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Pack The Right Credit Card For Vacation

The best credit cards offer great rewards with little or no annual fee.Choosing an appropriate credit card can make your summer trip a little cheaper and let you earn points toward your next vacation.

You should look for the right fit for you based on where and how often you travel and how you plan to get there.

Here are some of the best and most popular cards. Most have an annual fee, although they’re waived the first year.

PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express Card

This credit card might be the best frequent flyer card with no annual fee. It’s actually better than many other cards that charge a high annual fee.

You earn five points for every dollar you spend at airlines, one point everywhere else. You also earn 20,000 bonus points — worth $250 — if you spend just $650 in the first three months.

If you spend $15,000 on the card each year, you get free Lounge Club membership, which gives you access to airport lounges throughout the world.

You also have access to a 24/7 concierge service. There’s even roadside assistance.

The card also carries a low APR of 9.99% through June 13, 2014.

In addition to no annual fee, there are no foreign transaction fees.

To get this card, you must be a member of PenFed (

Membership is free to active and retired members of the armed services and their families as well as employees of other government agencies and military bases. Members of the VFW and employees or volunteers of the American Red Cross also qualify.

If you’re not a member of any of these groups, you can also join if you register with either one of two charities that support the military and their families: the National Military Family Association, which costs $20 to join, or the Voices for America’s Troops, which costs $15.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the upscale version of the Chase Sapphire Card (

The basic rewards package is the same for both cards: two points per dollar on airfare booked on Chase’s travel site, one point per dollar on all other purchases.

But you get additional bonuses with Sapphire Preferred. You earn 40,000 bonus points, equal to $400 in rewards, if you spend or transfer balances totaling $3,000 or more in the first 90 days.

You get 20% off airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem your points through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards.

You also earn a 7% annual points dividend. For example, if you earned 10,000 points during the year, you get an additional 700 points at the end of the year.

Plus, if you use the card outside the country, there are no foreign transaction fees.

There’s a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year.

The regular Chase Sapphire card has no annual fee but doesn’t carry many of the perks that come with the Preferred card.

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

You earn double miles with this card. You also earn 10,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 on the card within your first three months of membership.

Miles don’t expire and are good on any airline, with no blackout dates. There’s no limit on how many miles you can earn. You can also redeem your miles for cash, gift cards and merchandise.

The APR is a moderate 13.9% if you have good to excellent credit, and there are no balance transfer fees. Like all Capital One cards, there are also no foreign transaction fees.

There’s a $59 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year.

The VentureOne Rewards Card has no annual fee, but you only earn 1.25 miles per dollar.

Citi Platinum Select/AAdvantage Card

You earn 30,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 on the card in the first three months with the AAdvantage Card ( That’s enough for a free flight in the U.S., Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean.

You earn double miles on American Airlines purchases, one mile per dollar on everything else. You also earn a 10% bonus on the miles you redeem each year, up to 10,000 miles each year.

The $95 annual fee is somewhat steep, but it’s waived the first year.

If you fly frequently on American or spend a lot on the card, the annual fee will pay for itself.

Unlike the other cards mentioned here, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Compare these cards with the best credit card offers in our database.

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