CardHub.com, which compares and rates credit-card offers, has identified its favorite travel credit cards for 2013. Topping the list are the Capital One Venture Card, Blue Cash Preferred from American Express and the PenFed Platinum Rewards Card issued by the Pentagon Federal Credit Union.
Credit cards make sense for travelers for many reasons, including getting free or low currency exchange rates when abroad, free rental-car insurance coverage and reward bonuses earned for dollars spent. But there's a word of caution that comes with this too.
Reward cards work well for those who pay their bills in full, Card Hub Chief Executive Odysseas Papadimitriou said in a statement. Otherwise, folks are better off with a 0% interest rate offer (Citi Diamond Preferred Card and the Slate Card from Chase don't charge interest until after at least a year) that allows them to pay off a vacation over time. (All of this assumes you have good credit and qualify for the cards in the first place.)
Back to the cards with the best rewards:
--Capital One Venture card offers 2% cash back on all purchases and free foreign transactions. You don't pay the $59 annual fee until the second year.
--Blue Cash Preferred takes a tiered approach with 6% back on groceries, 3% back on gas and department store purchases and 1% on other expenses. It has a $75 annual fee and charges 2.7% for foreign transaction fees.