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Top Credit Cards to Use on Road Trips

With the summer months coming up, lots of people intend on going on road trips, so of course, having a solid credit card portfolio with you can help you maximize the rewards on all the expenses that come with a road trip.

On a road trip, the biggest expenses that you will have are: restaurants, gas, grocery and maybe hotel expenses. Therefore, I would build the following credit card portfolio for this summer’s road trips, based on all the current offers available. I also indicated the only the relevant category to use that particular credit card for:

Capital One Platinum MasterCard

  • No annual fee
  • Exclusive to Costco members
  • Earn 6% cash back in the first 3 months on restaurant purchases (earn 3% thereafter)

This is hands down the best credit card to bring with you on a trip for restaurant purchases. Earning 6% cash back on restaurant purchases is unbeatable. You should be able to receive your credit card sometime in June if you apply now. The 3 months will cover your entire summer. If you don’t have a Costco membership, I would actually sign up for it, just so that you can sign up for this credit card, also the Costco membership may come in handy when you need to make some purchases for your road trip anyway.

MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus MasterCard

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 5% cash back (on the first 6 months) on gas and grocery purchases on $400 worth of monthly (calendar month) purchases

The 6 months will definitely cover the entire summer. Unfortunately, $400 of monthly expenses is not that much. So I would ensure that you have the following credit card as well.

American Express SimplyCash Card

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 5% cash back on all gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants purchases (up to $250 cash back or a maximum of $5,000 in purchases) for the first 6 months

I would actually put all my gas and grocery purchases on this American Express credit card first, before using the MBNA, because the $5,000 limit is much higher. I would only use the MBNA MasterCard, whenever American Express is not accepted.

Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Card

  • $120 annual fee (waived the first year)
  • Earn 50,000 points after your first purchase
  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at Marriott hotels
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on car rental agencies
  • Earn 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-4 location after account approval
  • Receive 1 anniversary bonus free night stay at a Category 1-5 hotel every year
  • No foreign transaction fees

If you plan to stay at hotels or travel outside of Canada, then I would for sure have this credit card in my portfolio. There are so many different useful perks available that I listed above. You can hang on to this credit card for the 1 year and then decide later on if you want to keep it or not. The Marriott points that you earn can definitely come in handy. Also, Marriott hotels are available in many locations and some are very affordable. So you can easily rack up a lot of Marriott points that you can also use along the way of your road trip.

Conclusion: That is 4 credit cards, generally earning about 5% or so return on all the major expenses of a road trip.

Safe travels everyone!


  1. Thank you, this is a very helpful post. Do you have a link for the 50,000 point sign-up bonus on the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Card? I have only ever seen 30,000 points advertised, so I am hoping there is this larger bonus out there. Thanks!

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