What are the top credit cards for economy travel?
It’s a question I get asked a lot in November and December as friends scramble to purchase tickets home to see family for Thanksgiving or Christmas. But it’s better to ask the question now and have the rewards in hand for free economy travel whenever you want to visit family or just take a quick trip.
To me, there are a clear best five cards for domestic economy travel, with each card better for different spending and flying patterns.
1. The Arrival Card
The most versatile card when you want to take an economy trip is the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases, which comes with 40,000 bonus miles (worth $456 in free travel) after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
The miles earned on the card can be used toward any flight, any time, on any airline without needing to search for award space. Redemption couldn’t be easier.
In addition to flights, Arrival miles can be used for lodging–any hotel, B&B, hostel, etc–and car rental if you need those when traveling.
It’s not just the redemption side where Arrival miles shine. The Arrival card earns 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, so it’s not a card that requires you to memorize ever-changing category bonuses.
Each Arrival mile is worth 1.14 cents on travel redemptions, so the card earns 2.28% back toward travel on all purchases, which no other card matches.
Add in free access to your FICO credit score and a free subscription to TripIt Pro (worth $49) and the Arrival card is a clear #1 in my mind.
The Arrival card has no annual fee the first 12 months then $89 thereafter.
- Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases
- My Review of Arrival Card
- Why I Got the Arrival Card
What are the other Top Five Cards for Economy Travel?