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Airline Credit Cards

Airline Card Deals: December 2016

We've compiled a list of the 6 Airline Card Deals currently available on CreditDonkey.

Airline Rewards Credit Cards

Compare credit card offers from our partners and apply online
Where to go next? Just as there are so many places worth visiting, there are so many credit cards to choose from that can help you save money and earn perks when you travel. Use our cheat sheet to zero in on what matters for your next airline card and start comparing the ones below.


Airline Miles for Beginners


Credit Cards for International Travel


Credit Card Spending Requirement


How to Choose an Airline Credit Card

This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer. This site may be compensated through the advertiser's affiliate programs.

The best airline credit card racks up miles fast, has reasonable fees, and amazing rewards.

But finding the right airline credit card can be confusing. It doesn't have to be.

We'll help you narrow down your selection. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you value flexibility and enjoy playing the airline miles game? If so, you’ll find the most value in hybrid cards that allow you the flexibly to transfer points to different travel partners.
  • Do you just want something that’s simple to use? If so, general travel reward cards will help save money on your next trip with little additional work.
  • Do you have a favorite airline? If so, you may stand to gain better benefits for your loyalty with an airline branded card.

We will explain the differences between these types of airline credit cards and highlight some of our favorite ones.

Hybrid Airline Cards

These kind of cards easily offer the most flexibility by allowing you to redeem rewards in multiple ways. Even though you could book travel from the card issuer’s travel portal, the best thing about these cards is that you can transfer the miles to airline and hotel partner frequent travel programs.

This is such a valuable feature as you can often get a much better value out of your points. The thing is that you will have to do plan ahead to figure out how best to transfer your points to get the most value.

50,000 Bonus Points

Chase Sapphire Preferred
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Want a generous deal? Do you spend over $1,334 per month on your credit card?

If so, check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You can earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. There is an Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95.

Is it worth the annual fee? Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred here.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Highlights:

  • Double points on travel and dining at restaurants
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs, including United Mileage Plus, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, British Airways Executive Club, Korean Air SKYPASS, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Premium travel and purchase protection benefits, including trip cancellation/interruption, primary car rental insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement and even baggage delay insurance.

Did You Know: You can earn an additional 5,000 bonus points if you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within the first three months from account opening.

Hotel Credit Card with Airline Transfer Partners

  • Starwood Preferred Guest Starwood Preferred Guest offers 25,000 bonus Starpoints® if you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your new card account. You earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. You earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases. You can redeem points at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries with no blackout dates. There are no foreign transaction fees. There is a $95 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year). Terms and conditions apply.

    Even though this seems like a hotel credit card, Starpoints (SPG) can be transferred to more than 30 airline frequent flyer programs, including American Airlines, Delta, Alaska Airline, British Airways, Emirates, and more. This makes the AMEX SPG one of the most flexible cards we've reviewed.

    Plus, every time you transfer 20,000 SPG points to one of Starwood’s airline transfer partners, you get 5,000 bonus points – making it a 1.25 effective rewards rate.

    To learn more, read our SPG credit card review.

    If you are a small business owner, the Starwood Preferred Guest Business credit card offers a different bonus. You can earn 25,000 bonus SPG points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card within the first three months.

Membership Rewards

  • Premier Rewards Gold Card Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express offers 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards points if you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first three months.

    You earn 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines; 2x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations; and 1x point on other purchases. Points can be transferred to top frequent flyer partner programs, such as Delta and JetBlue, or to a hotel loyalty partner programs like Hilton and Starwood.

    This card stands out for us because it’s a good balance between earning reward points and travel perks. Just some of the travel perks include: an airline fee credit (up to $100/year) to help cover incidental fees with your selected airline, and Hotel Collection benefits that include a $75 credit on qualifying charges (such as dining, spa, and resort fees) when you book a stay of at least 2 nights.

    Is the card worth the $195 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the 1st year)? Read our AMEX Rewards Gold Card review before you decide.

    If you are a small business owner, here's an offer you might be interested in: The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN offers 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points if you spend $5,000 in purchases in the first three months. (Special Offer)

    Earn 3x points (in 1 category you choose out of 5 categories available) and 2x points on the remaining four categories. (3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter). But there is a $175 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year). To see if it makes sense for your business, read our Business Gold Rewards review.

  • No Annual Fee: Amex EveryDay offers 10,000 Membership Rewards® points if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your new card account. This card earns 2x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000/year in purchases, then 1x) and 1x points on other purchases. If you make 20 or more purchases with your card in a billing period, you will get 20% extra points on those purchases (less returns and credits). There is no annual fee.

    Plus, there is a 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, a variable APR applies, currently 13.24% to 23.24%. Terms and conditions apply.

General Travel Rewards Cards

If the idea of researching point transfers and signing up for frequent travel programs just seem like too much hassle to you, then you’d like the simplicity of these general travel reward cards. With these cards, just use your card like normal, and your rewards will be applied as a statement credit on travel-related expenses.

With Bonus Miles & 2x Miles on All Purchases

  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus
    Apply for Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
    Barclaycard Arrival Plus is one of our favorite card in this category. While the card has an $89 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the 1st year), it offers 2x miles on all purchases making it a great card to rack up miles fast. Plus, as an introductory offer, you can earn 50,000 bonus miles if you make $3,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from opening your account (worth $500 travel statement credit).

    These kinds of cards are flexible too, but in a different way. Your miles can be redeemed as statement credit for any travel-related expenses you’ve made in the past 120 days. Miles can be redeemed for any hotels and flights (with no restrictions or black-out-dates), trains/buses/limos, timeshares, cruises, and even campgrounds.

    And as an added bonus: every time you redeem miles, you get 5% of the miles back.

  • Capital One Venture offers a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account approval. 40,000 miles is equal to $400 in travel. This card earns 2x miles per dollar on all purchases. You can redeem miles toward travel purchases on any airline, hotel, or car rental. There are no foreign transaction fees. There is a $59 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year).

With No Annual Fee

Are you more of an occasional traveler and looking for a card without a hefty fee?

  • Discover it Miles will match all the miles you've earned at the end of your first year. This offer is limited to new cardmembers only. This card earns 1.5x miles on all purchases and has no annual fee.

    Plus, Discover will pay you back for your in-flight WiFi fees, up to $30 a year, through an automatic statement credit.

    Miles can be redeemed toward any travel purchases on your statement, using a simple structure: 100 miles is worth $1.

  • Bank of America Travel Rewards offers 20,000 online bonus points if you spend at least $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. 20,000 points is worth a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases. This card earns 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases. You can redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, car rentals, or baggage fees. There is a 0% introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases. After that, a variable APR, currently 15.24% to 23.24%. There are no foreign transaction fees. There is no annual fee.

  • Capital One VentureOne offers a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles if you spend $1,000 on purchases within three months of account approval. 20,000 miles is equal to $200 in travel. This card earns 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases. You can redeem miles toward travel purchases on any airline, hotel, or car rental. There is a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months. After that, a variable APR, currently 12.24% to 22.24%. There are no foreign transaction fees. There is no annual fee.

Airline Co-Branded Cards

© CreditDonkey

If you have a strong loyalty to a particular airline, you may want to consider getting one of the credit cards in partnership with that airline. Often, you’ll earn more points when making purchases with that airline, and you’ll usually receive unique travel perks too such as free checked bag and priority boarding.

In exchange for the plusses, however, you may lose flexibility. It may take longer to earn rewards when you use the card on everyday purchases and you may be limited in how you redeem the rewards.

    Gold Delta SkyMiles
    Apply for Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

  • If you fly Delta, consider a Delta SkyMiles credit card:
    Gold Delta SkyMiles offers 30,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your new account. In addition, you can earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within the first three months. This card earns airline miles: 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. There is a $95 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year).

    If you fly Delta, here's what you should know: you can check your first bag free on every Delta flight with this card - that is a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of 4. Plus, you can enjoy Priority Boarding. Terms and conditions apply.

  • If you fly American Airlines, consider an American Airline credit card:
    Citi AAdvantage offers 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. This card lets you enjoy Group 1 boarding on American Airline flights. You also get the first checked bag free on domestic AA itineraries for you (and up to 4 companions traveling with you on the same reservation). There is a $95 annual fee (waived for the first 12 months).

    Plus, you can earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back (up to 10,000 miles each calendar year).

  • If you fly another airline, here are some other airlines that have co-branded cards:

3 Things to Consider When Comparing Airline Credit Cards

© CreditDonkey

  • Promotions: We all love a good deal and travelers are among the most coveted market segment. Credit card companies frequently offer travelers introductory promotions to get them to sign up for a new credit card. For that reason, it makes sense to compare a few before applying for any one card.

  • Rewards:
    • Earning rewards: An introductory offer is nice, but after the honeymoon period, you want a credit card that you’ll still want to keep around.

      Pay attention to the credit card rewards structure to find one that’s right for you over the long haul. Do you understand it? Will you get rewards where you use the card? If earning rewards is centered around airline purchases, do you travel enough throughout the year to get a lot of rewards or should you look for a more general card?

    • Redeeming rewards: Earning a million miles is great, but if you can never use it, why bother?

      Look for a credit card that lets you redeem your miles or points toward any purchase, or at minimum toward a carrier that flies where you want to go.

  • Annual fees: Airline credit cards tend to come with a price — an annual fee. Don’t let the existence of such a fee scare you away (with the right card, you can save money in the long run) but keep it in mind when evaluating your choices. In most cases, the higher the fee, the more lucrative the promotions and benefits.

Redeeming Points: Airline Transfer Partners

© CreditDonkey

Here's our suggestion: Instead of a co-branded card with a particular airline, look for a credit card that allows you to transfer points to an airline's frequent flyer program.

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points, called Starpoints, can be transferred to more than 30 frequent traveler programs, including American Airlines.

American Express Membership Rewards (AMEX MR) points can be transferred to over a dozen frequent travelers programs, including airlines like Delta and hotel chains like Hilton, Best Western, and Starwood.

Chase Ultimate Rewards (Chase UR) points can be transferred to frequent travelers programs too. Chase Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partners include United and Southwest. Their hotel transfer partners include Hyatt, Marriott, and the Ritz-Carlton.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is an annual fee worth it?
    Cards with an annual fee usually offer bigger bonus and more perks than cards without. Whether it is worth it will depend on your spending habits and how often you travel. Our honest opinion is that it’s only worth considering travel rewards cards with an annual fee. If you spend at least $1,000 a month on your credit card and travel semi-frequently (at least a couple of times a year), then we’d say that in most cases, you’d have a lot to gain with a card with an annual fee.

    However, if you only travel once a while, a card with no annual fee will be a nice way to get some money back for travel-related purchases. But in this case, you may want to just consider a straight up cash back credit card for more flexibility.

  • Do I need more than one card?
    In our opinion, a travel rewards card should always be used as a primary card so you can rack up the miles faster. But you may have noticed that most travel rewards cards don’t offer as high of a rewards structure compared to other cards (except for cards like Barclaycard Arrival Plus, which offers 2x on all purchases).

    It’s a smart idea to supplement with another card that earns more rewards. For example, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred (which earns 2x on travel and dining, and 1x on everything else), you can supplement with the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which earns a flat 1.5% on all purchases. So for non travel and dining purchases, you can earn 1.5x points vs the 1x with the Sapphire Preferred. And then combine all the points together to make travel purchases or transfer to travel partners with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

  • Which cards have no foreign transaction fees?
    A good travel card should not have a foreign transaction fee. Luckily, most of the ones on our list have no foreign transaction fees (except for some of the smaller airline co-branded cards). Click to view a list of cards without a foreign transaction.

  • Do miles expire?
    With Barclaycard Arrival Plus, your Barclaycard miles do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing.

    Likewise, with Chase Sapphire Preferred, your Chase points do not expire as long as your account remains open, active and in good standing.

    But if you transfer your credit card points to an airline frequent flyer program, pay attention. Some airlines do expire miles after a period of inactivity.

  • Which cards let me fly any airline?
    If you want the most flexibility, general travel rewards cards allow you to book your own flight with any airline, anytime, with no blackout date. You simply redeem your miles for a statement credit.

    But if you want the most value, hybrid airline cards let you earn points that you can then transfer to airline frequent flyer partners. You can't fly any airline, but thanks to airline alliances, such as Oneworld, SkyTeam, and Star Alliance, you can book award flights on partner airlines. Please note that award flights have limited availability so it's best to have schedule flexibility.

  • Which cards have lounge access?
    Unfortunately, access to airport lounges only comes on luxury travel rewards cards (such as the American Express Platinum). Some airline co-branded cards will offer reduced lounge fees, such as Gold Delta SkyMiles. Read our comprehensive guide to credit cards with airport lounge access.

  • Which cards have priority boarding?
    Typically, airline co-branded cards will offer perks such as free checked bags and priority boarding, such as Gold Delta SkyMiles and Citi AAdvantage. So if you have a loyalty to a specific airline and enjoy these perks, you may want to consider getting their co-branded credit card.

  • Which cards have trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance?
    This perk ensures that you can be reimbursed for your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses if any covered circumstances force you to cancel or interrupt your trip. Chase Sapphire Preferred offers this insurance up to $10,000 per trip.

    Please note that to receive reimbursement, your circumstance must be covered with proof, which includes: bodily injury, illness, severe weather, terrorist action, jury duty, or financial insolvency between parties.

  • Which cards have car rental insurance?
    A lot of travel credit cards offer secondary car rental insurance. However, Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the few cards to offer primary coverage when you decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental to your card.

Travel More

When you find the right airline credit card, you can go far both literally and figuratively. Make inroads in your rewards and loyalty programs and you can get a nice deal when you redeem the rewards for flights or hotel stays.

PS: Don't forget about hotel loyalty programs. Here is a list of the best hotel credit cards for free nights.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®, Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card, and BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card have been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Airline Miles for Beginners

Learn how airline miles work and the 10 steps to get started with collecting travel rewards. Before long, you’ll be redeeming miles for flights and hotel rooms.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Read ReviewApply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Airline Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Airline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.
Our Review: Do you like to travel? Travel credit cards can help you earn flights and hotel stays. Our favorite is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It has a huge bonus point offer and premium travel benefits. But the card has a $95 annual fee. Read on to see if the Sapphire Preferred is worth it... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
Read ReviewApply for Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
At Barclaycard's Secure Site
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Redeem for travel or cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. Redemption values vary
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.24%, 20.24% or 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers.
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsTravel RewardsAirline RewardsHotel RewardsCar Rental RewardsNo Expiration on RewardsTravel Accident InsuranceEmergency Assistance
Airline Rewards: Earn 2X miles on all purchases.
Introductory Bonus Airline Rewards: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit
Our Review: Is this 2x miles credit card worth the $89 annual fee? Read on to see how the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® compares with top travel rewards credit card... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/A
0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)
16.24%, 20.24% or 23.24% Variable
$89 - Waived first year

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
Read ReviewApply for Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase Protection$0 Fraud LiabilityEmergency Assistance
Airline Rewards: Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
Introductory Bonus Airline Rewards: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
Our Review: There are many airline credit cards to choose from, so how do you decide if the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is right for you? Read this review before you apply... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
NoneNone
15.99% - 24.99% Variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

The Platinum Card from American Express
Read ReviewApply for The Platinum Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year for baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply.
  • Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors(TM) Gold Status with your Platinum Card.®
  • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsTravel RewardsAirline RewardsPoint RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitConciergeEventsCar Rental InsuranceExtended Warranty Purchase ProtectionReturn ProtectionTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityIdentity Theft Assistance
Airline Rewards: Earn 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
Airline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France, Emirates, Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles), Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Alitalia, All Nippon Airways and more.
Our Review: Is the Platinum Card® from American Express worth the $450 annual fee? Read this in-depth review to help you decide... Read full review
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Personal Charge Card
$450


Read Review
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsTravel RewardsAirline RewardsBonus Airline RewardsNo Expiration on Rewards$0 Fraud Liability
Our Review: Discover it Miles credit card rewards users with 1.5x miles and no annual fee (a rarity among travel credit cards). Even more appealing, as a promotion, the card will match the miles you earn at the end of your first year... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 14 months
10.99% for 14 months
11.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
$0


Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsTravel RewardsAirline RewardsNo Expiration on RewardsNo Limits on RewardsConciergeExtended Warranty$0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
N/A
12.24% - 22.24% (Variable)
$0


Read Review
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsBonus Airline RewardsNo Expiration on RewardsNo Limits on RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase Protection $0 Fraud Liability
Our Review: If you are a frequent traveler and enjoy flying with American Airlines, the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard can save you money on airfare... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
14.24% - 22.24%* (Variable)
$95, waived for first 12 months*


Read Review
Our Review: A new ultra high-end travel rewards card has been announced: the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Read on to see why it's worth the $450 annual fee... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
$450

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
Read ReviewApply for Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsAirline RewardsPoint RewardsGas RewardsGrocery RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitDining RewardsEventsCar Rental Insurance Extended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionBaggage InsuranceTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityRoadside Assistance
Airline Rewards: Earn 3X points for flights booked with airlines
Airline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France, Emirates, Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles), Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Alitalia, All Nippon Airways and more.
Our Review: If you spend a lot on airfare, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express may be worth considering. Read on for 10 reasons to consider this Amex card and 4 reasons to skip it... Read full review
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Personal Charge Card
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195


Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsTravel RewardsAirline RewardsNo Expiration on RewardsNo Limits on RewardsConciergeExtended Warranty$0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
13.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $59 after that

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
Read ReviewApply for Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Receive free in-room, premium internet access. Booking requirements apply.
  • Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Hotel RewardsTravel RewardsAirline RewardsBonus Airline RewardsHotel RewardsNo Limits on RewardsCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase Protection Return ProtectionTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud Liability
Airline Rewards: Transfer Starpoints to more than 30 airline frequent flyer programs, mostly on a one-to-one basis.
Redeem Starpoints® for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, with no blackout dates.
Airline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include American Airlines, Delta, Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, Hawaiian Airlines, British Airways, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France (Flying Blue), Emirates, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles), Virgin Atlantic, Avianca, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Etihad, Asiana Airlines, Air China, Alitalia, Air Berlin, Jet Airways, China Southern Airlines, Japan Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Thai Airways, Virgin Australia, Aegean Airlines, Miles and More, All Nippon Airways, China Eastern, and more.
Bonus Airline Rewards: Get 5,000 bonus Starpoints after you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to a frequent flyer program with more than 30 airlines
Our Review: Do you like to travel? Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express earns points that you can redeem for hotel stays and flights. Plus, there's a signup bonus! But the card has an annual fee. Read on to find out if the SPG card is still worth considering... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
15.49% - 19.49% variable
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

Disclaimer: The information for the Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card, Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card have been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.


Airline Rewards Benefits

6 High-Flying Benefits of Airline Credit Cards

Airline credit cards can be a great fit for people who travel often or have a big trip planned. These cards allow you to accrue points for purchases charged to the card. Once you've earned enough points, you can often redeem them for flights and savings in travel expenses like lodging. These cards can also give you access to special perks while you travel.

Here are just six of the many benefits you will typically see with this type of credit card.

  1. Rewards from the start
    Many consumers assume that it will take years before they will accrue enough points to cash in for a flight. However, many airline rewards cards now offer introductory bonus points on after meeting an initial spending threshold. The amount of points range depending on the card, but some offer enough for a round-trip flight.

    An introductory offer allows you to see the benefits of your card even if it is a credit card you might not use on a regular basis. It is also great for individuals who typically don’t charge much on a credit card, because the last thing you want to do is change your spending pattern just to accrue points.

  2. Flexibility on flights
    Frequent flyer programs through specific airlines often have some limitations and require you to book flights through the airline. With an airline miles credit card that's not affiliated with any specific airline, you often have access to a greater range of airlines, locations, and dates. This makes it convenient to use rewards to book flights for vacations and business trips.

  3. Seat upgrades
    One fantastic benefit of some airline miles credit cards is using your miles to upgrade seats. Many cardholders will purchase inexpensive tickets through a special airline promotion and then utilize rewards to upgrade their seat to business or first class. Seat upgrades provide them with extra space and access to special perks during their flight. This is a great way to be budget conscious without skimping on comfort. Keep in mind, though, not all tickets are eligible to be upgraded, so pay attention to the fare code and airline eligibility requirements.

  4. Access to special perks
    Some cards, such as the legendary American Express Platinum, give you access into certain airline lounges. These lounges in airports maximize comfort while you wait for your flight. They are available at many airports, so this is one benefit that you’ll be able to take advantage of almost anywhere you travel.

  5. Chances to accrue additional points
    Credit card companies often provide promotional periods when they will increase the points per dollar spent for certain categories. During these promotional periods, you may earn 2, 3, 4, even 5 points for every dollar spent.

    Extra points are often offered for purchases you make at certain types of merchants, like gas stations, hotels or other travel-related venues. This is a great chance to rack up the points if you have already planned to travel during these periods. Sometimes, the merchant categories are for everyday expenses, like groceries, so you will still earn points quickly without changing your regular shopping routine.

  6. Points to cut down on other travel expenses
    If you are looking at airline miles credit cards, chances are you’re focused on flying rewards. However, with some cards, you can also potentially use your points toward car rentals, hotel rooms and other travel expenses.


Articles on Airline Rewards

    How to land great flights for cheap

    How to Get Cheap Flights

    By Astrid Martinez - Tips
    Finding the best priced airfare can be a stressful task – especially when you’re trying to stick to a strict travel budget. Thankfully, there are some tips you can follow to cut down on the financial investment of your next flight.

    How to Get Free Airline Tickets

    By Sheryl Nance-Nash - Tips
    The warmer months mean the one thing you have been working for – literally – is about to happen. We’re talking about vacation. But who can afford to go anywhere these days? The answer: the savvy shopper who knows how to find the best deals. ...

    Earn Airline Miles Without Flying

    September 27, 2016 - By Charles Tran - Reviews
    Do you want to travel more? There is an airline miles trick that airlines do not want you to know.

    Plane Crash Statistics: 23 Nail-Biting Facts and Trends

    By Rebecca Lake - Tips
    Traveling soon? If your fear of flying isn’t scary enough, we’ll give you some more jitters with these eye-opening plane crash statistics. Some facts will ease your mind, but many will make you wary of booking that next flight. Buckle in and ...

    Best Time to Buy International Flights

    By Allison Martin - Tips
    Searching for a cheap international flight? Be prepared for the wild goose chase that may lie ahead. Even if you purchase a ticket as soon as it becomes available, you may be stricken with disappointment when you see the fare drop tremendously ...

    Hawaiian Airlines Credit Card Review

    April 17, 2015 - By Leah Norris - Reviews
    The Hawaiian Airlines credit card has an impressive set of benefits, including a yearly $100 discount on a companion fare, free 1st checked bag on Hawaiian Airlines flights, and 5,000 bonus miles each year you spend over $10,000 on the card. ...

    Virgin America Credit Card Review

    April 16, 2015 - By Leah Norris - Reviews
    With its eye-catching vertical design and the hip, modern reputation of the airline, the Virgin America Visa Signature can attract your attention if you’re a frequent flier on Virgin America. But does it offer more value than just coolness?

    Spirit Airlines Credit Card Review

    April 15, 2015 - By Leah Norris - Reviews
    Could you get even better deals on your Spirit Airlines flight by owning the Spirit Airlines World MasterCard? Read on to see if the card is worth the $59 annual fee.

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