Top credit cards for business travelers 2017

Just like a pair of pants, there's no 'one size fits all' when it comes to the best credit cards for travelers.

CNNMoney asked two credit card comparison websites -- WalletHub and NerdWallet -- to share their top picks for 7 different types of business travelers.

Best All Arounder: Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

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For business travelers who do a little bit of everything, NerdWallet analyst Sean McQuay recommends the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. This card offers rewards and perks tied to a variety of airlines, hotels, and car rental programs.

One of the biggest selling points is that users get 3 points for every dollar spent on all travel and dining purchases, giving an effective rewards rate of 4.5%. If you noticed that that number doesn't quite add up to getting 3 points for every dollar, that's because one of the Reserve's nicest perks is it increases the value of your points by 50% when you use them in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. So 3 points per dollar, valued at 1.5 cents each, comes out to an effective rewards rate of 4.5%.

On top of that, every cardholder receives a generous $300 annual travel credit.

Although the card has a steep annual fee of $450, McQuay says "its higher earnings rate, higher point value, lounge access, and travel credit" pays off for people who travel regularly.

It also doesn't hurt that the Chase Sapphire Reserve has a sign-up bonus that gives you $750 toward future travel purchases.

International Jet-setters: British Airways Visa Signature® Card

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The British Airways Visa Signature Card has absolutely no foreign transaction fees, making it ideal for frequent international travelers

On top of that, spend $3,000 within the first three months of signing up and you'll earn 50,000 points. Most other travel cards only offer a bonus of about 25,000 points.

In addition to the sign-up bonus, you get 3 points for every $1 spent on British Airways and 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

And that's not all. McQuay notes that with every $30,000 you spend on your British Airways Visa card, you'll earn a Travel Together companion ticket, which allows you to book a second ticket on the same flight and same cabin for any trip going to and from the United States.

Airport loungers: The Business Platinum Card from American Express

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If you are a fan of free food, a quiet work space, and even a shower between flights, you may want to check out the Business Platinum Card from America Express.

This card gives you access to more than 1,000 exclusive airport lounges worldwide, including Centurion lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Airspace Lounges and Priority Pass Select lounges.

You'll also get a $200 credit for airline incidentals, such as checked baggage fees and in-flight refreshments, all for an annual fee of $450.

When you think about how much it costs for an individual membership to some of these lounges and clubs ($400+ per year for some), the Business Platinum card is a bargain.

North American fliers: Frontier Airlines Credit Card, United MileagePlus Explorer® BusinessCredit Card

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For business travelers who tend to spend most of their time in the United States, Mexico, the Dominican Republic or Jamaica, there are two credit cards that might be worth your while.

According to WalletHub, the Frontier Airlines card is great for travelers who want to earn points fast. If you spend more than $500 during the first three months, you qualify for the card's 40,000-mile initial bonus -- enough for two roundtrip domestic tickets.

On top of that, you earn double miles for every trip you book on flyfrontier.com.

Another card that is great for domestic travel is the United MileagePlus Explorer Business card. Both NerdWallet and WalletHub agree that the general perks of this card, like no first-year annual fee, make it one of the best. An extra added bonus: No foreign transaction fees if you travel internationally.

With the United MileagePlus Explorer Business card, you'll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United and 1 point per $1 spent on anything else. And check out the sign up bonus: spend $3,000 in the first three months and earn 50,000 bonus miles. And you earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles when you spend at least $25,000 annually.

Road warriors: Blue Cash from American Express

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The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card is great for travelers who drive more than they fly.

For starters, you'll earn up to 5% cash back on gas. And unlike other cards that give you a rewards limit, the Blue Cash card will never bump you to a lower rewards rate no matter how much you spend on gas.

If that's not enough to sell you, spend $1,000 in the first 3 months and you automatically earn $150 back. You can also get up to 6% cash back at U.S supermarkets when you spend up to $6,000 annually.

Big spenders: Citi Diamond Preferred Card

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If you are the one in your office responsible for stocking up on office supplies or buying new equipment, WalletHub says the Citi Diamond Preferred Mastercard is the best option for you.

With this card, you will enjoy one of the longest 0% introductory term on the credit-card market - a full 21 months.

After that, WalletHub notes that your APR will be anywhere from 12.99% to 22.99%, depending on your credit score.

With this card you will also have 24/7 access to Citi Concierge for help with everything from booking hotels, flights, and more.

Hotel loyalists: Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card

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If you're looking for a credit card that offers the best deals for hotels around the world, then the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express is for you.

Spend $3,000 within the first three months with this card and you'll earn 25,000 bonus points.

You can also earn up to 5 points for every dollar spent at participating Starwood Preferred Guest locations and up to 2 points per dollar at Marriott Rewards properties.

The points can also be used with many airline partners, and at more than 1,500 properties worldwide.

If you want a card that is a bit more expansive, then WalletHub recommends the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card, which gives cardholders 10 points for every dollar spent at Club Carlson properties and 5 points per dollar on all other purchases.

This card is great for travelers who frequent Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn, Quorvus Collection or Country Inn and Suite hotels.

This card also offers a very impressive 50,000 bonus points after your first purchase, another 35,000 for spending $2,500 during the first three months, and another 40,000 bonus points just for renewing each year.

 

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