The best travel credit card to start with for beginners

Caroline Cunningham

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Okay, you get it - travel credit cards have so many perks, but you don’t know which credit card to get or how to know if it’s worth it. I was the same as a beginner (not only to travel hacking but credit cards in general), and so I started with a travel credit card that has a low annual fee (therefore low risk on my part) but still gets amazing points and perks.

The best travel credit card to start with is definitely the Chase Sapphire Preferred which is 100% worth it. 

Both NerdWallet and The Points Guy rated it highly in their list of best travel credit cards of 2021.

It’s annual fee is only $95, compared to other highly rated cards that are several hundred dollars.

But for a cheaper card, it also has a huge sign-up bonus which is receiving 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. 

Now that might sound like a lot, but if you’re strategic and use this card for all of your bills you’re already paying, or get it right before a big purchase you have to make anyways, then boom! you get $750 worth of Chase Rewards back which can be used towards flights and more. 

I did exactly this when I signed up for the card and used my points for free flights - in fact I flew from the Philippines to Washington D.C. for free which should have been a hefty ticket.

But beyond the sign-up bonus, it’s also great to get points back in general. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card you get 2 points back per dollar when spent on dining and travel - so like flights, gas, hotels, rental car, etc. On regular purchases, you get 1 point back per dollar. 

Assuming you’re a traveler, these points are extra valuable to you because they’re worth 25% more when redeemed towards travel.

Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Oh, also there’s no foreign transaction fee with this card.

Why I think the Chase Sapphire Preferred travel credit card is worth it

To me, this card is a no brainer! Especially if you’re a budget traveler or beginner to travel credit cards.

In summary...

  • It’s cheap so low risk
  • It has an AMAZING sign-up bonus worth $750
  • It gets you 2x the points back on any dining or travel-related purchase
  • And points are 25% more valuable when redeemed for travel

Trust me, when I was a beginner to travel credit cards and travel hacking, I was confused too. But this card is easy, straightforward, and really does get you a lot of rewards back to redeem towards travel. It’s 100% worth it and perfect for beginners.

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My aim is to inspire adventure and empower people with the tools to travel. You can expect articles about solo female travel, budget travel tips, destination guides, and authentic storytelling.

Fairfax, VA
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