The 6 Best Travel Credit Cards to Apply for This April

Earn points, miles, and cash back for upcoming travel with these excellent introductory offers.

DFW Capital One Lounge seating area, with one person

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is offering a 75,000-mile welcome bonus and access to its collection of proprietary airport lounges, like this one at Dallas Forth Worth International Airport.

Courtesy of Capital One

AFAR partners with CreditCards.com and may receive a commission from card issuers. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Compensation may impact how an offer is presented. Our coverage is independent and objective, and has not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are entirely those of the AFAR editorial team.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Spring has sprung, and it’s officially time to lock in summer travel plans. Fortunately, there’s still time to rack up points so you plan your dream getaway on points and miles and save money with credit card offers.

April’s top six travel credit cards will help boost your balances, thanks to attractive welcome bonuses and great multipliers on spending. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card continues to court new cardholders with a 75,000-mile welcome bonus and provide benefits competitive with premium Chase and American Express cards. (Plus, it grants double miles on every purchase.) Alternatively, the lower fee Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers fewer travel perks but the same 75,000 miles introductory bonus. Also of note is the recently relaunched, no-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which speaks to those who are seeking cash over points. The card’s revamp brings new—and surprisingly high—cash-back rates as part of its introductory offer: 6.5 percent on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5 percent on dining and drugstores, and 3 percent on all other purchases up to $20,000 in the first year of card membership.

Meanwhile, several hotel credit cards have wow-factor welcome offers this month. These include the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card with 155,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $5,000 within the first six months of card membership and the top-tier Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card with 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $6,000 within the first six months of card membership.

Find out more about why these cards are the best travel credit cards to consider applying for this April.

1. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Best for: The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is best for those who want an excellent travel credit card that pays for itself through credits, benefits, lounge access, and a rewarding earnings structure—while also offering flexibility in redeeming miles.

Why now? Capital One is going all-in on travel for its Venture X cardholders, rolling out its own collection of airport lounges for cardholders, its Premier Collection (offering special perks at hundreds of top hotels globally), and its Lifestyle Collection (granting cardholders benefits at boutique hotels worldwide).

Welcome offer: With the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.

Annual fee: $395

Earn points: Earn 10 miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar spent on flights booked through Capital One Travel. All other purchases earn 2 miles per dollar spent.

Credits: When booking through Capital One Travel, receive $300 in credits each calendar year. Get a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit once every four years (up to $100). Receive 10,000 bonus miles annually after your account anniversary.

Key perks: Access Capital One Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and Plaza Premium lounges at airports. The card is also smart for those who plan to add cardholders to their accounts. Up to four can be added at no cost. Priority Pass lounge membership and access to Capital One and Plaza Premium airport lounges extends to each of these additional cardholders at no extra cost. As far as redemptions go, miles transfer to 16 airline and hotel partners.

2. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Best for: The midtier card of the Capital One Venture portfolio, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers just enough travel perks for the casual traveler and has a low annual fee.

Why now? The card is currently offering a huge bonus for a low-fee card. Cardholders also get two entries annually at Capital One’s growing collection of airport lounges or Plaza Premium lounges, plus access to Capital One’s Lifestyle Collection (granting cardholders benefits at boutique hotels worldwide).

Welcome offer: With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, earn 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 within three months from account opening.

Annual fee: $95

Earn points: Earn five miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and two miles per dollar spent on everything else.

Credits: Up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years

Key perks: Get two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or Plaza Premium Lounges in 2024, plus access to the Lifestyle Collection when booking on Capital One Travel.

3. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Best for: In general, the recently relaunched, no-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited speaks to those who are seeking cash over points. (However, it can also lead to the earning of beaucoup points thanks to a clever workaround.)

Why now? Since relaunching in March 2024, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is courting new cardholders with an enticing welcome offer.

Welcome offer: Beyond the card’s already high earnings rates, you’ll earn an extra 1.5 percent on all purchases up to $20,000 spent in the first year (that’s worth up to $300 cash back).

Annual fee: $0

Earn points: Earn 6.5 percent on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5 percent on dining and drugstores, and 3 percent on all other purchases, up to $20,000 spent in the first year. After hitting $20,000 in your first year or simply reaching year two of membership, the cash-back rates are as follows: 5 percent on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3 percent on dining and drugstores, and 1.5 percent on all other purchases.

Key perks: The card grants a zero percent intro APR for 15 months from account opening on both purchases and balance transfers. (Afterwards, it’s a variable APR of 20.49 percent to 29.24 percent.) In addition, when you have multiple Chase cards, it’s entirely possible to transfer Ultimate Rewards from one account to the next. That means the rewards earned by the Unlimited can be redeemed through the Sapphire cards, namely the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and transferred to other loyalty programs.

4. Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card

Best for: The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card is best for travelers wanting to accrue hotel award nights quickly and automatic Gold Status without paying a high annual fee.

Why now? When the card launched in September 2022, it wooed customers with a 125,000-point introductory bonus, which later dropped to 85,000 points. Now, the introductory offer has been raised to a best-ever 155,000 points and will remain so until the end of April 2024.

Welcome offer: With the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card, earn 155,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $5,000 within the first six months of card membership.

Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees)

Earn points: Earn six points per dollar spent at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, four points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (up to $15,000 in combined purchases per year), and double points on all other purchases.

Credits: None

Key perks: Cardholders do receive automatic Gold Status and earn a Free Night Award (worth up to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points, not 85,000) after making $15,000 in purchases per year.

5. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

Best for: The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card is best for Marriott loyalists who can take full advantage of Platinum Elite Status, which usually requires 50 nights per year and comes with benefits like lounge access, enhanced room upgrade, and 4 p.m. late checkout, all subject to availability.

Why now? Until the end of April 2024, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card comes with Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite Status and an annual anniversary Free Night Award, up to 85,000. The card’s current bonus—185,000 points—is one of its best offers yet.

Welcome offer: Earn 185,000 points after spending $6,000 on purchases in six months from your account opening.

Annual fee: $650 (see rates and fees)

Earn points: Earn six points per dollar spent at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, three points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines, and double points on all other purchases.

Credits: Earn up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (rationed as $25 back per month) for dining purchases at restaurants worldwide. This credit replaces the previous annual $300 in statement credits for Marriott Bonvoy hotel purchases. Get up to $100 in statement credits once every 4 years toward the application fee for Global Entry, or up to $85 once every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck.

Key perks: Cardholders receive automatic Platinum Status and automatically bank 25 elite night credits per calendar year (which is the level for Gold but a boost to your balance for climbing the elite ladder). Get one Free Night Award each year after your card renewal month that can be used for one night, up to 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Obtain complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership (enrollment required), granting access to the cardholder plus two guests to more than 1,400 airline lounges worldwide.

6. Hilton Honors American Express Card

Best for: The Hilton Honors American Express Card is best for those who stay in hotels just a few nights per year but want to get some big benefits.

Why now? The Hilton Honors American Express Card has a best-ever welcome offer of 100,000 points yet no annual fee.

Welcome offer: Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first six months of card membership (terms apply).

Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees)

Earn points: The card earns seven points per dollar on eligible Hilton purchases, five points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations, and three points per dollar on other eligible purchases. So, no matter what you charge to the card, you’ll earn a minimum of three points per dollar spent.

Key perks: Cardholders receive automatic first-rung Hilton Honors Silver status. While all Hilton Honors members can get the likes of free Wi-Fi nowadays, Silver status brings added benefits, such as a 20 percent points earning bonus on stays, free bottled water, and the ability to participate in Hilton Honor’s “Fifth Night Free” program, in which your fifth night is no cost when booking four nights with points. Plus, the card comes with no foreign transaction fees for when cardholders travel abroad.

While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.

Paul Rubio is an award-winning travel journalist and photographer. His byline appears in AFAR, Conde Nast Traveler, Fodor’s, LUXURY, MSN, NerdWallet, Palm Beach Illustrated, Yahoo Lifestyle and more. He has visited 133 countries (and counting) over the past 20 years and won 27 national awards for his writing and photography. When he’s not plotting out his next trip, Paul loves to spend time at home watching reruns of Portlandia and Parks and Recreation with his husband and rescue dog, Camo.
From Our Partners
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More from AFAR