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Travel rewards were once an obscure topic, and collecting points and miles was once considered no more interesting than collecting stamps or bugs. But over the last few years, the hobby has grown and become far more popular than nearly anyone predicted.  Today, there are millions of award travel enthusiasts, and any good personal finance expert will tell you the importance of earning valuable rewards from your credit cards, assuming that you avoid interest charges by paying your monthly statement balances in full.

As 2019 comes to a close, look to these cards to earn the best travel rewards in 2020.

The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2020

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

This perennial favorite shows no signs of slowing down. It continues to offer 2x Ultimate Rewards points on both travel and dining, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. These rewards are so valuable because they can be transferred to miles with 10 airlines or points with three hotel programs. You can also earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card.


Related: How to Get Global Entry and TSA PreCheck with Your Credit Card


The Platinum Card® from American Express

This card offers you 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months of account opening. These points can also be transferred to numerous airline and hotel loyalty programs. But it’s the benefits that make this card stand out. You get membership in several different airport business lounge programs while enjoying elite status with hotel and rental car programs. It also comes with a $200 annual airline fee credit, up to $200 each year in Uber credits, and a $100 credit towards the application fee for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. You even get up to $100 credit towards Saks Fifth Avenue purchases for your $550 annual fee (registration required). (see rates and fees)

American Express® Gold Card

This card is a benefits and rewards powerhouse. It offers you 35,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. You also earn 4x points at restaurants worldwide and on up to $25,000 spent each year at U.S. supermarkets. It comes with an annual $100 airline fee credit and up to $120 worth of statement credits at select restaurants.  There’s an annual fee of $250 for this card. (see rates and fees)


Related: The Best Credit Card Airline Benefits


United℠ Explorer Card

This is a standout airline card for several reasons. First, new applicants can earn up to 65,000 miles as part of a limited time offer. You earn 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. But then you can also earn another 25,000 miles if you spend a total of $10,000 within six months of account opening. Benefits include double miles on United purchases and at restaurants and hotels. You also get two, one-time United Club passes each year, your first bag checked free and priority boarding. And most importantly, cardholders get greater access to United economy class Saver awards, which are the ones at the lowest mileage levels. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year.

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