We've compiled a list of the 7 Airline Card Deals currently available on CreditDonkey.
Airline Rewards Credit Cards
Compare airline rewards credit cards 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.
How to Choose an Airline Credit 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. If you make $4,000 in purchases during the first three months from opening your account, you'll earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $625 in travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards). There is a $95 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the 1st year).
Is it worth the $95 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.
Related: How Do Airline Miles Work
Want 2x miles on all purchases?
Consider the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. 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 40,000 bonus miles if you make $3,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from opening your account (worth $400 travel statement credit).
No Annual Fee: Don't want an annual fee, but still want a good deal?
The Barclaycard Arrival with no annual fee earns 2x miles on travel and dining and 1x miles on all other purchases. It offers 20,000 bonus miles when you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from opening your account (worth $200 travel statement credit).
Our Recommendations: 3 Things to Consider When Comparing Airline Credit Cards
- 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.
- 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.
Airline Miles Credit Card Promotions
Are You a Frequent Flyer?
Many airlines partner up with credit card companies to offer co-branded credit cards. If you fly frequently with one airline, signing up for a co-branded card with that airline can be a way to shave off some of the cost or hassle of flying. Such cards usually let you take advantage of unique perks often reserved for frequent flyers such as checked bag allowances or priority boarding.
Here are some airlines that have co-branded cards:
In exchange for the plusses you get with these types of cards, however, you may lose flexibility. It may take longer to earn rewards when you use the card on everyday purchases (usually you have higher rewards potential only when you buy airline tickets), and you may be limited in how you redeem the rewards.
Redeeming Points: Airline Transfer Partners
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.
- The Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express, a CreditDonkey advertiser, offers 25,000 bonus SPG points if you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first three months. You can transfer those bonus points to one of SPG’s airline transfer partners such as American Airlines.
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 Starwood Preferred Guest credit card review.
- If you are a small business owner, the Starwood Preferred Guest Business credit card offers a slightly different bonus. It gives you 25,000 bonus SPG points if you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card within the first three months.
To learn more, read our Starwood Preferred Guest Business credit card review.
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.
- AMEX EveryDay offers 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points if you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months.
You get 2x points at US supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases) and 1x points on other purchases.
Here’s what is attractive about this card: if you make 20 or more purchases with it in a billing period, you get 20% more points on those purchases (less returns and credits).
There is no annual fee.
To learn more, read our AMEX EveryDay review.
- 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.
But here’s what stands out with this card: You get an airline fee credit (up to $100/year) to help cover incidental fees with your selected airline.
There is a $195 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the 1st year).
Is the card worth the $195 annual fee? 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 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards points if you spend $5,000 in purchases in the first three months.
You earn 3x points (in 1 category you choose out of 5 categories available) and 2x points on the remaining four categories.
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.
Chase Ultimate Rewards (Chase UR) points can be transferred to frequent travelers programs too. Chase Ultimate Rewards airline transfer partners include United and Southwest Airlines. Their hotel transfer partners include Hyatt, Marriott, and the Ritz-Carlton.
Here are our suggestions on how you can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points:
When you find the right airline credit card, you can go far both literally and figuratively. You can 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 Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named a 'Best Credit Card' for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Sleek metal card design
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- $0 foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance when used at a chip card reader
- 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value – that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
- Travel confidently with premium Travel Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Delay Reimbursement and more
Airline Rewards Benefit: 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value – that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
|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. 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 Purchases||Intro APR for Balance Transfer||Regular APR||Annual Fee|
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
- Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
- Earn 2X miles on travel & dining and 1X miles on all other purchases
- Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
- Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
- No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
- 0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR currently 16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.
- Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers
Airline Rewards Benefit: Earn 1X miles on all other purchases.
Introductory Bonus Airline Rewards: Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
|Our Review: Is this the best travel rewards credit card with no annual fee? Read on for the pros and cons to the Barclaycard Arrival... Read full review|
|Intro APR for Purchases||Intro APR for Balance Transfer||Regular APR||Annual Fee|
0% for 12 months (must be completed within first forty-five days of account opening)
16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24%* Variable
- 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
Airline Rewards Benefit: Earn 3X points for flights booked with airlines
|Our Review: If you spend a lot on airfare, the Premier Rewards Gold Card may be worth considering. Read on for 9 reasons to consider this American Express card and 4 reasons to skip it... Read full review|
|Card Type||Annual Fee|
|Personal Charge Card|
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195
- Get 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
- Receive free in-room, premium internet access. Booking requirements apply.
- Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
- Get free nights at over 1,200 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries with no blackout dates. Some hotels may have mandatory service and resort charges.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
- Terms and Conditions apply.
- See Rates & Fees
Airline Rewards Benefit: Transfer Starpoints to more than 30 airline frequent flyer programs, mostly on a one-to-one basis.
Redeem Starpoints® for free flights with SPG Flights with no blackout dates.
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: There’s a new version of the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card, and with the updated perks comes an increased cost: the annual fee has been bumped from $65 to $95. Read on to find out if the SPG card should still be worth considering in 2016... Read full review|
|Intro APR for Purchases||Intro APR for Balance Transfer||Regular APR||Annual Fee|
15.49% - 19.49% variable
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
Disclaimer: The information for the Discover it® Miles and Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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