The ground beef recall due to salmonella reported this fall now expands considerably, mounting to 12 million pounds, and people are wondering just how high the numbers will go in the near future.
You’re at the grocery store. It’s been a hectic period of time for you. You’re intent on making Salisbury steak for dinner with all the trimmings. You know … caramelized onions, a red wine gravy, mashed potatoes and even some sautéed peas with ham (for that extra protein kick). You peruse the aisles in the refrigerated section at Wal-Mart and the weirdest thing, but you can’t find any ground beef anywhere. You look and look, but all you can seem to find are chicken and pork products. What the heck is going on? Finally, you flag down an employee and ask him what the rub is, and he looks at you like you’re from Mars or something. The employee proceeds to tell you, and as nicely as possible, but still with a hint of condescension: “Ground beef has been recalled … it’s all over the news.”
Best Credit Cards For Travel Miles 2019 – $750 In Rewards
Finding the best credit cards for travel miles can help you can save money and earn travel miles for future trips. Applying for the best credit cards for miles can also be very lucrative upfront, especially with bonuses over $750 in rewards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred has. If you’re a frequent or casual traveler, consider adding one of the following best miles credit cards to your wallet even if you’re looking for one of the best airline credit cards. That’s because you can earn travel rewards that can be transferred to multiple airline miles with these top credit cards even if they aren’t co-branded with an airline.
Here are the best credit cards for travel miles:
- Winner of Best Credit Card for Travel Miles: Chase Sapphire Preferred
- 2x miles on all purchases: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- 4x points on dining: American Express Gold
- Best for frequent travelers: Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Bank of America members: Bank of America Travel Rewards
- Best airline miles credit card: American Express Platinum
Overall Best Credit Card for Travel Miles: Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card comes with a tremendous sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. The 60,000 points you earn are worth $750 in travel through Chase’s travel portal, or they can be worth even more if you transfer them out to loyalty partners like United, Southwest, or Hyatt. The Chase Sapphire Preferred has been my favorite credit card for travel miles for the last few years. Some of the best credit cards for travel rewards are ones who aren’t co-branded with an airline and give you the option to transfer your points out to multiple airlines like the Sapphire Preferred does.
You will also earn 2x points per $1 on travel and restaurants worldwide. There is a $95 annual fee.
Many online reviews of this card refer to it as the top travel rewards credit card out there. And it was just named “Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption” – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, June 2018. The Sapphire Preferred has been a card I’ve held in my wallet for some time.
Other Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits
- There are no foreign transaction fees.
- Account holders that book their travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards receive 25% more value. Travel expenditures include airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises.
- 1:1 points transfer to participating frequent travel programs. Participating programs include British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Korean Air SKYPASS, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® and World of Hyatt.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the best credit cards for travel rewards miles simplicity above everything else. If you aren’t loyal to a particular airline or hotel chain, this may be the card for you. You can redeem your miles for any travel purchases, but don’t have the flexibility to transfer them out to travel partners (you didn’t until now). You also will earn 2x miles on all purchases regardless of the category.
Other Capital One Venture Benefits
- New account holders will earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months. After that, account holders earn unlimited two miles per dollar spent on every purchase.
- This card also offers the flexibility to book your own travel through any website or app, and benefits can go towards any airline, hotel, or rental car company.
- There are no foreign transaction fees.
- No blackout dates for air travel.
To redeem your miles, you can book award travel. Or, you can also use their purchase eraser to redeem your miles for travel statement credits on recent travel purchases. The recent additions to the Capital One Venture card have made it more appealing for travelers.
Flexible Miles Card: American Express Gold Card
One particularly unique benefit offered by the American Express Gold Card is the $120 dining credit and 4x points per $1 at U.S. restaurants and supermarkets. This best travel credit card for miles is perfect for those travelers that want flexibility and spend on restaurant and supermarket purchases. You also receive a $100 annual airline incidental credit and 3x points per $1 on airline purchases directly from airlines. You can earn even more airlines miles on flight tickets with Amex PRG than many of the best airline credit cards.
Best Premium Credit Card for Travel Miles: Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is hands down one of the best rewards credit cards available for anyone that travels more than once or twice per year, especially for airline miles lovers. It offers a 50,000 Ultimate Reward point sign-up bonus (worth at least $750, but easily quite a bit more) and offers 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases. This Sapphire Preferred credit card also comes with a $300 per year annual travel credit, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, Priority Pass Lounge access, travel insurance, and more. All of these benefits go a long way to offsetting the card’s $450 annual fee, but the Sapphire Reserve card may not be worth it for infrequent travelers.
Like the Sapphire Preferred you can transfer your points to several airlines making it a great credit card for airline miles even though it’s technically not an airline credit card.
Again, here’s a break down of the travel benefits:
- $300 annual travel credit
- Priority Pass airport lounge membership
- 50% point redemption bonus for air travel
- 1:1 transfers to airline and hotel partners
- Special benefits with the Luxury Hotel & Resorts Collection
- Earn 3 points per $1 on all travel and dining purchases
You also have the chance to earn 50,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points as a signup bonus. These points are worth up to $750 in award travel.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card is a basic credit card for travelers looking for no foreign transaction fees and an EMV chip for no annual fee. This no annual fee credit card doesn’t compare with the rewards on the new premium Bank of America travel credit card.
Consumers with an existing bank account with Bank of America can see higher rewards rates depending upon their existing balance. Those holding $50,000 or more in their account will receive a points bonus that puts their rewards rates up to 2.25% – 2.63%. In general, existing account holders get an additional 10% customer points on average, which increases to a 25% – 75% bonus for Preferred Rewards clients.
- 2o,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. This translates to a $200 statement credit towards travel purchases.
- No website and blackout date restrictions.
- Unlimited 1.5% points per $1 on all purchases and points don’t expire.
- No annual fee for everyday spending.
- No foreign transaction fees and EMV trip for security when traveling abroad.
- Higher than average rewards for existing Bank of America account holders.
- Required credit score and initial spending threshold are lower than average.
- Sub-par benefits (1.5% rewards rate) unless you are an existing Bank of America account holder. For non-Bank of America account holders that are bigger spenders and have excellent credit, other cards would offer better rewards.
Best Airline Credit Cards
Choosing the best airline miles credit cards can help you maximize your airline travel.
Best Airline Credit Card Perks: Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
There are actually four Delta credit cards, but the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card is an excellent option for casual travelers that want to earn SkyMiles, free checked bags, and priority boarding.
You will get 2 SkyMiles for every Delta purchase and 20% in-flight discount. All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent. Another valuable Delta travel benefit is that you and eight travel companions get your first checked bag free.
As a new cardholder, you can also earn 35,000 bonus SkyMiles and a $50 statement credit as a signup bonus. And, American Express waives the $95 annual fee for the first year too.
Best Miles Credit Card for Airline Purchases: Platinum Card from American Express
The Platinum Card from American Express is probably the best premium travel rewards card for airline purchases. There are two reasons why the Amex Platinum is the best airline miles credit card:
- Earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly from the airline or AmexTravel.com
- Transfer your points on a 1:1 basis to multiple frequent flyer programs
Some of the American Express Membership Rewards travel partners include Delta, Emirates, Etihad, and JetBlue. You can also enjoy the following premium air travel benefits:
- $200 air travel credit for checked bags and in-flight purchases
- Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement
- Complimentary access to airport lounge networks include Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club, and The Centurion
- Unlimited Boingo wifi hotspot access
- $200 in annual Uber credits
- Exclusive benefits at FINE hotels and resorts
- 1:1 point transfers to Membership Rewards airline and hotel transfer partners
As a new cardholder, you can earn 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards points worth $600 in award travel.
For business travelers, you might consider the American Express Business Platinum instead. You get a 50% bonus on purchases larger than $5,000. Plus, you still enjoy free airport lounge access and the $200 airline fee credit too.
The Amex Platinum has an annual fee of $550, so make sure you will use the benefits to offset the fee.
Co-Branded Airlines Credit Card: Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select
After a few benefit upgrades, the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select is a competitive offering if you fly American Airlines. Some of the American Airlines credit card benefits include:
- 2x miles on American Airlines, dining, and gas station purchases
- 10% point redemption bonus (up to 10,000 points annually)
- $100 American Airlines credit after spending $20,000 in a card membership year
- 25% in-flight purchase discount
- Free checked bag for you and up to four travel companions
Select award flights start at 7,500 American Airlines miles which makes American one of the most affordable ways to fly across the United States.
Simple Miles Credit Card: Barclaycard Arrival Plus
If you’re looking for an even simpler card, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus is a great choice. It offers a sign-up bonus of Arrival Miles and 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Arrival Miles won’t give you the same ability to maximize value that Ultimate Rewards and other types of points will, but they do offer extreme simplicity! Simply redeem your miles for a statement credit against any travel booking you have made with the card.
You can review the best credit cards for travel miles of 2019 here:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: Overall Best Credit Card for Travel Miles
- 2x miles on all purchases: Capital One Venture
- 3x points on flights: American Express Gold
- Best for frequent travelers: Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Ideal for Bank of America members: Bank of America Travel Rewards