HOTEL

The Best Credit Cards for Millennials in 2022

Discover APRs are accurate as of December 15, 2022

It’s no secret that millennials prefer to spend more on creating memories and having unique experiences than buying things to make them happy. In fact, a 2014 survey by Harris showed 78% of those born between 1980 and 1996 would rather pay to attend events or have memorable experiences versus “buying something desirable.”

With that in mind, it’s clear that the ideal credit cards for millennials should focus on the types of things they’re interested in most — traveling and making memories around the world, dining with friends and family, celebrating with nights out on the town and online shopping. Most importantly, they should allow cardholders (of any age) to earn valuable points and miles or cash-back rewards on the purchases they’re making anyway so they can keep funding these things in the future.

Below, CNBC Select details the best credit cards for millennials who want to save money on the things they love most and put those rewards toward memorable experiences.

Best credit cards for millennials and young adults

Best overall

Citi Premier® Card

  • Rewards

    3X points per $1 spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, and on hotels and air travel, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    5% of each balance transfer, $5 minimum

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • Unlimited 3 points per $1 spent at gas stations
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

Who’s this for? Not only is the Citi Premier® Card an ideal choice for millennials, but it’s also a great pick for those who are just starting out with travel

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HOTEL

Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards For Beginners in 2022

There’s never a bad time to get started with earning and redeeming points and miles for free (or nearly free) travel. If you tend to spend most of your money on flights, hotels, car rentals, dining, groceries or gas anyway, you might as well be rewarded for your efforts and can actually use those expenses to rack up rewards that’ll help cover a future trip.

If you’re interested in easily earning rewards points or miles and enjoying a range of redemption options, there are plenty of travel rewards credit cards to choose from, each with its own bounty of benefits. Many of them come with a slew of travel perks and protections, offer lucrative welcome bonuses to help you get started, provide access to their respective card issuer’s travel portals and let you maximize your rewards by transferring them to a number of airline and hotel partners. And while many of the top rewards cards have an annual fee, it’s easy to get your money’s worth considering all of the benefits they come with.

Below, Select details the best beginner travel rewards credit cards to help you get started with earning points and miles, which can be redeemed for flights, hotels, car rentals and other travel-related activities.

Best starter travel rewards credit cards

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Best overall

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Rewards

    $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when

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HOTEL

The Best Marriott Credit Cards of 2022

With over 8,300 hotels worldwide, Marriott Bonvoy is a prominent fixture in the hotel loyalty world. Since Marriott International acquired Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, the program and its co-branded credit cards have undergone several revamps. With recent changes, you may wonder what the best credit card is for Marriott stays.

The answer depends on what you’re looking for from a credit card as there are options for virtually every type of Marriott guest, with varying annual fees and benefits.

Co-branded Marriott credit cards are great for Marriott stays if you want to enjoy elite status perks and elevated point earnings. Some Marriott cards even offer annual free nights you can redeem at thousands of Marriott properties worldwide. However, co-branded credit cards also have a significant downside: Many carry high annual fees and earn a single currency with limited redemption options.

Some travelers may be better off using a transferable rewards card for Marriott stays. You’ll earn bonus points on Marriott bookings and can use your rewards to book Marriott stays (or transfer them to over a dozen other partners). Plus, some of these non-Marriott branded cards still offer automatic Marriott Bonvoy elite status and other perks that will make your stays more comfortable.

To help you decide which Marriott credit card is best for your needs, Select has broken them down into eight categories.

Best credit cards for Marriott stays

FAQs

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Best for maximizing everyday spending

Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy; 4X Marriott Bonvoy points on up to $15,000 in combined purchases

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HOTEL

The Best Business Card for Jet-Setters

If your business has turned you into a frequent flier, you’ll want to consider The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. Every time you spend a dollar purchasing flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, you’ll earn five Amex Membership Rewards points.

Amex points are typically worth between half a penny and one cent, depending how they are redeemed. And this card’s base rewards rate of one point per dollar can be bested by other business cards. There is also a $695 annual fee, meaning the card is a big commitment.

Still, five points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels makes this the most generous travel rewards of any business card we found. It’s why Buy Side from WSJ named this card Best Business Credit Card for Travel.

American Express® The Business Platinum Card

  • Base rewards: 1x
  • Bonus rewards: 5x on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com
  • Bonus rewards: 1.5x at U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers; electronic goods retailers; software and cloud system providers; shipping providers; and purchases of $5,000 or more. Bonus rate capped at $2 million in spending per calendar year.
  • Welcome bonus: 120,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 in the first three months.
  • Credits that make flying cheaper and easier, like a $200 airline credit and $189 CLEAR® credit
  • $695 annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • APR: 17.24% to 25.24%, variable
  • Terms Apply. See rates and fees.

Are the fees worth the rewards? 

The annual fee is $695, the highest of any of the business credit cards we looked at, and one of the highest you’ll pay for any card anywhere. But if you travel frequently for your business, there’s an excellent chance you’ll earn enough rewards points to justify your investment. 

For starters, there are a lot of perks that come

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