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The best credit cards for collecting air miles are Barclays Avios and Avios Plus, which are more widely accepted than Amex, says Ruth Jackson-Kirby.
The only way to collect Avios points – the British Airways Air Miles scheme – is with an American Express credit card. The problem has always been that many retailers don’t accept Amex. But now you can collect your Avios points with Mastercard.
Best Credit Card For Air Miles Rewards
Barclaycard has launched two new credit cards that earn Avios points every time you spend. They’re “the most generous MasterCard or Visa credit card available,” according to Rob Burgess, editor of Head for Points, a website looking to maximize its rewards for frequent flyers.
The Best Credit Card For Collecting Air Miles
The first new card is the Barclaycard Avios. There are no fees and you can earn one Avios point for every pound you spend. If you spend £1,000 in the first three months, you’ll get a bonus 5,000 Avios. That’s enough for a flight to Paris or Amsterdam. Plus, if you spend £20,000 a year on the card, you’ll get a free flight upgrade voucher.
Alternatively, you can pay £20 per month for a Barclaycard Avios Plus card. This earns you 1.5 Avios points per £1 spent. If you spend £3,000 in the first three months, you’ll get 25,000 bonus Avios points and spending £10,000 a year will get you a cabin upgrade voucher.
Both cards get you a free five-month subscription to Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News+ and Apple Arcade. “You honestly can’t ask for more from a non-Amex credit card,” says Burgess.
The main advantage of Barclaycard Avios cards is that they operate through MasterCard rather than American Express. MasterCard is more widely accepted than American Express, so you won’t have to worry about losing Avios points when your Amex is cancelled. That said, Amex cards are still attractive.
Air Miles Offers With All Mastercard Credit Cards
The fee-free British Airways American Express Card earns points at the same rate as the free Barclays Card version and has the same joining bonus. But you only need to spend £12,000 a year to get the companion voucher – that’s £8,000 less than the Barclaycard, and you’ll get a free flight instead of an upgrade (although taxes and fees apply).
The Barclaycard Avios Plus card is £10 cheaper per year than the Amex equivalent and is definitely worth considering if you’re prepared to pay fees for your credit card. It offers the same earning rate and the same welcome bonus as the BA Premium Plus Amex. The difference is that if you spend £10,000 a year on the Amex card, you’ll get a free companion voucher instead of a cabin upgrade again. So, it all depends on whether you want a cheap flight for a friend or want to fly yourself in style.
Rewards credit cards can be a great way to earn more when you shop, but it’s a no-brainer if you can’t pay off your balance in full each month. The interest rates on these types of credit cards are high, and if you pay them off, your benefits will run out quickly. Both Barclaycard Avios cards charge an interest rate of 23.9% per annum, but you can avoid this if you pay your bill on time and in full each month.
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UK house prices hit a fresh high in June, but the market is cooling as interest rates start to rise, John Stepek assesses the impact … If you want to book free flights, a credit card from an airline or bank must be a partner to frequent flyer programs . Not only will you earn miles on every purchase you make, you can also earn a welcome bonus that can jump-start your frequent flyer account balance and help you book award flights sooner than you think.
There isn’t just one best airline credit card; The right choice for you depends on which airline you fly, whether you are loyal or want flexibility, how you want to use your miles, how comfortable you are with paying the annual fee, and many other factors.
Personal Finance Insider has selected their top airline cards based on the value each card offers compared to their annual fees. To make sure we’re considering the best airline credit cards from every perspective, we researched recommendations and practices for top airline card lists from other websites, including CreditCards.com, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, and Wirecutter.
In many cases, each publication’s choice for the best credit card for a given airline was different — and in that case we approached our selection by turning to the question of which card offers the most value for the annual fee, excluding perks. Additional money must be spent to unlock.
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Note that we focused on credit card options for flights with the “big three” of major US airlines – American, Delta and United – as well as smaller popular carriers like Alaska, JetBlue, Southwest and Hawaiian Airlines. If you frequently fly with another airline like Frontier, you may want to consider co-branded credit card options, though we won’t discuss those here.
Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and benefits that make these credit cards great choices, not things like interest rates and late fees, which will outweigh the value of any points or miles. When using credit cards, it’s important to practice financial discipline by paying off your balance in full each month, making on-time payments, and spending only what you can afford.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards points that you can use to book travel directly through Chase or transfer to a variety of airline and hotel partners, including United, British Airways, JetBlue and Marriott. So even though it’s not an airline co-branded card, you can use the points you earn from the Sapphire Preferred to book award flights.
Personal Finance Insider isn’t the only one recommending the Sapphire Preferred as the best starter card for new travel rewards; Other publications in the credit card space — from The Points Guy to NerdWallet — also sing its praises. Because it offers a very strong lineup of benefits and rewards in exchange for a relatively modest annual fee.
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You’ll earn valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all your spending, including 2x points on travel and dining. Travel includes everything from airfare to hotels to parking, while meals include restaurants, delivery services, and even some bars. The Sapphire Preferred also offers one of the best sign-up bonuses among consumer credit cards, and you also get some valuable coverage benefits, including travel delay insurance and primary car rental insurance.
If you apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred and find yourself wanting to earn and redeem travel points, remember you can always upgrade to Chase Sapphire Reserve after your first year. Reserve has an annual fee of $450, but it earns 3x points (vs. 2x) on travel and dining and offers up to $300 in annual travel credits that can be applied to almost any travel purchase.
Click here to know more about Chase Sapphire Preferred. Who the American Express Platinum Card is best for: Frequent travelers who want to earn as many points as possible on their airfare purchases, with some luxury travel features to boot.
With a hefty annual fee, the Amex Platinum card doesn’t make sense if you only travel once or twice a year. However, if you’re a frequent traveler, the card’s many premium benefits — from airline lounge access to up to $200 in airline fee credits annually — make it a worthwhile choice.
Faq: What Credit Cards Earn/transfer To Frequent Flyer Miles
The Platinum Card earns a spot on our list of top airline credit cards because it earns 5 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel. The points you earn are in the Amex Membership Rewards program and you can use them to book travel directly with Amex or transfer them to more than a dozen airline partners to book flight rewards.
Click here to know more about Amex Platinum Card. AAvantage Aviator Red
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