Picture yourself walking across a white sand beach in the Cook Islands. Feel your feet sinking into the pristine sugary sand. Listen to the turquoise ocean lapping against the shoreline. Pretty incredible daydream, huh? What could possibly make that pristine moment better? How could you ever top these levels of bliss?
How about making it a reality for very little or even no money? Nada. Niente. Sounds absurd, right? But that wild fantasy is possible, thanks to credits cards that target worldwide wanderers with perks like points, miles, and rewards.
To determine the best cards for anyone keen to break into the world of travel hacking (getting a lot of points in a hurry while avoiding fees and interest), we reached out to icons in the travel credit card game. People who know their stuff and have the passport stamps to prove it. Read on to discover what travel stars like Johnny Jet, Bryce Conway, Nomadic Matt, and Scott Keyes of Scott’s Cheap Flights call best cards in the game. Because let’s be real: you’re probably charging things already, why not get rewarded for it?
Platinum by American Express
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Push yourself to adventure — hike, climb, paddle, crawl, swim, run, leap toward it —just always remember, at the end, take a moment to enjoy the view. . . . Photo of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies by @vagabondhearts . . . . . #mountrobson #mountrobsonprovincialpark #canadianrockies #britishcolumbia #visitcanada #travel #adventure #adventurer #adventurephotography #hiking #climbing
Though the Platinum card from Amex has a $550 annual fee, Bryce Conway, the founder of website 10X Travel and friend of Uproxx, still feels like it’s one of the best out there. If cardholders spend $5,000 in the first three months, they earn 60,000 points. Plus users earn five points on flights booked through the card or directly from an airline, five points on prepaid hotels booked through the card, and one point on every other eligible purchase.
A long-time staple in the points/miles game, this card comes with some great perks, like a $20 monthly Uber credit, an annual $200 airline incident credit, and access to a network of exclusive travel lounges. In fact, it buys you entry to 1,100 lounges in over 500 airports in 120 countries — a larger network than any other card on the market.