Travel rewards credit cards are a godsend for people who are willing to put in the hard work and effort when it comes to attaining lucrative free flights or free hotel stays. That said, not all travel rewards credit cards are designed to be equally superior in terms of the flexibility they offer, how rewarding they potentially can be, the assortment of perks and benefits they afford and more.

Depending on your lifestyle needs and inclinations, what you seek from your ideal travel rewards credit card may very well be different from what others seek from theirs. Nonetheless, it is axiomatic that a travel rewards credit card that offers more flexibility in what you can do with your credit card rewards (i.e. points, miles) is always a good starting point in your award travel journey.

How does a solid travel rewards credit card look like? Well, for starters, it should let you earn unlimited rewards that do not expire for the life of your account when you make purchases with your credit card. If you spend a lot on travel, you would logically want to look for a travel rewards credit card that lets you earn accelerated rewards when you make travel purchases. The better cards out there typically also offer a host of valuable travel benefits such as no foreign transaction fees, free travel insurance, airport lounge access etc.

Also, check if the travel rewards credit card you are interested in lets you use your rewards in different ways, such as the ability to fly any airline, stay at any hotel without blackout dates and whether or not you can transfer your miles or rewards points over to leading airline frequent flyer programs or hotel loyalty programs.

Having an enormous amount of flexibility when it comes to how you can utilize your travel rewards is an excellent way to make sure your rewards remain as valuable as possible. As much as the truth hurts, airline frequent flyer programs and hotel loyalty programs are not exempt from devaluation - your hard-earned rewards could be easily eroded should your travel rewards program be devalued in a whim!

And this, is precisely why transferable points and miles are more valuable than ever. It is always nice to have the option of booking awards via multiple travel rewards programs. The major rewards programs that offer exceptional transfer opportunities include: Chase Ultimate Rewards; American Express Membership Rewards; Capital One; Citi ThankYou Rewards; Marriott Bonvoy; Hilton Honors etc.

Denise Bay is a staff writer at Email: