The Best Airline Credit Cards If You Love Flying
Whether you are a frequent flyer or not, you probably know that flying can be expensive. Choosing the best airline credit card makes traveling more comfortable and accessible than ever while also providing other significant benefits.
If you want to win the chance to travel at a reduced or no cost just by using your credit card, this guide is for you. We will be looking at some of the best airline credit cards you will find in the market.
When choosing between one of these credit cards, you should carefully consider your traveling habits or expectations. Doing so will help you choose the best airline credit card for your specific needs. Let’s take a look at some of the most incredible options you will find!
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card
Alaska Airlines is one of the biggest airlines in the US, which has made its credit card one of the most popular. As expected from such an airline, the company has designed a great card with incredible benefits.
As with all of our entries in this article, the Alaska Airlines credit card will allow you to earn miles by using it. These miles can be redeemed to gain access to unique pairs, including tickets to your favorite destinations! For every dollar spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, you receive 3x the amount in miles. You will receive great value back if you are a frequent user of this airline.
This card also returns one mile per dollar spent on every other purchase, which means you won’t only benefit from miles. A great thing to know about these points is that they don’t expire, which means you don’t have to hurry to use them,
In addition to this, there is a welcome bonus. By spending $2,000 or more within your first 90 days with this card, you will get a 40,000 miles bonus. Not bad at all!
Alaska also offers its credit cardholders one of the most recognizable benefits of this card: Its famous Companion Fare. This allows you to buy a cheap ticket for $121 for someone traveling with you, as traveling alone is not everyone’s cup of tea. With some planning, you will be able to save significantly on that trip you have planned for so long.
Free checked bags are another well-liked feature. This applies to your bag and up to 6 of your guest’s bags on the same reservation. This represents $60 per person in savings!
The APR of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card is between 15.99% and 23.99%. While this is relatively standard, the annual fees stand out at a convenient $75. If you are considering applying for this card or just want to learn more about this credit card, we have written a full review!
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
This card is a great deal, even for non-travelers. First of all, let’s see how their points system works.
When using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you will get one point for each dollar spent. This is unless you are taking advantage of some of the sweet bonuses the card offers.
You can receive a 2x bonus when paying for travel expenses such as taxis, trains, and other fares when using the card. You will receive 3x points in some groceries, restaurants, and streaming purchases. If that sounds like a lot, consider the 5x points back in some travel purchases. That is quite a bonus!
This card also offers a welcome bonus. New users get 60,000 points if they spend over $4,000 during the first three months.
Those points can buy $750 in airfare or hotel expenses or convert into $600 in cash if you prefer. This is a huge reward that will allow you to travel pretty soon after acquiring the card. You’ve got yourself a sweet deal when you consider that you will also gain more points by using the card during the flight!
Believe it or not, that is not all, as you will get a 10% point boost every year as an anniversary gift from Sapphire. Yes, you will be swimming in points after just a few months.
This card also does not charge for foreign transactions, with the fees being 0%. You know, you can’t go lower than zero, which means this is one of the best airline credit cards for traveling abroad. The $95 annual fee is rather average and will be just a scratch in your budget if you use the points system right.
The last aspect to consider is the APR, which ranges from 15.99% to 22.99%. This is a great rate and very competitive in comparison to other cards. All of these are just a tiny part of what the Sapphire Preferred Credit Card offers. If you are considering applying for it, you can do so here!
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
American Airlines and Citi came together to make a great card. It did turn out to be one of the best around, especially for travelers.
With this card, you will be getting miles every week since many purchases are eligible for accumulating miles. Gas stations, restaurants, and American Airlines purchases will give you back 2 miles for every dollar spent. Imagine just how many miles that means by the end of a year!
Just like the previous entries, this card also offers a welcome bonus. You can get 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $2,500, provided this happens within your first three months.
This is a sweet deal at a fair cost. In addition to this, there is also a “renewing bonus” if you spend $20,000 or more in your card’s first year. If you choose to renew it, you will receive a $125 American Airlines flight discount.
Those holding this card will also have their first checked bag free of charge on domestic American Airlines flights. This applies to up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation.
Another excellent point with this card is that it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. This seals the deal, consolidating it as a handy tool if you consider traveling abroad just once a year. And after getting so many miles, you better do.
The annual fee is $99, which will be waived for the first 12 months. This seems like a great offer, considering how much you can save in just a year using this card. This also means there is no harm to trying this card!
The APR stands in what we would consider a normal range: 15.99% to 24.99%, depending on your credit score.
One of the most remarkable things about AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard is how straightforward the offer is. By just glancing at the card’s site, you will probably be able to tell whether it is right for you, and trust us, the chances are high, as it is rated as one of the best credit cards there is.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
The well-known Delta Air Lines has an exciting proposal with this credit card. Miles can be acquired on selected expenses at dining, groceries, or Delta Air Lines products. All of these return two miles for every dollar spent. For every other purchase, you’ll get one mile for every dollar.
The card also offers an impressive 70,000 bonus miles welcome reward. The only requirement is to make $2,000 in purchases within your first three months with this card.
If you use it to travel abroad, you can relax. Foreign transaction fees won’t be a problem as this card will charge you none. That’s right, none! This means you won’t only travel more frequently but also spend less when doing so. Did we mention that you can also check your first bag for free on Delta flights with this card?
The APR of this card varies between 15.74% and 24.74%, which you could consider more than fair. Annual fees are $0 for the first year and $99 after that, and all of that makes it a sound option if you plan accordingly.
While this card might seem more straightforward than the others, which it is, don’t confuse it with being less competitive. The card packs quite a punch! If you want to apply or know more about this card, you can check its official site.
United℠ Explorer Card
As one of the most popular airlines in America, United Airlines couldn’t fall behind when offering a credit card. Partnered with Visa, the airline produced a service that stands as a solid competitor to the best credit cards.
After joining, you can get 40,000 miles if you make a total of $2,000 on purchases during the first three months. Of course, using your card always helps to stockpile miles. You will earn 2x on some hotel stays, dining, and United purchases. Also, all other purchases will get you one mile for every dollar.
If you own the United Explorer Card, you also gain access to two United Club passes every year by paying a little extra. This means you can comfortably wait for your flight with a beverage and some snacks if you wish to.
In addition to this, your boarding can be prioritized for some flights. This is a great way to make your travel experience smooth and easy, partially avoiding those airport waiting times.
While the APR for this card starts a bit higher than those of our previous entries, its top is also lower. Being between 16.49% and 23.49%, the APR is still pretty competitive. Its annual fee will be $0 during the first year and sits at a comfortable $95 after that. Definitely one of the strongest players in the game!
While this card doesn’t offer as many options to increase your mile rewards, it makes up for it. This is a favorite among those who enjoy being comfortable before and while traveling. If you are one of such people and would like to apply or learn more, you can go here.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
As the largest low-cost carrier, Southwest Airlines was in a great position to give its clients a sound credit card. Well, they did with a very original card featuring excellent benefits and features.
This card offers a vast 50,000 points reward if you spend $2,000 within the first three months. That is not all, as an additional 50,000 points can be yours! This bonus will be granted if you reach $12,000 in purchases during your first year.
Furthermore, on every anniversary as a card member, 7,500 points will be gifted to you. If you buy services or tickets from Southwest, you will get 3x for every dollar spent! Other purchases will give you 2 or 1 point per dollar.
If you are not convinced this is one of the best airline credit cards, you should know that these points do not expire. So either save up or use them however you see fit, but remember they multiply!
Southwest also rewards you with a $75 travel credit every year, four upgraded boardings per year when possible, and 25% back on inflight purchases. This is especially beneficial when considering that Southwest already offers incredible prices!
The card’s APR ranges between 15.99% and 22.99%, which is quite a reasonable rate. The annual membership fee is relatively high in comparison to other cards, at $149. However, once you consider how much you can save by using this card, you will be sold on how good of an option it is.
If you believe that money is better spent at your destination than in transit, this card might be the best for you. If you want to find more, you can check the official information here and apply if it convinces you!
JetBlue Plus Card
As a carrier that transports as many as 42M passengers per year, JetBlue made sure to have one of the best airline credit cards out there.
Let’s start with the welcome bonus, which seems to be a must-have for all of our entries. After covering the annual membership fee, you will be rewarded with 70,000 bonus points. All you need to do is spend $1,000 or more within 90 days. In addition to this, 5,000 points will be awarded at each anniversary, so keep that in mind while planning your next trip!
When purchasing tickets, add-ons, or services from JetBlue, you will get 6x points on many of your expenses. This is the highest bonus we have seen on any airline credit card. And it doesn’t end there, as when paying at selected restaurants and grocery stores, you get 2x points. Everything else will give you 1 point per dollar, the standard rate for most credit cards.
If you travel with this airline a couple of times, the JetBlue Plus Card will surely pay for itself. Besides the vast points reward, you will be offered 50% savings on several products when buying inflight food and drinks, which is excellent as in-flight food tends to be expensive.
The benefits don’t end there, though. The card is also an excellent card for balance transfers! It charges a 0% intro APR during the first 12 months for those operations, which is ideal if you prefer to leave behind one of your other cards.
JetBlue Plus Card’s annual fee is $99, which is not crazy given all the ways you can make use of this card. Consider your financial situation and see how this card probably adapts, especially if you fly JetBlue!
Remember that while some of the best cards are here, the market moves and creates new options quickly. New cards appear, and terms change, so always stay tuned to know which are the best airline credit cards at the time!
While some will claim to know the best credit card, no one can tell but you. Don’t get us wrong, all of these cards are great options. But, you need to choose the one that better suits your needs.
That being said, we believe it is very likely one of your future favorite cards is on this list.However, if you are unsure about an airline credit card being the right fit for you, we have your back. We have reviewed several credit cards in the past and are continually reviewing more. You can check them out here.
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