Best Debt/Credit Card for Travel

Any suggestions for a debit/credit card that offers free airfare/bus or train discounts, free or discount hotels and free or discounts for restaurants?

We are traveling this fall and are trying to keep costs down.

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks

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My new “annoying “ word is FREE. There is no such thing as free! Someone, somewhere and somehow is paying for this “free” . Stop believing this misconception. Credit card companies are not our friends willing out of the kindness of their heart to give us FREE STUFF!

When my husband and I are planning a trip, I plan ahead and save . I purchase Visa gift cards , tuck them away and when we travel, I have money and card to use. It’s usually a nice surprise to see how much I have saved. It works for us, our solution to painless travel. My kids in place of gifts we don’t need or want, give us gas cards and the VISA gift cards as presents! I shop around on travel sites for no cancellation fee hotel rooms, put in alerts to show room discounts andwe travel on fringe moths when it’s still off season rates but close to the start of the prime season. Also use an app that gives you info on the cheapest gas in the area you are traveling. Those pennies add up

My point is, with a little planning, you can save money on travel.


The best credit card (either sign up bonus or regular benefits) will depend on where you’re going. Have you identified a destination, or do you have preferred airlines or hotels?

You may find that a membership like AARP and AAA can be just as helpful in acquiring discounts rather than opening a new credit card.


We have both AAA and AARP, thanks.


I love Visa gift card idea, thanks.

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I cannot think of one specific card that offers all these things but you can combine credit card offers, cashback sites and coupons to get the best deals on some of these things.

Some of the credit card offers really aren’t that great. For example, I signed up for one that gave “miles/points” for purchases. I spent over 2K on my honeymoon travel expenses and only ended up with about $25 in rewards.

The real “rewards” were in being smart with how we booked our honeymoon accommodations and activities. By booking with AirBnB instead of a resort, we were able to get a 3 bed, 3 bath house with Jacuzzi and access to a pool in a very secure neighborhood for $450 for 10 nights. (compared to $200 a night at a resort)

We also used Expedia to book our activities and were able to get discounts on those. Groupon is also another great resource for this depending on where you go.

Also, using sites like BeFrugal or Ebates allow you to get a little additional cashback on top of your purchases.

Then, if you do have a credit card that gives you a certain percentage of cashback on purchases, you use that card along with cashback sites to really maximize your savings.

Airline credit cards can be a great way to get some future rewards on travel. For example, American Airline runs quite a few promotions for people to get a certain amount of airline miles when using their credit card. If you use it for all your travel expenses, you may be able to score free flights in the future.

Also, never be afraid to book with discount airlines. While they may not be the most comfortable, I have found they are not terribly different than any other airline.

My wife and I booked flights to Florida on Frontier. By joining their “discount club” we were able to get our flights cheaper even after including the fee for the club. And the good thing is it lasts an entire year so we have the opportunity to save even more on flights.

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For out of the country travel I like the Capital One Venture One. There is no fee on changing money. I have all of my travel bills in one place, and I keep my receipts together in my RFD case with the card until they have all posted and paid for. This allows me to track expenses, I leave my other card at home in the safety deposit box. I also plan ahead how much I plan to spend on souvenirs, etc. (keeping track with those receipts) and have the money in checking to pay the bill when it comes in. My souvenirs are simple, ink pens or pencils, postcards to mail, and and lapel pins. One biggie souvenir of a sweater, sweatshirt, or jacket allows me to fly to a place without a coat/jacket and purchase what I need there.


I can offer no specific credit card for travel. For international travel get a card that does not charge for non-domestic transactions. We use credit cards as much as possible for transactions outside of the US. The exchange rate seems about the best. Another suggestion, take some cash from the country you are visiting with you. When using a booth on the street, or even an ATM, the exchange rate and fees will eat you alive. We get it a a fairly good rate from AAA. If going to Canada never spend US dollars at a business. These businesses are happy to take US dollars. Their cash registers even handle the transactions automatically. The only problem the use an exchange rate they euphemistically call “Par,” which really means “rake em over the coals.” We once stopped at a Wendy’s in Canada and spent cash. I figured it out and they could have given us the food at cost, because they made so much on the exchange rate.

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I have heard a lot about the Venture One card from Capital One @ekuhlens. Thanks for sharing your tips.

@arthur.pember it is true that certain people like to take advantage of tourists when it comes to the exchange rate. This is true in nearly every country I have been to. Your best bet is to exchange money at a bank.

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This would be nice, but I do not know of any, since most require a high-spend amount to receive points.