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Bank-owned travel portals: Should you use them?

The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

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As an avid traveler, you may have ways and strategies to save on travel and maximize points or miles earning. Chances are you are using a travel credit card to earn rewards and redeem them for travel-related expenses as they usually offer more value. Plus, many travel rewards credit cards offer extra rewards when used at issuer's travel portals.

Banks' travel portals help you use your card rewards and benefits in the best way possible. Travel portals offer various redemption options, but the best value is usually offered for travel redemptions, flight redemptions to be more specific. Credit card travel portals may also offer exclusive experiences, event tickets, and premium services.

Why book through your issuer travel portal

Major credit card issuers like American Express, Capital One, Citi and Chase have their own travel portals where eligible cardmembers can book flights, hotels, or rental cars and earn additional rewards. Travel portals are also an easier and more straightforward way to redeem earned miles and points, and often with added value.

However, before you book a trip through a travel portal, it's worth cross-checking pricing and availability first. Here are the reasons for booking through your issuer's travel portal.

You can earn more on travel bookings

Credit card travel portals can offer extra rewards when you book travel directly though the issuer's portal. For example, with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, you can earn 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel versus 2X miles on all other purchases.

Another example is the Citi Rewards+® Card that, for a limited time, earns 5X ThankYou® Points on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel portal through December 31, 2025. Unfortunately, air travel is excluded from the offer. If you do not book through the portal, you'll earn 1X points on air travel, hotels, and points on car rentals.

You can get more value from your rewards

Some issuers increase the value of earned points or miles when redeemed through their travel portal. Thus, for instance, with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit Card, you'll get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Travel℠ portal, and if you use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you'll get 25% more value.

American Express also has a similar offer for eligible cardmembers. For instance, the Business Platinum Card® holders can receive 35% Membership Rewards® points back after using the Pay With Points feature to book a first class or business class flight through American Express Travel (the maximum is up to 1 million bonus points back per calendar year).

You can combine credit cards rewards

There are ways to combine credit cards to maximize rewards earning and redeeming. Issuers like American Express, Chase, Citi, and Capital One allow you to pull the rewards you earn across family cards to redeem them all on one trip. For example, you can combine these three Citi credit cards to get maximum Citi ThankYou points: the Citi Rewards+® Card and Citi Double Cash® Card.

Credit card combinations usually include a more premium travel credit card with one or more cards for everyday spending. This way you can optimize earning and redeeming rewards. However, if you have a habit of carrying a balance on your credit cards, we would not recommend card-combining strategies.

You can get additional benefits

Some credit cards may offer additional benefits and perks for using travel portals. Those can be in the form of travel credits, complimentary services, additional benefits on hotel bookings (a late checkout or free breakfast), or discounted airfare deals.

These extras are more common with premium travel credit cards that have higher annual fees. For example, with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, you can get up to $300 back annually in statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel. Another example is the Platinum Card® from American Express. The card gives $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings through American Express Travel.

Best credit card travel portals

Travel portals are designed to make it easier for eligible cardmembers to redeem their points or get extra rewards and some travel perks. These booking platforms have different functionality and performance. The value of your credit card points depends on how useful they are. Here we gathered information about travel portals provided by major issuers: Capital One, Citi, American Express, Bank of America, and Chase.

Capital One Travel portal

Eligible credit cards: Venture X, Venture, VentureOne, plus Quicksilver* cards, Savor* cards, Spark* cards, Journey (This product is no longer available), and Capital One Walmart Rewards® Card*

Good for: flights, hotels, rental cars

Customer-friendly features: price prediction, price drop protection, best price guarantee, price match

Access: via Capital One online account or at

The Capital One Travel portal is powered by the travel tech app Hopper, a popular app for predicting the lowest prices for flights and hotels. Since the portal is relatively new, currently you can only book flights, hotels, and rental cars.

All eligible Capital One credit cards earn extra points on bookings through Capital One Travel. However, the greatest benefits are offered to the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card cardmembers. Using this card, cardmembers will earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.

*Disclaimer: Information for this card not reviewed by or provided by Capital One

Citi Travel portal

Eligible credit cards: Citi Rewards+® Card, Citi Custom Cash® Card, Citi Double Cash® Card

Good for: flights, hotels, guided tours, rental cars, entrance tickets to tourist attractions

Customer-friendly features: ability to book activities and attractions with points, features and booking availability across's family of brands

Access: you can use this link to access the portal or log in to your Citi account, then scroll down and click on "Redeem Points"

The Citi Travel℠ portal is powered by Rocket Travel, which is part of the family. This portal is relatively new and has some advantages over the old Citi ThankYou portal.

You can access the new Citi Travel portal with any credit card earning ThankYou points. The portal promises a better user experience and new features. Thus, you can use points to book activities and attractions at the portal. Plus, there are more hotels available, including two hotel programs: Hotel Collection and Luxury Collection. Additionally, eligible Citi cardholders can earn up to 10 points per dollar on reservations of hotels, rental cars, and eligible attractions.

American Express Travel portal

Eligible credit cards: The Platinum Card®, American Express® Gold Card, American Express® Green Card, Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, Business Platinum Card®, Business Gold Card, Business Green Rewards Card

Good for: flights, hotels, flight and hotel packages, rental cars, and cruises

Customer-friendly features: easy to compare flight and hotel options, cruise offers with additional benefits, additional savings for select members

Access: you can access Amex Travel using this link.

To log in to, you will need an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points. Depending on the Amex card you have, you may earn extra Membership Rewards points for booking through the portal. allows customers to book any travel available on the portal using Membership Rewards points. There's no need to search for award flights or award nights. However, Membership Rewards points may be worth more if transferred to Amex transfer partners, and particularly airlines.

Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal

Eligible credit cards: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Chase Freedom Flex® Credit Card*, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card*, Ink Business Cash® Credit Card*, Ink Business Unlimited®*

Good for: flights, hotels, cars, activities, and cruises

Customer-friendly features: can redeem for experiences, points can be earned on airfare even for redemptions

Access: log in to your Chase account, find your total Ultimate Rewards balance on the right, and click "Travel".

Chase's Ultimate Rewards travel portal is powered by cxLoyalty and works like any third-party booking site. You can use any Ultimate Rewards credit card to access the portal to book flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and activities.

It's also a great idea to use the Chase travel portal to compare prices. Since Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to partner loyalty programs, it's worth comparing the options as well. Just keep in mind that some Ultimate Rewards credit cards allow you to save more on travel redemptions through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

*Non-Monetized. The information related to Chase Freedom Flex® Credit Card, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, and Ink Business Unlimited® was collected by and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this product/card. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. does not receive commission for this product.

Bank of America Travel Center

Eligible credit cards: Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card, Bank of America® Premium Rewards®, Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard®

Good for: flights, hotels, rental cars

Customer-friendly features: higher rewards for purchases through Travel Center, cardholders can redeem rewards for a purchase up to a year after it was made

Access: you can log in to Travel Center here.

The Bank of America Travel Center is user-friendly like any travel booking platform. The platform is convenient to use and prices are pretty competitive. However, if you want to take advantage of your elite status perks, you may not be able to do so when booking through the Bank of America Travel Center. To be able to enjoy your elite benefits, you might be better booking directly with the airline or hotel property itself.

You can also use the Bank of America Travel Center to earn additional rewards on your travel purchases. For example, with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, your rewards are boosted to 3 points per dollar spent on travel through the bank's travel center.

Why you might not want to use card issuer's portals

While using your credit card at the issuer's travel portal can come with many benefits, there may be some disadvantages too.

The issuer's travel portals do not always provide the best prices. Even if you have enough rewards to book an award travel, that still may not be the best deal for you. There also may be limited availability for tickets and travel accommodations to book.

Another caveat is that you may not be able to use your elite status privileges and perks when booking through the issuer's travel portal. When you book a hotel stay especially, you may not be eligible for such benefits as room upgrades, late checkout, or complimentary meals if you book through a third-party website.

If you change your travel plans, it also may be difficult to change or cancel the airfare you booked with a third party.

Therefore, it's recommended to always read the terms and conditions of the issuer's travel portal booking closely. You can also use portals to compare prices against other sites. If the benefits you get through your issuer are not worth the convenience of booking through the portal, then you might want to bypass the issuer's platform.

Bottom line

There is no clear winner for the best travel portal as each has unique features and benefits. At the same time, they all are not ideal and have some flaws. The issuer's travel portal can be a great tool for comparing prices and for booking your next trip, though.

It's best to make your issuer's travel portal a part of your strategy to maximize your rewards, get discounts or exclusive travel deals. If you are not of a rewards strategy type, you can simply use portals to get the best deal possible.


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This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Citi.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions. All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.


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