Summer travel: 5 great travel rewards programs

Summer travel season is here, which begs the question: What type of traveler are you? It’s an important question if you have excellent credit. The answer determines how you’ll receive the credit card bounty that can help you save a bundle on a trip this summer (or help your bank account recover afterward). You can thank the Great Recession for all those points, miles, or cash. Issuers learned that consistent customers – those who always pay their bills on time – help steady the ship when the economic seas turn rough. To attract these folks, companies are offering signing bonuses that amount to hundreds of dollars. You just have to know which offer best suits your needs. Of the more than 1,000 credit card offers we screened, here are the best travel credit cards for five different types of vacationers:

1. Frequent flyers

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/File
This 2010 file photo shows a British Airways plane as it comes in to land at Heathrow Airport in London. One of the best sign-up bonuses among credit cards for frequent travelers is the British Airways Credit Card, with enough bonus miles to earn you a roundtrip transatlantic flight.

Whether your summer travel destination is domestic or international, the British Airways Credit Card is an attractive offer. It gives you enough bonus miles after your first purchase to score a free roundtrip transatlantic flight or up to three cross-country domestic flights, through a partnership with American Airlines. You can even double your gains by spending $20,000 on the card during the first year. That and the lack of foreign transaction fees are enough to make the $95 annual fee seem inconsequential.

1 of 5

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.