Best Credit Cards for Domestic Travel 2017

Best Credit Cards for Domestic Travel 2017
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While I write a lot about my international travels on points and miles, I do my fair share of domestic travel as well. While some cards (which often carry higher annual fees) are incredible tools for the international traveler, there are other credit cards on the market that are more useful and impactful for anyone who travels frequently throughout the United States. These are our favorites.

The best credit cards for domestic travel: 2017

Using a credit card for domestic travels can score you free flights, complimentary hotel nights, and perks that will make traveling a little easier.

Credit Card Benefit Signup Bonus
Chase Sapphire Preferred
2X Points for Travel and Dining Spend
50,000 UR Points
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card
Flexible rewards currency
50,000 Rapid Rewards points
United MileagePlus Explorer Card
Sign-up Bonus
50,000 miles
Chase IHG Credit Card
Elite Benefits, Free Night Yearly

chase sapphire preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - Double points for travel and dining spend.

We've written extensively about the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card in the past, but it's also a very powerful card for the domestic traveler. Why? This card has some incredible spend bonuses, which reward valuable Ultimate Rewards points at two points per dollar spent on all travel and dining purchases. These points can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio into many programs that benefit the domestic traveler, including Southwest Airlines, United, and British Airways (which is a partner of American). Plus, you can transfer into three major hotel programs (Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott), and this combined with a 50,000 points sign-up bonus for spending $4,000 in three months, and a waived $95 annual fee for the first year, makes this a great card for the domestic traveler.

southwest airlines rapid rewards credit card

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card - Flexible rewards currency.

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card is a great choice for the domestic traveler, because Southwest Airlines has a very flexible rewards currency. Basically, you pay a set redemption rate per point, so when Southwest Airlines has a sale (which happens often), the price in points of your award ticket goes down as well! Throw in customer-friendly policies like free cancellation of tickets until 10 minutes before departure, the possibility of getting a companion pass, and Southwest Airlines is a great choice for the domestic traveler.


United MileagePlus Explorer Card - A great sign-up bonus.

The United MileagePlus Explorer Card is on this list because many folks travel on United often, and there's currently a 50,000 mile sign up bonus for spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening. Other perks, like one free bag, priority boarding, and two United Club passes each year makes traveling a little easier, which is always welcome. Keep in mind, United also is a great option for paying for rental cars, since primary insurance coverage is included.


Chase IHG Rewards Club Credit Card - Elite benefits and free hotel night.

It's hard to beat the Chase IHG Rewards Club Credit Card, because of its low annual fee, automatic elite status, and free night each account anniversary. Right now, there's a 60,000 point bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first three months of account opening, which is enough for a free night at any IHG Rewards Club property (including the Intercontinental Bora Bora). Annual fee of $49 is waived the first year, and cardmembers automatically receive Platinum status, which is the second-highest status in the program and good for many free perks. A free night at any IHG hotel worldwide each year makes the annual fee a no-brainer.

Which of these cards are you hoping to get into your wallet? Let us know in the comments!