Many airlines offer co-branded credit cards that allow you to earn miles and many other valuable rewards. If you frequently fly with the same airline or travel a lot in general, I recommend you open an airline credit card to maximize your earnings.
Be sure to keep reading to learn about the best airline credit cards to earn great travel benefits and rewards.
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Airline Credit Card Features
Make sure you consider these features when choosing an airline credit card:
- Airline loyalty. Co-branded cards only earn miles for a specific airline, so make sure you consider which one you most frequently fly with. However, other cards allow you to earn points toward award travel with many different airlines.
- Bonus categories. There are some cards that allow you to earn bonus points for spending in certain categories like groceries or dining. You should choose a card that allows you to maximize your rewards on things you would usually purchase.
- Annual fee. Although some cards have hefty annual fees, they usually come with lots of valuable perks such as travel credits, free checked bags, and access to airport lounges. If you travel a lot and can take full advantage of these perks, this should make the annual fee well worth it. However if you don’t travel too often, I recommend checking out a lower cost card.
The Best Airline Cards This Year
If you’re looking for a travel card with simple redemptions, check out the Capital One Venture Rewards Card. With this card, you are able to use your Venture miles to “get rid of” your travel purchases at a fixed rate of $0.01 per mile, with no blackout dates.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel.
You're able to earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
This card does come with a $95 annual fee. Enjoy no foreign transaction fees and receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®.
If you are a beginner, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card® is a great option for you and also offers a generous welcome bonus. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are one of the easiest travel rewards to use. You can redeem them for travel and earn $0.0125 per point. Furthermore, you can transfer your points to a partner program to maximize your rewards.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
• 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
• 3X points on dining
• 3X points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases
• 2X points on all other travel purchases
• 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit and when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you'll get 25% more value!
You get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee & reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
This card carries a $95 annual fee.
If you’re looking for a great travel card with luxury perks, check out the Platinum Card from American Express.
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
• 10X points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
This card comes with an annual fee of $695 (See Rates & Fees), but you cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only. Terms Apply.
The best American Airlines rewards card is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® because it offers bonuses when you spend on dining and gas and there are many travel rewards.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite MasterCard® offers 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year.
You'll earn 2X AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1X AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.
This card comes with $450 annual fee, however, there are no foreign transaction fees. You can also save when traveling - first checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation.
On top of that, you'll get an Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you.
The best Delta Air Lines rewards card for elite flyers is the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. Some perks include an annual companion certificate, access to Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs, fast-track to elite status and many other travel benefits.
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card offers 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
You can earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases & 1X mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
This card does come with a $550 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Seems hefty but perks like being able to check your first bag free on Delta flights. In addition, you can enjoy complimentary access into the Delta SkyClubs for you when travelling on a Delta flight, complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card, fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. (See Rates & Fees)
The best Delta Air Lines card for regular flyers is the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. This card offers bonuses on hotel, restaurant and supermarket spending, an annual companion certificate and much more.
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card offers 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
You can earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels; 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, and at U.S. supermarkets; 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus MQMs to help you reach Medallion Status.
This card comes with a $250 Annual Fee, but for each round trip Delta flight, you can check your first bag for free and save up to $240. In addition, there is no foreign transaction fee. You'll also get fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®. (See Rates & Fees). Terms apply.
The best Delta Air Lines card for occasional flyers is the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card. You can receive bonuses on restaurant and supermarket spending. In addition, it comes with many travel benefits.
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card offers 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
Earn now. Travel when you're ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit on your Card to inspire your next travel.
You'll earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, and at U.S. supermarkets; 1X mile for every eligible dollar you spend on purchases.
Earn now. Travel when you're ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel.
There is a $99 annual fee, however, there is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year (See Rates & Fees). Now, you'll get get more savings with your first checked bag for free on Delta flights.
The best rewards card for JetBlue frequent flyers is the JetBlue Plus Card. You can receive bonuses when you spend on restaurants and grocery stores, fast track to Mosaic elite status and some other travel benefits.
The best Southwest Airlines rewards card is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. You can receive bonus points on partner hotel and car rental spending, fast-track to elite status, $75 in Southwest travel credit every year and more.
The best United Airlines rewards card is the United℠ Explorer Card. You can receive bonuses on hotel and restaurant spending and many travel benefits.
The United Explorer Card offers 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months.
• Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United purchases
• Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining and eligible delivery services
Perks of this card include:
• Getting up to $100 Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Fee Credit
• Get your first bag checked for free (up to $140 savings per roundtrip) when you using your Card to purchase your ticket
• Get priority boarding perks & visit the United Club with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
This card does come with a $95 annual fee, however, the annual fee is waived for the first year.
The Best No-Annual-Fee Airline Credit Cards This Year
You can receive many benefits from the best airline credit cards such as free checked bags, priority boarding, lounge access, elite status and more. However, many of these cards charge a large annual fee.
Although you might not get as many perks as a card with an annual fee, no-annual-fee airline cards might be a better option for you if you are a beginner or prefer earning miles over premium benefits.
|CREDIT CARD||WELCOME BONUS||EARNING RATES|
|American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp℠ Mastercard®
(no annual fee)
|10k miles + $50 statement credit when you spend $500 within 3 months. ($190 value*)||2x miles on AA purchases
2x miles at grocery stores
1x miles on everything else
|Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
(no annual fee)
|10k miles when you spend $500 within 3 months. ($120 value*)||2x miles on Delta purchases
2x miles at restaurants
1x miles on everything else
|JetBlue Credit Card
(no annual fee)
|10k points when you spend $1k within 90 days. ($130 value*)||3x points on JetBlue purchases
2x points at restaurants
2x points at grocery stores
1x points on everything else
- The Best Hotel Credit Cards For Travel Benefits + Rewards
- The Best Travel Credit Cards: Rewards and Benefits
- Best Credit Cards For Restaurant Purchases
- Best Credit Cards for Supermarket & Grocery Store Purchases
- No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards
If you are a frequent flyer, be sure to take advantage of the best airline credit cards to maximize your earnings. You can receive many great bonuses and rewards when you sign up for any of these credit cards.
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