- 2 juillet 2024

A Travel Portal Renaissance

Rupeng Liao
Rupeng Liao
Lead Analyst, Client Insights

Travel is increasingly becoming a heated category for credit card issuers, particularly in the post-pandemic years we are in today.

Nearly all major credit card issuers¹ are vying for the Lifestyle Powerhouse crown. Issuers are beefing up their travel offerings, from providing better rewards rates on travel booking to opening their own branded airport lounges. Another piece of the puzzle, which we’ll cover in this post, is the updates and enhancements of their travel portals².

Desktop Mobile Browser Visits

Visitation is up 20% Q1’23 to Q4’23

From Benefit to Value Proposition:

If you have a credit card from a major card issuer, you might have used one of these travel portals when planning or booking a trip. According to Comscore’s custom digital behavioral data, online and mobile browser visitation to Issuer Travel Portals grew to over 90M visits in Q1’24, an increase of 10% Y/Y. Travel-savvy cardholders might have noticed a few changes in these portals, from the overall look and feel to how they are being positioned. In fact, within the last three years, over half of the major credit card issuers¹ have either launched or made significant changes to their travel portals². Banks have increasingly shifted their focus and investment towards these portals, elevating them from a simple credit card benefit to a major value proposition and competitive advantage.

Other New Entrants

The trend is not limited to traditional card issuers, other players have also entered the market with their own travel portals:

Standard Features:

Unsurprisingly, the abilities for cardholders to book a hotel, flight, or rental car are standard features offered by all issuer travel portals. Similarly, nearly all issuers provide either elevated earning structures or points-redemption discounts for trips booked through them. Roughly 60% of issuers also offered dedicated web domains that provided cardholders direct access to these travel portals³. 

Key Differentiators:

Beyond the standard features, credit card issuers differentiate their travel portals through exclusive experiences and lifestyle benefits, catering to Millennial and Gen-Z cardholders' obsession with experiences.

Booking Options

Read-as: 57% of credit card issuers who offered a travel portal provided direct access to its travel portal

Key highlights include:

  • Luxury Hotel Programs: 43% of issuers offer luxury hotel programs, providing access to high-end accommodations with added perks like late-checkout, room updates, and experience credits.
  • Vacation Rentals: 29% of issuers include premium vacation rental options in their booking portal, an option popular with millennials and Gen Z cardholders, and complementing existing luxury hotel programs.
  • Activities: 71% of issuers offer the ability to book activities such as tours, excursions, and local experiences (a few also offer separate dining experiences for cardholders).
  • Cruises: Only 1 issuer offered the ability to book cruises online, while three others required cardholders to book cruises through phone.

Key Players and Their Innovations:

Travel Related Updates

The first major travel portal update we observed was in late 2021, when Capital One launched its Venture X credit card along with the brand new Capital One Travel portal, powered by online travel platform Hopper. This travel portal continues to be one of the leaders in innovation since its launch, with many key Hopper features integrated. Its Price Prediction, Price Freeze, and Price Watch features remain unique within the issuer-travel portal space. Capital One also continues to push into the luxury lifestyle space with the addition of its Premier Collection and Lifestyle Collection hotels programs.

Capital One
Capital One Outbound

Source: Capital One

Citi launched its new travel portal powered by Booking.com in 2023. At launch, Citi offered select cardholders up to 10x ThankYou points promotions on non-flight bookings (hotels / rental cars / attractions) through the portal. This recently changed to a permanent 10x ThankYou point earning category with the launch of the Citi Strata Premier credit card.

Chase also expanded further into travel in recent years, with the expansion of its Chase Sapphire Lounges and, more recently, an updated travel portal. Chase has also launched an enhanced luxury hotel program, The Edit by Chase Travel (formerly known as the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection), offering exclusive hotel perks and benefits for experience-seeking cardholders. Chase offered cardholders up to 10K bonus points for trips booked through Chase Travel after the revamp and expects to launch Voyages by Chase Travel, a dedicated cruise booking program with elite benefits, later this year.

The edit property attributes

Source: Chase


With AI innovations and improvements, we predict increased focus on personalization features, with tailored travel recommendations and offers based on the cardholder’s preferences and behaviors.

The integration of generative AI (Gen AI) to enhance cardholder’s travel booking experience, providing smarter travel suggestions and potentially handling more complex cardholder requests, is another area of potential advancement for issuer travel portals.

Key Takeaways:

As travel continues to rebound from 2020, credit card issuer travel portals are becoming essential tools for cardholders to maximize travel rewards and benefits. These portals connect cardholders to improved lifestyle benefits and offerings and are particularly appealing to younger cardholders.

Reach out here to talk about how you can learn how these brands are performing and where you stack up in our Travel Portal data!


Comscore Custom Solutions (Desktop + Mobile Browser panel) | Q1 2023 to Q1 2024 reporting periods


¹Major credit card issuers: American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, US Bank, and Wells Fargo.

²Travel-booking Portal / Travel portal: Where cardholders can book for a trip directly with their credit card or credit card reward points.

³Direct access defined as issuer who offered dedicated domains to their travel portals.