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Travel Express Gambia

103 Kairaba Avenue, Fajara

Travel Express Agency Gambia Ltd is an IATA Accredited agent and license operator for Hajj and Umrah by Office of The Gambia Pilgrim Affairs (OGPA) with over 64years combined working experience in the travel industry. We will make your travel Fun & Safe.

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Fajara, Serrekunda, The Gambia

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Kairaba Ave, Fajara, The Gambia

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Working Hours

  • Monday: 09:00 - 04:30
  • Tuesday: 08:00 - 16:30
  • Wednesday: 08:00 - 16:30
  • Thursday: 08:00 - 16:30
  • Friday: 08:00 - 13:00
  • Saturday: 09:00 - 13:00

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Alkamba Tours & Travel International

Gambia's Foremost Travel Agent and Tour Operator..

NEVER STOP TRAVELING

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A lkamba Tours & Travel International  had its humble beginning in the year 1996 in New- York City (U.S.A), under the professional acumen of our respected CEO Mr. Saikouba Sisay. The company had since become a reliable travel agent specializing in electronic airline ticket sales, Holiday Packages and Hotel & Car Booking Services in Gambia…

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Our Services

We provide many services for both the local community and tourists traveling from all over the world. Among these are:

  • Hotel Reservations
  • Airport Transfers
  • Flights to Europe
  • and a wide selection of excursions around the Gambia and Senegal, which allow you to enjoy the culture, food and the general atmosphere of this wonderful country
  • West African Tours: Nigeria, Ghana, Sierraleon, Guinea Bissau, Togo, Benin Republic e.t.c

We are recognized for offering our services at brisk pace. Time is money in this fast paced era, knowing its worth; we take utmost care render our services with promptness. Co-  ordination with time has enabled us to be branded as the most reliable tour and travel agent in The Gambia.

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Tailored Tours

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The company is well equipped with all kinds of resources for arranging highly pleasurable services. We have services of highly experienced team of professionals who are well trained in hospitality and decorum to entertain our valued tourists.

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CONTACT US!

Tel No. : (+220)9908479 Fax: (+220) 7279213

Address: Brusubi Turn Table, kombo North, The Gambia, West Africa

Please chat with our customer care

  • Travel Express Gambia

Travel Express Agency Gambia Ltd is an IATA Accredited agent and license operator for Hajj and Umrah by Office of The Gambia Pilgrim Affairs (OGPA) with over 64years combined working experience in the travel industry. We will make your travel Fun & Safe.

Phone Number : +2207023710

Website : Suggest Official Website

Categories : Travel agency

Opening Hours :

Address : 103 Kairaba Avenue, Fajara, The Gambia

GPS Coordinates : 13.47 , -16.6964

Facebook : facebook.com/169634647069386

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AL JAWA EXPRESS TOURISM

We Al Jawa Express Tourism is the first Gambia Travel Agency in UAE which is started by the 2019 which was officially inaugurated by the Deputy Ambassador of the republic of Gambia H.E Mustapha Bojang.

Our Philosophy

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Our motto is to support and encourage Gambian Community to explore and experience new paths. It’s a platform where we share the voice of Africans globally along with enriching our culture. We are tending to promote the true values of Gambian heritage all over the world.

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We provide quality travel experiences and services that exceed the expectations of our customers.

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Lands Ministry announces preparations for 2024 Hajj

Oct 2, 2023, 11:10 AM | Article By: Press release

travel express gambia

The Gambia International Airlines, GIA and private operators which were licensed by the National Hajj Commission for the 2023 hajj will be retained for the same services for the 2024 hajj.  

Therefore and in view the limited country quota and other important requirements that have to be met the following operators have been authorized to transport pilgrims to and from Mecca and provide hajj services for the 2024 hajj.

1 Gambia International Airlines

2 Banjul Travel Agency

3 Tivaouane Travel & Tours

4 Orbit Travel Agency

5 Travel Express Agency

6 Continental Travels Ltd

7 Amana Travel & Tours

8 Maya Global Travel Agency

9 Algasimou Travel Agency

10 Crossbreed Travels Ltd

11 Group Soninkara Travel Agency

12 Al - Huda Travel Agency

13 Alfaz Travel Agency

The National Hajj Commission under the Supervision of the Ministry will continue to strictly exercise its regulatory role as mandated by law to ensuring a successful Hajj 2024

In this regard intending pilgrims,

and those acting on their behalf, are hereby strictly advised to engage with only the travel agencies listed above. 

Engagements with individual agents representing agencies other than the approved ones are strictly discouraged.

Pilgrims and persons acting on their behalf who do otherwise are warned that they are doing so at their own risk. 

The government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Lands, Regional Government and Religious Affairs and the National Hajj Commission working with the Hajj Travel Operators is dedicated to ensuring Gambian pilgrims receive reliable and quality services for a fulfilling Hajj for all pilgrims.

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Caution October 19, 2023

Worldwide caution, update january 10, 2024, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

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Travel Advisory July 31, 2023

The gambia - level 2: exercise increased caution.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise increased caution in The Gambia due to crime and inadequate health infrastructure. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire travel advisory.

Exercise increased caution due to other factors in

  • The southern border area adjacent to Senegal’s Casamance region due to the potential presence of  landmines and sporadic border skirmishes.

Country Summary: Theft and home burglaries occur frequently in The Gambia, especially in the broader Banjul area. U.S. government personnel live in housing with heightened security measures.

The Gambia’s health infrastructure is inadequate; services, hygiene, and quality control do not meet U.S. standards of care.  Pharmacies are not well regulated; locally available medications may be unsafe.

The Gambia’s Southern Border with Senegal:  Some landmines from the Casamance conflict remain in the border region.  There have been occasional border skirmishes in this region.  If travelling near or across the border stay on main roads and do not travel at night.

Read the  country information page  for additional information about travel to The Gambia.

If you decide to travel to The Gambia:

  • Do not stray from main roads and well-traveled locations if you travel to areas in southern Gambia that border the Casamance region of Senegal.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Bring your own over the counter and prescription medications.
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for The Gambia.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.

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Quick Facts

Valid for duration of stay.

None required, but see Health section.

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Banjul 92 Kairaba Avenue, Fajara Banjul, The Gambia Telephone: +(220) 439-2856 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(220) 439-2856 Fax: +(220) 439-2475 Email:   [email protected]

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

The Government of The Gambia requires visitors to obtain a visa prior to or upon entering the country. The fee for a Gambian visa issued through the Gambian Embassy in the United States is currently $200 but is subject to change.  Alternatively, tourists can apply for a visa upon arrival in The Gambia. Tourists are typically granted a 30-day stay in The Gambia upon arrival. The fee for this visa on arrival is currently $108 but is subject to change. You must have at least one blank page in your passport for the stamp. Travelers who stay beyond the allowed time are fined $15 per month of overstay, payable in cash at the airport upon departure. Extensions to stays can be requested at the Department of Immigration in Banjul.

Visit the  Embassy of The Gambia in Washington DC’s  website for the most current visa information. However, please note that the Embassy of The Gambia’s website is frequently not functioning and current information on visas may be difficult to find.

Travelers entering and exiting The Gambia are required to pay a $20 security fee upon arrival and departure at the airport, payable in cash (USD or dalasi) only at kiosks.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of The Gambia.

Find information on  dual nationality ,  prevention of international child abduction , and  customs regulations  on our websites.

Safety and Security

Avoid the areas of southern Gambia which border the  Casamance region in Senegal , due to potential landmines.

Crime:  Petty street crime is common. Beware of pickpocketing, purse/bag-snatching, phone-snatching, and theft from vehicles. These crimes occur on ferries, on the beach, in markets and other commercial areas, and in hotels. Ensure that your travel documents, luggage, and valuable items are secure.

Beware of “bumsters” - local men who approach tourists, particularly on beaches and tourist zones, offering help, to act as local guides or to enter into a relationship. They will often demand payment for their services, even if no agreement has been made. Be polite but firm in turning down unwanted help or attempts at conversation.

Avoid walking alone, including on beaches, in tourist areas, and after dark.

Do not display cash and valuable personal property.

Drive with doors locked and windows closed or rolled up enough at all times to prevent theft while stopped in traffic.

Demonstrations:  Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.

  • Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly become violent.
  • Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

International Financial Scams : See the  Department of State  and the  FBI  pages for information.

Relationship fraud/scams:  Internet and in-person friendship, romance and financial scams are prevalent in The Gambia. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails, letters, WhatApp, texts, and/or contact initiated in person. Scammers sometimes pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help, others ask for assistance to help them and family members in need. They request financial assistance from victims to help pay for potentially fraudulent or potentially partially valid claims, such as for urgent medical treatment, school fees for numerous relatives, rent payments, car repair, payment of exit taxes, or government fines.

Do not send money to anyone you have not met in person and whose situation you cannot independently verify.

If you believe you might be a victim of an internet or similar scam, it is strongly recommended that you send no money nor gifts and completely disengage from all contact with the individual(s).

See  Internet Dating and Romance Scams .

Business fraud/scams:  The U.S. Embassy receives reports of scams in which U.S. businesses sent payment, but did not receive shipments.

Be suspicious of any unsolicited offers to participate in lucrative business opportunities, especially if they require financial disclosures, money transfers, large up-front investments, or promises of confidentiality.

Carefully scrutinize all proposals before you commit any funds, provide any goods or services, or undertake any travel.

Victims of Crime:  U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy in addition to Gambian police. Sexual assaults by relatives are often seen by police as family matters outside their jurisdiction and they may not investigate.

Report crimes to the local police at 117 for police assistance or ambulatory services, and 118 for fire and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(220) 439-2856. The Gambian Police Force operates a 24 hour emergency line at (220) 422-4914. Please be advised that emergency responders may lack fuel for vehicles or face other resource challenges.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on  help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .

  • Provide information regarding options for local medical care; The Gambia has an austere medical environment.
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on  victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or a loan for limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.

Tourism:  Outside of primary tourist areas in the immediate capital region, formal tourism industry infrastructure is minimal or nonexistent. The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. Tourists are considered to be participating in activities at their own risk. Emergency response and subsequent appropriate medical treatment is moderate to minimal in the immediate capital region, and limited to unavailable in much of the rest of the country. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase private medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on  insurance providers for overseas coverage .

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs can result in long prison sentences. This includes use or possession of marijuana.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on  crimes against minors abroad  and the  Department of Justice  website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our  webpage  for further information.

Dual Nationals:  In addition to being subject to all of The Gambia’s laws affecting foreigners, dual U.S. - Gambian citizens may be subject to additional provisions of Gambian law. Please inquire at a Gambian embassy or consulate regarding your status before you travel. Gambian police routinely do not recognize dual citizenship and may treat you solely as a Gambian citizen. This is particularly true if you use a Gambian passport rather than a U.S. passport to enter The Gambia.

Medications:  Many common medications are available in Gambian pharmacies although you may need to know the European name or brand to find an equivalent product. Medication, such as insulin, requiring refrigeration may be difficult to store as The Gambia is subject to frequent power outages. You can face fines up to $2,000 and/or three years imprisonment if you arrive with substances containing one percent or more of: hydroquinone (in any form), hydrocortisone (unless in trace amounts and for specific purposes such as anti-itch products), betamethasone, flucinonide, clobestatol, or clobestatone. For more information, including additional restrictions on importing medications, please contact the nearest Gambian embassy or consulate.

Photography:  It is against the law to photograph or film airport security operations, military installations, embassies, or government motorcades. You could be fined, have your photographic equipment confiscated without notice, and risk detention and arrest. Do not take photos of Gambians without their permission.

Currency:  The dalasi is the official currency, though U.S. dollars, euros, and West African Francs (CFA) are accepted in some places. The Gambia is a cash economy; credit cards are accepted only at major hotels when the internet connection is working and a few restaurants. You should only exchange currency at banks or exchange bureaus. Changing money unofficially is prohibited. Due to the potential for fraud, avoid using ATMs except those at banks. Money transfers are widely available at Western Union branch offices.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the following webpages for details:

  • Faith-Based Travel Information
  • International Religious Freedom Report  – see country reports
  • Human Rights Report  – see country reports
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

LGBTI Travelers:  Under Gambian law, consensual same-sex sexual relations are illegal. Prison terms range from five years to life imprisonment. Antidiscrimination laws do not protect LGBTI individuals, and there is strong societal discrimination against LGBTI individuals. Gambian authorities have called on landlords and owners of bars, restaurants, and hotels to monitor activities that happen in their environments.

See our  LGBTI Travel Information  page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report  for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities: The law in The Gambia prohibits discrimination against persons with physical and mental disabilities, though the law not generally enforced. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the United States. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure. Limited accessibility exists in both the capital city area and the surrounding regions.

  • The availability of rental, repair, or replacement parts for aids, equipment, and devices is very limited, if not impossible to find. Service providers, such as sign language interpreters or personal assistants, are not readily available.

Students:  See our  Students Abroad  page and  FBI travel tips .

Women Travelers:  Although gender-based violence is illegal, many women experience domestic violence. Rape, including spousal, familial, and relationship rape, is a widespread problem. Police generally consider spousal and familial rape to be a domestic issue outside their jurisdiction.

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a crime. Accomplices who are aware of the practice but do not report it to the police can also be punished. Seventy five percent of girls and women have undergone FGM/C, with fifty six percent of girls undergoing this before the age of 15. Seven of the nine major ethnic groups practice FGM/C on girls from shortly after birth until age 16.

See our travel tips for  Women Travelers .

For emergency services in The Gambia, dial 117 .

Ambulance services are unreliable in most areas, including in the immediate capital region.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments and individuals must then seek reimbursement. See  our webpage  for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the government of The Gambia, via the nearest embassy or consulate, to ensure the medication is legal.

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all  vaccinations  recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The government of the Gambia does not require vaccines for citizens of the United States unless they are arriving in the Gambia from a yellow fever zone. Visit the U.S Centers for Disease Control’s website to review their recommendations for  vaccinations  for travelers to the Gambia.

Further health information:

  • World Health Organization
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC)

Air Quality:  Visit  AirNow Department of State  for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of  doctors and hospitals . We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Health facilities in general:

  • Medical facilities are very limited, some treatments are unavailable, and emergency services can be unpredictable and unreliable. Sanitation may not be at the same level as in the United States
  • There are no trauma centers in The Gambia and severe accidents require evacuation to Senegal, Europe or the United States.

General Health:

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Yellow Fever
  • Dengue Fever
  • Diarrheal Illness
  • Meningococcal Meningitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Schistosomiasis

Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays.

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about  Resources for Travelers  regarding specific issues in The Gambia.

Water Quality:

  • Tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water. 

Air Quality:

  • Infants, children, and teens 
  • People over 65 years of age 
  • People with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema; 
  • People with heart disease or diabetes 
  • People who work or are active outdoors 

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  Road conditions are poor, particularly during the rainy season, which generally lasts from July through September. Although main roads are paved in the greater Banjul area, many are potholed and poorly lit. Some drivers in the Banjul area do not use vehicle lights at night, while others habitually drive with high beams on. Side roads in the Banjul area and most roads outside the Banjul area are unlit and unpaved. Livestock and pedestrians pose road hazards throughout the country, including in the greater Banjul area.

Traffic Laws:  Numerous accidents are caused by intoxicated drivers. You may be substantially fined or imprisoned if you cause an accident while intoxicated.

The police do not consistently apply traffic laws and regulations, and sometimes compel drivers to pay fines on the spot for violations, real or contrived. Written citations/tickets are rarely given.

Police periodically set up impromptu traffic stops on major streets to check for drivers’ licenses and proper insurance. You are obligated to stop at all roadblocks or road checkpoints. Do not reverse direction to avoid a road checkpoint or make any movements that security personnel may view as suspicious or provocative.

Government convoys pose serious risks to drivers and pedestrians. Government convoys frequently travel at high speeds and often in either or both lanes of traffic, including in the oncoming traffic lane and do not always use sirens to announce their presence.

  • Pull to the side of the road as far as possible.
  • Do not attempt to move until the entire convoy has passed.
  • Failure to comply may result in vehicle damage and/or personal injury.

Public Transportation:  Exercise caution when using taxis, particularly at night. Most taxis lack safety belts and many are not road-worthy.

Water transportation, including government ferries, is unsafe and unreliable. Ferries, which usually lack sufficient numbers of life preservers for all passengers, are often overcrowded. It is highly recommended that you exit your vehicle quickly after parking to avoid becoming trapped inside for the duration of the crossing. However, this is not always possible, increasing the safety risk. The wooden dugout “pirogues” that also cross the Gambia River often leave shore overloaded. 

See our  Road Safety page  for more information. Visit the website of The Gambia’s  national  tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

Aviation Safety Oversight:  As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in The Gambia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of The Gambia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the  FAA’s safety assessment page .

Maritime Travel:  Mariners planning travel to The Gambia should also check for  U.S. maritime advisories and alerts . Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website , and the  NGA broadcast warnings .

Port Security: The Commandant of the Coast Guard has determined that effective anti-terrorism measures are not in place in The Gambia ports and has imposed conditions of entry on vessels that arrive in U.S. ports having visited ports in The Gambia. Mariners and passengers on commercial vessels traveling through the ports of The Gambia should exercise increased caution.

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in The Gambia . For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

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Gambia Tours & Holidays

Aerial view of the city of Banjul in Gambia, with ocean in the background

At this stage we don't have any organised trips to Gambia.

That said, Intrepid can create tailor-made tours to many destinations, including Gambia. Our fully customised trips still offer the same small group experiences with local leaders, but made just the way you want it. Simply fill out your details on our Tailor-Made page and one of our travel specialists will be in touch. Or why not visit Morocco , Kenya or Botswana ?

Gambia at a glance

Capital city.

Banjul (population 480,000)

2.7 million

English (official), Wolof, Mandinka, Fula

(GMT) Casablanca

CALLING CODE

Electricity.

Type G (Irish/British 3-pin) Type C (European 2-pin)

Learn more about Gambia

Best time to visit gambia.

The best time to visit Gambia is from November to February when temperatures hover around a pleasant 24°C and there’s little humidity. Conveniently, this is also the best time for bird and wildlife spotting.

From mid-February to April, the average temperature rises to about 26°C, before gradually climbing into the 30s from late June to late September. Humidity during this time can be oppressive, and the rains can wash away some of the roads.

The heat and rain slowly subside over October and November, making this another good time to visit as the country is green and lush.

Geography and environment

Completely surrounded by  Senegal  save for its 80 kilometre stretch of coastline, Gambia is an exceptionally flat country with the highest point only 53 metres above sea level. The country’s namesake river, which threads through the country from the east, starts among tropical rainforests before gradually giving way to mangrove swamps and coastlines. Further from the river, savannahs and plantation woodlands dot the landscape.

Top 5 Gambian drinks

Blood-red and almost impossibly sweet, bissap (or manjo) is an infused herbal tea made from the flowers of the hibiscus plant, and it’s the nation’s number one drink. Typically flavoured with ginger or mint, it makes for a refreshing midday beverage. And with preliminary studies recently suggesting that it may reduce blood pressure, you may well return home in better shape than you left.

As much a social rite as a no-holds-barred caffeine injection, try the three-glass Ataaya ceremony when you’re looking to recharge the batteries or make some local friends. One part Chinese green tea leaves to two parts sugar, three parts water and a bunch of mint – think of it as the teetotaller’s mojito. Just don’t drink the foam at the bottom of the glass.

3. Kinkeliba

Brewed from the leaves of the local Kinkeliba plant, this strong, sweet herbal tea is mostly drunk as a breakfast tonic or at dusk during Ramadan when its reputed appetite-stimulant qualities assist in gorging on the evening meal. White it may be hunger-inducing, you needn't fret about possible weight gain because it also supposedly aids weight loss.

A thick, syrupy juice made from the fruit of the baobab, this ultra-sweet libation imparts an unmatched sugar high and is certainly more appetising than its ungainly tree would have you expect.

Described by some beer buffs as evoking aromas of hay, boiled vegetables, canned corn and cardboard, Gambia’s national beer is probably unlikely to scoop any international beer awards. But knocked back on a white sandy beach while being buffed by 28°C sea breezes, you’re hardly likely to care.

Further reading

Gambia travel faqs, do i need a visa to travel to the gambia.

The Gambia:

  • Australia:  No - Not required
  • Belgium: Yes - Not required
  • Canada: Yes - Not required
  • Germany: No - Not required
  • Ireland: No - Not required
  • Netherlands: Yes - Not required
  • New Zealand: No - Not required 
  • South Africa: Not required 
  • Switzerland: Not required 
  • UK: No - Not required

Some nationalities require a visa to visit Gambia. If you require a visa, it must be obtained in advance from an embassy overseas. Some nationalities, like those listed above, do not need a visa for stays of less than 90 days. Contact your nearest Gambian embassy for further information relating to visas.

Is tipping customary in The Gambia?

A 10% service charge is usually added to the bill in established restaurants, bars, hotels and taxis — but feel free to tip more than this for exceptional service. At restaurants where a service charge isn’t included, 10% is the acceptable gratuity.

Although tipping at other places isn't mandatory it will be much appreciated given the low wages that Gambian service workers are typically paid. Setting aside a small amount for porters, guides and drivers is also a good idea.

What is the internet access like in The Gambia?

The internet connection can be a little slow in some remote areas, especially in towns further inland. Hotels, cafes and bars in Banjul usually have wi-fi with reliable connectivity.

Can I use my mobile/cell phone while in The Gambia?

Mobile phone coverage is good in The Gambia’s large cities and towns, but less so in rural areas. The major local telephone companies are Gamcell and Africell. Ensure you have global roaming activated before leaving home if you plan to use your mobile phone.

What are the toilets like in The Gambia?

Fairly clean western-style toilets can generally be found in Banjul and the towns on the Atlantic Coast. In towns and villages further inland, squat/pit toilets are the norm. Carry your own supply of soap and toilet paper as this is rarely provided.

What will it cost for a...?

  • Sandwich = 200 GMD
  • Litre of bottled water = 40 GMD
  • Bottle of beer = 90 GMD
  • Meal at a middle-range restaurant = 800 GMD

Can I drink the water in The Gambia?

Tap water isn't safe to drink in The Gambia. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, bring water purification tablets or ask your leader where filtered water can be found.

Are credit cards accepted widely in The Gambia?

The Gambia is primarily a cash-based economy. Credit cards are generally only accepted at top-end hotels, if arranged at the beginning of your stay, and at some high-end restaurants. American Express and Visa are the most likely to be accepted, though use sparingly as there is a genuine risk of fraud.

What is ATM access like in The Gambia?

ATMs can be found at banks and urban centres in Banjul and around the Atlantic Coast, though they aren’t always reliable. Due to credit card and bank fraud, caution is advised when using these and some ATMs may only allow withdrawals of fairly small amounts. Be sure to have other payment methods on hand when venturing out of the big cities. Visa is the most accepted card.

What public holidays are celebrated in The Gambia?

  • 1 January: New Year's Day
  • 18 February: Independence Day
  • Good Friday*
  • Easter Monday*
  • 1 May: Labour Day
  • Koriteh (End of Ramadan)*
  • 22 July: Revolution Day
  • 15 August: Assumption Day
  • Milad un Nabi (Birth of the Prophet Muhammad) - Celebrated 5 days later for Shi'a*
  • 25 December: Christmas Day

*Please note these dates vary. See the current list of public holidays in Gambia .

How do I stay safe and healthy while travelling?

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before travelling?

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

Do I need a COVID-19 vaccine to join an Intrepid trip?

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

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Ministry announces full hajj packages of 9 operators

Ministry announces full hajj packages of 9 operators

Africa-Press – Gambia. Press release

The Ministry of Lands, Regional Government and Religious Affairs and the National Hajj Commission in consultation with the hajj operators on the 2022 hajj package, would like to inform the general public that the final package for 2022 hajj is as follows:

1 Gambia International Airline (GIA) D407,816.30

2 Banjul Travel Agency D460,000.00

3 Tivaouane Travel and Tours D460,094.44

4 Obit Travel Agency D458,596.92

5 Travel Express Agency D461,440.00

6 Amana Travel and Tours D416,961.05

7 Maya Global Travel and Tours D460,003.86

8 Continental / Crossbreed D450,723.35

9 Algasimou Travel and Tours D465,965.75 However, the following operators are offering Ram for any of their interested pilgrims at a cost as below:

1 Gambia International Airline (GIA) D12,183.70

2 Amana Travel and Tours D13,038.50

3 Continental/Crossbreed D9,276.65

Source: The Gambia | Standard News From The Gambia

For More News And Analysis About Gambia Follow Africa-Press

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  • Passports, travel and living abroad
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Entry requirements

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel. 

The authorities in The Gambia set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Gambian High Commission in the UK .  

COVID-19 rules 

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering The Gambia. 

Passport validity requirements 

To enter The Gambia, your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.

Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.  

You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen. 

Visa requirements 

You do not need a visa to visit The Gambia. You’ll get a stamp in your passport that allows you to stay for 28 days when you arrive.  

You can get 2 extensions of 28 days from the Immigration Office in Banjul or the tourist police stations in the Tourism Development Area.

You’ll need a residence permit for longer stays. For more information contact the Gambian High Commission in the UK . 

Airport tax 

You must pay an Airport Security Fee when you arrive in and leave the country. The fee is 20 US dollars, which can also be paid in euros, British pounds, or local currency. Visa credit cards are accepted but card machines are often out of service. You can pay the fee at marked kiosks in Banjul International Airport. Children aged 1 or under and passengers transiting are exempt. 

Entry through land borders 

If you are driving across the border in a private vehicle you may be asked to pay a vehicle registration fee. 

Vaccine requirements 

To enter The Gambia, you must have a certificate to prove you’ve had a yellow fever vaccination if you’re coming from a country listed as a transmission risk .

You may need a yellow fever certificate for onward travel to some other countries, due to the risk of yellow fever in The Gambia.

For more details about recommended vaccinations for The Gambia, see TravelHealthPro’s The Gambia guide .  

Customs rules 

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of The Gambia . You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty. 

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TravelPulse

Travel Advisors Express Support of Federal Trade Commission's Proposed Rule on Junk Fees

T he American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) has submitted comments to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which would prohibit unfair or deceptive practices relating to fees for goods or services.

Focusing specifically on junk fees often charged by hotels and other short-term lodging services that result in a misleading total cost, ASTA expressed support for transparency .

"As an advocate for not only travel agencies and individual advisors but also the millions of consumers who rely on our members’ services, ASTA believes that the rule as proposed would greatly benefit consumers of hotel and other short-term lodging services, and it is in that context that ASTA has the greatest interest in the proposed rulemaking," the organization said in a letter signed by Peter N. Lobasso, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, ASTA.

"While charging mandatory resort fees has come under greater scrutiny in recent years, up until now predominantly by regulators and enforcement agencies at the state level, the practice remains common in the industry."

"Moreover, the manner in which resort fees, also alternatively referred to by hoteliers as 'amenity fees' or 'destination fees,' among other terms commonly used, are disclosed to consumers is highly inconsistent," ASTA added. "And, as many hotel properties are independently owned and operated franchises, there is little uniformity in this regard even among hotels doing business under the same brand name."

The organization is calling for uniform application of the full disclosure obligation.

"ASTA strongly believes that all consumers, regardless of where or how they choose to book their travel, have a right to expect that hotels, as well as OTAs, short-term rental intermediaries and other distributors of lodging services, provide complete pricing information, exclusive of any Government Charges, upfront in a transparent manner to permit meaningful comparison shopping. Moreover, we are of the opinion that the full disclosure obligation should apply uniformly irrespective of the distribution channel or medium used by the consumer when booking a hotel room ."

ASTA also asked for clarity regarding proposed penalty provisions in the context of intermediated transactions.

"As a matter of fairness, we believe intermediaries that reasonably rely on erroneous information provided by the entity charging the fee should be relieved of liability for the error. To that end, ASTA respectfully requests that the Final Rule include either an outright exemption or a 'safe harbor' mechanism to protect an innocent third-party seller from enforcement action in this scenario."

ASTA notes that travel agencies in the aggregate were responsible for $18.7 billion in hotel bookings in 2022 and nearly $22 billion in 2023.

Travel advisors arrive in Capitol Hill for ASTA Legislative Day 2023

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Chocolate Day 2024: Countries famous for their delicious chocolates

Precious Rongmei , TIMESOFINDIA.COM , TRAVEL TRENDS , WORLD Created : Feb 9, 2024, 10:00 IST

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The third day of Valentine's Week is celebrated as "Chocolate Day." It falls on February 9th each year. Usually, on this day, people express their love and affection for their partners, friends, and family by giving them chocolates or indulging in sweet treats together. But we are here to take you around some destinations around the world renowned for their delectable chocolates. These destinations offer chocolate lovers a chance to indulge in some of the finest chocolates the world has to offer, while also learning about the rich history and culture behind this beloved treat.

Known for its rich and creamy chocolate, Belgium is home to numerous chocolate shops and brands like Neuhaus, Godiva, and Leonidas. Brussels and Bruges are particularly famous for their chocolate shops and museums.

Switzerland

Renowned for its high-quality chocolate, Switzerland boasts brands like Lindt, Toblerone, and Nestlé. Visitors can explore chocolate factories, museums, and shops in cities like Zurich, Geneva, and Lucerne.

Paris, the City of Lights, offers a wealth of chocolate experiences with renowned chocolatiers like La Maison du Chocolat and Pierre Marcolini. Don't miss out on exploring the chocolate shops in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

While Italy is more famous for its gelato and pastries, it also produces delicious chocolate. Turin, known as the birthplace of Italian chocolate, is home to historic chocolatiers like Guido Gobino and Peyrano.

For a unique chocolate experience, visit Belmont Estate in Grenada, where you can take a tour of a working cocoa plantation, learn about the chocolate-making process, and of course, indulge in some delicious Grenadian chocolate.

As one of the world's largest producers of fine flavour cacao, Ecuador offers a unique chocolate experience. Visit chocolate factories and shops in cities like Quito and Cuenca, or explore cocoa plantations in the countryside.

Chocolate has deep roots in Mexican culture, dating back to the ancient Aztecs. In cities like Oaxaca and Mexico City, visitors can explore chocolate museums, attend chocolate-making workshops, and sample traditional Mexican chocolate drinks like champurrado.

United States

Known as The Sweetest Place on Earth , Hershey, Pennsylvania, is home to Hershey's Chocolate World, where visitors can take tours of the chocolate factory, create their own chocolate bars, and enjoy various chocolate-themed attractions.

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Chocolate Day 2024: Countries famous for their delicious chocolates

The third day of Valentine's Week is celebrated as "Chocolate Day." It falls on February 9th each year. Usually, on this day, people express their love and affection for their partners, friends, and f...

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Watch CBS News

Delta and Amex hike credit card fees while enhancing perks. Here's what to know.

By Megan Cerullo

Edited By Alain Sherter

February 1, 2024 / 4:30 PM EST / CBS News

Delta Air Lines and American Express on Thursday said they are hiking the annual fee on their joint Delta SkyMiles American Express card, while also offering cardholders new benefits.

Effective immediately for new signups and May 1 for existing customers, card fees will rise by as much as $100, American Express said  (See  here  for more information on the new card costs and benefits.) Specifically: 

  • The Delta SkyMiles American Express Reserve card's fees will rise to $650 annually, up from $550. 
  • The cobranded platinum card's fees will increase to $350, up from $250 annually.
  • The gold card fee will rise to $150 up from $99. 

The business versions of these cards' fees will also rise. 

New card benefits include credits for the following travel and dining platforms:

  • Delta Stays, the airline's travel portal for hotels and vacation rentals
  • Resy, the online restaurant reservation platform
  • Ride-sharing services Uber, Lyft, Curb, Revel, Alto and Via rides

The enhanced benefits also include improvements to airline-issued companion certificates that cardholders receive. Previously, companion certificates for the Platinum and Reserve cards were restricted to travel within the contiguous U.S. Now they are also valid for travel to all 50 states as well as Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, according to American Express, which said that could lead to savings on airfare for families. 

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Megan Cerullo is a New York-based reporter for CBS MoneyWatch covering small business, workplace, health care, consumer spending and personal finance topics. She regularly appears on CBS News Streaming to discuss her reporting.

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Welcome to City Express Junior by Marriott León Centro De Convenciones

Practical accommodations for business and leisure trips.

City Express Junior By Marriott, with practical accommodations for business and leisure trips, with the basic elements you need for a functional stay.City Express Hotel Junior by Marriott León Centro de Convenciones is located at downtown of Leon in Guanajuato state, just at Blvd. Adolfo López Mateos, the Bajo city's main roadway. In front of Poliforum Conventions Center, of the Feria de León, Explora Ecological Park, and the León Stadium, the hotel's location is, simply put, unbeatable.You can get to downtown León in 5 minutes and to the Bajío International Airport in around 20 minutes. Plus, if you feel like shopping, Plaza Altacia, Plaza Centro Max and Mulza and Factory outlets are all in the vicinity.Stay at City Express Junior by Marriott León Centro de Convenciones and enjoy the perks of sleeping in the best area in the whole city.

Rooms & Suites

Featured amenities on-site, hotel information.

Check In: 3:00 pm

Check Out: 1:00 pm

Minimum Age to Check In: 18

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Complimentary On-Site Parking

Getting Here

City express junior by marriott león centro de convenciones.

Blvd. Adolfo Lopez Mateos Ote. No. 2003, Col. Las Bugambilias, Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, 37270

On-Property

Local Shuttle: Complimentary

Bus Station:

Central de Autobuses de Leon

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Accepts: Credit Cards

Property has elevators

Vending Machine

Languages spoken by staff: Spanish, English

For more information about the physical features of our accessible rooms, common areas or special services relating to a specific disability please call +52 477-530 5101

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Van Accessible on-site parking

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Meeting Spaces are Accessible

Room and Suites Access through the Interior Corridor

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The check-in time at City Express Junior by Marriott León Centro De Convenciones is 3:00 pm and the check-out time is 1:00 pm.

The pet policy at City Express Junior by Marriott León Centro De Convenciones is:

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Best travel credit cards for airlines in 2024

Kaeli Conforti

Feb 2, 2024 • 17 min read

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Read on for the best ways to fly the world with the helpful boost of points & miles © andresr / Getty

This series of articles about credit cards, points and miles, and budgeting for travel is brought to you in partnership with The Points Guy .

Advertiser Disclosure:  This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. This relationship may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. All information about Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority credit card has been collected independently by Lonely Planet. These cards are not available through Lonely Planet.

Imagine planning the ultimate dream trip to say, New Zealand , and not having to worry about paying for any of your flights, hotels, sightseeing tours or rental car. The good news is, that’s entirely possible if you develop a credit card strategy to make your everyday purchases work in your favor.

When it comes to choosing the perfect airline credit card, there are two ways to go about it. You could sign up for a travel credit card that lets you earn flexible rewards points, which can be then redeemed for free flights with various partner airlines.

Or, you could choose a cobranded credit card that lets you earn and redeem miles with a single airline, a great option if you’re striving for status with a particular carrier or you’re based near a certain airline’s hub.

In our search for the best airline credit cards, we considered several factors: the welcome bonus, travel protections, elite status perks and annual benefits. Additionally, none of the cards listed have foreign transaction fees .

While many of them have high annual fees (ranging from $95–$695), using all the included credits and benefits will help offset them.

Here’s our list of the best travel credit cards for airlines, a mix of flexible travel cards and the cobranded credit cards of four popular US airlines: American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines.

How to get started with travel points and airline miles

Best travel credit cards for airlines for 2023

  • Best travel credit card with a low annual fee: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best premium travel credit card: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Best credit card for lounge access: The Platinum Card® from American Express *

Best American Airlines credit card: Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Best united airlines credit card: united club℠ infinite card.

  • Best Delta Air Lines credit card: The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card *

Best Southwest Airlines credit card: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

The best travel credit cards for 2023

The Chase Sapphire Card

Best travel credit card with a low annual fee: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred  is one of the most popular travel credit cards on the market, thanks to the many opportunities it offers for earning and redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points. There are 14 airline and hotel transfer partners, and points can be switched over at a 1:1 ratio.

Besides its modest annual fee and lucrative welcome bonus, cardholders receive an annual $50 statement credit toward hotels booked via Chase Ultimate Rewards. Points redeemed via the Chase travel portal are worth 1.25 cents per point, and you’ll score a 10% points bonus each year based on how many points were earned the previous year. 

Cardholders can also access partner benefits, including a complimentary six-month subscription to Instacart+ with up to $15 in statement credits quarterly through July 2024 and a free membership to DoorDash and Caviar.

Welcome bonus: 60,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.

Rewards: Earn 5X points on travel reserved via Chase Ultimate Rewards, not counting hotel stays that qualify for the annual $50 hotel credit; 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2025; 5X points on Peloton purchases over $150 (up to 25,000 points) through March 2025; 3X on dining and online grocery shopping (except Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 3X points on streaming services; 2X points for travel expenses; and 1X points on all other purchases.

Airline transfer partners: Aer Lingus, Air Canada, British Airways, Emirates, Air France / KLM, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

Travel benefits: Auto rental collision damage waiver; baggage delay, trip cancellation and interruption insurance; trip delay reimbursement and emergency travel assistance.

Credit score: Good to excellent.

Annual fee: $95. See rates and fees .

  • Generous welcome bonus providing $750 worth of travel when you redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Many options for redeeming rewards, including 14 airlines and three hotels (Hyatt, IHG and Marriott).
  • Modest annual fee considering all the included travel benefits.
  • Approval is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so you won’t be approved if you’ve opened five credit cards within 24 months.
  • There is no airport lounge access offered as an included perk.

Chase Sapphire review: an in-depth look at the card loved by travelers

Chase Sapphire Reserve

For travelers who expect premium-level service and benefits, the Chase Sapphire Reserve  is a top choice, though it does carry a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees ).

That said, it’ll almost pay for itself if you use all the perks — a $300 annual travel credit; Priority Pass lounge membership; a $100 credit toward Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS enrollment; access to The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection; and exclusive sports, dining and entertainment events via Reserve by Sapphire. 

Redemptions are worth 1.5 cents per point when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and you can transfer them to any of Chase’s 14 airline and hotel partners. Cardholders also receive one free year of Instacart+ service with up to $15 in statement credits per quarter through July 2024, plus free membership to DoorDash and Caviar.

Rewards: Earn 10X points on car rentals and hotels, not counting The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the $300 annual travel credit); 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025; 10X points on Peloton purchases over $150 (up to 25,000 points) through March 2025; 10X points on Chase Dining purchases; 5X points on flights reserved through the Chase travel portal (after the $300 travel credit); 3X points on dining; and 3X points on all other travel purchases (after the $300 annual travel credit).

Travel benefits: Lost luggage and trip delay reimbursement, baggage delay and travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, trip interruption and cancellation insurance, emergency travel and roadside assistance, emergency transportation and evacuation services and emergency dental and medical benefits.

Credit score: Excellent.

Annual fee: $550. See see rates and fees .

  • Complimentary access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide thanks to the included Priority Pass membership.
  • The $300 annual travel credit and $100 credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS registration help to offset the annual fee.
  • A lucrative welcome bonus that’s worth $900 in travel when redeemed via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • High annual fee.

Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners: How to get the best value in 2023

The Amex Platinum

Best credit card for lounge access: The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card  offers a ton of premium travel benefits, including access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection, a $200 hotel credit on Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection stays booked via American Express Travel, a $200 airline fee credit for incidental charges made with a specific airline and a $189 credit for a CLEAR Plus membership.

Cardholders also receive a $240 digital entertainment credit to cover up to $20 per month spent with certain streaming platforms, a $155 credit for a monthly Walmart+ membership and a $100 statement credit when you shop at Saks Fifth Avenue ($50 per six-month period).

Additional perks include $200 worth of Uber Cash annually — $15 per month, plus an extra $20 in December — and a $300 Equinox credit.

Welcome bonus: 80,000 points after spending $8,000 within the first six months of account opening.

Rewards: Earn 5X points on flights booked directly with the airline or via American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year); 5X points on hotels reserved via AmexTravel.com, including The Hotel Collection; 1X points on all other purchases.

Transfer partners: Aer Lingus, AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air France / KLM, ANA, Avianca, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia, JetBlue, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic.

Travel benefits: Baggage insurance, secondary coverage on standard rental car insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, access to a global emergency assistance hotline, evacuation and medical transport service in an emergency and medical assistance.

Annual fee: $695. See rates and fees .

  • Many transfer partners, including 17 airlines and three hotels (Marriott, Hilton and Choice Hotels).
  • Generous statement credits are offered for various travel, dining and shopping charges.
  • Lucrative welcome bonus that’s worth $1,600 in travel when points are redeemed through American Express Membership Rewards.
  • Secondary car insurance, whereas the aforementioned Chase cards offer primary car insurance via the auto rental collision damage waiver.

Traveling to Europe using points and miles

The American Airlines Business Class on a flight from Rome to JFK

American Airlines loyalists will love the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, which includes free entry to the Admirals Club as well as the carrier’s partner lounges. You’ll also get one free checked bag for you and up to eight companions on the same reservation.

Cardholders receive 25% off in-flight food and drinks and priority boarding, screening and check-in when flying on American Airlines. You’ll also earn a $100 statement credit to cover your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment and statement credits for Avis and Budget car rentals (up to $120 per year), GrubHub (up to $120 per year) and Lyft (a $10 credit each month once you take three eligible rides).

Welcome bonus: 70,000 miles after spending $7,000 within the first three months of account opening.

Rewards: Earn 10X miles on car rentals and hotels booked via American Airlines; 5X points per dollar for the rest of the year once you hit $150,000; 4X miles on American Airlines purchases; 1X miles for all other purchases. You’ll also earn 10,000 bonus points once you reach 50,000 points in a status qualification year, plus another 10,000 points if you reach 90,000 points within that same year.

Travel benefits: Trip delay, interruption and cancellation insurance; lost baggage protection; and car rental coverage.

Annual fee: $595. See rates and fees .

  • Points earned with the card count toward AAdvantage elite status.
  • The included membership to the Admirals Club is worth $850, making that benefit alone well worth the $595 annual fee (see rates and fees ) — if you use it.
  • Day-of travel benefits, like a free checked bag and priority boarding.
  • High annual fee, especially if you don’t visit the Admirals Club lounges.
  • Limited opportunities to earn miles outside American Airlines purchases.

How to get major perks at global events and concerts with your credit card

United Club℠ Infinite Card members receive a free United Club membership, which also provides access to select Star Alliance partner lounges worldwide. Cardholders score special treatment at the airport, with priority services for check in, security, boarding and baggage handling.

Additional perks include up to two free checked bags for you and a companion; a $100 statement credit to put toward Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS enrollment; 25% back in statement credits for onboard United purchases; up to 8,000 Premier Qualifying Points, which count toward Premier status, for every $12,000 spent with the card; and a complimentary one-year membership to DoorDash and Caviar. 

Welcome bonus: 80,000 miles after spending $5,000 within the first three months of account opening.

Rewards: Earn 4X miles on United purchases, including flights, Wi-Fi and in-flight food and drinks; 2X miles on travel and dining; 1X miles for all other purchases.

Travel benefits: Automatic Platinum Elite status with IHG One Rewards for hotels and Avis President’s Club for car rentals; access to The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection; baggage delay insurance and lost luggage reimbursement; trip delay, interruption and cancellation insurance; auto rental collision damage waiver; and concierge services through Visa Infinite.

Annual fee: $525. See rates and fees .

  • The complimentary United Club membership is worth $650, already making it worth the annual fee if you visit frequently.
  • Day-of travel benefits like priority boarding and two free checked bags.
  • The ability to earn Premier Qualifying Points, which count toward elite status.
  • Limited opportunities to earn miles outside United Airlines purchases.

The best credit cards with no international fees in 2023

Inside Delta's Airbus A220-300

Best Delta Air Lines credit card: The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

While Delta offers several cobranded cards, The Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card offers the widest variety of benefits for frequent flyers, plus complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges.

One of the main draws for this card is the companion certificate you’ll receive each year upon renewal, which you can use to score a free economy, Delta Comfort+ or Domestic First Class ticket for a friend or family member. Cardholders also receive their first checked bag free, 20% back on in-flight purchases, priority boarding and upgrade priority (for Medallion members). The Companion Ticket requires payment of the government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply.

The card offers complimentary Delta Sky Club access to primary cardholders (Note: You must be traveling on a same-day Delta-marketed or Delta-operated flight. You will receive four Delta Sky Club One-Time Guest Passes each year. After that, you may bring up to two guests at a per-visit rate of $50 per person, per location. Reserve Card Members will receive 15 visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter.)

Welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months.

Rewards: 3X miles on Delta purchases, 1X miles on all other purchases.

Travel benefits: 15% off award flights, a $100 statement credit to cover your Global Entry application (or $85 for TSA PreCheck), one free checked bag for you, priority boarding, access to a global emergency assistance hotline, expert Concierge services.

Annual fee: $650. See rates and fees .

  • Complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges, despite some limitations, as well as American Express Centurion lounges.
  • Day-of travel perks like priority boarding and a free checked bag.
  • Cardholders save 15% when booking award flights.
  • Several perks are disappearing or changing in 2025.

Best travel credit cards for hotels

One of Southwest's Boeing 737s

While a number of cobranded credit cards are offered by the carrier, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card has the most benefits for a reasonable annual fee.

For starters, cardholders earn 7,500 points to commemorate each anniversary and all the points you pick up by using this card count toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass, which provides free travel for a friend or family member for a year, for just the cost of taxes and fees.

Welcome bonus: Limited-time offer: Earn a Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Rewards: 3X points on Southwest Airlines purchases; 2X points on transit, commuting and rideshare services; 2X points for hotels and car rentals booked via Southwest Rapid Rewards; 2X points for cable, internet, phone and streaming services; 1X points for all other purchases.

Travel benefits: Four upgraded boardings per year; 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points annually; a $75 Southwest annual travel credit; 25% back on in-flight purchases; and 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points, which count toward A-List elite status each time you spend $10,000.

Annual fee: $149. See rates and fees .

  • Reasonable annual fee with a decent welcome bonus.
  • Ability to earn points toward A-List elite status and the Southwest Companion Pass.
  • Many opportunities to earn points outside of airline-related purchases.
  • Secondary car rental insurance and a lack of the usual travel insurance and delay protections.

Best credit cards for road trips

Who should get an airline credit card?

Anyone who enjoys earning points to redeem for free flights — or, as with airline-specific cobranded cards, special perks like free checked bags, lounge access or the ability to earn status — can benefit from an airline credit card.

The best credit cards for airport lounge access in 2023

How to choose the best airline credit card

If you’re loyal to a particular airline — maybe you’ve always flown with it or you’re based near its airport hub — a cobranded credit card might make more sense. Otherwise, if you’re open to flying any carrier and its airline partners, a flexible travel rewards credit card could be more beneficial.

10 amazing US hotels you can book with points

Flying over the Hamilton Islands, Australia

Are airline credit cards worth it?

It depends on what your end goal is. Are you trying to earn enough points to score a free flight to Hawaii or to transfer points to your favorite airline and fly to Australia for free? If so, a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred ,  Chase Sapphire Reserve  or The Platinum Card  could be a good pick for its flexible rewards points.

If, however, your goal is to always fly with free checked bags or enjoy complimentary upgrades and other perks with a specific airline, a cobranded card with your preferred carrier would definitely come in handy.

Best credit cards for traveling with kids

Why should I consider getting a flexible travel rewards credit card instead?

It all comes down to your personal travel preferences. If you’re a creature of habit who only travels with one carrier, consider that you also have access to its partner airlines, not only through its airline alliance but its credit card loyalty program. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred  or Chase Sapphire Reserve  cardholders, for instance, have access to 14 partners within the Chase Ultimate Rewards network, while those with The Platinum Card can choose from 17 partners through American Express Membership Rewards.

How to travel to New Zealand with points and miles in 2023

Do you need a credit card to book a flight?

While a credit card does make things easier in terms of paying for your purchases online and earning rewards points toward future trips , you can also opt to pay for a plane ticket with a debit card, gift card or through a payment service such as PayPal, if available through the booking site.

Traveling to Hawaii with points and miles for 2023

*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit  americanexpress.com/benefitsguide  for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit  americanexpress.com  to learn more.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  29. Best travel credit cards for airlines in 2024

    Best travel credit card with a low annual fee: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Best credit card for lounge access: The Platinum Card® from American Express *. Best American Airlines credit card: Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®. Best Delta Air Lines credit card: The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card *.