Traveling expenses can add up, and it's always wise to watch your pennies when traveling abroad. We all know that flights can cost a fortune.
If you're ready to see the world, but short on cash, consider opening up a travel rewards credit card. You'll be able to get sign-on bonuses, access to special offers, and discounts that can stretch your travel dollars further and help you put miles under your belt.
Here are the top travel rewards credit cards for racking up those points and miles.
This popular travel card packs a powerful punch. The card offers two times the points on airfare, hotels, and trains, plus double the points on dining. One of the most popular benefits is the 50,000 bonus points you receive once you spend $4,000 within three months of opening the account. This is worth a bit over $1,000, which is far more than the annual fee of only $95.
Anyone who wants 75,000 points (worth about $675) just for spending $3,000 in the first three months of opening will love this card. With an annual fee of just $85, it's a great card to tuck into your wallet. Best of all, the points don't expire, which means you can keep earning them until you are ready to spend them on a dream vacation
The Explorer card offers 40,000 points for spending $2,000 within three months of opening. It also offers free checked bags on United, passes to the United Club, priority boarding, and no fees for foreign transactions. The points don't expire, so you can use them whenever the travel bug rises up.
This card offers a bonus of 50,000 miles for spending $3,000 within three months of opening. That's worth about $500. Each dollar you spend on the card earns you double the miles on every dollar. The savings add up quickly, especially when you use hotels.com to make reservations because then you earn 10 miles per dollar.
AMEX is widely accepted, and the card offers 60,000 points when you spend $5,000 within three months of opening. The card covers many incidental fees, but comes with a high annual fee of $550. As with all AMEX cards, you have to pay the balance off each month.
A word of advice: pay close attention to the fine print. Make sure you don't get stuck with high-interest rates and onerous payment terms.
Remember, most cards offer variable rates of between 14.5% to 25%. This can quickly sap any benefits and savings from the point programs if you don't pay them off in full every month.
However, if you watch your budget closely and pay the balance each month, the savings can fund your flights and hotels, and offset other travel expenses.
Finally, check to see if the card is widely accepted in the destinations you want to travel to; otherwise, you could find yourself traveling with a card that isn't worth the plastic it’s printed on.