Want to do a ‘Round-the-World’ Trip? These are the Best Cards to Use

by Sanjay

Earlier this month I wrote about the steps required to plan an around-the-world flight itinerary — more commonly referred to as a ’round-the-world’ or ‘RTW’ — to visit multiple continents on a single ticket, using entirely credit card points and airline miles to take care of the flights.

Of course, before planning such an endeavor it’s necessary to build up a superhuman trove of these points currencies. Those running small businesses on Amex or Chase cards might have no trouble racking up 500,000 miles in the year, but for those needing a boost, there’s help.

Below are some of the best introductory offers available today to top up your points balance on cards that can be used to book round-the-world itineraries. Airline cards like the Citi AAdvantage Executive Mastercard, the Delta SkyMiles Cards from Amex or the United MileagePlus Explorer card aren’t going to help you here — none of these programs even offer Round-the-World tickets anymore.

  1. When Does It Make Sense To Book a Round-the-World Ticket
  2. Which Airlines Offer Round-the-World Tickets; What are the Rules
  3. Alternatives to Booking Round-the-World Tickets (Do-It-Yourself Guide)
  4. How to Book Round-the-World Travel for Maximum Value (With ANA)
Singapore Airlines Business Class onboard the A350-900ULR that will fly non-stop between Newark and Singapore. Source: SIA

Singapore Airlines Business Class onboard the A350-900ULR, could be a part of your Round-the-World journey. Image by Singapore Airlines.
In addition, all of these cards are extremely versatile when used around the world, don’t impose foreign transaction fees and have some sort of travel protection, travel concierge and assistance service and trip disruption protection.

The Platinum Card from American Express

American Express Platinum CardCurrently offering 60,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 within three months of account opening. Some customers are being targeted for up to 100,000 bonus points. Check here to see if you’ve been targeted (there is no hard credit pull to check if you’ve been targeted).

Critically, the Membership Rewards points you earn through this card can be transferred to ANA Mileage Club, easily the best program to use for Round-the-World itineraries.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That’s an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express (card offer expired)

SPG’s revived credit card is also currently offering 75,000 bonus points, which feed into the combined Marriott-Starwood loyalty program and can be transferred to dozens of different airlines, including ANA, my favorite for booking round-the-world awards. Earn the full 75,000-point introductory bonus after spending $3,000 in three months after the account opens.

The 75,000 bonus SPG points can be converted to roughly 26,000 airline miles; specific rates do vary from airline to airline.

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card (card offer expired)

Offering 75,000 Marriott points (equivalent to airline frequent flyer miles) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.

Note that Marriott points and SPG points can now be consolidated.

British Airways Avios points can be enormously useful for short haul connecting flights as part of an RTW ticket.

The British Airways Visa Signature® Card
Which credit card points are good for round-the-world awards

British Airways Visa Signature Card Avios can be a great way to travel around the world

Offering up to 100,000 Avios points. 50,000 points are earned after $3,000 in spending in the first 3 months of account opening, an additional 25,000 points after spending $10,000 in total in your first year of account opening. Earn a further 25,000 points by spending $20,000 on purchases within the first year.

These points can also be combined with all other points rewards currencies, including Marriott and Starwood Points, American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

British Airways Avios can be used for a Round-the-World trip. When combining two or more Oneworld partner airlines, British Airways uses a distance based award chart that extends all the way up to 50,000 total flight miles.

At that distance, it’s possible to fly around-the-world for 160,000 Avios in economy, 240,000 Avios in premium economy and 320,000 Avios in business class.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards

Which credit cards are good for round-the-world award ticketsChase credit cards accumulate Ultimate Rewards points, which transfer to Singapore Air KrisFlyer and British Airways Executive Club.

Both Sapphire cards offer 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.

And for small business owners, the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is offering 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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