One of the greatest perks of having a credit card is the travel rewards many cards provide. Cards come with varieties of agreements, APRs, and other particulars. With so many travel-centric cards on the market, how can you decide on the best?

What the experts found

Conde Nast Traveler partnered with CardRatings to cover the leading perks of travel credit cards in 2022. They found that travel cards with a points system that leads to free flights and other free experiences were the driving factor behind applicant’s search for a card.

The Conde Nast/CardRatings study narrowed down some basic factors for card seekers to consider before making a pick.

Consider your spending habits

Is there a spending incentive for the card’s rewards? Consider if the credit card you’re applying for has other daily life benefits. If the other factors of the card, such as interest rates, member fees, and transaction fees are higher than you want, this may not be the card for you to commit to.

Determine where you want to go

A card may have special perks based on the hotels and other travel services at specific destinations. Research these destination-based experiences before selecting the card to commit to.

Consider how the card benefits you from day to day

Is it more affordable to fly or drive to the destination of your choice, depending on where you live? Consider factors of the actual travel commute itself before making a decision about destination-based card benefits.

Now that you’ve narrowed down some criteria for finding a good travel perks credit card, you can make an informed pick.

How to pick a travel credit card

Bottom line: your travel credit card needs to produce the most value for the travels you plan. Are you looking for fuel miles for a road trip? What about a credit card that offers frequent flier miles and perks? Thinking about resort getaways? What cards offer the best rewards and perks for the getaway stays you dream of?

The “best” travel card should suit your lifestyle

Put your credit application where your dream is. Try to picture yourself in the scene, with that credit card. If it works well with what you see for your life in the future, it’s a good choice.

What travel card reviewers look for

The Points Guy reviewed the best travel credit cards based on criteria of perks and benefits. The highest-scoring options on their list were chosen because they offer access perks. Things like special access to hotel lounges, lucrative welcome offers, and complimentary elite status with hotel chains caught their eyes.

Travel credit cards for regular customers

Popular picks for top travel credit cards include those endorsed by an airline. For example, American Airlines offers a credit card for its frequent flier customers.

Those who book flights on the American Airlines Advantage card can earn bonus miles. This leads to free flights. Hotel franchises also often offer these rewards, as a perk of being a frequently booking customer.

Good practice for regular customer rewards

When choosing a credit card that rewards regular customers, it’s important to know the brand. Do you personally have a good relationship with the brand?

If it’s a brand you don’t have a good previous relationship with, or one you don’t know well, consider testing the waters first. Try one lower budget trip with the airline or the hotel franchise. Did you enjoy your experience? If so, you can then consider applying for a credit card with their endorsement.

Mastercard World Card® values

Mastercard provides regular travel card benefits with Mastercard World Card. Basic World Mastercard benefits include travel insurance, which reimburses the cardholder in the event of things such as cancellations, lost or delayed luggage, and so on.

The benefits of Mastercard World Card

A World Mastercard typically offers select membership value on a span of participating brands. This includes cuisine services DoorDash, and Hello Fresh. A Mastercard World Card cardholder will have access to eligible free and discounted rates for these services.

Other brands with World Card service value include the ride share service Lyft. With World Card, if you take three Lyft ride shares per month, you’ll get a $5 credit to put toward the next ride. This is highly beneficial to someone who travels frequently and requires access to rideshare transportation.

For entertainment, World Card offers cardholders a Fandango membership, which gives you rewards for spending habits on cinema tickets or paying for Fandango’s streaming services.

Then, Mastercard World Card offers a free membership to ShopRunner, a service that provides two-day shipping for online orders with select brands. This can be useful to someone ordering retail services at a location they have a limited window of stay at.

Mastercard Priceless and World Elite

Mastercard hosts the Priceless service. Mastercard World Card cardholders get free access to Priceless Experiences, lifestyle experiences in 40 cities around the world. There is also a Priceless Golf service that gives the World Card cardholder access to exclusive golf offers and experiences.

Mastercard World Card’s highest tier is called Mastercard World Elite. This is the highest elevated tier of the World Card program. It gives upgrades on Mastercard World Card offerings.

These offerings include liability insurance on covered devices. World Elite’s liability protection includes ID theft protection and a zero-liability protection offering. With these policies, you can protect your information from being stolen.

World Elite lets the cardholder access virtual contact with global emergency services, in any language. This can be of great value to someone frequently traveling abroad.

A World Elite cardholder also has access to Mastercard World Elite Concierge. This unique concierge service offers 24/7 personal assistant value. This includes things like reserving a table, locating hard-to-find items, and other such things.

Vital Card Mastercard World Elite membership

Vital Card is in the Mastercard network. Because of this, Vital has become part of the Mastercard World Card program. Vital offers free membership to Mastercard World Elite to its cardmembers as a perk of being a Vital cardmember.

Apply for Vital Card, and learn more about perks and rewards.


The Best Travel Credit Cards For Every Type of Traveler,” Conde Nast Traveler

Best Travel Cards of 2022,” The Points Guy

Travel Credit Cards,” Credit Karma

Mastercard World Card and World Elite

Vital Card blog posts are intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial or any other type of advice.