Best Travel Credit Cards for 2013 Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Do you know what card is right for you?

For those who travel a lot, finding the right credit card with awards programs and benefits that fit your budget and lifestyle can be a bit of a daunting task. But a new report by CardHub.com breaks down the particulars for consumers who are frequent travelers, or for those who perhaps go on just a few trips per year.

“I’m a big fan of the Island Approach, which entails using a different credit card for different types of transactions in order to amass the best possible collection of terms, but that’s certainly not for everyone,” says CardHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “Many consumers instead value the simplicity of having a single credit card in their wallets. But if you go that route, getting the right card for your needs becomes even more important. In other words, you should only get a rewards card if you always pay your bill in full and a travel rewards card if you embark on numerous trips each year.”

To give you an idea, Card Hub breaks down which cards are best for consumers who want initial rewards bonuses.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Spending at least $3,000 during the first three months your account is open will trigger a 40,000-point rewards bonus, which can be redeemed for $500 in travel accommodations booked through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program or a $400 statement credit. This card does not charge an annual fee during the first year ($95 thereafter) and does not assess foreign transaction fees for purchases processed abroad.

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard: You’ll only have to spend $1,000 during the first 90 days to nab this card’s 40,000-mile rewards bonus, which is redeemable for a $400 statement credit attributable to any travel-related charge. This card doesn’t assess foreign transaction fees and its $89 annual fee doesn’t take effect until the second year.

Hilton HHonors Surpass Credit Card: You’ll automatically get 40,000 bonus points with the first purchase you make using this card as well as an additional 20,000 points after charging $3,000. The combined 60,000 bonus points are redeemable for 1-8 free hotel nights, depending on how your hotel of choice is classified. This card has a $75 annual fee as well as a 2.71% foreign transaction fee that makes it better suited to domestic travel.

Club Carlson Premier Rewards Card: This card offers 50,000 bonus points with your first purchase and 35,000 additional points for spending at least $2,500 within 90 days. You can redeem the 85,000 points for up to 18 free hotel nights, depending on the category of hotel you select and the number of consecutive nights you book. (The last night of your stay is free when you use rewards to book at least two consecutive nights.) There is a $75 annual fee and a 3% foreign transaction fee.

To read more, head over the report at CardHub.com.

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