Travel Nurse Jobs & Travel Nursing Assistant Jobs
If you're interested in working and venturing away from home, travel assignments are perfect for you travel and explore what the world has to offer, all while doing what you do best — providing quality care., travel contract jobs for nurses & nursing assistants.
Your opportunities with GrapeTree are endless! Along with per-diem shifts and local long-term assignments, our healthcare professionals have the opportunity to travel and explore new areas without giving up a regular income. Travel contracts are 8-13 weeks in length, offer opportunities to work outside a 50 mile radius of your home, and include travel + housing stipends. Mesh your career with new personal life experiences by becoming a travel CNA/STNA, LPN, or RN with GrapeTree!
You get the best of both worlds. Earn a competitive wage while exploring your surroundings in your down time.
Live in, make memories in, and explore a new area with every new travel assignment
Receive a weekly, non-taxed per diem, to assist with travel, meals, housing, incidentals, and other necessary expenses.
Your schedule is set from the moment you are booked into a travel assignment with GrapeTree.
We currently offer travel opportunities throughout the states below – but we are still expanding! Check out all of the fun things to do in each of our states and pick your next home-away-from-home.
Make More With Travel Contracts
The weekly package range for travel assignments is a combination of hourly taxed rate and a weekly non-taxed per diem reimbursement to cover housing, meals, incidentals, and other necessary costs. Package amount is based on facility type, specialty, location, and certification of healthcare professional.
CN A s /STN A s
$1,200-$1,700 per week.
Must have 6 months of experience working as a CNA or STNA.
$1,600-$2,000 PER WEEK
Must have 1 year of experience working as an LPN.
Must have 1 year of experience working as an RN.
Your h ome address must be least 50 miles away from the facility to qualify for travel pay rates. Contracts are available as local assignments at a lower pay rate for those whose home address is less than 50 miles away from the facility address.
Get Certified in Other States
Only certified to work in your home state? No problem! While each state has their own process for becoming licensed, it is easy to get your license transferred. This process is called getting "reciprocity" or "endorsement." Our team has compiled a list of all our states' registries so that you can easily transfer your license. Give our team a call to learn more about getting reimbursed for gaining reciprocity in other states! Click the button below to get started.
The Perks of Travel A ssignments
You have the flexibility to choose where you go and what assignments you take on.
Experience higher job satisfaction working in a travel assignment by avoiding overtime.
Explore what you love about nursing by working with more people in diverse settings.
Strengthen your experience an build up your resume to show that you thrive in all environments.
What People Are Saying
I've been working and traveling with GrapeTree Medical Staffing for about five months now and have loved every minute of it! The communication is great, the pay is excellent and I love how flexible they are! If you are looking for a great company to work for I highly recommend GrapeTree!
Alissa | Travel CNA
Got questions we've got answers..
Book Your Dream A ssignment
Our team is waiting to hear from you! Learn more about our travel opportunities or book your dream assignment by giving us a call at (712) 336-0800 and select option 4.
Interested in More Information?
Become a Travel Certified Nursing Assistant
Find CNA jobs that are right for you
Healthcare facilities rely on travelers for many reasons, including low-staffed units in need, strikes, crisis help and more. That means certified nursing assistants (more commonly known as “CNAs”) have lots of job options! You can browse CNA jobs anytime.
When you’re searching CNA jobs, it’s good to remember that CNA openings fill quickly, and job listings can change by the hour. The best way to land your dream assignment is to be up to date on your certifications and CNA application. Your Aya application lists your skill sets and areas of interest. The more you tell us about you, the better we can cater the assignments options we present to your needs.
CNA Salary – Travel vs Local Per Diem
A CNA salary varies from facility to facility, but Aya offers competitive minimum hourly wage for CNA contracts nationwide. Most of our CNA jobs are local per diem (not travel), which allows you to maximize your pay package. Traditional travel CNA jobs have a portion spent on travel and housing, but with per diem CNA jobs, you can minimize these costs by working locally and increase your take-home pay.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements for a travel assignment? To land a travel CNA job, you need to meet the following requirements:
- At least one year of recent work experience in that specialty.
- Licensed in U.S. state as a CNA and hold the state license in the state you want to work in.
What finances should I take into consideration?
For most CNA assignments, you’ll make an hourly wage between $15-$20 — higher than the national minimum wage — with some crisis contracts offering $30/hr.
While this isn’t always the case, many CNA jobs do not reimburse for the following expenses. (As such, it’s important to take these costs into consideration when picking an assignment.)
- Travel expenses
- Reliable transportation
- Food and lodging expenses
- Licenses, certifications and renewals
What gives me an advantage when applying to CNA jobs?
Due to the high volume of interest, keeping your documentation updated gives you priority on job openings. Make sure you have a completed application on file with Aya Healthcare and a recruiter will contact you if he or she finds jobs that are a good fit. A completed CNA application includes:
- State licenses
- 2 nurse leadership references
- Completed CNA skills checklist/self-assessment. (To access and complete, log in to your account .)
When will I be contacted by a recruiter? Due to a high volume of applicants, recruiters and are reaching out to the applicants that best fit the job requirements. This is based on a variety of factors including experience, location, references, skills and interest. To ensure the best chance of securing an assignment and speaking to a recruiter, continue to keep your application updated and mark jobs in your area that you’re interested in on the website. As soon as there’s a match, a recruiter will reach out to you.
Ready to travel? Register now .
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9 Best Travel Nurse Companies of 2023
Are you ready to try travel nursing? Working with a travel nurse staffing agency can make it easier to find travel nursing jobs and to negotiate pay rates and benefits. An agency gives you a point of contact who can help you navigate job listings and compensation packages.
The sooner you find the right company, the faster you can start traveling.
Click here for today’s top travel nursing opportunities.
How To Find The Right Travel Nursing Company
When looking for the best travel nursing company to suit your needs, you first have to know what your needs are.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when considering travel nursing companies:
- Are you going to need health insurance?
- How important is it that you contribute to your retirement?
- Do you prefer to find your own housing or do you want your company to find it for you?
- Where do you want to travel?
- How do you plan on getting there?
- Do you plan on working per diem as well?
- What kind of healthcare facilities are you hoping to work in?
What to Look for in Travel Nursing Agencies
When looking into travel nurse agencies you should first make sure that they provide the basics: free housing or a housing stipend, health and dental insurance, a retirement plan, travel reimbursement, 24-hour customer support, and a variety and abundance of travel nursing jobs all over the country.
Here are a few tips from my experience about the basics:
Travel Nurse Housing:
Do you want your agency to find housing for you, or do you want to take the housing stipend and search for housing yourself?
I personally found it much easier to have my agency set up my housing for me. This way I knew it was safe, furnished, close to where I was working, and paid for. If there were any problems, all I had to do was call my company and it would be handled.
Many people choose to find their own housing and take the housing stipend instead. There are pros and cons to this choice:
Pros To Choosing Housing Stipends
- Your housing stipend depends on the city you live in, but oftentimes, it is more than the rent you end up paying. This is a good way to make some extra tax-free cash.
- You can find exactly the type of housing you’re looking for at the price you’re willing to pay. You can rent just a room for yourself and pocket a lot of cash. Or rent an entire house if you’re bringing your family or pets along. If you’re traveling with fellow coworkers, you can find a bigger house to share that fits everyone.
- You can choose where you live. Maybe you’re going to Seattle and you’d rather live downtown and commute to work than vs. living next to the hospital in the suburbs.
- There are several websites and groups now to help you find housing
- Once you’ve done it once, you understand how to find housing and can repeat the process in the next location.
Cons To Choosing Housing Stipends
- It can be difficult to find short-term furnished housing.
- Many landlords require a deposit, so you have to front that money before you get your first paycheck.
- If you end up extending your contract, it’s not guaranteed that your landlord hasn’t rented out the place to someone else.
- If you have never been to that city before, it can also be tough to determine whether a neighborhood is safe or not.
Another thing to keep in mind, if you are traveling with a pet, it may make it difficult to find your own housing. Oftentimes, travel nurse agencies have housing already contracted that accepts pets.
There are pros and cons to using your a travel nurse agency’s contracted housing vs. finding your own housing. It just depends on how much time and effort you can put into the search and if you’re hoping to pocket any extra housing stipend cash.
Benefits for Travel Nurses:
- The majority of travel nurse companies offer health and dental insurance.
- Now that the Affordable Care Act is in place, it might be wise to research whether or not it would be more cost-effective for you to go with your agency’s healthcare plan or purchase one of your own through healthcare.org. The benefit of going through healthcare.org is that if you do plan on switching travel nurse agencies, you won’t have to change your insurance.
- Some smaller travel nurse companies will give you a healthcare stipend if you don’t take their health insurance so you can purchase your own.
- As far as retirement plans go, I decided to open up my own Roth IRA and not contribute to the 401K because I didn’t know how long I was going to be traveling. With some companies you can contribute to your 401K from day 1 and with others you have to wait as long as 1 year.
Travel Nurse Reimbursements
When talking with your potential travel nurse agency, make sure you ask them what the reimbursement is for travel. “Travel” cost is considered the amount of money it takes you to get from your “tax home” to your travel assignment or from one assignment to the next. Often times this can be negotiated if there is a high need in one state that happens to be across the country.
I have found that the average reimbursement is $500.
They will pay you half on your first paycheck and the other half when you complete your assignment. You have the option of either driving or flying to your next destination. I personally drove to each of my assignments; I couldn’t imagine trying to fit all my belongings into suitcases and I love road trips.
Important Pay and Benefits Questions to Ask
Not all benefits or pay packages are created equal. It is important to find an agency that offers benefits, housing, and pay packages that are specific to your needs.
1. What destinations does your agency serve?
The whole point of travel nursing is to travel…right? So it is important to find a company that serves the city or cities you want to travel to. Some agencies claim they have contracts nationwide, however, that may not be the case.
If you know of a specific hospital that you would like to travel to because it looks good on your resume or a specific city you want to explore, then make sure your potential agency has a contract at that location. This is especially important if you want to travel to places such as Hawaii and Alaska.
Match with a travel company here.
2. How are your pay packages broken down?
Does the company tend to pay a higher base rate with lower non-taxable reimbursements or a lower base rate with higher non-taxable reimbursements?
Having a higher base rate may serve you better if you plan on taking company housing, plan on buying a house, or getting a loan in the near future. If you are someone who likes to find their own housing, then a higher housing stipend may be the way to go with a lower base rate.
3. What types of housing do you provide?
Most agencies offer a one-bedroom furnished apartment for your typical 13-week contract. This typically does not include dishes, linen, a washer and dryer, a T.V., or even a vacuum. If you don’t like lugging your belongings around with you all over the country or paying out of pocket to rent this stuff, then it may be wise to either ask if the agency provides any of these necessities at no cost or find your own housing.
If your contract is only eight weeks, then you could get stuck in an extended-stay hotel. I personally like to have nice housing, so I wanted a company that focused on providing comfortable and safe housing options. If you like to find your own housing then this may not apply to you.
4. What type of benefits do you offer?
Most agencies offer medical/dental benefits and a retirement package. If these benefits are important to you, then finding a company with good benefits is essential.
If you like to live on the edge with no health benefits and you brush and floss your teeth like a champ, then maybe you don’t care about benefits. If this is the case then you can ask the company if they are willing to pay you a higher base rate for not taking their benefits.
As far as retirement packages go, I found it easier to do my own Roth IRA on the side. This way, if I switched companies I didn’t have to worry about moving my money all over the place.
Click here to discover new high paying opportunities.
5. What types of extra work-related costs do you reimburse for?
Travel nurse companies can reimburse you for the following:
- Licensing fees
- CEU (Continuing Education) requirements
- Required immunizations
Some travel nurse agencies have a CEU database that is free for their employees. This helps cut costs in those states that require a certain number to maintain or acquire a new license.
These extra costs add up over time so it’s nice to know your agency is looking out for your pocketbook.
6. What are your missed and canceled shift policies?
A missed shift means you called in sick, and a canceled shift means they canceled you for low census. For the most part, the hospital determines how the travel nurse agency handles this, and it will be written in your contract.
This is important because in the travel nurse world if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. And in some cases, you may have to reimburse your agency for housing costs.
There may be a clause written in your contract that allows you to “miss” a certain amount of shifts without being penalized. There will also be a clause that states how many shifts the hospital can cancel you. Usually, it’s once a pay period, and your agency shouldn’t require you to reimburse them for housing costs.
There are even some agencies that offer 100% guaranteed shifts meaning no matter what you will not get canceled.
Find travel assignments in your specialty here.
Other Questions To Ask a Travel Nurse Agency:
- What is the travel reimbursement?
- How much will health insurance cost me?
- If I don’t take health insurance, do I get a healthcare stipend?
- When can I start contributing to my 401K?
- Are there bonuses for extending assignments?
- How often do I get paid?
- Does the company also contract per diem work?
- Do they offer paid time off?
- Are there any referral bonuses available?
9 Best Travel Nursing Agencies
Here is a list and highlights of a few travel nursing companies to consider.
All of these companies offer the basics such as housing, benefits, travel reimbursement, staffing in all 50 states, and 24-hour customer support.
Click here to find the right company for you!
Find the Best Travel Nurse Agency for You
There are a number of travel nursing companies to choose from.
Finding the best travel nursing company that fits your needs and a recruiter that has your best interests in mind are absolutely essential for an enjoyable travel nursing experience.
The right staffing agency for you is out there, now is the time to find them!
Click here for today’s top travel nursing opportunities.
You may also like
9 Insider Tips From A Travel Nurse Staffing Agent
When Travel Nursing Goes Bad – And How To Fix It
How To Choose The Best Travel Nursing Offer – Pros and Cons
6 Important Questions You Need to Ask A Potential Staffing Agency
Join the many nurses already traveling.
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Travel as a Certified Nursing Assistant
Browse travel CNA jobs with LRS Healthcare.
Traveling as a CNA with LRS Healthcare
At LRS Healthcare, our recruiters are trained experts at finding only the best CNA jobs at long-term care nursing facilities across the nation. This means you get to choose your next working view!
When you travel as a healthcare professional, you get to make an incredible impact on the patients in your care while offering the long-term care facilities you serve with much needed staffing relief. You’ll get to choose from thousands of long-term care jobs nationwide, giving you control of your healthcare career.
Browse travel CNA jobs with LRS Healthcare and apply today to get started today. A recruiter will be in touch to help you with the final application and job details while working to get you the job of your dreams!
What to expect
Applying for cna travel jobs.
Before starting a healthcare travel assignment as a certified nursing assistant, you must take the first leap and apply . A recruiter will then reach out to finalize your application and talk about your preferences in hopes to get you placed at a desirable long-term care facility. Once all of your documents and background checks are completed, if an offer is made, you can then sign your contract and prepare for your next adventure!
Download the Complete Checklist for Every New Healthcare Travel Assignment
of Traveling as a CNA
As a healthcare traveler, you get to be your own boss and our team of professionals is here to help you find the perfect balance of work and life adventures. It’s about finding that balance between having the control and freedom to travel, while learning and growing a CNA caregiver.
Additional perks include:
Excellent Weekly Pay
Explore New Cities
Fun and Flexible Lifestyle
Extended Time Off Between Assignments
Meet New People
With all of this change and excitement, it may take some time to get comfortable in your new job and location. Don’t worry this is expected and your recruiter will be there at every step of your journey! Learn more about about travel opportunities for Nursing Professionals.
01. To be considered as a healthcare traveler, be sure your licenses and certifications up to date. The required licenses may vary depending on the state in which you work a travel assignment. While not always required, you’ll have a leg up if you have 2-years of on-the-job experience.
02. Once you’ve gained a minimum of 2-years on-the-job experience, determine which healthcare staffing agency you want to work with, then apply for a job! At LRS Healthcare, our recruiters take pride in listening to your requests and finding you the best CNA travel job that not only pays well but is in a city that matches your interests.
03. To put it simply, pay packages vary by job, facility, and agency. A healthcare traveler pay package advertised online could be before or after taxes, include travel or housing stipends, etc., These variables affect what your take-home pay could be and could potentially be different than what agencies display online. To ensure accuracy, your LRS Healthcare recruiter will outline your personalized pay package, so you know what to expect on your weekly paystub
04. A standard travel nurse assignment is 13 weeks; however, long-term care facilities tend to have a bit more flexibility when it comes to CNA contracts. If you commit to an 8-week or 13-week travel assignment and decide you love it, you have the option to extend your contract . If you determine it’s not the location or job for you, then you have peace of mind that it is only temporary.
Traveler Experience Team
Learn more about our benefits .
From the LRS Healthcare Blog
Prioritizing a healthy heart and lifestyle while on a travel assignment, how to transition from staff nurse to travel nurse, the nation’s top-rated music festivals for spring and summer.
Why Choose LRS Healthcare?
Your success is our priority. That’s why we make the traveler experience easy, so you can spend more time living your life and caring for your patients. Here are just a few more reasons to travel with us.
You’re never just a number to us. We take the time to learn about you, including your career goals and desired destinations. Your recruiter will guide you from one assignment to the next and be your advocate throughout your journey with us.
Submit your online application, and we’ll be in touch right away. Once we’ve gotten to know you and matched you to an ideal position, we’ll work together to collect the rest of the details.
Along with your recruiter, you’ll have access to our dedicated operations and traveler experience teams. They help take care of all the details to make your assignment the very best it can be. You won’t go it alone—you can contact us any time, 24/7/365.
Travel with LRS Healthcare
Ready to hit the road for your next assignment.
Best travel credit cards for airlines in 2024
Feb 2, 2024 • 17 min read
Read on for the best ways to fly the world with the helpful boost of points & miles © andresr / Getty
This series of articles about credit cards, points and miles, and budgeting for travel is brought to you in partnership with The Points Guy .
Advertiser Disclosure: This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. This relationship may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. All information about Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority credit card has been collected independently by Lonely Planet. These cards are not available through Lonely Planet.
Imagine planning the ultimate dream trip to say, New Zealand , and not having to worry about paying for any of your flights, hotels, sightseeing tours or rental car. The good news is, that’s entirely possible if you develop a credit card strategy to make your everyday purchases work in your favor.
When it comes to choosing the perfect airline credit card, there are two ways to go about it. You could sign up for a travel credit card that lets you earn flexible rewards points, which can be then redeemed for free flights with various partner airlines.
Or, you could choose a cobranded credit card that lets you earn and redeem miles with a single airline, a great option if you’re striving for status with a particular carrier or you’re based near a certain airline’s hub.
In our search for the best airline credit cards, we considered several factors: the welcome bonus, travel protections, elite status perks and annual benefits. Additionally, none of the cards listed have foreign transaction fees .
While many of them have high annual fees (ranging from $95–$695), using all the included credits and benefits will help offset them.
Here’s our list of the best travel credit cards for airlines, a mix of flexible travel cards and the cobranded credit cards of four popular US airlines: American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines.
How to get started with travel points and airline miles
Best travel credit cards for airlines for 2023
- Best travel credit card with a low annual fee: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Best premium travel credit card: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Best credit card for lounge access: The Platinum Card® from American Express *
Best American Airlines credit card: Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
Best united airlines credit card: united club℠ infinite card.
- Best Delta Air Lines credit card: The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card *
Best Southwest Airlines credit card: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
The best travel credit cards for 2023
Best travel credit card with a low annual fee: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the most popular travel credit cards on the market, thanks to the many opportunities it offers for earning and redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points. There are 14 airline and hotel transfer partners, and points can be switched over at a 1:1 ratio.
Besides its modest annual fee and lucrative welcome bonus, cardholders receive an annual $50 statement credit toward hotels booked via Chase Ultimate Rewards. Points redeemed via the Chase travel portal are worth 1.25 cents per point, and you’ll score a 10% points bonus each year based on how many points were earned the previous year.
Cardholders can also access partner benefits, including a complimentary six-month subscription to Instacart+ with up to $15 in statement credits quarterly through July 2024 and a free membership to DoorDash and Caviar.
Welcome bonus: 60,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.
Rewards: Earn 5X points on travel reserved via Chase Ultimate Rewards, not counting hotel stays that qualify for the annual $50 hotel credit; 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2025; 5X points on Peloton purchases over $150 (up to 25,000 points) through March 2025; 3X on dining and online grocery shopping (except Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 3X points on streaming services; 2X points for travel expenses; and 1X points on all other purchases.
Airline transfer partners: Aer Lingus, Air Canada, British Airways, Emirates, Air France / KLM, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
Travel benefits: Auto rental collision damage waiver; baggage delay, trip cancellation and interruption insurance; trip delay reimbursement and emergency travel assistance.
Credit score: Good to excellent.
Annual fee: $95. See rates and fees .
- Generous welcome bonus providing $750 worth of travel when you redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- Many options for redeeming rewards, including 14 airlines and three hotels (Hyatt, IHG and Marriott).
- Modest annual fee considering all the included travel benefits.
- Approval is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so you won’t be approved if you’ve opened five credit cards within 24 months.
- There is no airport lounge access offered as an included perk.
Chase Sapphire review: an in-depth look at the card loved by travelers
For travelers who expect premium-level service and benefits, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a top choice, though it does carry a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees ).
That said, it’ll almost pay for itself if you use all the perks — a $300 annual travel credit; Priority Pass lounge membership; a $100 credit toward Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS enrollment; access to The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection; and exclusive sports, dining and entertainment events via Reserve by Sapphire.
Redemptions are worth 1.5 cents per point when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and you can transfer them to any of Chase’s 14 airline and hotel partners. Cardholders also receive one free year of Instacart+ service with up to $15 in statement credits per quarter through July 2024, plus free membership to DoorDash and Caviar.
Rewards: Earn 10X points on car rentals and hotels, not counting The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the $300 annual travel credit); 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025; 10X points on Peloton purchases over $150 (up to 25,000 points) through March 2025; 10X points on Chase Dining purchases; 5X points on flights reserved through the Chase travel portal (after the $300 travel credit); 3X points on dining; and 3X points on all other travel purchases (after the $300 annual travel credit).
Travel benefits: Lost luggage and trip delay reimbursement, baggage delay and travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, trip interruption and cancellation insurance, emergency travel and roadside assistance, emergency transportation and evacuation services and emergency dental and medical benefits.
Credit score: Excellent.
Annual fee: $550. See see rates and fees .
- Complimentary access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide thanks to the included Priority Pass membership.
- The $300 annual travel credit and $100 credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS registration help to offset the annual fee.
- A lucrative welcome bonus that’s worth $900 in travel when redeemed via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- High annual fee.
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners: How to get the best value in 2023
Best credit card for lounge access: The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card offers a ton of premium travel benefits, including access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection, a $200 hotel credit on Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection stays booked via American Express Travel, a $200 airline fee credit for incidental charges made with a specific airline and a $189 credit for a CLEAR Plus membership.
Cardholders also receive a $240 digital entertainment credit to cover up to $20 per month spent with certain streaming platforms, a $155 credit for a monthly Walmart+ membership and a $100 statement credit when you shop at Saks Fifth Avenue ($50 per six-month period).
Additional perks include $200 worth of Uber Cash annually — $15 per month, plus an extra $20 in December — and a $300 Equinox credit.
Welcome bonus: 80,000 points after spending $8,000 within the first six months of account opening.
Rewards: Earn 5X points on flights booked directly with the airline or via American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year); 5X points on hotels reserved via AmexTravel.com, including The Hotel Collection; 1X points on all other purchases.
Transfer partners: Aer Lingus, AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air France / KLM, ANA, Avianca, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia, JetBlue, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic.
Travel benefits: Baggage insurance, secondary coverage on standard rental car insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, access to a global emergency assistance hotline, evacuation and medical transport service in an emergency and medical assistance.
Annual fee: $695. See rates and fees .
- Many transfer partners, including 17 airlines and three hotels (Marriott, Hilton and Choice Hotels).
- Generous statement credits are offered for various travel, dining and shopping charges.
- Lucrative welcome bonus that’s worth $1,600 in travel when points are redeemed through American Express Membership Rewards.
- Secondary car insurance, whereas the aforementioned Chase cards offer primary car insurance via the auto rental collision damage waiver.
Traveling to Europe using points and miles
American Airlines loyalists will love the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, which includes free entry to the Admirals Club as well as the carrier’s partner lounges. You’ll also get one free checked bag for you and up to eight companions on the same reservation.
Cardholders receive 25% off in-flight food and drinks and priority boarding, screening and check-in when flying on American Airlines. You’ll also earn a $100 statement credit to cover your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment and statement credits for Avis and Budget car rentals (up to $120 per year), GrubHub (up to $120 per year) and Lyft (a $10 credit each month once you take three eligible rides).
Welcome bonus: 70,000 miles after spending $7,000 within the first three months of account opening.
Rewards: Earn 10X miles on car rentals and hotels booked via American Airlines; 5X points per dollar for the rest of the year once you hit $150,000; 4X miles on American Airlines purchases; 1X miles for all other purchases. You’ll also earn 10,000 bonus points once you reach 50,000 points in a status qualification year, plus another 10,000 points if you reach 90,000 points within that same year.
Travel benefits: Trip delay, interruption and cancellation insurance; lost baggage protection; and car rental coverage.
Annual fee: $595. See rates and fees .
- Points earned with the card count toward AAdvantage elite status.
- The included membership to the Admirals Club is worth $850, making that benefit alone well worth the $595 annual fee (see rates and fees ) — if you use it.
- Day-of travel benefits, like a free checked bag and priority boarding.
- High annual fee, especially if you don’t visit the Admirals Club lounges.
- Limited opportunities to earn miles outside American Airlines purchases.
How to get major perks at global events and concerts with your credit card
United Club℠ Infinite Card members receive a free United Club membership, which also provides access to select Star Alliance partner lounges worldwide. Cardholders score special treatment at the airport, with priority services for check in, security, boarding and baggage handling.
Additional perks include up to two free checked bags for you and a companion; a $100 statement credit to put toward Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS enrollment; 25% back in statement credits for onboard United purchases; up to 8,000 Premier Qualifying Points, which count toward Premier status, for every $12,000 spent with the card; and a complimentary one-year membership to DoorDash and Caviar.
Welcome bonus: 80,000 miles after spending $5,000 within the first three months of account opening.
Rewards: Earn 4X miles on United purchases, including flights, Wi-Fi and in-flight food and drinks; 2X miles on travel and dining; 1X miles for all other purchases.
Travel benefits: Automatic Platinum Elite status with IHG One Rewards for hotels and Avis President’s Club for car rentals; access to The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection; baggage delay insurance and lost luggage reimbursement; trip delay, interruption and cancellation insurance; auto rental collision damage waiver; and concierge services through Visa Infinite.
Annual fee: $525. See rates and fees .
- The complimentary United Club membership is worth $650, already making it worth the annual fee if you visit frequently.
- Day-of travel benefits like priority boarding and two free checked bags.
- The ability to earn Premier Qualifying Points, which count toward elite status.
- Limited opportunities to earn miles outside United Airlines purchases.
The best credit cards with no international fees in 2023
Best Delta Air Lines credit card: The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
While Delta offers several cobranded cards, The Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card offers the widest variety of benefits for frequent flyers, plus complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges.
One of the main draws for this card is the companion certificate you’ll receive each year upon renewal, which you can use to score a free economy, Delta Comfort+ or Domestic First Class ticket for a friend or family member. Cardholders also receive their first checked bag free, 20% back on in-flight purchases, priority boarding and upgrade priority (for Medallion members). The Companion Ticket requires payment of the government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply.
The card offers complimentary Delta Sky Club access to primary cardholders (Note: You must be traveling on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight. You will receive four Delta Sky Club One-Time Guest Passes each year. After that, you may bring up to two guests at a per-visit rate of $50 per person, per location. Reserve Card Members will receive 15 visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter.)
Welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months.
Rewards: 3X miles on Delta purchases, 1X miles on all other purchases.
Travel benefits: 15% off award flights, a $100 statement credit to cover your Global Entry application (or $85 for TSA PreCheck), one free checked bag for you, priority boarding, access to a global emergency assistance hotline, expert Concierge services.
Annual fee: $650. See rates and fees .
- Complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges, despite some limitations, as well as American Express Centurion lounges.
- Day-of travel perks like priority boarding and a free checked bag.
- Cardholders save 15% when booking award flights.
- Several perks are disappearing or changing in 2025.
Best travel credit cards for hotels
While a number of cobranded credit cards are offered by the carrier, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card has the most benefits for a reasonable annual fee.
For starters, cardholders earn 7,500 points to commemorate each anniversary and all the points you pick up by using this card count toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass, which provides free travel for a friend or family member for a year, for just the cost of taxes and fees.
Welcome bonus: Limited-time offer: Earn a Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Rewards: 3X points on Southwest Airlines purchases; 2X points on transit, commuting and rideshare services; 2X points for hotels and car rentals booked via Southwest Rapid Rewards; 2X points for cable, internet, phone and streaming services; 1X points for all other purchases.
Travel benefits: Four upgraded boardings per year; 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points annually; a $75 Southwest annual travel credit; 25% back on in-flight purchases; and 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points, which count toward A-List elite status each time you spend $10,000.
Annual fee: $149. See rates and fees .
- Reasonable annual fee with a decent welcome bonus.
- Ability to earn points toward A-List elite status and the Southwest Companion Pass.
- Many opportunities to earn points outside of airline-related purchases.
- Secondary car rental insurance and a lack of the usual travel insurance and delay protections.
Best credit cards for road trips
Who should get an airline credit card?
Anyone who enjoys earning points to redeem for free flights — or, as with airline-specific cobranded cards, special perks like free checked bags, lounge access or the ability to earn status — can benefit from an airline credit card.
The best credit cards for airport lounge access in 2023
How to choose the best airline credit card
If you’re loyal to a particular airline — maybe you’ve always flown with it or you’re based near its airport hub — a cobranded credit card might make more sense. Otherwise, if you’re open to flying any carrier and its airline partners, a flexible travel rewards credit card could be more beneficial.
10 amazing US hotels you can book with points
Are airline credit cards worth it?
It depends on what your end goal is. Are you trying to earn enough points to score a free flight to Hawaii or to transfer points to your favorite airline and fly to Australia for free? If so, a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred , Chase Sapphire Reserve or The Platinum Card could be a good pick for its flexible rewards points.
If, however, your goal is to always fly with free checked bags or enjoy complimentary upgrades and other perks with a specific airline, a cobranded card with your preferred carrier would definitely come in handy.
Best credit cards for traveling with kids
Why should I consider getting a flexible travel rewards credit card instead?
It all comes down to your personal travel preferences. If you’re a creature of habit who only travels with one carrier, consider that you also have access to its partner airlines, not only through its airline alliance but its credit card loyalty program.
Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders, for instance, have access to 14 partners within the Chase Ultimate Rewards network, while those with The Platinum Card can choose from 17 partners through American Express Membership Rewards.
How to travel to New Zealand with points and miles in 2023
Do you need a credit card to book a flight?
While a credit card does make things easier in terms of paying for your purchases online and earning rewards points toward future trips , you can also opt to pay for a plane ticket with a debit card, gift card or through a payment service such as PayPal, if available through the booking site.
Traveling to Hawaii with points and miles for 2023
*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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Help! I Missed a Cruise and the Cruise Line’s Own Travel Insurance Won’t Pay.
A young woman booked her first big trip, a Mediterranean cruise on Norwegian, but missed the boat when her flight was delayed. Since she bought the cruise line’s own travel protection plan, why is she stuck with the bill?
By Seth Kugel
Dear Tripped Up,
After graduating from college in 2022 and working for a year, I used my bonus and some of my savings to book a nine-day Mediterranean cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line for my partner and me. Our $7,657 cruise package included airfare from Atlanta to Barcelona, Spain, via Newark, and Norwegian’s own BookSafe Travel Protection Plan , which included travel insurance and also allowed me to “cancel for any reason” for a 75 percent credit. Weather delayed our first flight, we missed the connection, and United Airlines could not get us to Barcelona in time to embark. I called Norwegian and agents suggested I buy last-minute tickets on a different airline, but I don’t have that kind of money. And even if I did, there were no direct flights to later ports, and I was unwilling to risk missing another connecting flight. So we spent the night in the Newark airport, paid for a return flight to Atlanta the next morning and canceled the cruise and remaining air legs. I got $1,184 back right away from Norwegian, and then an additional $232 back (for my return flight) from travel insurance when I filed a trip delay claim, but a trip cancellation claim for the cruise was denied outright. I feel I should at least get the 75 percent credit — otherwise what was the protection plan for? Can you help? Ivy, Atlanta
You’re not the first traveler to write Tripped Up after missing a cruise because of flight delays on the very itinerary the cruise company booked for them.
You also went out of your way to solve this problem on your own, first, registering complaints with the Better Business Bureau, the Georgia attorney general, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in Florida (where Norwegian is based), all to no avail. Even when I offered to help, you didn’t stop and — before I could do anything — prodded Norwegian into giving you a slightly-more-than-75-percent credit, or $5,420, for a future cruise “as a gesture of good will.” Impressive.
I would have moved on to help another Tripped Up reader, but Norwegian’s use of the responsibility-shirking phrase “as a gesture of good will” bugged me. I wanted to know why BookSafe didn’t cover you, and what other cruise customers can do to protect themselves.
The BookSafe plan actually has two main parts: a travel insurance policy, administered by Aon Affinity and underwritten by Nationwide, and a “cancel for any reason credit feature,” provided by Norwegian itself.
I read through the fine print, and it turns out (and Aon confirms) the travel insurance portion does not provide reimbursement for a cruise if airline issues cause a traveler to miss it. But under the Cancel for Any Reason component, it looks to me as if Norwegian should have given you that credit with no hassle.
I tried to confirm that with Norwegian, but the company declined to answer most of my questions, instead responding with imprecise statements via email.
“Although Norwegian Cruise Line provides flight arrangements as part of its cruise offering,” the first email read, “we do not have control over the operations of the airlines and are not responsible for any flight modifications or cancellations.”
“It is because of the very nature of unexpected situations, such as this, that we strongly recommend all guests purchase travel insurance,” the statement continued.
But again, you purchased the travel protection plan and the insurance portion did not cover you. As for the Cancel for Any Reason credit component, Norwegian sent another email, which you forwarded, that read, “We are unable to issue credits for the penalties assessed to your reservation as this does not qualify under Cancel for Any Reason prior to departure.”
When you complained to the Better Business Bureau initially, Norwegian doubled down, giving it same wording.
I can’t understand why. For the credit to kick in, BookSafe clearly states you need only cancel “prior to the ship’s departure,” not prior to your flight’s departure. You forwarded me a cancellation document, dated the day you flew back to Atlanta — which was also the day the cruise set sail. That would seem to qualify, unless Norwegian determined the cancellation took place minutes or hours after the ship departed. That would be pretty disingenuous of them, considering you had been on the phone with them since the night before, asking about your options.
When I asked Norwegian about the original rejection, I got a statement saying you “had incorrectly filed a claim for a trip delay instead of a trip cancellation claim" and that the credit was “later added” to your account.
To me, that’s somewhere between muddled and false. What actually happened was that you filed a “trip delay” claim to Aon that turned out only to cover your flight back to Atlanta. (That’s what trip delay coverage does, cover unexpected expenses.) Then, you filed a “trip cancellation” claim, also to Aon, but that was never going to work: Trip cancellation coverage lapsed once you got on the plane and yet another kind of coverage, “trip interruption,” kicks in. But filing for that wouldn’t have done you any good: Norwegian’s trip interruption policy does not cover airline delays.
That’s why you ended up — after some blood, sweat and tears, that is — with the 75 percent credit from Norwegian.
It’s confusing, no doubt. You fell into a common trap about trip cancellation, delay and interruption policies — assuming that this coverage will pay for anything that is truly not your fault. But claims adjusters tend to be extremely literal in interpreting the fine-print list of “perils” or “hazards” your policy covers.
“If it’s there, you’re good, and if it’s not there, you’re not good,” said Stan Sandberg, a co-founder of TravelInsurance.com , a site that aggregates policies from different companies, providing convenient direct links to the state-specific policies.
I got curious and decided to compare the fine print of BookSafe with the default travel protection plans at cruise operators like Carnival, Disney, MSC, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Viking. I used the New York versions for consistency, and looked specifically at how well they covered issues caused by delays and cancellations of “common carriers” — airlines, trains and the like.
All the plans have “trip delay,” “trip cancellation” and “trip interruption” coverage administered by insurance companies. Most include a separate “cancel for any reason” credit portion that the cruise lines administer themselves. (Only MSC does not.)
I focused on trip interruption, which typically provides a maximum benefit of 125 or 150 percent of the trip’s value. That means a traveler could in theory be reimbursed for the full cost of the cruise, plus additional expenses incurred because of the interruption.
Three of the seven plans I looked at — Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Princess — leave airline issues out of trip interruption benefits entirely, making it impossible, in a situation like yours, to claim the value of a missed cruise in its entirety. “That is shocking,” said Jason Schreier, chief executive of the travel division of Aegis General Insurance.
“Ninety-five percent of travel insurance plans you’ll find have common carrier issues in both trip cancellation and interruption benefits,” he said.
The other four cover delays to varying extents. Carnival mentions only weather issues. MSC and Viking cover mechanical problems, weather delays and strikes — pretty standard language, but not all encompassing. Only Disney’s plan allows trip interruption to kick in for “any delay of a common carrier,” as long as it causes you to miss at least half the trip.
Mr. Schreier of Aegis told me that the cruise lines themselves will often scratch common perils from custom plans to reduce liability. When I asked Norwegian about this, the company referred me to Aon Affinity. But Beth Godlin, the president of Aon Affinity Travel Practice, wrote that Aon “works with many different cruise lines” and customizes plans “to meet the needs of the cruise line.”
Finally, there’s that cancel-for-any-reason-for-partial-cruise-credit element. As we learned, Norwegian’s plan, as well as those of Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess and Disney, do include flight issues by allowing travelers to cancel right up to the ship’s departure. Only Viking’s is different — ending once you board your first flight. (Again, MSC does not offer this benefit at all.)
I’d warn against choosing a cruise line on the sole basis of whether its protection plan covers common carrier delays — you’d just be asking for something different to go wrong. But Ivy, as you use your credit, I’d consider putting in the time to look into buying a separate insurance plan, using comparison sites like TravelInsurance.com or Squaremouth , or going directly to companies like Aegis , which Mr. Schreier points out has a cruise-specific package and a “Stress Less” feature that might have paid on the spot for a flight on a different airline to get you to Barcelona on time.
Whatever you do, I hope you have a great cruise and can at least temporarily forgive Norwegian for what happened — as a gesture of good will.
If you need advice about a best-laid travel plan that went awry, send an email to [email protected] .
Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .
Seth Kugel is the columnist for “ Tripped Up ,” an advice column that helps readers navigate the often confusing world of travel. More about Seth Kugel
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52 Places: Why do we travel? For food, culture, adventure, natural beauty? Our 2024 list has all those elements, and more .
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Weekend rail strikes and overtime ban disrupt UK travel
Aslef union’s latest four-day action in pay dispute involves drivers for multiple train companies
Industrial action will cause severe disruption to rail travel this weekend, with 24-hour strikes and an overtime ban by train drivers affecting all Britain’s long-distance routes over the next four days.
Strikes by drivers in the Aslef union will stop most London-Edinburgh trains on the east coast mainline on Friday, and all trains on the west coast mainline running from the capital to Glasgow on Saturday, when passengers in the Midlands will also be particularly hard hit.
The latest strikes in a week of action started just after midnight on Friday at LNER, Greater Anglia and C2C, with no trains at all on C2C, the Essex commuter network. LNER and Greater Anglia will run a very limited service on some routes on Friday.
No trains at all will run across Avanti West Coast or East Midlands Railway during drivers’ strikes on Saturday. West Midlands Railway and its sister service London Northwestern will not operate on either Saturday or Sunday, with the strike and overtime ban wiping out all services.
The overtime ban, which applies to all operators during the strike period, is likely to have its biggest impact on Sunday, a rest day for many drivers. Avanti, Great Western and CrossCountry will all operate reduced timetables, while the West Midlands operators and Chiltern will not run any trains. Fewer trains than usual will run on Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern.
The last 24-hour strike will take place at Great Western, CrossCountry and Chiltern on Monday. Of the three, only GWR will operate any trains, although only a limited service.
The industrial action by drivers comes as part of the long-running pay dispute at all national rail operators contracted to the Department for Transport . While only England-based firms are directly affected by the strikes, cross-border rail services into Scotland and Wales will also be disrupted.
Train operators have advised passengers nationwide to check before they travel throughout the week. The overtime ban, which does not end until Tuesday evening, is liable to make short-term cancellations more likely across the network.
Aslef has warned it will continue to call disruptive industrial action until there is movement on its pay demands. The union rejected an 8% total increase that was pinned to revised working conditions as “risible”, with some drivers now having gone almost five years without a pay rise during soaring inflation.
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The rail firms and the government have urged Aslef to first put its offer, which would take the average salary of a train driver up to £65,000, to its membership for a full vote.
The UK hospitality sector said it believed the latest week of action would cost it another £350m, with customers deterred from travel or nights out.
Laws brought in by the government designed to make trains run during strikes have failed to work, with no operators eventually trying to enforce the new minimum service levels powers.
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Train strikes 2024: Full list of dates as London Overground workers strike in February and March
Tuesday 6 February 2024 11:12, UK
More than 300 union members will stage two 48-hour strikes on the London Overground after receiving a lower-than-inflation pay offer, the RMT has said.
It comes after train and rail strikes, which have now concluded, impacted commuters at the start of February, when industrial action by ASLEF union members hit the services of 17 train companies.
In fresh action by RMT in February and March, security, station, revenue and control staff on the London Overground network will walk out.
The action will take place on the following dates:
Monday 19 February
Tuesday 20 February
Monday 4 March
Tuesday 5 March
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What has been said about the strikes?
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "London Overground workers do an important job delivering services for TfL and supporting passengers on journeys throughout London.
"Our members are furious that they have been given a below inflation pay offer and want to see an improvement that represents the value they bring to the company.
"If this dispute cannot be resolved then RMT is more than prepared for a sustained period of industrial action to get London Overground workers the pay rise they deserve."
- London Underground