Best Airline Reward Credit Cards

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If you want to book a free flight, a credit card from the airline or bank associated with the frequent flyer program is required. Not only will you earn miles on every purchase you make, but you can also get a welcome bonus that can jump start your frequent flyer balance and help you book premium flights sooner than you think.

There are no best airline credit cards; The right choice for you depends on the airline you fly, whether you are loyal or need flexibility, how many miles you want to use, the annual service fee you are comfortable with, and several other factors.

Best Airline Reward Credit Cards

Best Airline Reward Credit Cards

Personal Finance Insider has selected its top airline cards based on the value each card offers relative to the annual fee. To make sure we’re considering the best airline credit cards from every perspective, we’ve also researched tips and tricks to list airline cards from other sites like, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, and Wirecutter.

Best Airline Credit Cards Of July 2022

In many cases, each publication has a different choice of the best credit card for a given airline – and in this situation we get our choice when we return to the question of which card offers more value in return for annual fees, excluding benefits. . which requires an additional cost to unlock.

Note that we’ve focused on credit card options for flying with the largest American airlines – including the “big three” of American, Delta, and United, as well as smaller carriers like Alaska, JetBlue, Southwest, and Hawaiian Airlines. If you often fly with other airlines like Frontier, you may want to look into co-branded credit card options, although we won’t discuss this.

Remember that we are focusing on the rewards and advantages that make these credit cards a good choice, not things like interest rates and late fees, which will outweigh the value at any point or mile. It is important to exercise financial discipline when using a credit card when you pay your balance every month, pay on time, and only use what you can afford.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has Ultimate Rewards points that you can use to book travel directly through Chase or by transferring to a number of airline and hotel partners, including United, British Airways, JetBlue and Marriott. So, even if it’s not an airline co-branded card, you can use your points earned on the Sapphire Preferred to award premium flights.

Here Is An Air Miles Reward Credit Card For Frequent Fliers And Travelers. Card Offers Air Rewards, Miles, Points And Perks Stock Photo

Personal Finance Insider isn’t the only one recommending the Sapphire Preferred as the best starter card for those new travel rewards; Other publications in the credit card space — from Spot Guy to NerdWallet — sing its praises as well. That’s because it offers very strong advantages and rewards in exchange for a relatively modest annual fee.

You’ll earn valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all your spending, and 2x points on travel and dining. Travel includes everything from plane tickets to parking and hotels, while meals include restaurants, delivery services and even some bars. Sapphire Preferred also offers the best sign-up bonus among consumer credit cards, and you’ll find valuable coverage benefits like travel delay insurance and premium car rental insurance.

If you apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and you find yourself a fan of earning and redeeming travel points, remember that you can also upgrade to the sibling above, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, after your first year. Reserve has an annual fee of $450, but it also earns 3x points on travel and dining (vs. 2x) and offers up to $300 in annual travel credits that can be used to virtually purchase travel.

Best Airline Reward Credit Cards

Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Who is the Platinum Card from American Express best for: Frequent travelers who want to earn as many points as possible on their airline purchases, with some luxury travel benefits to boot.

The Best Travel Credit Cards Of July 2022

With a high annual fee, the Amex Platinum card doesn’t make sense if you only travel once or twice a year. However, if you’re on the road frequently, the card’s many popular benefits — from airline access to $200 in annual airline ticket credits — make it a useful choice.

The Platinum card makes a place on the list of the biggest airline credit cards because it earns 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel. Your points are in the Amex Membership Rewards program, and you can use them to book travel directly from Amex or transfer them to more than a dozen partner airlines to book award flights.

Click here to learn more about the Amex Platinum Card. Who is the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard Best for: American Airlines Aviator

Welcome bonus: 60,000 thousand American Airlines AAdvantage after you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee.

Best Travel Credit Cards

AAdvantage Aviator means it offers a generous sign-up bonus that requires one purchase in the first three months. It’s one of two American Airlines cards at this price – the other is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®. The Aviator card currently offers a higher sign-up bonus, but it also offers a pair of guest referral certificates for $99 after you make your first purchase and pay the annual fee within the first 90 days.

In addition to these introductory benefits, the card also offers some advantages that can enhance your American Airlines experience, such as free checked bags, preferred rides, and discounts on in-flight purchases.

You may be wondering why we’re recommending a Delta credit card that will soon have a $250 fee. Our answer is that, despite the higher fee that will take effect in early 2020, the Platinum Delta Amex offers the best value among Delta credit cards — and the increased fee comes with some new benefits.

Best Airline Reward Credit Cards

Beginning January 30, 2020, Platinum Delta Amex members will earn 3x miles on Delta hotels and purchases, plus 2x miles on US restaurants and supermarkets. Thanks to these new bonus categories and improvements, the card will now be a valuable option for everyday spending, not just to get a bonus thousand on your Delta purchases. Additionally, starting in 2020 the card will offer a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit. This benefit alone can lead to an increase in annual fees.

Top Ways To Earn Airline Miles

Other benefits of the Platinum Delta Amex that make it a recommended choice for Delta loyalists are a free first checked bag, annual companion certificate, and priority boarding.

Welcome bonus: up to 65,000 US miles – 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months, and another 25,000 miles after spending a total of $10,000 in the first 6 months.

The United Explorer Card offers the benefits you’d expect from an airline credit card — free checked bags (you need to pay for United flights with your Explorer Card to receive this benefit), priority upgrades, discounts on in-flight purchases, and thousands of bonuses for purchases with the airline — but also valuable extras.

If you have this card (or any other United card), you’ll get additional access to the lowest insurance “save” in the United States, which can help you save miles on upcoming flight bookings. The Explorer Card offers to combine more than one United Club card each year, with a credit application fee of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Here Is An Air Miles Reward Credit Card Stock Photo

This is another example where even though there are low annual fee options for credit cards with this airline, the higher annual fee is warranted because of the value you get. Wirecutter and highlight the Southwest Priority Card for its overall value, and thanks to annual benefits like up to $75 credit on Southwest travel statements and an upgraded retirement card, we’re inclined to agree.

A statement credit of up to $75 on Southwest purchases each year effectively lowers the annual fee to $74 — lower than the annual fee for Southwest’s cheapest consumer card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card ($99).

Plus, the Priority Card offers a bonus of 7,500 Southwest Rapid Rewards points each year after your account anniversary (you can use these points to book special flights), and you’ll get a 20% discount on in-flight purchases. If you fly Southwest more than once or twice a year, this card can easily be worth the annual fee.

Best Airline Reward Credit Cards

Welcome Bonus: 40,000 Alaska miles after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days after account opening. Plus, get companion tickets starting at $121 ($99 plus tax and a $22 origination fee) after making $2,000 in purchases in the first 90 days.

Canada’s 5 Best Air Miles Credit Cards

Alaska Airlines doesn’t have the largest route network among US carriers, but if you live in the Pacific Northwest or another area that the airline serves extensively – or if you fly Alaska Hawaii – this is a great card to have.

Alaska la

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