Best Credit Cards for Online Travel-Booking Websites
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If you love the freedom of searching for travel deals on websites that don’t limit you to a single airline or hotel chain, you might consider a card that gives you extra points for doing just that.
Of course, booking your own deals through aggregator sites (such as Expedia or Travelocity) can come with downsides, including often precluding you from earning the points or loyalty status that you'd get when you book directly through the hotel or airline. And third-party travel sites don’t always include all the options; Southwest, for example, doesn’t list its fares on online travel sites.
Still, these travel sites are popular for a reason: They make it easy to search for a wide array of deals, compare prices and build an itinerary that works for you.
If that's the way you like to plan your travel, take a look at these cards:
Top credit cards for online travel-booking websites
Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card
Our pick for: Hotels.com users
The Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card could reward you handsomely — as long as you’re willing to navigate its somewhat baffling rewards system. Here's how it works:
Credit card spending aside, members of the Hotels.com rewards program earn a "stamp" for each night they stay at a hotel booked through the website. Once you collect 10 stamps, you can earn a free night through Hotels.com. But with the Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card, you’ll also get a stamp every time you spend $500.
The value of your free night award will depend on how much each stamp cost you, but stamps you earn through credit card spending act like a $110 hotel night. So if you received all 10 stamps just by using this card, you’d get $110 to use toward your free night. (Mathematically, this means the card essentially offers a rewards rate of 2.2% back on your spending.)
The Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card also comes with Hotels.com Silver Status, which can give you free breakfast, spa vouchers, airport transfers and VIP access lines. It has a $0 annual fee and an introductory offer: Get 2 reward nights worth $250 total (max $125 per night)*, when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. *Excludes taxes and fees. If a night costs less than $125, you won’t get the difference.
Priceline VIP Rewards™ Visa® Card
Our pick for: Priceline users
With Priceline VIP Rewards™ Visa® Card, cardholders earn:
5 points per dollar spent on eligible Priceline.com purchases.
2 points per dollar spent on gas and restaurant purchases.
1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
The card has a modest sign-up bonus and an annual fee of $0. It also offers automatic VIP Gold status, which offers discounts and various hotel and car rental bookings.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Our pick for: General travelers
When you redeem your points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal, you're technically using the online travel agency Expedia, which powers the portal. That gives you plenty of options for travel bookings at a redemption rate of 1.25 cents per point.
Cardholders also earn 5 points per dollar on travel booked through Chase, 3 points per dollar on dining at restaurants, streaming services and online grocery purchases, 2 points per dollar on all other travel spending (including online travel websites) and restaurant purchases, and one point per dollar spent on everything else. The card also comes with an introductory offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. It has an annual fee of $95.
If you’re still not sure which card to get, check out our best travel credit cards to find the best match for you.
Information related to Priceline VIP Rewards™ Visa® Card, the Expedia®+ Card from Citi, Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card and the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of these cards.
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