Does it make sense to pay an annual fee for cards that reward travel miles?

Last Updated: May 16, 2013 09:01PM UTC

Although many travel rewards card charge an annual fee to earn free travel, consider all the card features that add to overall value before you determine the real cost of the annual fee. For example, no blackout dates for reward redemption, no cap on point earning potential, no expiration dates on miles earned, complimentary checked bags, expedited check in, and the freedom to redeem miles at more than one airline can more than pay for a reasonable annual fee.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards (issued by Chase), Capital One Venture Rewards and Chase Sapphire Preferred cards are frequently recognized by industry experts for their earning potential and redemption flexibility. There are also many cash back rewards cards that earn points that can be used for anything including travel, without imposing restrictions on how or where you spend.
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