Best Airline Credit Cards are designed for people who extensively travel. Most of these credit cards offer reward points on spent expenditure and also on some of these partner airline tickets.
| See Best Airline Credit Cards of 2021
The airline credit cards come with benefits like access to premium lounges across domestic and international airports. It also gets you a membership to flyer programs, and bonus reward points when you apply for these credit cards
Why and how did we pick up these?
Consideration taken about-
- Types of points earned & their value
- Annual fees
- Lounge access
- Checked bags
- Other benefits
- Welcome- bonus.
How to Pick a Credit Card for Flights
Answer a few questions to yourself before grabbing one.
- Do you always fly the same airline?
When you always don’t fly the same airline, it makes sense to get a flexible points card.
- Do you have a status with an airline?
You’re unlikely to get much in terms of many of the benefits, such as free checked bags, -are also benefits of status.
- Do you need to access airport lounges?
Would you prefer to access a specific airline’s lounge? If so, look into its top-tier credit card.
If you prefer more general lounge access, consider a card that includes Priority Pass.
- Do you want travel insurance?
Some offers include several types of travel insurance as a benefit of using the card to book your tickets.
The Best Airline Credit Cards are listed below:
1. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Best Overall –Excellent | Annual Fee: $550
It offers the ability to earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points at increased rates, travel insurance and access to participating lounges. It’s the best credit card for booking flights despite its high annual fee.
Rewards: Earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and at restaurants.
Welcome Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
2. Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
Best for Delta –Excellent/Good | Annual Fee: $550
Offers access to Delta’s SkyClub lounges when you’re flying with Delta. It also offers the ability to help you earn status with Delta.
Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in 1st 3 months.
Other Benefits: The biggest benefit is access to Delta SkyClubs. Also offers access to American Express Centurion lounges when you book your Delta flight with your Delta Reserve card.
3. United Club℠ Infinite Card
Best for United- Excellent | Annual Fee: $525
It is definitely for those who want access to United Club lounges when they travel.
Rewards: Earn 4 United Mileage Plus miles per dollar spent on purchases from United.
Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases; first 3 months.
Other Benefits: The main benefit is access to United Club airport lounges. You’ll also be able to access other participating Star Alliance Gold lounges with standalone membership.
4. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Best for easy-to-use rewards- Good | Annual Fee: $95
If you’re looking for a simple card that takes the stress out of redeeming your points for good value, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card should be on your radar.
Rewards: Earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase.
Welcome Offer: Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Other Benefits and Drawbacks: The Capital One Venture card doesn’t have many benefits as other cards, but it also doesn’t have a high annual fee.
5. United℠ Explorer Card
Best mid-priced United card- Good | Annual Fee: $0 Intro for First Year, then $95
If you don’t care about access to United Clubs, the United Explorer card could be a good choice. Redeem a lot of United miles, benefit from the expanded reward space you get access to with this card, even when you don’t use this card often.
Rewards: Earn 2 United MileagePlus miles per dollar spent on United Airlines purchases, at restaurants.
Welcome Offer: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. An additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months.
Other Benefits and Drawbacks: You’ll receive Free checked bag when you use your card to book your United flights. United flyers will also have Priority Boarding, two United Club passes each year and 25% savings on in-flight United purchases.
6. The Platinum Card from American Express
Best Premium Card for Lounge Access –Excellent | Annual Fee: $550
The Platinum Card from American Express is a solid option if you value lounge access but aren’t committed to one airline’s lounges. It also offers bonus points on purchases with airlines.
Rewards: Earn 5 Membership Rewards points/$ on flights booked directly with the airline.
Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases. Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets.
Other Benefits and Drawbacks: Offer a Priority Pass Select membership with enrollment, also provides access to the exclusive American Express Centurion Lounges and Delta SkyClubs when you are flying Delta same-day.
7. Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
Best mid-priced Delta card- Excellent | Annual Fee: $250
If you’re a Delta flyer but you don’t care about access to lounges, the Platinum Card is likely to be your best option.
Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
The best benefit is the annual companion certificate on card renewal. This is valid to bring a companion on a domestic main cabin ticket for only the cost of taxes and fees. Alone, it can easily make up for the annual fee.
8. The Business Platinum Card from American Express
Best Business Card for Flights- Good | Annual Fee: $595
Same benefits of its personal sibling, including all of the great lounge benefits. If you regularly travel for business and aren’t set on one airline’s lounges, this card may be just the ticket.
Rewards: Earn 5 Membership Rewards® points/$ on flights and prepaid hotels on American Express Travel.
Welcome Offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card. (For 1st 3 months only)
Other Benefits and Drawbacks: It does not allow you to redeem Membership Rewards points for premium flights or any flights with our selected airline with a 35% rebate (up to 500,000 points a year).
9. Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard
Best For Annual Bonuses- Good | Annual Fee: $90
It probably won’t hit your mind for many Americans thinking about types of airline points to earn. But Virgin Atlantic Flying Club scored strongly in ranking for a few important reasons—a solid welcome bonus, strong earning on non-Virgin spending incredible & sweet spots.
Rewards: Earn 3 Virgin Atlantic Points/$ spent on Virgin Atlantic flights and 1.5 points/$ on all other purchases.
Welcome Offer: Earn up to 50,000 bonus Virgin Points. 30,000 bonus Virgin Points after spending $1,000 or more on purchases in the first 3 months.
Other Benefits and Drawbacks: The Virgin Atlantic credit card scores so well for a few main reasons. For beginners, the ability to earn 1.5 points per dollar spent on your everyday purchases means you’ll earn points 50% more quickly on non-bonused spending than with many other airline credit cards.
Striking highlights- only for you!
While this might not sound like as much as is offered by other credit cards, this card really pulls ahead for how you can use the points. Here we have brought for you some cool ideas:
- Fly round-trip between the U.S. and the U.K. in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class.
- It’ll be from 95,000 Virgin Atlantic Points
- Fly one-way from the U.S. to Europe (and vice versa) in Delta One for 50,000 Virgin Atlantic Points
- Fly Delta to Hawaii from 40,000 Virgin Atlantic Points
10. Citi/ AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard
Best for American Airlines –Excellent | Annual Fee: $450
The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is likely to be your best bet for American Airlines.
While it’s American’s most premium card, it does come packed full of benefits, including access to American Airlines Admirals Club lounges.
Rewards: Earn 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, Admiral’s Club® membership
Other Benefits and Drawbacks: Steep annual fee and somewhat lackluster earnings, it offers significant benefits—namely the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge access. And, cardholders get their first checked bag for free, priority check-in, priority boarding, 25% in-flight savings and access to American Airlines’ reduced mileage awards.
YOUR CONCERNED FAQs ANSWERED HERE:
A) What is the best credit card for airline miles?
The best choice for airline miles is the card that works best for you. If you are loyal to one airline, it might make sense for you to hold that airline’s card even if the earnings rates aren’t the strongest.
If you’re not loyal to your favorite airline. Go for a card that earns flexible rewards like Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards is some better choice.
B) What is the best airline credit card?
The best airline rewards card is the card that is most rewarding for you. Consider where you want to go, the level of luxury you want on your flights and how much you spend on airline tickets.
Consider whether the card offers benefits such as enhanced points earning rates on your spending, extra elite qualifying miles for qualification or special promotions for card holders.
C) How much is an airline mile worth?
Airline mile value will depend on the type of airline mile. Not all miles are created equal. Southwest Rapid Rewards and JetBlue TrueBlue points are worth about 1.5 cents per point. Other airline miles values will vary with each booking.
- For instance, if a flight costs 50,000 miles and the flight is $500, you’re getting 1 cent per mile in value.
- If the flight costs $1,000 for the same 50,000, you’re getting 2 cents per mile.
- The value of an airline mile will vary with each redemption.
D) Really, do the airline miles expire?
Each program has its own rules as to when points expire. Due to COVID, most loyalty programs have extended their points expiration dates to at least the end of 2020. If you want to keep your airline miles active, all you have to do is make a reservation or have other qualifying activity. Such activity can include transferring points from a flexible currency or making a purchase through the frequent flyer program shopping portal.
E) Do I have to be a frequent flyer to have an airline credit card?
No. Even a casual flyer can benefit from an airline credit card.
The savings on baggage, earnings on purchases, and welcome bonus are among the reasons a person who isn’t a frequent flyer could find an airline credit card useful.
You do need to be a member of the airline’s frequent flyer program.
F) How to transfer credit card points to airline miles?
Not all types of credit card points can be transferred to airline miles.
Some popular options include :
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points
- American Express Membership Rewards points
- Citi ThankYou points.
Each transfer partner consists of a slightly different set of instructions.
However, in general, you can transfer credit card points to airline miles via your credit card’s awards page.
Make sure you have your frequent flyer number handy in order to complete the transaction.
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