The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

21 Best Vacation Credit Cards in 2022

Best Vacation Credit Cards

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer

Written by: Brittney Mayer

Brittney Mayer

Brittney is a Credit Strategist and Finance Expert who has spent years honing her knowledge of the credit industry both personally and professionally. Brittney applies her more than a decade of research experience to crafting in-depth consumer guides designed to help CardRates readers make better, more informed financial decisions.

Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Advertiser Disclosure

As one workday blends into the next, it can become hard not to feel sometimes as though your life has become a mediocre remake of the movie Groundhog Day — and you’re Bill Murray.

It’s at this point that you know it’s time to take a vacation. But whether you make a solo getaway or take the whole crew, vacations are budget busters at the best of times.

That’s where a little smart credit card use can come in remarkably handy. By using the right credit cards for your vacation expenses, you can earn your way to free flights and hotel stays, as well as save on everything from gas to theme park tickets. Read on for our picks for some of the best vacation credit cards available today, including cards for flexible travel, 0% APR, gas, hotels, airlines, amusement parks, and cruises.

Flexible Travel | 0% APR | Gas | Hotels | Airlines | Amusement Parks | Cruises

Best Vacation Credit Cards for Flexible Travel

When it comes to travel rewards credit cards, the more flexible your rewards are, the more value they often carry. And not just monetary value. If you want to take a last-minute trip, having a good stash of flexible travel points can be infinitely more valuable than branded miles with no availability.

To select a credit card with flexible travel rewards, consider how you’re most likely to use them. Some cards operate on simple credit redemptions, while others will allow you to transfer points to partner loyalty programs for greater value.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good
Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 14.99% to 25.99% Standard Variable Purchase APR will apply.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
$395
Excellent

While nearly priceless in a pinch, flexible travel rewards are also great for year-round earning, too. If you use your favorite travel rewards credit card for your everyday expenses, you could wind up with a free vacation with some strategic redemption.

Best Vacation Credit Cards with 0% APR

Between signup bonuses and accelerated category spending, it can be fairly easy to earn enough credit card rewards to take a big chunk out of your vacation expenses — but what’s left can still be a hefty amount.

If you think you’ll need a little time to pay off your vacation, then a credit card with an introductory 0% APR offer may be the solution. With one of the better offers, you can have 12 months or more interest-free to pay down your purchases, making one less thing on your mind during your vacation.

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • Start off strong with 0% Intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers. A variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99% on balance transfers and purchases after the introductory period ends.
  • Lower your interest rate by 2% each year. Automatically be considered for an APR reduction when you pay on time, and spend at least $1000 on your card by your next account anniversary.
  • Raise your credit limit. Get an automatic, one-time review for a higher credit limit when you pay on time, and spend $500 in your first six months.
  • All for no annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Slate Edge℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 18 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 18 months
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 17.99%-27.99% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
17.99% - 27.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Make sure you read the terms of your introductory offer carefully and understand the limitations. Some offers only apply to new purchases, while others may also include balance transfers. Credit card cash advances are always exempt from 0% APR offers, so think twice before making a withdrawal.

Best Vacation Credit Cards for Gas Rewards

If ever there were a quintessential family vacation, the summer road trip is likely it — or was, until sky-high gas prices made it a lot more expensive to pack up the car and hit the road.

Thankfully, a number of quality rewards credit cards offer bonus rewards for gas station purchases, making it more affordable to grab the family and take off on the Great American Road Trip.

Discover it® chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • Every $1 you earn in cash back is $1 you can redeem.
  • Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 14.99% to 25.99% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

8. Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card

This card is currently not available.

Gas Rebate Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Blue Cash Preferred® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn $400 back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year on purchases (then 1%). Also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • Earn 3% cash back on transit, including U.S. gas stations, taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • $120 Equinox Credit - Use your Blue Cash Preferred Card to pay for Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com and receive $10 in monthly statement credits. Enrollment required.
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR applies
  • $95 Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% Variable
$95
Excellent Credit

Although the card comes with an annual fee, spending more than $31 a week on groceries will earn enough rewards to more than make up for the fee.

Best Vacation Credit Cards for Hotel Rewards

As our home away from home, the hotel we stay at can have a big impact on how much we enjoy our vacation — which is likely why many travelers have at least one hotel brand they prefer over the alternatives.

For those who frequently stay with one hotel chain, co-branded hotel rewards credit cards can offer free nights, as well as perks like elite status and room upgrades.

10. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card is the new mid-tier card that resulted from the rebranding of the Marriott and Starwood programs after their merger. The card offers six points per dollar on Marriott purchase and two points on everything else.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card

  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar spent at eligible Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • Earn 2X on all other purchases
  • Pay $95 annual fee

Cardholders receive automatic Silver Elite Status with Marriott Bonvoy and can earn Gold Status by spending $35,000 on purchases each account year. Users can also enjoy free premium in-room wifi and an annual free night award after the account anniversary.

(Non-Monetized. The information related to Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card was collected by CardRates.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this product. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. CardRates.com does not receive commission for this product/card.)

11. IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers all the usual perks of a midtier co-branded hotel card, including a high rewards rate for branded purchases and complimentary Platinum Elite status.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

  • Earn 10X points per $1 on IHG® hotel purchases made directly with IHG®
  • Earn 2X points per $1 on gas, groceries, and dining
  • Pay a $89 annual fee

This card also offers a number of other money-saving perks, like a free anniversary night each cardmember year and your fourth reward night free on rewards point stays of four nights or more.

(Non-Monetized. The information related to IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card was collected by CardRates.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this product. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. CardRates.com does not receive commission for this product/card.)

12. Hilton Honors Ascend Card

The Hilton Honors Ascend Card has three bonus tiers, offering 12X Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points per dollar on Hilton Portfolio purchases, as well as 6X points per dollar at US restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets. Plus, get 3X points per dollar on all other purchases.

Hilton Honors Ascend Card

  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points per $1 for Hilton purchases
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points for purchases at US restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations
  • Pay $95 annual fee

The benefits of the Hilton Honors Ascend Card also extend past its purchase rewards, with perks that include Hilton Gold status, 10 Priority Pass Select passes, and a weekend night award for spending at least $15,000 on your card in a calendar year.

Best Vacation Credit Cards for Airline Rewards

Although credit cards that earn flexible rewards points can be more versatile, co-branded airline credit cards can be a good way to earn piles of miles thanks to typically generous signup bonuses and decent purchase rewards.

Co-branded airline credit cards also tend to come with additional perks, including preferred boarding and free checked bags, making them a tempting choice for anyone with a favorite airline brand.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $3,500 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.49% - 26.49% (Variable)
$99, waived for first 12 months
Excellent, Good

Additional Disclosure: (The information related to Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® has been collected by CardRates.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.)

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® not only provides bonus AAdvantage® miles per dollar for American Airlines purchases, but it provides the same bonus for restaurant and gas station purchases, as well.

In addition to AAdvantage® miles, cardholders can also receive perks like a free checked bag, priority boarding, and a discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases.

14. Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express gives users a way to earn SkyMiles® without leaving the ground, offering 2X miles per dollar on eligible Delta purchases, including flights, Sky Club® membership passes, and in-flight purchases.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 2X miles per dollar spent with Delta, 1X miles per dollar on all other purchases
  • Get your first checked bag free on Delta flights
  • Pay $0 annual fee the first year, $95 each year after

The card also offers perks beyond purchase rewards, offering a free checked bag on round-trip Delta flights, priority boarding, and in-flight discounts.

15. United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

The United MileagePlus® Explorer Card earns bonus miles for United purchases, as well as offering perks like a free checked bag and priority boarding.

United MileagePlus Explorer Card

  • Earn 2X miles per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased from United, 1X on all other purchases
  • Get your first checked bag free on United-operated flights
  • Pay no annual fee the first year, then $95

The United MileagePlus® Explorer Card also comes with two United Club passes each year, allowing access to the exclusive United Club airport lounges.

(Non-Monetized. The information related to United MileagePlus® Explorer Card was collected by CardRates.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this product. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. CardRates.com does not receive commission for this product/card.)

Best Vacation Credit Cards for Amusement Park Rewards

While there may be some travelers who are content to simply lounge poolside for the length of their trip, most of us like a little more activity during our vacations. And what better place to find a little vacation amusement than, say, an amusement park?

If you love a specific park, you can often find a credit card dedicated just to them, but your better pick may be a card that offers rewards on a wider range of entertainment options.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 17.99% - 27.99% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
17.99% - 27.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

This card offers 3% cash back on both dining and entertainment, with the latter category including amusement parks and theme parks as well as other popular vacation activities.

17. Marvel Mastercard®

The Marvel Mastercard® may be designed for Marvel lovers, but nearly anyone can benefit from its 3% cash back category, which includes entertainment purchases like amusement park purchases, museum visits, and movie theater tickets.

 Marvel Mastercard®

  • Earn 3% cash back on dining, select entertainment, and eligible Marvel merchandise purchases
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

Beyond the card’s inclusive purchase rewards, the Marvel Mastercard® also offers a host of perks for the Marvel devotee, including discounts and free shipping on MarvelShop.com purchases, as well as special discounts on Marvel Unlimited and Marvel digital comics.

18. Disney® Premier Visa® Card

While Chase offers two Disney co-branded cards, the Disney® Premier Visa® Card definitely provides the better rewards rate, providing 2% in Disney Rewards Dollars at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and most Disney locations, as well as unlimited 1% back on all other purchases.

Disney® Visa® Card

  • Earn 2% back in Disney Rewards Dollars for card purchases in select categories
  • Save 10% on select Disney and Star Wars purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

In addition to its purchase rewards, the Disney® Premier Visa® Card offers exclusive cardholder discounts, photo opportunities, and character experiences to help you make the most of your Disney vacation.

(Non-Monetized. The information related to Disney® Premier Visa® Card was collected by CardRates.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this product. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. CardRates.com does not receive commission for this product/card.)

Best Vacation Credit Cards for Cruise Rewards

For some travelers, cruises are the best way to travel, not only offering a bevy of onboard entertainment options — and an unlimited buffet — but also providing a chance to explore multiple destinations during a single trip.

Given the thousands of vacationers who go crazy for cruises, it makes sense that most major cruise lines offer their own rewards credit card. These cards are best for those who are loyal to one cruise line, as each card’s rewards can only be used with its associated brand.

19. Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard®

The Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard® allows cardholders to earn WorldPoints® on every purchase. WorldPoints® can be redeemed for Norwegian Cruise Line® stateroom upgrades, travel discounts, onboard credits, and more.

Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard®

  • Earn 3X WorldPoints® rewards points for every $1 spent on Norwegian purchases
  • Earn 1X WorldPoints® points per $1 on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

The card also comes with a juicy 10,000 bonus rewards points for those new cardholders who make a qualifying transaction within the first 90 days of opening their account.

20. Carnival® World Mastercard®

The Carnival® World Mastercard® earns FunPoints on every purchase, making it a simple way to save on your next trip with any World’s Leading Cruise Line family brand.

Carnival® World Mastercard®

  • Earn 2X FunPoints per $1 on Carnival and World’s Leading Cruise Lines purchases
  • Earn 1X FunPoints per $1 on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

Cardholders will also earn 10,000 bonus FunPoints when they use their card for the first time, enough points to redeem for a $100 credit on your next qualifying cruise purchase.

21. Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature® credit card

The Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature® credit card earns MyCruise points on every purchase, which can be redeemed toward purchases with Celebrity Cruises, as well as its sister lines, Royal Caribbean® and Azamara Club Cruises®.

Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature® credit card

  • Earn 2X MyCruise points for every $1 spent with Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean®, and Azamara Club Cruises®
  • Earn 1X MyCruise points on all other purchases
  • Pay $69 annual fee

Make your first qualifying transaction within 90 days of account opening to score a bonus 10,000 MyCruise points, which can be redeemed for a $100 onboard credit.

Make Your Dream Vacation a Reality

Sometimes life can feel a little repetitive. Sometimes life can feel a little repetitive.

That’s when it’s time to shake things up with a good vacation. You know, that one you daydream about when you put your day on autopilot.

If you’ve been using the right travel credit card to earn rewards all year, you likely already have the points and miles to make that dream come true. For everyone else, it’s not too late to start earning your way to a little adventure.

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