Best Family Travel Credit Cards of 2024


Family travel is a rewarding but complicated endeavor, and every family member you add to the trip increases the cost. However, planning ahead and using the right travel credit card can save you money and make your trips more comfortable.

The best family travel credit cards earn valuable points, miles or cash-back and offer benefits like airport lounge access that the whole family can enjoy. Here are CNBC Select’s top picks for families looking to upgrade their next vacation. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best travel credit cards for families.)

Best family travel credit cards

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

  • Rewards

    Earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services and phone plans. Plus earn 1X points on other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s a $200 cash redemption value.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases

  • Regular APR

    20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

See rates and fees, terms apply.

  • No annual fee
  • Solid rewards on broad spending categories
  • 0% intro APR offer
  • Get up to $600 cell phone protection (subject to a $25 deductible)
  • Valuable welcome offer
  • Access to My Wells Fargo Deals to earn cash back in the form of an account credit when shopping, dining

  • No balance transfer offer

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Who’s this for? The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card stands out for those seeking a no-annual-fee travel credit card as it has a long list of 3X bonus categories and earns transferrable points.

Standout benefits: The points earned with this card can be transferred to a growing list of airline and hotel partner programs, including British Airways Executive Club, Avianca LifeMiles and Air France/KLM Flying Blue. Having these various redemption options increases the value of your points as it allows you to take advantage of sweet spots with different programs.

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases, 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare; 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming. 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

  • Southwest upgraded boarding on up to 4 tickets per year
  • 7,500 bonus points on each account anniversary
  • $75 Southwest annual travel credit
  • 4 upgraded boardings per year when available

  • $149 annual fee
  • No special financing offers

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Who’s this for? With free checked bags for all passengers and a family-friendly seating policy, Southwest is great for families, and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card can help you save on your trips.

Standout benefits: This card can help families earn the Southwest Companion Pass more easily as the points from its welcome bonus count toward the 135,000-point threshold. Cardholders also receive a 10,000-qualifying-point boost every calendar year. The Southwest Companion Pass is valuable for families as it allows you to bring along a guest on any Southwest flight for the cost of taxes and fees.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Rewards

    Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, and $50 annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    21.49% – 28.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review.

  • Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel via Chase Travel℠
  • Transfer points to leading frequent travel programs at a 1:1 rate, including: IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy™ and World of Hyatt®
  • Travel protections include: auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance and trip delay reimbursement
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

  • $95 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% APR

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Who’s this for? The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an amazing all-around travel card, but can be especially valuable for booking your hotel stays and other lodgings.

Standout benefits: The points earned with this card can help you book everything from an Airbnb to a suite in a luxury hotel. At a minimum, Chase Ultimate® Rewards points are worth one cent for statement credits and gift cards. However, your points are automatically worth 25% more when redeemed through the Chase TravelSM portal and potentially more when transferred to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners.

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Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Unlimited 2X miles on all eligible purchases, and 5 Miles per dollar on flights and 10 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booked via Capital One Travel portal

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    19.99% – 29.99% variable APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    $0 at the Transfer APR, 4% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer to you

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Read our Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card review.

  • Large welcome bonus
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Up to $100 statement credits for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network

  • High annual fee
  • No introductory 0% APR period

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Who’s this for? The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is great if you’re looking for a premium credit card with easy-to-use benefits.

Standout benefits: This card offers generous airport lounge access, including unlimited access to Capital One Lounges, Priority Pass Lounges and Plaza Premium lounges. You can bring up to two guests to Capital One and Plaza Premium lounges and unlimited guests to Priority Pass Lounges. Better yet, airport lounge access benefits extend to authorized users on your card, and you can add up to four for no additional fee.

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Citi Double Cash® Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 18 months on balance transfers; N/A for purchases

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    For balance transfers completed within 4 months of account opening, an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies; after that, a balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Read our Citi Double Cash® Card review.

  • 2% cash back on all eligible purchases
  • Simple cash-back program that doesn’t require activation or spending caps
  • One of the longest intro periods for balance transfers at 18 months

  • 3% fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

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  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $443
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,213

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Who’s this for? The Citi Double Cash® Card is perfect for families with less-than-perfect credit who don’t want to bother with a complicated rewards program.

Standout benefits: Most cash-back credit cards and rewards credit cards earn 1% back or 1X points on purchases that fall outside of special bonus categories. With the Citi Double Cash, you get double the return: 1% cash back when you buy and 1% cash back when you pay. Over time this adds up and there is no limit to how much cash back you can earn.

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The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card is a rare no-annual-fee card that earns transferrable travel rewards.

Rewards

  • 3X points at restaurants
  • 3X points on travel
  • 3X points on gas
  • 3X points on transit
  • 3X points on popular streaming services
  • 3X points on phone plans
  • 1X points on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases with the card in the first three months of account opening.

Annual fee

$0

Notable perks

One of the best features of this card is its ability to transfer points to travel partners. You can transfer Wells Fargo rewards to these airline and hotel programs:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Iberia Plus
  • Choice Hotels

If you prefer simplicity, you can still redeem your points for one cent each for statement credits, gift cards and travel booked through the Wells Fargo rewards site.

When you pay your monthly phone bill with the card, you’ll not only earn 3X points but also qualify for cell phone protection. This coverage will reimburse you for up to $600 per claim with a $25 deductible (up to two claims per 12 months). It also has no foreign transaction fee, roadside dispatch, travel and emergency assistance and rental car collision coverage (secondary in the U.S.).

New cardholders also receive an intro 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months, then a variable 20.24%, 25.24% or 29.99% applies.

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The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is a family-friendly airline card with more than enough benefits to justify its annual fee.

Rewards

  • 3X points on Southwest purchases
  • 2X points on hotel and rental cars booked through Southwest
  • 2X points on local transit
  • 2X points on internet, cable and phone services
  • 1X points on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Annual fee

$149

Notable perks

The points you earn from this card’s welcome offer and spending on the card can help you earn a Southwest Companion Pass. On top of that, you also receive a 10,000-qualifying-point boost every calendar year. Anyone pursuing Southwest elite status will appreciate the opportunity to earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) for every $5,000 you spend annually with no cap on the number of TQPs you can earn.

Every year, you’ll receive two benefits that can offset the annual fee alone: A $75 Southwest travel credit and 7,500 bonus points. Experts value Southwest points at around 1.3 cents per point, which makes the annual bonus points worth roughly $97.50 in Southwest flights.

Every Southwest ticket comes with two free checked bags, no cancellation fees and no change fees, and with this card, you’ll get reimbursed for up to four upgraded boardings per year. Southwest doesn’t have assigned seats, so upgraded boarding becomes more valuable, especially for families that need to sit together. If you don’t want to pack snacks for the trip, you’ll receive 25% back on inflight purchases when you use this card.

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a popular travel rewards card with useful benefits and a lucrative welcome bonus, all for an annual fee under $100.

Rewards

  • 5X points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 5X points per dollar on Lyft rides through Mar. 31, 2025
  • 5X points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025; max of 25,000 total points)
  • 3X points per dollar on dining
  • 3X points per dollar on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).
  • 3X points per dollar on select streaming services
  • 2X points per dollar on all other travel purchases
  • 1X points per dollar on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Annual fee

$95

Notable perks

The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with many valuable protections, including primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty protection and baggage and trip delay insurance. On top of that, you pay no foreign transaction fee and for every card anniversary you’ll receive a 10% points bonus based on how many points you earned the previous year.

You’ll also have access to several statement credits, including up to $50 hotel credit for bookings you make through Chase’s travel site. Cardholders can also register to receive six months of free Instacart+ membership (activate by July 31, 2024) and up to $15 back each quarter for Instacart purchases (through July 2024). You can also enroll to receive a complimentary DashPass membership for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.

Perhaps the best feature of this card is that it unlocks the ability to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to 14 airline and hotel partners. Chase has a long list of valuable partners including United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Air Canada Aeroplan, World of Hyatt Hyatt and more. You’ll also receive a 25% bonus when you pay for travel you book through the Ultimate Rewards site, which means you’ll get a value of 1.25 cents per point. Occasionally, Chase offers discounts on gift card redemptions and you may be able to pick up Airbnb gift cards for 1.1 cents per point.

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The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a top-rated travel credit card offering premium perks for a significantly lower annual fee than luxury cards with similar benefits. 

Rewards

  • 10X miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel portal
  • 5X miles per dollar on flights booked via the Capital One Travel portal
  • 2X miles on all other eligible purchases

Welcome bonus

Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.

Annual fee

$395 (see rates and fees)

Notable perks

The Venture X’s annual fee is one of the easiest premium credit card fees to justify thanks to its straightforward benefits. Every year cardholders receive up to $300 in Capital One Travel credit and 10,000 anniversary bonus miles, which are worth at least $100 in travel.

On top of that, when you apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® you’ll receive an application fee credit of up to $100. Once through security, enjoy unlimited access to Priority Pass airport lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges and Capital One Lounges. You can add up to four authorized users for no additional fee and each authorized user receives the same airport lounge access for themselves and guests.

Eligible purchases are covered by the following travel and purchase protections:

  • Rental car damage and theft insurance (primary)
  • Cell phone protection
  • Purchase security
  • Return protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services

You can transfer the Capital One miles you earn with this card to partners like Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, Wyndham Rewards, Emirates Skywards and many more.

Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Refer to your Guide to Benefits for more details.

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The Citi Double Cash® Card is a no annual fee cash-back credit card with a straightforward rewards structure and useful intro APR offer for balance transfers.

Rewards

  • 5% total cash back on hotels, rental cars and attractions you book through Citi Travel (through Dec. 31, 2024)
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases (1% cash back when you buy and 1% cash back when you pay)

Welcome bonus

Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account opening. 

Annual fee

$0

Notable perks

The Citi Double Cash is an excellent option for balance transfers because new card members receive an intro 0% APR on eligible balance transfers for the first 18 months, then a variable 19.24% – 29.24% APR applies. There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount of each transfer ($5 minimum) for the first four months, after that the balance transfer fee is 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum).

While this is technically a cash-back card, it earns cash back in the form of Citi ThankYou points. You can redeem these points at a value of one cent each for statement credits, gift cards, travel and more. You also have access to a limited number of Citi’s travel partners and can transfer the points you earn with this card to Wyndham Rewards, Choice Hotels or JetBlue TrueBlue.

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FAQs

How do I choose the best travel credit card for my family?

The best travel credit card for your family depends heavily on where you want to go and what you want to use credit card rewards and benefits for. Some cards are great for airline redemptions, while others are better for hotel stays or cash-back rewards. Knowing your travel goals can help you hone in on the right choice for your situation.

Can you add family members to a credit card?

You can add family members to your credit cards as authorized users. However, it’s important to understand the fine print because there can be an additional fee for adding authorized users and authorized user card benefits may be limited.

Is it better to use Visa or Mastercard in Europe?

Visa and Mastercard are both widely accepted in Europe and beyond. Both of these payment networks tend to be more universally accepted in Europe than Discover or American Express.

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every credit card review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of credit card products. While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best travel credit cards for families.

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To determine which cards offer the best value for family travel, CNBC Select analyzed over 250 major credit cards issued through FDIC-insured banks and NCUA-insured credit unions that are widely available in the U.S.  

We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards (e.g., cash back, points and miles), annual fees, welcome bonuses, introductory and standard APR and balance transfer fees and foreign transaction fees. We also considered additional perks (e.g., ongoing travel or merchant statement credits), cardholder protections (e.g., purchase protection, $0 liability protection and travel insurance), the application process when available (e.g., is there a credit pull or required credit score) and how easy it is to redeem points (e.g., are rewards are tied to a specific brand; if transferable, to how many/which partners, can you redeem for straight cash back). 
 
We also considered CNBC Select audience data when available, such as general demographics and engagement with our content and tools.  

For the cards that offered a rewards program, we considered consumer spending data forecasts from location intelligence firm Esri to determine where U.S. consumers are spending the most money, like on dining and travel. We used this to help determine what bonus categories are most useful for consumers. Since the value of a point or mile varies based on what they can be redeemed for, we also considered things like transferability and the ability to redeem for cash-back. 

When choosing the best family travel credit cards, we focused on cards that offer perks or rewards that make sense for families. 

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For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.





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