4 Cards to Earn Miles Toward that 2021 Vacation

The card’s $95 annual fee also gets you a long list of travel protections that include trip cancellation/interruption insurance, primary rental car insurance, …

You could save over $1,000 with just one of these cards.

After a year filled with lockdowns and financial stress, 2020 has most of us itching to fly away from it all — and do it on a budget.

Luckily, airlines and airports have implemented a number of measures to make air travel safer in the age of COVID-19. American Airlines, United, JetBlue, Lufthansa, British Airways, and Hawaiian recently announced plans to offer pre-flight COVID-19 tests, and Tampa International Airport recently became the first airport to offer COVID-19 testing to all passengers.

As you open up to the idea of flying again, it’s worth saving travel rewards that can help you cover the cost. Here are four of the best travel credit cards that can help you earn up to $1,000 or more in travel rewards. You can fast-track that lavish 2021 vacation and stay under budget.

For a big sign-up bonus and trip insurance: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is widely recognized as a great starter card for anyone who wants to accumulate travel rewards. Now, a temporarily increased sign-up bonus has sweetened the pot: You’ll get 80,000 points if you spend $4,000 in three months. This is worth at least $1,000 in travel spending, making it one of the most lucrative cards out there right now.

You’ll earn double points on travel and dining. The card’s $95 annual fee also gets you a long list of travel protections that include trip cancellation/interruption insurance, primary rental car insurance, and baggage delay insurance.

For a versatile, everyday travel card: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

If you prefer a flat-rate card that earns big on all your spending, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a great choice. You’ll get 2 miles on all your purchases, regardless of spending category. This card has also temporarily increased its sign-up bonus. You’ll earn 100,000 bonus miles if you can spend $20,000 in the first year. Even if you can’t, you can still earn 50,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first three months.

The miles you earn with this card are extremely flexible. They aren’t worth quite as much as Chase Ultimate Rewards, but you can use Venture miles to “erase” any purchase that codes as travel at a rate of $0.01 per point. Travel can cover everything from airfare and hotels to your Airbnb, train ticket, or amusement park tickets. This makes your miles very easy to use, and the 100,000-point welcome bonus worth $1,000 in travel spending — which more than covers the $95 annual fee.

For airport lounge access and travel credits: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the older sibling of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This premium credit card is packed with perks and benefits that make travel cheaper, easier, and more luxurious. The sign-up bonus of 50,000 points if you spend $4,000 in three months is worth at least $750 in travel spending. You’ll also earn 3 points per $1 you spend on travel and dining.

It’s the bells and whistles that really make this card stand out. It comes with an annual travel credit of $300, complimentary airport lounge access, up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash (a food delivery app) purchases, and some of the best travel insurance a credit card can offer. All of this can easily offset the $550 annual fee if you travel often.

For airline miles: Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

If you fly regularly with American Airlines, check out the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. Right off the bat, you’ll earn 50,000 AAdvantage miles if you spend $2,500 in the first three months. You’ll also get 2 miles per $1 spent on restaurants, gas, and American Airlines. All in all, this is one of the best airline credit cards out there.

When you fly American Airlines, this card also gets you your first checked bag free on domestic itineraries, preferred boarding, and in-flight discounts. These benefits can easily offset the card’s $99 annual fee, which is waived for the first year.