Best Travel Credit Cards for Families [2024]: Take the Whole Crew on Vacation

CREDIT CARDS - TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS
Travel credit cards can provide many benefits for families, including offering access to airport lounges and providing ways to earn travel rewards on everyday expenses.
Updated Feb. 26, 2024
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Family on vacation

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of our top picks among the best travel credit cards for families because it has a relatively low $95 annual fee, earns flexible travel rewards, and provides up to $50 credit each year for hotel stays booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

But you might opt for a card like the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card if you want a $0 annual fee, or a card like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card if you want airport lounge access for the whole family.

Let’s explore the best travel credit cards for families to see which card works best for you.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • The best travel credit card for your family depends on your spending habits and travel preferences. Our recommendations include cards with no annual fees, cards with airport lounge access and other premium travel benefits, and cards that can help you earn travel rewards on your everyday spending.
  • Our top recommended travel credit card for families is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card because it’s easy to use and can help you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which we prefer because of their flexibility and potential value.
  • Most of our top picks are cards that charge no foreign transaction fees, which means you can use them abroad (where accepted) without worrying about this additional cost.

The best travel credit cards for families

Comparison of the best travel credit cards for families

Card name Benefits for families Welcome offer Annual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases
  • Points on this card are worth 25% more toward travel redemptions through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Up to $50 in annual statement credits for hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening $95
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase 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
Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) $0
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel
  • Complimentary airport lounge access for you and up to two guests (subject to availability) at Priority Pass, Capital One, and Plaza Premium Lounges
Earn 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening $395
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Boost your earning potential by 25% to 75% as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member
Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases $0
American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn up to $10 in dining statement credits for purchases at select merchants each month, up to $120 a year (enrollment required)
  • Earn up to $10 in Uber Cash each month, up to $120 a year (enrollment required)
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership $250 (Terms apply)
The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Earn 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge, Escape Lounge, and Priority Pass lounges (enrollment required for select benefits)
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $8,000 on purchases on your new card in the first 6 months $695 (Terms apply)
Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card

  • Earn 3X points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels; and 1X points on all other purchases
  • Up to $100 annual hotel savings benefit
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening; Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024 $95

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Pros Cons
  • Has a welcome offer and useful bonus categories
  • Points on this card are worth 25% more toward Chase Ultimate Rewards travel redemptions
  • Up to $50 annual statement credit for hotel stays purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee
  • No premium travel benefits

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is an excellent all-around family travel card with a relatively low $95 annual fee.

Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Rewards rate: Earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases.

Why we like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card

The Sapphire Preferred doesn’t have foreign transaction fees, and its $95 annual fee makes it worth hanging onto. This is especially true if you take advantage of its up to $50 annual statement credit for hotel stays booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Additionally, you can benefit from the 25% elevated value when you redeem your rewards points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. You can also transfer your points to one of over a dozen Chase transfer partners, including Air Canada, Southwest Airlines, and Hyatt.

You can pair the Chase Sapphire Preferred card with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card to earn even more rewards that you can redeem for travel.

You can combine rewards between certain Chase credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, including the Sapphire Preferred, Freedom Unlimited, and other cards. This method is unofficially known as the Chase trifecta.

Learn more about the Chase trifecta and how it works.

What we don’t like about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card

There’s a $95 annual fee, but it’s likely not a big deal if you can get enough value from the card’s rewards and benefits. The Sapphire Preferred doesn’t offer some of the luxury benefits found on premium travel cards either, such as airport lounge access.

Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review for more details.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Pros Cons
  • $0 annual fee
  • Has a welcome offer and a decent everyday rewards rate
  • Earns cash back in the form of valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points
  • Has foreign transaction fees

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card makes sense for earning travel rewards on your everyday expenses.

Welcome offer: Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).

Rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase 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.

Why we like the Chase Freedom Unlimited card

The Freedom Unlimited has a $0 annual fee and provides ample opportunity to earn travel rewards on purchases you might already be making. You can redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for flights, hotel stays, and more through the Chase travel portal.

What we don’t like about the Chase Freedom Unlimited card

You have to pay foreign transaction fees with the Freedom Unlimited, which means it’s not the best card to use on purchases if you’re traveling abroad.

Read our Chase Freedom Unlimited review for more details.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Pros Cons
  • Has a welcome offer and a simple rewards rate
  • Airport lounge access to Priority Pass, Plaza Premium, and Capital One Lounges
  • $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel
  • 10,000 anniversary miles
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $395 annual fee
  • Annual travel credit only works through Capital One Travel

The Capital One Venture X card can help your family travel in style with multiple premium travel benefits.

Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Rewards rate: Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel.

Why we like the Capital One Venture X card

The Venture X provides outstanding airport lounge access for groups, typically giving you and two guests complimentary access to Priority Pass, Plaza Premium, and Capital One Lounges (depending on availability).

In addition, you can add authorized users to your Venture X card for free. If eligible, they receive the same airport lounge benefits. So in a situation where two parents have Venture X cards, you could bring a total of six people into applicable lounges. That’s two cardholders and four guests.

What we don’t like about the Capital One Venture X card

Premium travel credit cards typically have high annual fees, and the Venture X is no exception. You have to pay a $395 annual fee, but the card’s perks and benefits could more than offset this cost, especially if you take advantage of the $300 annual credit, and the 10,000 anniversary miles.

Keep in mind that the $300 annual credit only works for bookings through Capital One Travel. That means you can’t use it for bookings made directly with airlines, hotels, or car rental companies.

Read our Capital One Venture X review for more details.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Pros Cons
  • $0 annual fee
  • Has a welcome offer and a simple rewards rate
  • Long intro APR offers on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No bonus categories
  • Bank of America Preferred Rewards® requirements can be steep

The Bank of America Travel Rewards makes sense as a simple and straightforward card for earning travel rewards on everyday spending.

Welcome offer: Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

Rewards rate: Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.

Why we like the Bank of America Travel Rewards card

The Bank of America Travel Rewards card has a $0 annual fee. The card has a simple rewards rate and doesn't charge foreign transaction fees. You can also boost your earning potential by 25% to 75% if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member.

When you compare credit cards, you will notice that this is an exclusive benefit with Bank of America, and it can help you get a lot more value out of your card. For example, spending $5,000 would net you 7,500 points. If we value each point at one cent, 7,500 points would be worth $75.

However, if you can earn the 75% boost, you would end up with 13,125 points instead, or $131.25. That’s an additional $56.25. Keep in mind that the 75% boost requires you to have at least $100,000 in a three-month combined average daily balance between Bank of America deposit and investment accounts.

Additionally, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card provides two long intro APR offers:

  • Intro APR on purchases: 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases (then 18.24% - 28.24% Variable)
  • Intro APR on balance transfers: 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then 18.24% - 28.24% Variable)

What we don’t like about the Bank of America Travel Rewards card

You can’t take advantage of any bonus categories, such as earning higher rewards rates on groceries, gas, or travel.

It’s also not the easiest to become a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, as it requires an active and eligible Bank of America checking account, as well as a three-month average combined balance of at least $20,000 in eligible Bank of America deposit and/or Merrill investment accounts to earn the smallest boost of 25%.

Read our Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card review for more details.

American Express® Gold Card

Pros Cons
  • Has a welcome offer and elevated earnings potential with certain bonus categories
  • Receive up to $120 annual dining credit and up to $120 annual Uber Cash (enrollment required for select benefits)
  • $250 annual fee (terms apply)
  • No airport lounge access

The Amex Gold card makes sense for foodies and if you want to earn travel rewards on everyday purchases.

Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership.

Rewards rate: Earn 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases.

Why we like the American Express Gold card

The Amex Gold’s rewards rate makes it an amazing card for boosting your travel rewards on common expenses. In addition, you can take advantage of two annual credits.

  • Dining credit: Earn up to $10 in monthly statement credits (up to $120 per year) for eligible purchases made with your card at GrubHub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, and more.
  • Uber Cash: Add your card to your Uber account and receive up to $10 in Uber Cash each month (up to $120 per year) that can be used for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S.

You need to enroll to receive these benefits, but the enrollment process is straightforward.

What we don’t like about the American Express Gold card

You have to pay a $250 annual fee. While you can work on offsetting the cost with the card benefits, it’s still money out of your pocket. You also don’t get airport lounge access with this card.

Read our American Express Gold Card review for more details.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Pros Cons
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Has a welcome offer and a variety of perks and benefits, including annual credits (select benefits require enrollment)
  • Airport lounge access through Priority Pass, Escape Lounges, The Centurion Lounge, Delta Sky Club, and more (select benefits require enrollment)
  • $695 annual fee (terms apply)
  • Isn’t great for earning rewards on everyday spending

The Amex Platinum is a premium travel card that can provide loads of value for your family with its many perks and benefits.

Welcome offer: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $8,000 on purchases on your new card in the first 6 months.

Rewards rate: Earn 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Why we like the American Express Platinum card

The benefits and potential statement credits on the Amex Platinum are seemingly endless.

  • Up to $200 airline fee credit per calendar year
  • Up to $200 in annual statement credits for prepaid Amex Travel bookings through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection (requires a minimum two-night stay)
  • Up to $155 plus applicable local sales tax per year Walmart+ credit
  • Up to $240 ($20 back per month) annual digital entertainment credit
  • Up to $200 ($15 monthly, plus $20 in December) annual Uber Cash
  • Up to $189 annual CLEAR Plus credit
  • Up to $100 ($50 semi-annually) annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit

Keep in mind that select benefits require enrollment.

You can also take advantage of airport lounge access for you and multiple guests (depending on availability) with Priority Pass and Escape Lounges. You receive complimentary airport lounge access to other lounge networks as well, but the guest access can vary. Select benefits require enrollment.

What we don’t like about the American Express Platinum card

You have to pay a $695 annual fee, which is more than most other credit cards. The Amex Platinum also doesn’t have great bonus categories for earning rewards on everyday purchases.

Read our American Express Platinum review for more details.

Citi Premier® Card

Pros Cons
  • Has a welcome offer and elevated earning potential on everyday bonus categories
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee
  • Doesn’t have premium travel benefits

The Citi Premier card is an excellent option if you want to earn elevated rates of ThankYou Points on your everyday spending.

Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening; Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.

Rewards rate: Earn 3X points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels; and 1X points on all other purchases.

Why we like the Citi Premier card

The rewards rate of this card features bonus categories that align well with the type of person who wants to earn additional points for travel-related purchases and everyday purchases they make on a consistent basis.

In addition, you can also take advantage of a hotel savings benefit each calendar year that provides $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) when you book through thankyou.com.

What we don’t like about the Citi Premier card

The Citi Premier doesn’t have premium travel benefits, such as airport lounge access, and you have to pay a $95 annual fee.

Read our Citi Premier Card review for more details.

How to choose the best family travel credit card

Consider these factors to help you choose the best credit card for family travel.

Welcome offer

A welcome offer or welcome bonus is often an easy way to earn bonus rewards soon after being approved for a new card. If you’re choosing between multiple similar credit cards, the card with the better bonus offer could offer you more value in the first year of having the card.

Earning potential

It makes sense to choose a credit card with bonus categories that align well with your everyday and travel expenses. This can help you earn more rewards on purchases you already make.

For example, you might choose a card that earns bonus rewards on gas purchases if you drive a lot or a card that earns more at grocery stores to get more value from frequent grocery trips.

You might also look into different hotel credit cards if you want to earn more rewards on your hotel stays with specific loyalty programs, such as Hilton Honors, IHG Rewards, or Marriott Bonvoy. Note that some hotel cards provide free night certificates that are good for a complimentary stay each year.

Similarly, you could look into airline credit cards if you want to earn more rewards with specific airline loyalty programs, such as JetBlue TrueBlue or Southwest Rapid Rewards.

Annual fee

Some credit cards have annual fees, while others don’t. The cards with annual fees tend to have more benefits and/or better rewards rates, and they could be worth applying for if you know you’ll use the card’s benefits.

But it could also be worth looking into no-annual-fee credit cards if you don’t want to stress about paying what’s essentially a yearly membership fee for being a cardholder.

Foreign transaction fees

Frequent travelers typically have one (or multiple) credit cards with no foreign transaction fees on hand if they’re traveling abroad. Using this strategy for your international trips can help you save money since you wouldn’t have to pay unnecessary fees for your credit card transactions.

In many cases, foreign transaction fees cost an additional 3% for each applicable transaction, which can add up quickly depending on how many purchases you make.

Perks and benefits

Travel credit cards can vary with the types of benefits they offer, so it’s up to you to find a card with the benefits you want.

Depending on your travel habits and preferences, you might want access to airport lounges. But if you’re worried about plans changing or other common travel mishaps, such as lost baggage or getting into an accident with your rental car, you might want to consider credit cards with travel insurance.

Travel insurance benefits are commonly found on travel credit cards, especially premium cards with high annual fees. In some cases, credit card travel insurance could help cover expenses related to trip cancellation, flight delay, or another type of travel setback.

To learn more about how travel insurance works, check out our travel insurance guide.

FAQ

What credit cards offer free authorized users?

Some credit cards offer authorized users for no additional fee, such as:

Some of the best credit cards for authorized users may have a fee, but in certain cases, the benefits the authorized user gets can help offset the fee.

Do authorized users get lounge access?

Authorized users on some cards receive airport lounge access, including the following:

How do I get free Global Entry for my family?

If you want complimentary Global Entry for your family, you can use credit cards that provide Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credits as a benefit, but keep in mind that many of these cards offer this benefit once every four or five years. These cards include the following:

Best travel credit cards for families: bottom line

We recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred as one of the best travel credit cards for families. It’s easy to use, earns valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, and doesn’t have foreign transaction fees. And with a $95 annual fee, the Sapphire Preferred is worth hanging onto year after year.

For more of our top recommendations, check out our list of the best travel credit cards to find the right credit card offer for you.

Methodology

To determine the best travel credit cards for families, we started by compiling a list of credit cards that offer travel benefits. We then evaluated several factors, including rewards rates, family-friendly benefits, annual fees, welcome offers, and foreign transaction fees.

Our next step was to provide an overview of credit cards that offer practical value and benefits for families looking to maximize their rewards and travel perks. We made sure to include cards suitable for various family travel needs.

It's important to note that our recommendations are not listed in any particular order, and our credit card selection is not exhaustive. Our goal is to provide a useful starting point for families researching credit cards to suit their individual needs and travel preferences.

Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards

Benefits

Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Apply Now
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 18.24% - 28.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Bank of <span class='whitespace-nowrap'>America<sup>®</sup></span> Travel Rewards credit card
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Intro Offer

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Annual Fee

$0

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Why we like it

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is a Senior Credit Cards Writer at FinanceBuzz. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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