Road trips are a great way to explore the country and see new things, but they can also be expensive. Gas, hotels, and food can all add up, but there are ways to save money on your road trip.
One way to save money is to use a credit card that offers rewards in these categories. Below are our recommended credit cards to maximize your next road trip.
1. Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Best for Gas Station Purchases
- Earn $200 Cash Back After Spending $1,500 in the First Six Months
- 5% Cash Back on Purchases in Your Top Eligible Spend Category Each Billing Cycle up to $500 (1% after that)
- 0% Intro APR for 15 Months on Purchases and Balance Transfers ($5 or 5% fee). After that, a variable APR of 18.49% – 28.49% applies.
- No Annual Fee
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a no-annual-fee card that earns 5% cash back in your top spending category each billing cycle.
Eligible 5% cash back categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, home improvement stores, drug stores, select transit, select streaming, fitness clubs, and live entertainment.
This allows you to turn the Custom Cash into your 5% cash back card for gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, or several other categories.
2. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Best for Rewards for Everyday Spending and on Hotels via Capital One Travel
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a premium travel rewards card that’s perfect for travelers who want outstanding travel perks like annual travel credits, worldwide airport lounge access, and travel and purchase protections.
The Venture X earns 2x miles on all purchases helping you maximize every dollar of your spending. Plus, you can earn 10x miles on hotels and rental cars, and 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One.
The card has a $395 annual fee, completely offset by an easy-to-use travel credit of up to $300 back annually as statement credits for Bookings via Capital One Travel, and 10,000 points (worth at least $100) for each account anniversary.
Plus, you get airport lounge access via Priority Pass, Capital One, and Plaza Premium Lounges, Hertz President’s Circle elite status, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, rental car insurance, trip and luggage insurance, cell phone insurance, and purchase protection.
3. American Express® Gold Card
Best for Dining and U.S. Supermarkets
The American Express® Gold Card is one of my favorite cards because it earns:
- 4x Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.,
- 4x Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x).
- 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
Plus, card members get nice credits when you enroll your Gold Card to offset the annual fee:
- $120 Uber Cash: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account, and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S.
- $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations.
4. IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
Best for Hotel Elite Status and Free Annual Hotel Night
- Earn 175,000 IHG Bonus Points After $3,000 in Purchases in the First 3 Months
- 10x Points at IHG Hotels and Resorts
- 5x Points on Travel, Dining, and Gas
- 3x Points on All Other Purchases
- IHG Platinum Elite Status
- Anniversary Free Night
- 4th Night Free on Awards
- Baggage and Trip Interruption/Cancellation Insurance
- Purchase Protection for 120 Days
- $99 Annual Fee
The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card is the easiest shortcut to obtaining IHG Platinum elite status, which is a higher tier that offers a 60% points bonus, complimentary suite upgrades, milestone rewards, and late check-out.
The $99 annual fee is easy to recoup for IHG loyalists, as the card comes with a free anniversary hotel night at hotels costing 40,000 points or at least $125 per night plus a fourth night free that you can use to maximize the 140,000 welcome bonus points earned after spending $3,000.
The IHG Premier offers solid returns on spending, earning 10x points at IHG properties plus 10x points for your IHG Rewards membership and 6x points for having the Platinum Elite status for a total of 26x points on hotel stays, and 5x points on travel, gas, and dining.
This card has a wide array of protections, including trip cancellation, travel accident, baggage delay, purchase, and secondary rental car insurance.
5. Citi Premier® Card
Best for Earning 3x Points at Gas Stations, Supermarkets, Restaurants, and Hotels
- Earn 60,000 Points After Spending $4,000 in the First 3 Months
- 3x Points at Restaurants, Supermarkets, Gas Stations, Flights, and Hotels
- $100 Off a Single $500 Hotel Stay Per Year
- Extended Warranty and Purchase Protections
- $95 Annual Fee
The Citi Premier® Card is the best card for earning points because it offers 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airlines, and hotels.
The Premier card also comes with no foreign transaction fees, purchase protection, and an extended warranty for items purchased, adding an additional 24 months to the manufacturer’s warranty.
6. Chase Sapphire Preferred
Best Starter Travel Card
- Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Bonus Points for Spending $4,000 in the First 3 Months
- 5x Points on Travel Booked Via Chase
- 3x Points on Dining and Eligible Delivery Services
- 3x Points on Select Streaming and Online Grocery (excluding Walmart, Target, and Wholesale Clubs)
- 2x Points on All Other Travel Purchases
- 10% Anniversary Points Boost
- Trip Delay and Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Primary Rental Car Insurance
- $95 Annual Fee
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best rewards cards for travelers who want solid earning rates for travel and dining expenses.
For only $95 per year, this card earns 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, 3x points on dining, online groceries, and streaming services, and 2x on all other travel purchases.
Cardholders will also get a 10% anniversary points bonus, a 12-month DoorDash DashPass subscription, and a $50- anniversary hotel statement credit.
Plus, it provides extensive travel protections, including trip delay, primary rental car, baggage, and purchase protection plans.
7. Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
4% Cash Back on Gas (up to $7,000 per year)
- 4% Cash Back on Eligible Gas and EV Charging for the First $7,000 Per Year, 1% Thereafter.
- 3% Cash Back on Restaurants and Travel
- 2% Cash Back at Costco and Costco.com
- Purchase Protection
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- No Annual Fee
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is a no-annual-fee card that earns:
- 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV Charging up to $7,000 per year (then 1%)
- 3% cash back at restaurants and eligible travel purchases
- 2% cash back at Costco.
The Costco card also offers purchase protection and no foreign transaction fees.
8. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Free Annual Hotel Night
- Earn 100,000 Bonus Points After Spending $3,000 in the First 3 Months.
- 6x Points at Marriott Hotels & Resorts
- 3x Points on Groceries, Gas, and Dining on the First $6,000 in Combined Purchases Each Year
- One Annual Free Night Award (Up to 35,000 Points Every Year After Account Anniversary)
- Automatic Silver Elite Status + 15 Elite Credits
- Trip Delay, Baggage Delay, and Lost Luggage Insurance
- $95 Annual Fee
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is a good option for travelers who want benefits at Marriott for a reasonable annual fee of $95, which is offset by a free night award of up to 35,000 points after each account anniversary.
The Bonvoy Boundless card also offers Bonvoy Silver status, 15 elite night credits, 6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3x points at grocery stores, gas stations, and on dining on the first $6,000 in combined purchases each year.
Plus, the card offers benefits such as baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, purchase protection, and no foreign transaction fees.
9. Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
Best for Cash Back
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer boasts a strong 2% rewards rate on purchases, where you get 1% back when you buy and 1% when you pay.
This zero-annual-fee card offers a solid earning potential as long as you pay your balance on time, and it provides a simple way to rack up points with no bonus categories to track.
You can also boost your rewards by also holding the Citi Premier® Card (review), which allows you to transfer points to airline and hotel programs. This combination effectively allows you to earn 2 airline miles per dollar on all spending with the Citi Double Cash.