One of the best travel credit cards for beginners is the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card; this is not a travel credit card per se but it rewards cardholders with cash back. It is also one of the best rewards credit cards for people with even limited credit. With Capital One QuicksilverOne you get 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Being a beginner when it comes to travel rewards credit cards doesn’t always mean you’re new to credit, though. A good travel credit card for beginners with established credit scores who are just new to travel rewards is the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. It’s a great introduction to travel rewards because the rewards program isn’t complicated, and all purchases get 1.25 miles per $1 spent. The signup bonus of 20,000 miles for spending $500 in the first 3 months isn’t too shabby, either. Plus, there are $0 foreign fees, and the $0 annual fee is a good option for people testing the waters with a travel card.
There are lots of different travel credit cards, however, and the best choice for one person may not be a great choice for another. The best first travel card for you depends on your credit standing and what you’re looking for in terms of rewards and fees. But whether you’re new to credit or just new to travel credit cards, one of these cards should ease you into the world of rewards for your adventures.
Here are some of the best beginner travel credit cards:
It’s worth noting that the best travel credit cards overall require at least good credit, and some require excellent credit. If you have bad credit or you’re not sure what your credit score is, it’s a good idea to check your credit score before you choose a travel credit card for the first time.
The easiest travel credit card to get is the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students because it approves people with limited credit history. This BofA travel credit card comes with an initial bonus of 25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, which equals about $250 when redeemed for travel. You'll earn 1.5 - 3 points / $1 spent in various categories, with travel purchases earning the most. As the name might suggest, however, this credit card is for students.… read full answer
If you're not a student, the LATAM Secured Credit Card is the easiest travel credit card to get because people with bad credit can get approved. This card does have limitations with its travel rewards program, however - you can only use your accrued points for flights on LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines. These airlines (known as LATAM, combined) form the largest airline in South America, which means it's great for getting from the U.S. to places in South America, but you're out of luck if you want to go to Europe. Because this is a secured credit card, the required deposit is the amount of your credit limit, and there's an annual fee of $25 (waived the first year).
Travel credit cards are worth it for people who travel multiple times per year and who spend enough for the cards’ rewards and supplemental benefits to outweigh any annual fees. People who travel less frequently may also find travel credit cards with no annual fee to be worth it. In addition, it’s worth noting that a travel credit card could be one of multiple cards in your wallet. It’s not necessary to choose between travel rewards and cash back, for example.… read full answer
7 Tips for How to Decide if a Travel Credit Card Is Worth It
1. Compare expected rewards earnings to the cost of the card.
For a travel credit card to be worth it, the card’s rewards and benefits should outweigh its fees.
2. Compare the value to other credit card offers.
The travel credit card’s net value – rewards and benefits, minus fees – should be higher than what other comparable cards offer. A credit card is not truly worth it if getting that card means bypassing a better deal.
3. Take annual fees into account, but don’t rule them out.
Nearly all of the best travel credit cards charge an annual fee. But there are plenty of benefits that reduce the impact of such a fee. For example, an initial bonus is one factor that can easily make a travel credit card worth getting. The best travel rewards cards offer sizeable bonuses when you meet minimum spending requirements in the first year. Top initial bonus offers cover the cost of their card’s annual fee for several years.
4. Make sure the redemption options suit you.
Typically, you can redeem a travel card’s rewards for travel-focused purchases such as airfare or hotel stays, as well as other options like gift cards, merchandise or cash. The value of those rewards varies by card. But in most cases, you’ll get the highest value when you redeem for travel.
5. Consider co-branded travel cards if you have a favorite airline or hotel chain.
People who frequent a specific hotel or airline may get the most value from co-branded travel cards that offer enhanced rewards for loyal customers. Common perks on such cards include free checked bags, seat or room upgrades and lounge access.
However, you’ll lose flexibility when earning and redeeming rewards, relative to a general travel card. Co-branded travel cards tend to give the best rewards at their affiliated airline or hotel, and your rewards are usually tied to that company’s loyalty program.
6. Make sure there’s no foreign fee if you’re spending internationally.
The travel credit cards that are most worth it for international travelers and shoppers are ones that come with no foreign transaction fee. Foreign transaction fees can be as costly as 3% of each purchase made with a foreign merchant. But luckily, most travel cards don’t have this fee.
7. Check your credit score before applying.
It’s important to check your credit score before submitting an application for any travel credit card. The best travel credit cards tend to require at least good credit (a score of 700+), and some even require excellent credit (a score of 750+).
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. This question was posted by WalletHub.
Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.