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Best Reward Cards For Planning A Summer Vacation

hotel-rewards-imageSummer is the peak of the travel season, and once again, reward credit card holders are poised to used their points and miles for award travel. And the key to their reward travel ambitions is choosing the right credit card.

Top credit cards for summer travel

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

This all purpose travel rewards card is a favorite for several reasons. First, it offers new applicants 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 within three months. These points are worth $500 towards travel booked directly with Chase, or even more when transferred to any of 9 airline and hotel programs, as well as Amtrak Guest rewards. And the way to get the  maximum value from these points is use them strategically. For example, points can be worth several cents each when transferred to British Airways and used on their partner, American Airlines. In fact, only 9,000 British Airways Avios points are needed for a round trip flight on American Airlines of under 650 miles.  Another valuable use of these points is for hotels with Hyatt. 22,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points is enough for an award night at their most luxurious properties such as the Park Hyatts in Milan or Paris which normally sell for over $1,000 per night. There is a $95 annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees.

Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express

Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, the Starwood cards excels due to its flexible rewards program. New cardholders earn 10,000 points after their first purchase and another 15,000 after spending $5,000 within the first six months of card membership. Starpoints can then be transferred to miles with the programs of over 30 different carriers. And since most of those airlines is partners with a dozen or more other carriers, the possibilities for award travel are limitless. But of course, the Starwood card is also a hotel card, and points can be used to book any available standard room at any Starwood property with no blackout dates or capacity controls on awards. And when travelers book four award nights in a row, their fifth night is free, a 25% bonus. Likewise, those who transfer 20,000 points to miles also earn an additional 5,000 point bonus. There is a $65 annual fee that is waived the first year, and a 2.7% foreign transaction fee imposed on all transactions processed outside of the United States.

Learn more about the The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

By focusing in on the most valuable, and flexible reward card offers, credit card users earn award travel faster than ever.

Editor's Note: This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Citi or any of the other companies whose products are featured in this content.

About the author

Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a freelance journalist specializing in personal finance and travel and is recognized as an expert in credit cards. He is a regular contributor to many of the top personal finance sites such as Wise Bread and Money Talks News. His work has been frequently carried on mainstream news outlets such as MSN Money, Yahoo, Finance, and Business insider.

Jason lives in Denver Colorado with his wife and two daughters.

– has written 311 posts.

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