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ChooseFI’s Top 10 Recommended Travel Rewards Cards (June 2024)

Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.

Hey, it’s Brad, host of the ChooseFI podcast: Here are my Top 10 recommended travel rewards credit cards for June 2024.

I’m keeping this list constantly updated, so be sure to check back each time you’re getting set to open a new rewards card to find our latest advice.

If you’re new to earning travel rewards points for nearly free travel, check out Part 1 of our Ultimate Guide to Travel Rewards or our podcasts on travel rewards (at the bottom of that linked page with all our travel resources).

Note: This is our Top 10 list, but click here for our full list of travel rewards cards.

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the card most people new to travel awards should likely start with. We highly value the Chase Ultimate Rewards® (UR) program and this is one of the easiest ways to start stockpiling your UR points.

Note: You can apply for this card if you don’t currently have either Sapphire card (Preferred or Reserve) and haven’t received a new cardmember bonus on either Sapphire card in the past 48 months

Another reason to start with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is because of Chase’s ‘5/24 rule’ which essentially means that if you have been approved five or more credit cards (from any bank, not just Chase) in the last 24 months, you will automatically be rejected when you apply for any Chase credit card.

Bonus Information:

Benefits include:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • $50 annual hotel credit (on hotel nights booked through Chase Travel℠).
  • Earn 5X points on travel when purchased through Chase Travel℠.
  • Earn 3X on dining, some delivery services included, takeout and dine-out.
  • 10% anniversary point bonus. Chase will calculate your entire spending from the past year and give you a 10% bonus each anniversary. So, if you spent $30,000 on your card for the year, you’ll bag an additional 3,000 points!
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Additional benefits such as Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance and an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver.
  • $95 annual fee

We love Chase Ultimate Rewards® points because of their transfer flexibility to become points/miles with over a dozen partners, including our four favorites:

  • United
  • Hyatt Hotels (the most reasonable award chart of any hotel chain)
  • British Airways (distance-based award chart to use on American Airlines in the US)
  • Southwest Airlines

Note of Caution: Once you transfer Chase points to a transfer partner, there’s no transferring them back! That’s why you should hold them in your Chase account until the point where you’re going to redeem them at a partner airline/hotel and only then make the transfer.

Learn how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

2. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

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The is our favorite business card and since it is a Chase card it should be among the first several cards you open (assuming you can qualify for a business credit card…more below).

Bonus Information:

Benefits include:

  • Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • For each $1 spent, earn 3 points for the first $150,000 (per year) when spent on travel and certain business categories (such as internet, cable & phone, shipping).
  • For all other purchases, you earn one UR point per $1 spent.
  • Can redeem for cash at 1 cent per point, travel through the Chase Travel portal for 1.25 cents per point, or you can transfer to a travel partner for potentially more significant value.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $95 Annual Fee.

5/24 Implications:

  • When you apply for the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, the 5/24 rule is used by Chase as an initial filter to decide if your application may be approved.
  • Interestingly, after you are approved for it, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card does not get included in your 5/24 number for future card applications.

A Note on Business Cards: You do need to have a registered business to apply for a business card but think broadly about the definition of business. This card is designed for small businesses, even sole proprietor firms like dog-walking, cleaning, ride-sharing, Etsy retail, and more. If you have a side hustle, you probably have a qualified business.

Learn how to apply for the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

3. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is an interesting card because the miles you earn either work like a simple fixed-value card (where you redeem the miles to offset travel expenses at 1 cent per point), but now they are also flexible miles that can be transferred (similar to Chase UR).

So, you could use the miles you earned to offset various travel expenses like car rental, transfers, and booking fees, or send them to a Capital One transfer partner like British Airways, Air Canada, or Singapore Airlines.

Bonus Information:

Benefits include:

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 Miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • 5 Venture Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars that are booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2 Venture Miles per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Up to $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Transfer miles to over a dozen airline transfer partners
  • $95 annual fee.

Learn how to apply for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

4. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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Similar to the Venture, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a valuable card because the miles have multiple redemption options: fixed-value where you redeem the miles to offset travel expenses at 1 cent per point and transfer to travel partners.

While the $395 annual fee looks significant, the $300 annual travel credit offsets the vast majority and if you consider the 10,000 anniversary bonus miles as $100 in additional travel, it entirely wipes out the annual fee.

This card is worth holding for the lounge access and is currently the card ChooseFI podcast host Brad Barrett uses as his primary card for exactly that reason.

Bonus Information:

Benefits include:

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn a $300 annual travel credit on bookings made through Capital One Travel (this helps significantly offset the annual fee!)
  • You receive 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel if used as a fixed-value option or potentially more if you transfer to a partner) each year and this starts on your first anniversary
  • Unlimited free access for the cardholder plus two guests to over 1,300 lounges (currently: Capital One Lounges, Priority Pass, and the Partner Lounge Network)
  • Up to $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2X miles on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $395 annual fee.

Learn how to apply for the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

5. Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

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This card’s bonus (and ongoing spend) describes itself as cash back, but a really interesting point to note is that these are actually Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, but they are not transferable to airline & hotel partners if this is the only Chase UR card you hold.

The critical piece of knowledge is you need to also hold one of the “premium” transferable cards (currently: Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card) and you can then combine your points from the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card into that premium card’s account for them ALL to become the more valuable transferable points.

Bonus Information:

  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.. Important Note: While Chase calls this bonus offer “$750 cash back,” you actually earn 75,000 Ultimate Rewards® (UR) points. If you have one of the “Premium” Chase UR cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred®, Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, or a Chase Sapphire Reserve®) then you can combine these points into that account and they all become the more valuable transferable UR points!
  • For every business purchase, earn 1.5% cash back. Unlimited.
  • $0 Annual Fee.

Learn how to apply for the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

6. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

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We’re massive fans of the Chase Ultimate Rewards® (UR) program, and this card gives business owners yet another way to accumulate a significant number of these lucrative points.

As noted below, this card is billed as a “cash” card but when you combine the UR points with one of the premium transferrable UR cards, they all become the much more valuable transferrable points. This is a really important piece of information that holds true for multiple “cash” back Chase UR cards.

Bonus Information:

  • Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening..  Important Note: While Chase calls this total bonus offer “$750 cash back,” you actually earn 75,000 Ultimate Rewards® (UR) points. If you have one of the “Premium” Chase UR cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, or a Chase Sapphire Reserve®) then you can combine these points into that account and they all become the more valuable transferable UR points!
  • Earn 5% cash back (each account anniversary) on purchases from office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services. Combined purchases on the first $25,000 per year.
  • Earn 2% cash back (each account anniversary) on purchases from gas stations and restaurants, up to the first $25,000 per year.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases. Unlimited.
  • $0 Annual Fee.

Learn how to apply for the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

7. Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

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If Southwest Airlines is an important carrier for your travel plans, the co-branded Southwest Airlines credit cards need to take a spot in your wallet.

This is especially so if you are trying to score the vaunted Companion Pass, which lets a family or friend fly free with you, regardless of whether you paid for the flight with points or cash. Even more amazing is that the Companion Pass stays in effect not just for the year you earn it but also through December 31st of the following year.

To earn the Companion Pass, you’ll need to earn 135,000 Rapid Rewards points in one calendar year. You can do this by flying 135,000 miles in a year, or the easier path would be to earn 135k Rapid Rewards points through one or more co-branded Southwest credit cards (business and personal options exist).

Bonus Information:

Benefits include:

  • Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • Receive 6,000 points every year on your cardmember anniversary
  • You get two EarlyBird Check-In® each year
  • $99 annual fee.

Learn how to apply for the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

8. American Express® Gold Card

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This card is reliably one of our favorite ways to earn American Express Membership Rewards® points and the current bonus is one of the best public offers we’ve seen, making it a solid time to open this card.

Bonus Information:

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • 4 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on dining
  • 4 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent at US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year)
  • 3 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on flights booked with airlines or at amextravel.com
  • $10 per month in statement credits toward dining purchases with select vendors. Enrollment required.
  • $250 annual fee (see Rates and Fees).
  • Terms Apply

Learn how to apply for the American Express® Gold Card

9. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

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This is a fantastic card that earns you Chase Ultimate Rewards® but it is the significant $550 annual fee that keeps this card out of the top spot of our rankings (may be swapped with the sister Sapphire card).

Note: You can apply for this card if you don’t currently have a Sapphire card (regular, Preferred, or Reserve) and haven’t received a new cardmember bonus on a Sapphire card in the past 48 months.

Bonus Information:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • An easy to use, annual, $300 travel credit
  • Priority Pass lounge access
  • 5X points on air travel and 10X on hotels and rental cars when purchased through Chase Travelafter the first $300 spent on travel purchases annually.
  • 3X on other travel and dining  and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • 50% more value when you redeem through Chase Travel
  • TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry statement credit, up to $100 once every four years
  • Comprehensive travel insurance coverage
  • $550 annual fee

Learn how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®

10. British Airways Visa Signature® Card

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We love British Airways Avios miles and have used them for “sweet spot” redemptions many times on American Airlines and similar options are available in the US on Alaska Airlines.

The British Airways award chart is based on distance, so for direct flights in the US on American or Alaska, you can often find incredibly valuable redemptions for far fewer miles than you’d spend if you had AA or Alaska miles! These same redemptions are available using BA Avios on their partners throughout the world, but interestingly the least useful redemption we’ve found is trying to fly to England from the US using Avios because of the “fuel surcharges” and taxes that get passed along.

The ‘sweet spot’ distance-based chart makes these miles you want in your toolkit!

Bonus Information:

Benefits include:

  • Limited time offer! Earn 85,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
  • Earn 3 Avios miles per $1 spent on eligible Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and LEVEL purchases
  • Earn 2 Avios miles per $1 spent on eligible hotel accommodations purchased directly with the hotel
  • Earn 1 Avios mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $95 annual fee

Learn how to apply for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card

To see the rates and fees for the American Express card(s) featured, please visit the following link: American Express® Gold Card: see Rates and Fees;

Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.
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