The 6 best credit cards with annual travel statement credits of 2022

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Using a credit card with annual travel credits can save you money on expenses like checked bag fees.

  • Premium cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Platinum Card® from American Express charge high annual fees, but they offer lots of benefits in exchange.
  • One such perk is an annual travel credit — statement credits that reimburse you for qualifying travel purchases up to a certain dollar amount each year. 
  • For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers up to $300 in annual travel credits, and this credit is automatically applied to any eligible travel purchase you make with the card.
  • See Insider’s guide to the best rewards credit cards.

In recent years, there’s been an uptick in premium credit cards with high annual fees and benefits to boot. Annual travel credits are one of the perks that can help justify paying a hefty annual fee, and several cards offer them in some form.

Here are some of the best cards with annual travel credits.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

What are credit card annual travel credits?

Annual travel credits are essentially cash back in the form of credits to your card account when you make an eligible purchase. Credit cards that offer an annual travel credit will reimburse you up to a certain dollar amount for applicable travel purchases each year. 

For example, if you use Platinum Card® from American Express to pay for checked baggage with your designated airline and you haven’t used up the card’s annual benefit of up to $200 in airline fee credits**, you’d be reimbursed for those baggage fees. 

Some annual travel credits, like those on the The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Citi Prestige® Credit Card (no longer available to new applicants), are based on the calendar year, while others — like on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® — are based on your account membership year. 

What’s covered by credit card annual credits?

The specific rules for annual travel credits vary from card to card. The Chase Sapphire Reserve®‘s annual credit is the most generous because it applies to pretty much anything that you’d consider travel, from airfare, hotel stays, and Uber rides to parking charges and tolls. If you’d be spending at least $300 on these purchases each year anyway, you can effectively subtract this $300 from the card’s annual fee, since you’ll get $300 back.

On the other hand, airline fee credits offered by Amex credit cards explicitly exclude airfare — you can only use them to cover things like baggage fees, inflight snacks, and airline lounge day passes. 

If that sounds good to you, here are six credit card annual travel credits you need to know about.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Annual fee: $550

Annual travel credit amount: Up to $300 each account anniversary year

Eligible purchases: Anything that codes as travel

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the most popular travel rewards credit cards, thanks to perks like the $300 annual travel credit. This credit stands out from similar perks offered by other credit cards because it’s not restricted to a specific airline or hotel chain.

Moreover, it’s currently offering a new limited-time welcome bonus of Chase Sapphire Reserve®. That’s worth up to $1,200 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, and potentially Chase Sapphire Reserve® when you transfer points to airline and hotel partners, based on Insider’s valuation of Chase points.

It can be applied to virtually any travel purchase, including vacation packages, train tickets, rideshare expenses, and more. This makes the credit incredibly versatile and easy to redeem. Simply charge a qualifying purchase to the card and the credit will be applied. Easy!

Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee: $550

Annual travel credit amount: Up to $200 each calendar year 

Eligible purchases: Airline incidental fees made with your choice of qualifying airline. Incidental fees exclude actual airfare and airline gift cards, but include baggage fees, most onboard purchases, and airline lounge day passes.

Every year, cardholders must choose an airline for the $200 credit and stick with it. It’s much more limiting than credits issued by other cards, since you can only use it with one particular airline, and airfare is excluded. 

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Annual travel credit amount: Up to $300 each account anniversary year

Eligible purchases: Capital One Travel bookings, including flights, hotels, and car rentals

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a more recent addition to this list, and it also has a slightly lower annual fee than some of the other options. One of its biggest selling points is the annual statement credit it offers for up to $300 on Capital One Travel bookings made each account anniversary year. Capital One Travel is the card issuer’s proprietary booking platform, and you can use it to book flights, hotels, and car rentals. 

Beyond the statement credit, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and 5x miles on flights booked through that same portal. You’ll earn 2x miles on all other purchases, and get 10,000 bonus miles each year, starting after your first account anniversary.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

Annual fee: U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

Annual travel credit amount: Up to $325 each account anniversary year

Eligible purchases: Airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains, cruise lines, dining, takeout, and restaurant and delivery services

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card offers one of the biggest travel statement credits relative to the annual fee. In exchange for a U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card annual fee, cardholders receive a $325 statement credit applicable towards travel bookings, and the definition of what counts for this credit is generous. Plus, the statement credit now applies to dining purchases as well.

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card also earns 3x points on mobile wallet spending and comes with excellent travel and purchase protections. These benefits make this a great card for frequent and occasional travelers alike.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Annual fee: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card 

Annual travel credit amounts: Up to $250 in airline fee credits each calendar year, up to $250 in Hilton resort credits each account anniversary year

Eligible purchases: Incidental charges such as baggage fees and onboard purchases count for the airline fee credit; room rates and expenses charged to your room count for the Hilton resort credit

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is loaded with benefits, including not one but three annual travel credits. In exchange for a Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card annual fee, cardholders get a $250 airline fee credit, a $250 Hilton resort credit, and a $100 Hilton on-property credit per qualifying two-night stay booked on HiltonHonors.com/aspirecard.

If you’re looking for VIP treatment, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is like no other. Cardholders get automatic Hilton Diamond status, qualifying them for benefits like free breakfast, lounge access, and space-available suite upgrades.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express 

Annual travel credit amount: Up to $200 each calendar year

Eligible purchases: For checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one airline of your choice

This perk works just like it does on the personal Amex Platinum. Read our comparison of the Amex Platinum and the Business Platinum to learn more about how the two cards stack up.

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