Top 10 Best Credit Cards for Travel in 2019

Published by Darron Toy on

– The 10 best credit
cards for travel in 2019. I'm Chris, this is Yellow Productions. I do travel guides that are
fun, informative, entertaining and if you like to travel for free, well you are in the right place because I'll be counting down my 10 favorite cards, credit
cards to use for travel to redeem for free travel, free awards. The cards that are on this
list, they'll be on this list for one of three reasons or
maybe three of three reasons. It depends on the card,
but the first one could be that it earned a really good signup bonus. The second one is that it
can earn really good points or mile per spend and the third is that there could be some really
great ongoing benefits for having the card. At the end of the video, I'll count down some of the other cards
I have in my wallet that didn't make the
top 10 and I'll conclude with some bonus tips for helping
you meet your minimum spend so you can get those signup bonuses. The 10th best card for travel in 2019 is the CitiBank's Citi Costco card. This card is a cashback card. It earns a percentage cash back based upon how much you spend. This card is on here because
of the earn per spend. You get 4% cash back on
gas, 3% cash back on travel, 2% cash back on Costco and 1%
cash back on anything else. There's no annual fee. There's no signup bonus, but
if you're doing a lot of spend on Costco, travel and gas,
this card could be pretty good for you because you don't
have to worry about miles and points and where you can
redeem it and where you can't. CitiBank also offers a Sam's
Club version of the same card. It's just the Sam's Club variant. The ninth best card for travel in 2019 is the Fidelity Cash Back card. This is another cash back card. It's pretty simple. It earns 2% cash back on
everything everywhere. No categories, no dates,
no time and no gimmick. Just 2% cash back on
everything that you buy. I mention this one because
I think it's the simplest. There's a bunch of other
2% type cash back cards. You could take a look around
and see which one you like. The other one I'll mention
is the Citi Double Cash Card. It earns 1% cash when you buy something and then 1% cash back
when you pay off the bill, but it works off to be 2% either way. I prefer the Fidelity just for simpleness. These are the only two cash
back cards I have on this list. All the other cards that I'm
gonna talk about on this list earns some form of travel currency, being it membership
rewards, ultimate rewards, United Miles, Marriott
Points, things like that. So on with the list to number eight. The eighth best card for travel in 2019 is the American Express Gold Card. This is a new Gold Card and so we'll start with the signup bonus. It has a pretty good one. You can earn 25,000
membership rewards points by spending $2,000 in
the first three months. Plus they have another
bonus where if you spend at restaurants, you'll
get 20% back of your spend at restaurants in the first
three months of card ownership up to $100 of the statement credit. Some perks for just having the card, it comes with $100 airline credit. You pick your airline at
the beginning of the year, say like American Airlines, SouthWest and then if you buy incidental
things like baggage fees, seat upgrades, it'll credit $100 back to your card for those purchases. The American Express
Gold card also includes $120 dining credit that is
given to you $10 per month that can be used on
certain restaurants like Ruth's Chris, Shake Shack,
Cheesecake Factory or Grubhub. Basically you buy something
from one of those restaurants and up to $10 per month is
credited back to your statement. From an earning perspective
based on dollar spent, this card is best at restaurants,
supermarkets and travel. It earns 4X membership
rewards points on restaurants and supermarkets and then it
earns 3X points on travel. It earns 1X points on everything else. By the way, when I use
the term 4X, 3X, 1X, that's the typical frequent flyer speak for just how many points you get per dollar spent on the card and the points earned in
this card are membership rewards points, the typical
currency that's earned on most of the basic
American Express cards that you can redeem and transfer to a lot of different programs. Now just a caveat on the travel, you can get the 3X points
only if you book the travel directly through This card does have kind of a
middle of the pack annual fee. $250, but if you take
a look at those perks with the airline credit
and the dining credit, you pretty much make that back right away and the signup bonus, well then you're way above that annual fee. The seventh best card for travel in 2019 is the Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card. This card has a lot of great perks. Let's start with the bonus. It's a tiered bonus. You can earn up to 60,000
World of Hyatt points, 40,000 World of Hyatt
points after spending $3,000 in the first three months
and then if you spend $6,000 in the first six months, you can get another 20,000
World of Hyatt points. This card also has some
pretty good ongoing benefits of having the card if
you stay at Hyatt Hotels. The first one and a lot
of hotel credit cards are rolling out is a free
night at Hyatt Hotels every year that you have
the card and if you spend $15,000 or more on the card each year, then you actually get another free night at Hyatt Hotels so that's
a pretty good benefit of just having the card and putting a little bit of spend on it. Also it comes with five
elite nights that count to your Hyatt status and you
get two more elite nights to your Hyatt status per every $5,000 that you spend on the card
and just by having the card, you get a little bit of
elite status in Hyatt. It comes with Hyatt Discovery Status which is the basic status at Hyatt. The earn on this card, you get four points on every dollar you spend at Hyatt Hotels. You get two points in kind
of a bunch of odd categories like restaurants, cafes,
airline tickets, fitness clubs, gym memberships and then
$1 on everything else. The annual fee on this
card is $95 every year. That's a pretty low annual
fee for all those benefits, particularly if you're
regular at Hyatt Hotels which is one of my favorite
chains to redeem points for. The sixth best credit
card for travel in 2019 is the CapitalOne Spark
Miles for Business card. This is a new card that was just released at the end of 2018. It is a business card so
you have to own a business, be part of a business
to apply for this card, but why is it interesting? Well because it potentially offers a 200,000 point signup bonus for getting the card and meeting the minimum spend. Now this signup bonus
is another one of these two-tiered signup bonuses. You get 50,000 points if you
spend $5,000 in three months and then you'll get another 150,000 points if you spend $50,000 over six months. If you have a lot of
spend that you can put on the credit card, well then that will be worth about $2,000. That's what those points will be worth for if you redeem them for flights. Now this earns the CapitalOne's currency which transfers two CapitalOne point to 1.5 miles in a variety
of different programs which include 11 different airlines. None of the big US carriers,
but there is a carrier in Star Alliance, OneWorld and SkyTeam. So you could transfer there to book with most of your
favorite airline carriers. Then from an earn perspective, this card earns two points for
every dollar that you spend. No categories, none of that stuff. The annual fee is $0 the
first year you have the card and then it's $95 every year after. The fifth best card for travel in 2019 is the Chase Ink Business Preferred. This is another business card. This is with Chase. It earns points in my
favorite travel currency, Chase Ultimate Rewards points. We'll talk more about Chase
Ultimate Rewards points later when I get to number one and two cards, but Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers to what I consider to be the
most widest variety of partners including Hyatt Hotels, United Airlines, at least, the places that I like to go and the things I like to travel a lot in so I find Travel Rewards
to be the most flexible and valuable currency. The Chase Ink Business Preferred card earns a pretty good signup bonus. 80,000 points if you spend
$5,000 in the first three months. From an earn perspective, it
earns three points per dollar spent on travel, internet, phone and an interesting category,
social media advertising. If you do a lot of advertising
on places like YouTube or Facebook or things
like that, you could earn a lot of points on this card. There really aren't any ongoing bonuses for having this card and
the annual fee is $95. I'll point out this one
is also business card so you have to have a business to apply for it, but you know what? If you have a blog or a
YouTube channel or anything that earns a little bit of revenue, well you might consider that a business for when you apply for these cards. The fourth best card for travel in 2019 and this one's a mouthful so I'm just going to read
it so I get it right. It's the Citi Business AA Advantage Platinum Select World MasterCard. Wow, that is a mouthful. American Airlines and CitiBank have a ton of different American Airlines cards so it's this particular one. It's also new for this year. It has quite a generous signup bonus. It has 70,000 American Airlines miles after spending $4,000 within the first four months of account opening. Some of the benefits for this card include a free check bag if you're
flying on American Airlines and a free companion ticket if you spend more than $30,000. It also comes with no
foreign transaction fees and by the way, most of
the cards on this list that have an annual fee come with no foreign transaction fees so I'm actually not
mentioning it on every card because it's actually
such a common benefit. If you travel a lot and
you don't have at least one card with no foreign transaction fees, you should make sure you have
at least one in your wallet for when you travel internationally. You earn two miles per dollar spent on American Airlines
flights, telecommunications, cable and satellite providers, rental cars and at gas stations. The annual fee is $99. It's waived the first
year you have the card. The third best card for travel in 2019 is the Platinum card by American Express. This card comes in a lot
of different variants. It comes in a lot of different countries, so if you're not a US listener,
like you're in Canada, the UK, Australia, chances are, you can still get this card. Though the benefits might be a little bit different
in your own country, the reason you get this
card is for the benefits. The benefits are really
good, but it also has a pretty good signup bonus too so let's start with the signup bonus. The signup bonus is 60,000
membership rewards points after spending $5,000 in
the first three months. Membership rewards points transfer to 17 different transfer partners. I talked about this
earlier about the value of having a flexible currency. It's one thing to have points
in United or American Airlines and you have to fly with that
airline or that alliance, but it's so much better
to have your currency, your travel currency or your points in something that transfers
to a lot of different partners so when you're going to
some place like Fiji, you can find that you can transfer points into the alliance that you
want to redeem flights for. I won't read the whole list of 17. I'll just put them right here so you can see what those
17 transfer partners are. And in addition to airlines, it also has three hotel transfer partners. It'll transfer to choice hotels, Hilton hotels and Starwood
hotels, but I will point out that I think the airline transfers for membership rewards are a better value. With earn perspective, the
platinum card earns 5X points on air travel and prepaid hotels booked through American Express's website. One point on everything else. Okay but now let's talk
about the benefits. The benefits are really amazing. Starts with a $200 airline
credit, similar to the American Express Gold card
that I mentioned earlier. The way this works, you pick your airline, Southwest, American, United, whatever, and then your incidental expenses get credited back via American Express up to $200 per calendar year. It also comes with a credit for Uber. It's a $200 annual credit for Uber and that's parceled out per month. So you get $15 per month to basically use on Uber rides for free. You have to use it or lose
it, but you can also use it on UberEats if you're
not a big Uber rider to get Uber for free. It comes with a Global Entry credit, $100 that you could use for Global Entry membership
or TSA Pre-check. Some of the other cards on this list have that too that I didn't mention. A new benefit that they've added is $100 annual credit with Saks Fifth Avenue. You can buy free stuff
on Saks Fifth Avenue on their website or on their stores. It comes with a bunch of
different status perks like Hilton Gold, Hertz, Avis,
national rental car perks so you get better
treatment at those places, but my favorite perk is the lounge access and you get this in two different things. One, it comes with priority pass. This is a value of $99 per year and it gives you basically access into the priority pass network of lounges which is thousands of
lounges around the world, but my favorite favorite perk is the Centurion Lounge access. American Express runs its
own collection of lounges at a number of airports. They're called the Centurion Lounge. The Centurion Lounges are great. By having this card, you have free access into the Centurion Lounges where you get lots of really
great food, places to rest and if you're flying
domestically in the US, I go through San Francisco a lot. Getting my meal at the Centurion Lounge, coming and going, I look at that as about a $20 value each way
so that can really add up. Now this card does have a big annual fee. It's $550 a year is the annual
fee, but if you take a look at the Uber credit, the travel credit, the earn, the lounge credit,
it can really be worth it and American Express purchase
protection is amazing. If you buy something on this
card and you basically break it in the first months, American Express will replace it for free. My wife, OCGirl, she
actually dropped her iPhone after having it for just a few weeks and we submitted a claim and
American Express credited us back the entire purchase
price for the iPhone so we could buy a new one
after we broke that one. The second best card for travel in 2019 is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. This is number two, but it's
kind of tied with number one. Both these cards kind of go together. It depends how much you spend on a card, but I consider the Chase
Sapphire Preferred card to be the best all-around card if you're just getting
started in this whole game of miles and points for travel and if you're gonna get one card, you don't spend a lot yet, this is probably the
one card you should get. It has all around a good signup bonus, all around good spend and all
around pretty good benefits with not too high of an annual fee. So first let's talk
about the signup bonus. You get 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points for spending $4,000 in
the first three months of card ownership and if
you add an authorized user, you can get another 5,000
Ultimate Rewards points. The annual fee is waived on
this card for the first year. It's $95 every year after. The earning spend, you
earn two points per dollar on travel and restaurants,
one point everywhere else. Now this is earned in the
Ultimate Rewards currency that transfers to a lot
of great travel partners including Hyatt Hotels,
one of my favorite hotels, which is not a transfer partner for American Express
that I mentioned earlier. That's one reason why I like these. I earn a lot of my Ultimate Rewards points ultimately to redeem at Hyatt Hotels. The number one best
card for travel in 2019. It's another Chase
Sapphire card, but this is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. This is a card they've introduced recently in the last two years. This is Chase's premium card. It does have a pretty high annual fee, but it can earn more points
and so if you spend a lot, then you can earn even more on this card. But I should mention you can only have one of these Chase Sapphire cards. You can't hold both of them currently. If you currently have both, you can, but Chase is not allowing you to sign up for one and the other. You can switch between the two products, but you can't get both
as new card holders. The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a similar signup
bonus to the previous one. 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points for spend in the first three
months of card ownership. Now where this one differentiates itself, the annual fee is higher. It's $450 every year, but it comes with a $300 travel credit and
they're very generous with the categories they consider travel. There's a lot of different
things they consider travel and it's much like that American Express credit I talked about. Basically you buy something
they consider travel and they rebate it right back to you. It also comes with a $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre-check credit, pretty
similar to some other cards I mentioned before and it comes
with that same priority pass membership that I talked
about in American Express except the Chase version
has unlimited guests. So if you have a big family,
you can bring them all into the lounge with you as you go in. So the other big differentiation
between this card and the Preferred card is the earn. The Preferred card earns 2X points on travel and restaurants. This card earns 3X points
on travel and restaurants. So three points for every dollar spend. So if you spend more than
$12,000 a year on travel and restaurants, travel
being a really broad area, then you'll definitely
make your money back on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. A few honorable mentions. There's a whole bunch of other cards that are like these
rotating category cards. Chase Freedom is an
example of it that earns like 5X points in certain categories. Those can be pretty good, but they're usually limited circumstances so I didn't include any of those rotating category cards in this list. You know, I also have other cards in my wallet not on this list like the United Card, the Marriott Card. I keep them for some of the benefits. That's probably for
another video and finally, if you're struggling with this. Chris, the minimum spend
on these cards is huge, well I have a tip for you. There's this new service called Platiq. It's plastic with a Q and it's basically a website that allows you
to use your credit card to pay for things that you ordinarily couldn't use a credit card for. So for example, you have a mortgage, you have a Home Owner's Associate, you have utility bills that only accept like a check for payment,
well you can use Platiq, give them your credit card and
they will send them a check. It's a great way to
meet your minimum spend with those bills that you already pay. If you want to check out Platiq, I have a link in the description below. You'll get 500 fee-free
dollars for using it. I'll get a few fee-free dollars
if you use that link too which I will definitely
appreciate, but check out Plastiq to help you
meet that minimum spend. Well I hope you enjoyed this video. If you like this video,
you might also enjoy watching this video which has
a whole bunch more content and tips about using
credit cards to help you maximize your travel rewards. It's basically the advanced
companion to this video. So I won't say goodbye because I'll see you right over there.


Yellow Productions · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Want to learn more about using credit cards for free travel? Watch my video with more strategies for free and cheap travel in this video:

prudence rosaldo · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Hi Chris, love your highly informative videos no wander you have 30M+ view with just 147k+ subscriptions. Your my newest and best inspiration!

Question on the Chase Sapphire card, how do you acquire the benefit of $300 annual credit? If I remember the top vendors was travel, hotels, motels (airbnb's) along with many more? Just wandering if you would be able to use it right away or? One more "?" but need to go back to description haha! Be back….

Could you expound on the "$100 global entry credit, …..?" This would be annual or daily?

BrightMan Donald · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Can I talk to you privately?, If yes please drop your contact. Thanks.

Yuri Germain · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Great info Chris!!!!!

Brice Kennedy · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Spend is a verb.

K Gifford · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Like this video? I LOVED this video! Saved, liked, subscribed. Thx for the great tips

Nando · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Do you travel alone?

frank castle · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Capital one venture. Great card. Great perks

Hector Lopez · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Clearly this guy is sponsored by Chase! Every Travel Hacker knows Amex platinum and Gold give you far better perks. Funny how he left out 50% of the perks they offer (Global Entry for all free authorized users, personal concierge, $100 annual Saks fifth avenue credit, Delta Sky club access, and many more)

Harrison woody · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

I'm looking for a card that I can use for the benefit of traveling and so far I'm leaning to Costco because it sounds more versatile and i dont want to pay a hefty annual fee.. what would you recommend for someone that only does minimal traveling through preferred airline such as United Airlines to California and Las Vegas. I have 2 trips coming up and that's why I ask. I'd also use the card for ONLY small things like gas or maybe a restaurant meal. I'd like to avoid racking up a $5,000 bill within 3 months AND I want to sway away from a hefty interest rate. Thoughts?

Giovanni Ramirez · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

My dad is retiring, he did well in life and now wants to travel, thanks for the upload.

Mr. Born Again · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Hey I just subscribed to your channel I like your videos but I have a question can you tell me about a global international debit card you can use it for traveling but what I need it for is to purchase items international on line I have a (green dot ) debit VISA card which you can only purchase items here in the USA I try purchasing some clothes and shoes on line out off state keep saying TRANSACTION DECLINED so I call and they told me this card is USA only purchase PLEASE HELP THANKS

zackychan finacial · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Why wasn't discover mentioned. Revolving 5% and no fee.

cjhan47 · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

I would have included the Amex Ascend and Aspire cards for people who travel but don't fly often. They give really good hotel benefits for things you spend on every day. Hilton hotels get 12x and 14x points. Supermarkets, Gas and Resturants, get you 7X and 6x points and 3x on everything else, not to mention gold and diamond status as well as priority pass access. The signup bonus for both cards is pretty good as well with relatively low spends.

Justin Herrera · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Amazing, THANKS

Patricia Thomsen · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

So you think the chase reserve is the best? I just got it

Jonathan Vanboskerck · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

The Barclay Arrival Plus should be on the list. Also, you can only use a MasterCard at Plasriq to pay your mortgage.

Eddie · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

This guy should teach my kids, great personality.

RealLife Money - Weekly Financial Videos · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Do you think they will ever realize they are giving too much away in points and rewards? 😅

Bob Bridges · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Great review. I learned quite a bit about some of the cards I don't have. However, I did notice that you neglected one big perk on the Amex Platinum card. You mentioned the lounge access as one of the biggest perks with Priority Pass and the Centurion Lounges, but you also forgot to mention the Delta SkyClub access. I live in Atlanta, so a big Delta market, and this is my go to travel card and that is one of the reasons I have it.

Peter Gabriel · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Stop trying to be fun. It's annoying.

robert robinson · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Mastercard black and gold. Why didn’t you include them.

jako997 · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

I'm surprised the capital one venture credit card wasnt on here. Is that card not good or what? I saw what they offered and I thought it was cool but idk

Joe Brown · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Why do you have 10+ cards

lohengrinknight · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Hi. I have a question. How can I get another 5000 points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred once I add an authorized user? How does that work? Will I get the 5k points just by adding this other user or will I get the points once the user spends a certain amount of money with the card? Thanks.

Yahya Alrobaie · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Stop looking at yourself 🤦‍♂️

DYLAN AMBLE · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

keep the fire content up! sub + like 😁

Ku`i · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Aloha, great info!  Mahalo.

Jason Tran · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Debit? Using debit only is the worst idea! Using cash-back credit cards responsively is king! Interestingly, most of my spending is on the first two cards in this video. Costco Citi VISA and Fidelity VISA are the best cash-back cards. My annual cash-back is over $2000. 4% gas, 3% restaurant and 2% Costco purchase + 2% Costco Membership and 2% for every dollar on everything else with Fidelity VISA. No annual fees. My balance is always zero. Spend but paid it off! Pretty straight forward. Build you credit at the same time.

John Santiago · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Debt is dumb, cash is king. Credit cards are evil.

zlistcelebrity · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Random piece of info:

If you already have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you must first quality for a $10,000 limit with it before they will approve you for the Reserve (;

Jovonne Alexander · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Jesus Christ he's doing this one take per card. Not blinking once.


Darryl Motley · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm


sgtginga · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

The American Express cards yes have good rewards.

But are not accepted everywhere. And when you are traveling. Basically don't work anywhere

TheRubberDonut · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Good video and very helpful information. Most inaccuracies have been covered already in the comments here, but one more I'd like to add to clarify: you said with the Amex Gold you can only earn 3x points when booking directly with airlines in Amex Travel. This is untrue. You can earn 3x points booking airfare directly with airlines through their websites, OR booking airfare within the Amex Travel web portal.

M4ST3R-OWNER · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

I got my second chase card 11/2018. How long do I need to wait before I can apply for another card? Looking to get Discover-It next. Just looking for another category card. Thanks!

evanarafat1 · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Great video but wanted to let you know the CSR priority pass no longer allows unlimited guests. They cut it down to only 2 additional guest 🙁

Shawn Afshar · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Great video love how you included the list in the text in the description really easy too look at it and read 👍

Jeff Collins · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm


Scottman895 Travel · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Thank you for the video! I'll keep these in mind in case I want to apply for another card. As I am a frequent flier of Delta Air Lines, how familiar are you with the Delta SkyMiles American Express card (I can't recall what the actual name is)? I have received offers several times in the past few years to apply for it, but I haven't decided yet if I want to apply for it.

Red Afro · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

What card would you recommend for someone "bouncing back" from ID Theft, to earn primarily for travel? thx

wesker562 · July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Hello Cris,
It's been an awesome 2018. I'm a happy subscriber! Great content all the time👍. Looking forward on your future 2019 videos. Greetings from the Felix Family 👋

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