Save money and be informed. CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison and financial education website. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the cards mentioned here. Opinions expressed here are CreditDonkey or author's alone, not those of card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by card issuers. We may receive compensation if you apply for a card through links in our content.

Airline Credit Cards

Airline Rewards Credit Cards

Compare airline rewards credit cards and apply online
With an airline rewards credit card, your purchases help you earn miles or points that can be redeemed for airline flights. Some cards also offer generous sign-up bonuses and travel-related perks like free checked bags and priority boarding. Whether you want a branded card with a certain airline or a general travel credit card, you'll be able to find one that helps you save on airfare.


How to Choose the Best Airline Credit Card for You

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard - Earn 2x on All Purchases Want 2x miles on all purchases? Consider the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard. While the card has an $89 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first 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 40,000 bonus miles if you make $3,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening (worth $400 off your next trip).

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Want a generous deal? Do you spend over $1,000 per month on your card? If so, check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. If you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening, you'll earn 40,000 bonus points (worth $500 in travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards). There is a $95 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year).

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard - Earn 1x on All Purchases Don't want an annual fee, but still want a good deal? The Barclaycard Arrival has two version, one with an annual fee and one without. The version with no annual fee earns 1x miles instead of 2x miles on all purchases. It offers 20,000 bonus miles (instead of 40,000) when you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening (worth $200 off your next trip).


Frequent Flyer
To rack up points or miles, look for airline credit card deals with lucrative bonus offers. If you fly frequently with one airline, signing up for a branded card with that airline can be a good deal.

Status
If you enjoy traveling but don't do it often, look for an airline credit card with perks usually reserved for frequent flyers, such as airport lounge access, checked bag allowances, or priority boarding.

Business Travel
Do you own a small business? Look for a business travel credit card to earn rewards on your next conference trip or client visit. Visit our Business Travel Tips Guide to learn how business travel can help reward you and your business.

Redeeming Points
Some airline rewards cards give you miles with a particular company’s frequent traveler program, such as American Airlines AAdvantage or Delta SkyMiles. Other cards give you points for the credit card issuer’s reward program—like American Express Membership Rewards—that you can redeem toward travel with a variety of companies.

Another consideration is how you would like to book your reward travel: some cards require you to book through the card issuer’s website, while others have more flexible options. Be sure to also review the terms and conditions to see whether there are blackout dates and restrictions on redeeming points.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the company whose products are featured on this site. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

How to land great flights for cheap

How to Save Money on Flights

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.

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard - Earn 2x on All Purchases
Read ReviewApply for Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard - Earn 2x on All Purchases
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • No mileage caps or foreign transaction fees
  • Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel statement credits (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
  • Use your card to book through any airline, hotel or discount travel engine with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Easily redeem your miles for statement credits towards all or a portion of your travel purchases within the last 90 days
  • Complimentary online FICO® Score access for Arrival cardmembers
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsTravel RewardsTravel Accident InsuranceEmergency Assistance
Airline Rewards Benefit: Earn 2X miles on all purchases
Introductory Bonus Airline Rewards: Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!
Our Review: If you want to earn 2x miles with all purchases and have the flexibility to redeem miles toward any airline purchase, consider the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard. The $89 annual fee card lets you earn miles quickly with no mileage caps. In addition, a 40,000 bonus mile offer makes this card an attractive choice... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
14.99% or 18.99%* (Variable)
$89 - Waived first year

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Read ReviewApply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM.
  • Earn 5,000 additional bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to participating frequent travel programs at full value - that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
  • 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Airline Rewards Benefit: 1:1 point transfer to participating frequent travel programs at full value - that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
Our Review: The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers a very generous point bonus and extra travel rewards to those with excellent credit. Keep in mind, the card does have an annual fee. It is the premium version of the Chase Sapphire Card... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
15.99% (Variable)
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard - Earn 1x on All Purchases
Read ReviewApply for Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard - Earn 1x on All Purchases
  • Start by earning 20,000 bonus miles when you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 20,000 bonus miles equates to $200 off your next trip!
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X miles on travel and dining purchases,1X miles on all other purchases, and no mileage caps or foreign transaction fees
  • Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
  • Use miles for a statement credit toward any airline purchase to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates
  • Easily redeem your miles for statement credits toward flights, cruises, car rentals, hotels and more
  • Complimentary one year subscription of TripIt Pro mobile travel organizer - a $49 value
  • Complimentary FICO® Scores as a benefit to active card members. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Scores from your Barclaycard online account.
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsTravel RewardsDining RewardsNo Limits on RewardsTravel Accident InsuranceEmergency Assistance
Airline Rewards Benefit: Earn 1X miles on all other purchases. Use miles for a statement credit toward any airline purchase to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates
Introductory Bonus Airline Rewards: 20,000 bonus miles if you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 20,000 bonus miles equates to $200 off your next trip
Our Review: If you like to travel, you can earn 2X miles on travel and dining purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases with the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard. Every time you buy something on this card, you earn miles. These miles are good for statement credits toward flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises. This program is especially generous when you consider that this card does not have an annual fee... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
14.99% or 18.99%* (Variable)
$0

The US Airways Premier World MasterCard
Read ReviewApply for The US Airways Premier World MasterCard
  • Earn up to 40,000 bonus miles with qualifying transactions
  • Exclusive: Book award flights for 5,000 fewer miles - award travel starts at just 20,000 miles for cardmembers
  • Zone 2 boarding on all US Airways flights
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 on US Airways purchases
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 on purchases everywhere else
  • Annual companion certificate good for up to 2 companion tickets at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
  • First Class check-in
  • Please see terms and conditions for complete details
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsBonus Airline Rewards
Airline Rewards Benefit: Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on US Airways purchases. Earn 1 mile per $1 spent everywhere else.
Introductory Bonus Airline Rewards: Earn up to 40,000 bonus miles on qualifying transactions (30,000 bonus miles after your first purchase; earn up to 10,000 bonus miles when you transfer a balance within 90 days of account opening)
Bonus Airline Rewards: Annual companion certificate good for round-trip travel for up to 2 companions at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
Our Review: Frequent US Airways flyers can use the US Airways Premier World MasterCard to help earn Dividend Miles - 2 miles per $1 on US Airways purchases and 1 mile per $1 spent everywhere else. As an incentive to sign up, you earn 30,000 bonus miles after your first purchase, and you get up to 10,000 bonus miles when you transfer a balance within 90 days of account opening. The card is best suited for travelers, as there is an $89 annual fee... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
$89

Citi Platinum Select / AAdvantage World MasterCard
Read ReviewApply for Citi Platinum Select / AAdvantage World MasterCard
  • Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of cardmembership*
  • Your first eligible checked bag is free*
  • Group 1 boarding and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases*
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount every cardmembership year with qualifying purchases and cardmembership renewal*
  • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back - up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsBonus Airline RewardsNo Expiration on RewardsNo Limits on Rewards$0 Fraud Liability
Airline Rewards Benefit: Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 you spend on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.
Introductory Bonus Airline Rewards: Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of cardmembership*
Bonus Airline Rewards: Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount each year of cardmembership in which you spend $30,000 or more in purchases and renew your cardmembership.
Our Review: If you are a frequent traveler and enjoy flying with American Airlines, the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Card can save you money on airfare. Beyond collecting flight rewards on all your purchases, this card also offers several additional bonuses that will save you even more money on airfare. While there is an annual fee of $95, it's very likely that you'll easily make up this cost and more in travel rewards you earn... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
13.99% - 21.99%* (Variable)
$95, waived for first 12 months*

Premier Miles & More World MasterCard
Read ReviewApply for Premier Miles & More World MasterCard
  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
  • Earn up to 15,000 award miles with balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) within 30 days of account opening
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Annual Companion Ticket after first purchase, then annually thereafter
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Redeem miles for flight awards and upgrades on Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, Star Alliance airlines and other partners
  • $79 Annual Fee, waived for SEN and HON Circle Members
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline Rewards
Airline Rewards Benefit: Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners. Earn 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases.

Miles & More integrated airline partners are: Adria Airways, AirDolomiti, Austrian Airlines Group, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Lufthansa Regional, Lufthansa Private Jet, Luxair and SWISS.

Redeem miles for flight awards and upgrades on Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, Star Alliance airlines and other partners
Introductory Bonus Airline Rewards: Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer. Earn up to 15,000 award miles with balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) within 30 days of account opening
Our Review: Fly Lufthansa Airlines at least a few times a year? Then consider earning miles with Lufthansa and receiving a lucrative introductory bonus with the Premier Miles and More World MasterCard. At a reasonable $79 annual fee, you’ll come out ahead with these rewards... Read full review
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
$79

Citi ThankYou Premier Card
Apply for Citi ThankYou Premier Card
  • Earn up to 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points. Bonus points are redeemable for up to $500 in gift cards, up to $625 for airfare or other great rewards
  • Earn 20,000 points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn an additional 30,000 points after another $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of your second year of being a cardmember
  • Earn 3 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment
  • Earn 2 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent on purchases for airfare and hotels
  • Earn 1 ThankYou Point per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Points do not expire and earn unlimited Thank You Points
  • Travel with ease and enjoy chip based technology
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsAirline RewardsHotel RewardsPoint RewardsDining RewardsNo Expiration on RewardsNo Limits on Rewards$0 Fraud Liability
Airline Rewards Benefit: Earn 2 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent on purchases for airfare and hotels
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
13.99% - 22.99%* (Variable)
$125; fee waived for the first 12 months*

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 months, maybe even years, before they will accrue enough points to cash in for a flight. However, many airline rewards cards now offer introductory bonus points on their first purchase or 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

    What to Buy in September

    By Leah N - Money Tips
    Summer is over and school is back in session, but bargains are just heating up for certain items. In the market for a new car or considering an early fall vacation? Now is definitely the time to buy. Thinking of purchasing a new TV to celebrate ...

    Best Time-Saving Airports

    By Annie K - Money Tips
    Unless you enjoy watching planes take-off , you don't relish the thought of hanging around the airport. And, for business commuters who rely on air travel for work, flight delays can lead to the loss of billions of dollars in potential earnings ...

    How to Get Airline Upgrades

    By Meghan Clark - Money Tips
    Traveling in coach often isn’t a problem; especially if you’re taking a quick domestic flight. But when you’re flying across the country or to an international destination, sitting in coach for hours is less than appealing. Between the cramped ...

    Airline Travel Tips

    By Meghan Clark - Money Tips
    Vacations are fun but flying to your destination can be stressful. With the crowded airports, increasing fees and always changing security policies, there is a lot to deal with when you’re navigating the terminals to get to your plane.
    Infographics: Real Cost of Flying

    Real Cost of Flying

    By Meghan Clark - Money Tips
    Nowadays, many airlines are offering special promotions to help ensure their seats are filled. The costs of some of these flights seem fantastic, with many of them being cheaper than the cost of gas to drive to the same destination.
    Bags Fly Free @ Southwest

    Smart Tactics for Avoiding Airline Fees

    By Abigail H - Money Tips
    Flying has become increasingly expensive in recent years, and there is no sign that prices will go anywhere but up in the future. This means that to be a savvy traveler, it may be necessary to stay on your toes and keep abreast of how the ...
    Delta Boeing 767-332/ER

    5 Routes to Save Money on Cheap Airline Tickets

    By Abigail H - Money Tips
    If you’re planning a vacation, a big part of your budget is probably going toward airfare. With plane tickets on the rise, it’s no wonder many people are sticking to driving-distance trips! However, you can save on airfare if you have the right ...

You might also be interested in

How to Choose the Best Rewards Credit Card

So you've decided you want to earn rewards for your spending but aren’t sure how to pick the right card? Compare rewards, annual fees, and benefits to determine the card for you. If you plan on carrying a balance, focus on low interest credit ...

Best Credit Cards for International Travel

When you travel outside of the country, paying by credit card gets a bit complicated. Most cards charge a foreign transaction fee that adds about 3% to your purchases. If you travel internationally often, these fees really start to add up. Be ...

About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

IMPORTANT LEGAL DISCLAIMERS. READ CAREFULLY.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.