

In some cases, the number of points or miles required for a flight may be linked to the cash value of the ticket, but they may be unrelated. As a result, the value of your rewards will vary based on your flight dates, itinerary, cabin choice, and other factors. 

In some cases, you may be able to redeem your airline rewards in other ways, but you typically won't get as much value that way.

Hotel rewards

Hotel points allow you to book free hotel stays with a single hotel chain, such as IHG, Hilton, or Marriott. Like airline rewards, hotel points have dynamic value, so your redemption rate will vary based on your destination, the property, your stay dates, and other variables.

Hotel loyalty programs may also allow you to redeem your rewards in other ways, but it's generally best to stick to free nights.

Should you pick a travel credit card?

If you frequently travel or you're looking for opportunities to travel more in the future, a travel credit card can make it easier to earn free or discounted flights, hotel stays, rental cars, and more. 

What's more, some of the top travel credit cards also offer perks that can save you more money or give you a better overall experience at the airport, in flight, or throughout your trip. 

That said, most travel credit cards don't offer as much redemption flexibility as cash-back credit cards. If you're not sure you want to go all in on travel rewards, a cash-back credit card may be a better choice. 

Also, most of the top travel credit cards charge an annual fee. While many of them make it easy to offset that cost with rewards and perks, the fee is still an out-of-pocket cost. If you're on a tight budget or you're generally fee-averse, think carefully about whether you can afford that yearly cost and make sure you can get enough value from a card to make its annual fee worthwhile.

How to choose the best travel credit card

With so many different options available, there's no single travel credit card that's best suited for all travelers. To determine which one is best for you, you'll want to think about your travel habits, spending profile, and general preferences.

Travel habits

Consumers who travel frequently may benefit more from a premium travel card that offers a broad range of perks, while more casual travelers may be better off with a mid-tier or no-annual-fee travel card. 

If you're loyal to a specific airline or hotel chain, it could make sense to get an airline or hotel credit card, but if you don't want to be tied down to a single brand, a general travel card might be the right move.

You'll also want to think about how you travel and which travel card benefits would give you the best experience. For example, if your home airport has one or more airport lounges, it can make sense to get a card that offers lounge access. 

Spending profile

Most travel credit cards offer tiered rewards, meaning you'll earn bonus rewards on certain spending categories. If you spend a lot in certain areas of your budget, try to find a card that will reward you more for those purchases. 

However, if you don't spend a lot in any single category or you don't want to earn a low rewards rate on most of your spending, consider a card that offers a high, flat rewards rate on everything.

General preferences

Consider other features you're looking for in a travel credit card. Options may include transfer partners, straightforward benefits, redemption options, 0% APR promotions, and more. 

As you research and compare travel credit cards, familiarize yourself with all of their benefits to determine which one feels like the best fit based on your needs and preferences.

Frequently asked questions

Which card is better for international travel.

Generally speaking, you'll want a credit card that doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee. With cards that do charge this fee, you'll typically pay an extra 3% on all of your purchases made abroad.

Additionally, Visa and Mastercard credit cards tend to be better for international travel because they're more widely accepted than American Express and Discover credit cards. If you have an Amex or Discover card, consider bringing a Visa or Mastercard as a backup.

Is Visa or Mastercard better for travel?

Mastercard boasts acceptance in more than 210 countries, while Visa says it operates in more than 200 countries. So, if you're traveling to a country that's off the beaten path, so to speak, Mastercard may be a better choice. But for most major international destinations, you're likely fine with either Visa or Mastercard.

What is the best credit card to accumulate travel miles?

Miles have historically been associated with airline frequent flyer programs, but some card issuers, including Capital One and Discover, use the miles nomenclature for their rewards currency. 

With that said, the best miles credit card for you depends on your travel habits and preferences. If you want to earn miles with a particular airline, check out that airline's co-branded credit cards to see which one offers the best fit. If you want more general rewards, consider a card that offers miles or points with more flexible redemption options.

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

These ten travel credit cards give you the most bang for your buck.

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Credit Cards > Reviews

Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card review: A travel credit card for the fee-averse

Glen Luke Flanagan

Glen Luke Flanagan

“Verified by an expert” means that this article has been thoroughly reviewed and evaluated for accuracy.

Updated 2:20 p.m. UTC Feb. 7, 2024

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Editorial Note: Blueprint may earn a commission from affiliate partner links featured here on our site. This commission does not influence our editors' opinions or evaluations. Please view our full advertiser disclosure policy .

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card offers a simple approach to rewards, with a base rate of 1.5 points per $1 on purchases — and the chance to earn up to an impressive flat rate of 2.62 points per dollar on purchases for being a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member. 

Why trust our credit card experts

Our team of experts evaluates hundreds of credit cards and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best card for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 50+ cards analyzed.
  • 8 data points considered.
  • 5-step fact-checking process.

Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card basics

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Welcome bonus: 25,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Rewards: Earn 1.5 points per $1 on purchases, with the chance to earn 25% to 75% bonus points as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards customer. Also, earn an additional 1.5 points per dollar on Bank of America Travel Center purchases.
  • APR: 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, followed by a 18.24% to 28.24% variable APR. A 3% intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days; then a 4% fee applies to future balance transfers.
  • Preapproval tool: Yes.
  • Recommended credit score: Good to excellent.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Welcome Bonus

  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening – that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

Regular APR

Credit score.

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

Editor’s Take

  • 15 billing cycles of intro APR financing on both new purchases and on qualifying balance transfers.
  • Earn an unlimited 1.5 points per $1 on purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees so it’s a good choice to use abroad.
  • Points must be redeemed towards eligible travel and dining purchases for maximum redemption value.
  • You can’t transfer rewards to airline or hotel partners.

Card Details

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don’t expire as long as your account remains open.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 18.24% – 28.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards – The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Bank of America Travel Rewards review

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is a mainstay among no-annual-fee travel credit cards . This card offers a flat 1.5 points per $1 on purchases, but if you’re a loyal Bank of America or Merrill customer, you may be able to earn as much as 2.62 points per dollar on purchases. You’ll also earn more rewards when you use your card to book travel through the Bank of America Travel Center.

With no annual fee , the card doesn’t offer much in the way of travel benefits. But its welcome bonus is solid, giving you 25,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. And if you need an introductory APR promotion, this card offers a lengthy one, 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, followed by a 18.24% to 28.24% variable APR. A 3% intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days; then a 4% fee applies to future balance transfers.

The card can be a great introduction to travel rewards for someone who prefers to avoid an annual fee, and it can also be a great way for certain Bank of America or Merrill customers to maximize their rewards on every purchase. But if you’re serious about travel rewards and perks, a different card may be a better fit, even if it charges an annual fee. 

  • Intro APR offer: The card’s intro offer is helpful for anyone wanting extra time to pay off a big purchase or looking to tackle some debt.
  • Relationship bonus: Those who are already banking with Bank of America or Merrill can earn higher rewards based on their relationship tier via the bank’s Preferred Rewards program.
  • Simple travel rewards: Navigating travel rewards can be complicated with some credit card programs. The flat-rate rewards on this card are relatively simple to earn and use.
  • No notable travel benefits: If you want added benefits when you travel, such as robust travel protections, airport lounge access or reimbursement for the Global Entry application fee, you may be disappointed with this card.
  • No everyday bonus categories: You can earn extra points when you book travel through Bank of America, but the card doesn’t offer any other bonus categories. 
  • Steep price to maximize rewards: To earn the highest rewards rate possible, you’ll need a three-month combined average daily balance of at least $100,000 in eligible Bank of America deposit accounts or Merrill investment accounts. 

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Over $1,500 in travel and entertainment credits can offset the annual fee.
  • Comprehensive lounge access benefit.
  • Generous travel and purchase protections.
  • High annual fee and spending requirements.
  • Amex’s once-per-lifetime rule limits welcome bonus eligibility.
  • Annual statement credits have limited use.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card rewards

The card offers a flat base rate of 1.5 points per $1 on purchases. However, if you use your card to book travel through the Bank of America Travel Center, you’ll earn 3 points per $1 on those purchases — an extra 1.5 points per $1 on top of the base rewards rate.

Additionally, the card earns 25%, 50% or 75% more points per purchase if you’re eligible for the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. To join, you must have a three-month combined average daily balance of at least $20,000 in eligible Bank of America deposit accounts or Merrill investment accounts. 

Depending on which Preferred Rewards tier you qualify for, you can earn between 1.87 to 2.62 points per dollar on most of your purchases with this card. Note, however, that this bonus doesn’t apply to the card’s welcome offer.

The welcome offer provides 25,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. 

To redeem your rewards, simply use your card to pay for eligible travel or dining purchases, then request a statement credit with your points within 12 months of the transaction date. You can also redeem points for cash or gift cards, but you’ll only get 0.6 cents per point with cash redemptions — and gift card redemption values can vary. As a result, it’s best to stick to travel and dining statement credits.

Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card rewards potential

Using government data and other publicly available information, we estimate that a household in the U.S. that would be in the market for this card has an annual income of $84,352 and $25,087 in expenses they are likely to be able to charge to a credit card.

If you’re earning the base rate of 1.5 points per $1 on purchases, you could earn $376.31 worth of points every year. If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards customer, though, you could earn up to $657.28 in value.

Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card APR details

As a new cardholder, you’ll get a 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, followed by a 18.24% to 28.24% variable APR. A 3% intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days; then a 4% fee applies to future balance transfers. That’s a rare benefit among travel credit cards, so it’s even more impressive that it’s also a relatively lengthy intro APR period.

Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card vs. Discover it® Miles * The information for the Discover it® Miles has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

If you’re a big spender, you could benefit from a big bonus offer from the Discover it Miles . The card offers 1.5 miles per $1 on purchases, and Discover will automatically match all the cash back earned at the end of the first cardmember year, with no limit to how many miles you can earn. 

You can redeem miles as a statement credit for travel purchases made up to 180 days after they post, for cash back to a bank account or you can use them to shop online at Amazon.com and through PayPal. 

The card also has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee, but keep in mind that if you plan to travel abroad, Discover is not widely accepted internationally.

Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card * The information for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

For a modest $95 annual fee, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card * The information for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. offers substantial rewards value. As a new cardholder, you’ll earn 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. You’ll also earn 5 miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2 miles per $1 on other purchases. 

You can redeem miles as statement credits for past travel purchases, use them to pay for Capital One Travel bookings or transfer them to airline or hotel loyalty programs.

In terms of perks, you’ll get an application fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (up to $100), two complimentary annual visits to Capital One Lounges or Plaza Premium Lounges, Hertz Five Star status¹, bonus miles on Turo car rentals and more. 

Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. You’ll also earn 5 points per $1 on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3 points per $1 on dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs), 2 points per $1 on all other travel purchases and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. 

Points are typically worth 1 cent each (though the value may vary for certain redemptions). Redemption options include cash back, statement credits, gift cards, Apple purchases and online shopping. You can also use them to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and receive 25% more value per point, or transfer your points at a 1:1 rate to airline and hotel loyalty programs. 

The card also offers a $50 annual statement credit for hotel stays booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, as well as partner benefits with Lyft, Instacart, DoorDash and Peloton. There’s a $95 annual fee.

Finally, the Sapphire Preferred provides a robust lineup of travel benefits, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, baggage delay reimbursement and primary rental car insurance .

Should you get the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card?

If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, the Travel Rewards credit card can be a great way to rack up a lot of points on your everyday purchases, especially if you can qualify for the maximum 75% points bonus — which brings the earning rate up to 2.62 points per dollar spent on purchases. 

That said, it may also be worth considering another travel card with added perks for when you travel, since this one’s benefits are slim compared to popular travel cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

If you’re not a Preferred Rewards customer, the Bank of America travel card may still be a good fit if you want to earn travel rewards but don’t want to deal with an annual fee. However, it should be mentioned there are many travel credit cards that charge an annual fee but offer enough value in perks alone to make up for the cost every year. Shop around and compare several options to determine which one offers the best value for you based on your travel and spending habits.

Methodology

Our credit cards team has spent hours analyzing hundreds of travel credit cards. We took a deep dive into the details of each product and that analysis, combined with our years of experience covering credit cards, informed us as we developed these credit card rankings. We factored the following into our analysis:

  • Annual fees.
  • Travel reward rates.
  • Value of rewards.
  • Redemption options.
  • Additional benefits that a card may offer for travelers, such as travel insurance.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The card is designed for consumers with good or excellent credit. According to FICO , that typically means a credit score of 670 or higher. That said, Bank of America will review your full credit history, income and other factors to determine your eligibility. 

If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible, you can use the card issuer’s preapproval tool, which can help you gauge your approval odds for any Bank of America credit card.

After you use your card to pay for an eligible travel or dining purchase, you can log in to your account and request a statement credit up to 12 months after the transaction posts. Alternatively, you can redeem your points for a paper check or a deposit into an eligible Bank of America or Merrill account or to buy gift cards.

As long as your account remains open and you can actively make purchases, your points will never expire. However, you will forfeit your points if you or Bank of America closes your account.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

¹Upon enrollment, accessible through the Capital One website or mobile app, eligible cardholders will remain at upgraded status level through December 31, 2024. Please note, enrolling through the normal Hertz Gold Plus Rewards enrollment process (e.g. at Hertz.com) will not automatically detect a cardholder as being eligible for the program and cardholders will not be automatically upgraded to the applicable status tier. Additional terms apply.

*The information for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Discover it® Miles has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy . The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi is a freelance writer who covers all things personal finance and travel. His work has appeared in dozens of online publications. Ben lives in Salt Lake City with his two children and two cats.

Glen Luke Flanagan is a deputy editor on the USA TODAY Blueprint credit cards team. Prior to joining Blueprint, he served as a deputy editor on the credit cards team at Forbes Advisor, and covered credit cards, credit scoring and related topics as a senior writer at LendingTree. He’s passionate about helping people understand personal finance so they can make the best decisions possible for their wallet. Glen holds a master's degree in technical and professional communication from East Carolina University and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Radford University.

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PSA: Bank of America Won’t Automatically Send a Replacement Debit Card when your Card Expires

Good evening everyone, I hope you had a great Presidents’ Day Weekend.  Long story short, I realized my Bank of America checking account debit card expired in July 2022 and Bank of America never sent me a replacement debit card (until I requested a new debit card in February 2024).  Let me provide more background info, in case you are curious.

I opened the Bank of America checking account in July 2018 when Bank of America was offering a $150 new account bonus.  Bank of America is not my primary bank, but I kept the checking account opened for several years because I had 2 Bank of America Better Balance Rewards Credit Cards (RIP old friends) that provided a quarterly bonus for having a Bank of America checking account.  After Bank of America discontinued the Better Balance Rewards cards and product changed them to Unlimited Cash Rewards cards in May / June 2023, there was less of a reason to keep my Bank of America checking account.

I had my Bank of America debit card in my ApplePay Wallet all of those years and took my Bank of America debit card internationally when I travelled, in case I needed to get cash.  For the last 1.5 years, I had no idea that my debit card was expired and I never received any notice from Bank of America or in my ApplePay Wallet.

a screenshot of a credit card

Here is the front and back of my old and new Bank of America debit card.  The new debit card design is cleaner and made of recycled plastic (I wonder if they use plastic from expired debit cards…).  Another hassle is that Bank of America sends you a random 6 digit debit card PIN that you need to remember or you can change by going to a Bank of America branch or ATM.  I wish Bank of America would get with the 21st century and let you change / create your debit card PIN over the phone or in the app.

a close up of a credit card

That’s the end of my Bank of America rant.  If you have a Bank of America debit card (or any other debit card), check the expiration date to see if your debit card has expired.  I’ve never encountered this issue with credit cards from Bank of America or any other credit card issuer, so it might only be an issue with debit cards.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

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10 thoughts on “ psa: bank of america won’t automatically send a replacement debit card when your card expires ”.

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I just recently got a new B of A debit card when mine expired without requesting one. Wonder if it has anything to do with account activity, or some other factor?

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Hmm, that is interesting. Did your previous BofA debit card expire 12/23, 1/24, or 2/24? Maybe they forgot about the people with debit cards that expired 7/22, or the policy has changed since then 7/22.

I have payroll direct deposited 2 x $250 per month into my BofA checking account and then use it to pay BofA CC bills and some external credit card bills, so I think I have enough account activity to justify that my account is active.

It was a 3/24 expiration. Huh yeah seems like you have plenty of activity, so likely not that. Interesting!

Glad they sent mine because I probably wouldn’t have noticed either!

Haha, exactly, especially if it’s a card you don’t look at or use very often to make purchases.

Gotcha, thanks for sharing your positive data point regarding the replacement debit card. I’ll see if any other readers have data points around this topic.

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I had a BofA credit card that they didn’t send an automatic replacement for that expired more than 6 months before I noticed. It was a rarely used card though.

Hi Dan, thanks for sharing. Was this a no annual fee credit card? I don’t think I used my Bank of America debit card for ATM withdrawals or purchases for a few years, so that might be a factor in why BofA didn’t automatically send a replacement debit card.

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My ill husband uses his bank card to pay for Dr office visits. They sent mine but not his. We’ve banked with BOA for 41 years and they expect my husband to physically come in to clear up their mistake. If this is a new policy with them, I’ll consider another banking institution !

Hi Shirley, that is a very terrible experience. Not sure why Bank Of America is requiring your husband to come into a branch to clear up the issue, they just need to overnight a new debit card to him.

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I make my credit card points go further with one extra step that makes a huge difference

  • I maximize my Chase credit card points by transferring them to my airline accounts.
  • The points go further there than in the Chase portal.
  • It's just one extra step that makes a huge difference.

Insider Today

When redeeming my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card points for flights and hotel stays, I used to book everything through the Chase Travel Portal .

Then, I came across a TikTok by travel blogger Nikki On Her Way explaining how Chase credit card points are worth more when you transfer them to airline and hotel partners.

I decided to try it and was shocked by how much more value I could get from my points with just one extra step.

@nikkionherway Replying to @thelifeofemmy why i almost always recommend you utilize transfer partners rather than your card’s travel portal to make the most of your points and miles. In the travel portal, your points have a fixed redemption rate, meaning you will pay based on the cash price of the ticket. But, if you transfer your points or miles to an airline partner, you can find the same exact flight for much less. This is how you maximize your points and miles to get the most out of them! #pointsandmiles #traveltips #traveltheworld #travelonabudget #traveltok #pointsandmilestravel ♬ original sound - Nikki On Her Way | Travel ✈️

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, each point is worth a fixed 1.25 cents on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal, meaning 100 points equals $1.25.

However, Chase Ultimate Rewards also partners with 14 airline and hotel loyalty programs , where points often have more spending power. To maximize the value of your points, you can transfer them from your Chase account to your accounts with affiliated programs like IHG Rewards Club or United MileagePlus to get more bang for your buck.

I experienced this firsthand while looking into flights to St. Louis to visit family. In the Chase Travel Portal, the Southwest flight I wanted would have cost all 21,887 points I have saved up, plus an additional $16 to cover the remaining difference.

When I browsed Southwest Airlines ' website, I found that the same flight cost just 10,391 points plus an additional $5.60 — a difference of 11,496 points and $10.40.

If I wanted to fly to St. Louis in style in Business Select, I could have done so for 20,791 points and still spent fewer points than the cost of the regular flight in the Chase Travel Portal.

Transferring the points from Chase to spend through Southwest was easy. I selected "Transfer points to partners" from the Chase Travel Portal's menu, connected my Southwest Rapid Rewards account, and typed in the number of points I wanted to transfer. A few minutes later, the points populated in my Southwest account, and I was able to book the flight directly on the airline's website.

I'm certainly not the first person to discover this hack, but I was surprised by how many of my friends had no idea that this option existed when I told them how I'd saved thousands of points.

Now that I know how to transfer points to partners, I'll make a habit of checking both the Chase Travel Portal and loyalty programs to make sure I'm getting the best deal.

travel rewards debit card

Watch: The CEO of Scott's Cheap Flights reveals a credit card trick he uses to get millions of free miles

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  28. PSA: Bank of America Won't Automatically Send a Replacement Debit Card

    Good evening everyone, I hope you had a great Presidents' Day Weekend. Long story short, I realized my Bank of America checking account debit card expired in July 2022 and Bank of America never sent me a replacement debit card (until I requested a new debit card in February 2024). Let me provide more background info, in case you are curious. I opened the Bank of America checking account in ...

  29. A Simple Hack to Make Your Credit Card Points Go Further

    With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, each point is worth a fixed 1.25 cents on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal, meaning 100 points equals $1.25. However, Chase Ultimate Rewards ...