The best vacation credit card is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard because it offers 2 miles per $1 on all purchases. It also has a bonus worth $600 in travel for spending $5,000 in the first 90 days. The fact that Arrival Plus is a Mastercard makes it especially good for foreign vacations. Mastercard is accepted virtually everywhere in the world, in over 210 countries and territories. Arrival Plus also insures your vacation. It offers over $250k in travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.
Another one of the best vacation credit cards is the Capital One Venture Rewards card. It offers 50,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. And it gives 2 miles per $1 on all purchases. The one exception is 10 miles per $1 on all purchases from hotels.com/venture. Venture is a Visa. That means it’s also accepted almost everywhere in the world, in 200+ countries and territories. And it will insure your vacation for $250,000 in travel accident insurance and $3,000 in lost luggage insurance.
The best vacation credit card for some people may be a card that gives especially good value at a particular travel provider. For example, the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card is the best when it comes to airline cards with low fees ($95). It can also cut down vacation costs with free checked bags and priority boarding. And there are plenty of other vacation cards to consider.
Here are the best vacation credit cards:
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
- Capital One Venture Rewards card
- Gold Delta SkyMiles card
- Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card
- Disney Premier Credit Card
- Wyndham Credit Card
- Celebrity Cruises Credit Card
Each of the best vacation credit cards has something unique to bring to the table, whether it’s specializing in a certain type of vacation or offering supplemental benefits. Take time to learn about the cards in detail before applying.
- The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard is the best overall vacation credit card because of its big 60,000-point initial bonus for spending $5,000 in the first 90 days. That’s $600 in vacation expenses recouped. Plus, the card is relatively cheap. It has a $0 annual fee for the first year and $89 after. It also offers 2 miles per $1 on all purchases. And it gives 5% of redeemed miles back every time. It’s accepted virtually everywhere in the world and gives over $250,000 in travel insurance. Arrival Plus requires good credit.
- The Capital One Venture Rewards card is one of the best vacation credit cards for good credit because it offers 50,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. And it gives 10 miles per $1 at hotels.com/venture and 2 on all other purchases. It has a $0 annual fee for the first year and $95 after. It’s accepted almost everywhere worldwide and provides over $250,000 in travel insurance. Plus, frequent vacationers will appreciate the $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre-check every 4 years. That helps to fast-track through security.
- The Gold Delta SkyMiles card is the best vacation credit card for airline perks because it offers a free first checked bag for the cardholder and 8 people on same Delta reservation. That can save hundreds of dollars per vacation. There’s also priority boarding on Delta flights. The card has a $0 annual fee for first year and $95 after. It offers 30,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. And it gives a $50 statement credit for the first Delta purchase in the first 3 months. There’s also 2 miles per $1 on Delta purchases and 1 on all other purchases. The card requires good credit.
- The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card is the best vacation credit card for hotels. The initial bonus is 125,000 points for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. That’s worth as many as 4 free nights. Plus, it offers a weekend reward night for spending $15,000 in any calendar year. There’s 12 points per $1 on Hilton purchases and 6 at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations. It offers 3 per $1 everywhere else. Lastly, big spenders can get Hilton Honors Diamond status by spending $40,000 in any calendar year, which will make for a ritzy vacation. There is a $95 annual fee. The Hilton Honors card requires good credit.
- The Celebrity Cruises Credit Card is the best cruise vacation credit card because it gives rewards on multiple cruise lines. It offers 2 points per $1 on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Azamara Club cruises, plus 1 per $1 on all other purchases. The card also gives 10,000 bonus points for making a purchase in the first 90 days, 5,000 points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days and 10,000 for spending $10,000 in the first year. Plus, it offers a $300 future cruise discount for spending $5,000 in the first 60 days. There’s a $69 annual fee. Good credit is required.
- The Disney Premier Credit Card is the best Disney Vacation credit card because it offers 2% in Disney Rewards dollars at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and Disney. And it gives 1% back everywhere else. It also gives 10% off merchandise and dining at Disney locations and 15% off Disney guided tours. And there’s a $200 statement credit for spending $500 in the first 3 months. There’s a $49 annual fee and the card requires good credit.
- The Wyndham Credit Card is the best winter vacation credit card because it offers 5 points per $1 at Wyndham properties, including lodges and timeshares near ski slopes. It also offers 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery and utility purchases and 1 on everything else. There’s a 15,000-point bonus for making a single purchase. And there’s another 15,000-point bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, the card offers 6,000 points every account anniversary. The annual fee is $75. The card requires good credit.
The best vacation credit cards really depend on the cardholder’s interests and what types of travel they favor. Most vacation credit cards have an annual fee. But the fee is often outweighed by the value the card gives in return.
Big spenders may also want to try a more expensive card that gives higher perks. For example, Chase Sapphire Reserve costs $450 per year. But it offers an initial bonus worth $750, a $300 annual travel credit, an annual lounge membership worth $399 and more in return.
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