Best Travel Rewards Cards of October 2021

After a year and a half of off and on COVID restrictions, many of us have turned to planning our next vacation. And if you’d rather pay for your next trip with points and miles instead of dollars, then this may be the right time for you to take a look at the best travel rewards cards.

  • Best Flexible Points Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred®
  • Best Airline Card: FRONTIER Airlines World Mastercard®
  • Best Hotel Card: World of Hyatt Credit Card
  • Best Premium Card: Chase Sapphire Reserve.
  • Best No-fee Card: Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card
  • Best Small Business Card: Chase Ink Business Preferred®

Best Flexible Points Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred®

This card offers Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be transferred to a participating airline or hotel partner that best meet your needs, such as United, Southwest, JetBlue and Hyatt hotels. Or, your rewards can be redeemed directly for travel reservations made through Chase Ultimate Rewards.


  • 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening
  • Earn double points for dining and travel expenses
  • Transfer points to airline and hotel partners, or book travel directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards


  • $95 annual fee
  • 1:1 transfer rate to Marriott and IHG doesn’t offer much value

This card sets the standard for flexible points as its Ultimate Rewards program allows you to transfer your rewards to several high-value travel partners. This card currently offers 100,000 bonus points after you use it to spend $4,000 on purchases within first three months of account opening. You’ll earn double points on all travel and dining purchases, and 1 point on all other purchases.

Best Airline Card: FRONTIER Airlines World Mastercard®

What if you could fly with a discount carrier, but enjoy more perks and benefits than you’d receive from a legacy airline? That’s the benefit of the FRONTIER Airlines World Mastercard®.


  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after paying the annual fee and spending just $500 on purchases within 90 days of account opening
  • Every dollar you spend earns one mile towards elite status
  • Earn a $100 Flight Voucher every account anniversary after spending $2,500 or more on purchases during your cardmembership year
  • Earn 5x miles on eligible Frontier purchases, and 3x miles at restaurants


  • Until you reach elite status, expect numerous fees when you fly Frontier for things other airlines often include
  • $79 annual fee (waived the first year)

Frontier is a discount carrier based in Denver, but they are one of the fastest growing airlines in the U.S. with service to over 100 destinations in the U.S., the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. The Frontier Airlines Mastercard is unique among airline credit cards in that it counts every dollar spent as a mile that can be used towards elite status. The first tier of status is reached after earning 20,000 miles from flying, after spending $20,000 on your card, or after 25 flight segments annually. Benefits of this first tier of elite status include advanced seat assignment, free carry-on bag and priority boarding at participating airports, saving you plenty of money on the extra fees normally charged.

This card does have a $79 annual fee, but that’s more than justified by the $100 flight voucher you earn every year (after using the card to spend $2,500 or more annually).

Best Hotel Card: World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt loyalty program is way of ahead of its competitors and this card is the best way to enjoy premium card benefits.


  • Earn up to 60,000 bonus points after meeting purchase requirements
  • Receive a free-night-stay certificate each year, and a second after spending $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Receive entry level status and earn night stay credits towards higher status
  • 4x points at Hyatt plus 2x points on transit, restaurants, flights, fitness clubs and gyms


  • $95 annual fee
  • Hyatt is moving to a more dynamic award pricing system which will charge more points for the most desirable properties during peak travel

The World of Hyatt card really let’s you unlock more value from the popular loyalty program, as it offers plenty of bonus points, free-night-stay certificates and credits towards elite status. To start, you can earn up to 60,000 bonus points; earn the first 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within three months of account opening and another 30,000 points more by earning 2x points per dollar spent on purchases (up to $15,000) within first six months of account opening.

You also get a free-night-stay certificate each year, and a second certificate after spending $15,000 in a calendar year (on Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resorts). Other benefits include entry-level Discoverist status plus an annual five qualifying night credits each year, and two additional qualifying night credits when you spend $5,000 on your card. Award nights start at 5,000 points, but I find that most mid-tier properties in small and medium sized cities require 8,000 – 15,000 points per night, which is still reasonable. That said, Hyatt is moving to a more dynamic pricing system later this year, which will charge more points during peak seasons and fewer points during periods of low-occupancy. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card.