Best Travel Credit Cards to Earn Free Flights

I am not really a fan of credit cards, and if you tend to carry a balance and pay just the minimum monthly amount due, this article might not be for you!  Used smartly though, a travel credit card can bring you amazing places for FREE.   Almost all of these cards listed below will give you enough miles on your first purchase to get a free flight and then when used for your usually monthly purchases you can quickly get additional miles.

Here is an actual example of how we are using travel reward points for our trip.  We chose the Chase Sapphire Preferred card because it gives you 40k miles pretty much out of the gate.  Add points for your monthly purchases (2 points per $1 on travel and dining!) and you are on your way.  After 7 months of using the card for our day to day purchases we have 130,000 miles!  Here is a sample itinerary using those miles for one-way trips:

  • 20k US mainland to Hawaii
  • 25k Hawaii to Oceania (Fiji/Australia)
  • 15k Oceania to SE Asia
  • 35k SE Asia to N Africa (Egypt!)
  • 17.5k N Africa to Europe
  • 30k Europe to US mainland

That is a total of just under 143,000 points.  Just a few more tanks of gas and grocery store visits and we have free flights all over the world!

Almost all of these cards listed below will give you enough miles on your first purchase to get a free flight and then when used for your usually monthly purchases you can quickly get additional miles.  Here are some that we reviewed when making our decision on our perfect travel credit card.

CHASE SAPPHIRE PREFERRED

  • 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • $95 annual fee which is waived for your first year
  • 2 points per $1 on all travel related and dining purchases
  • NO FOREIGN transaction fee for those purchases while you are traveling

 

UNITED MILEAGEPLUS EXPLORER CARD

  • 25,000 bonus miles after first use and 5,000 bonus miles after your first the card use and adding an authorized user within two months .  If you are a spender, you can get an additional 10,000 bonus miles when you spend $25,000 each year.
  • $95 annual fee which is waived for your first year
  • 2 points per $1 on all United purchases
  • Free checked bag for you and a companion
  • Priority boarding
  • 2 Free United Club Passes per year

 

CITI PLATINUM SELECT AADVANTAGE CARD

  • 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
  • $95 annual fee which is waived for your first year
  • 2 points per $1 on all American Airline purchases
  • Free checked bag for you and up to 4 companions
  • Priority boarding

Many of these cards also offer extras like travel insurance, rental car insurance, lost luggage coverage, trip cancellation benefits and more.  check out the fine print to make sure you get the best card to meet all your FREE travel needs!

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