Tips for Picking the Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards

credit card rewardsAlmost everyone has a credit card today, using them to pay for pretty much everything. The best part about cards — other than not having to touch dirty cash — is the bonuses and rewards system. You get points for signing on, spending money somewhere, and even just keeping your account balance paid. One of the best ways to spend those points is travel. But how do you find the best travel rewards credit card?

What to Look For

When thinking about a card, look for the following:

A Sign on Bonus: The bigger the bonus when you sign on, the better. If one card does not offer a bonus, continue looking for another card.

Category Spending Bonuses: Most cards offer an even exchange rate of one point per dollar spent. For certain cards, however, you can get up to 5x the amount in certain categories. There are cards for business spending, grocery shopping, and traveling, so make sure to find one that matches what you will use the card for.

Low Spending Minimum: In order to get these great bonuses, you do have to spend a minimum amount of money. Look for the least amount of money in the longest amount of time if you are not planning to put a big purchase on your card. Some cards will require a single, no-minimum purchase, those are the best!

Special Perks: Some cards will offer you status within hotels, airlines, or other branded locations. If you are going to frequent one specific place, consider getting their card.

Annual Fees: You should not have to pay to spend money, but that is how it works. If you do your research, you should be able to compare annual fees to find the lowest ones. Aim for around $50 in your annual fee. It might seem smarter to go with no fee cards, but the rewards are usually not nearly as good.

Which Credit Card Should You Get?

There are so many cards to choose from, so how can you pick the best one? Look at your goals. Do you want to get free rewards or do you just want to avoid fees? Are you going to use for travel for things like airline tickets or hotel rooms?

The best cards to sign up for will vary depending on what you really want to use your card for — airline specific cards are the best if you prefer American Airlines, for example. If you do not fly all that often and would prefer hotel accommodations, get a hotel specific card.