Using a credit card that lets you earn miles on all your spending is one of the best ways to save money on travel. Just going about your regular purchases lets you earn miles which you can redeem for airline tickets and other types of travel.

Not all miles are equal though, and it's important to know exactly what you are getting before you apply for an air miles credit card. For example, some cards give you miles which are really just points that are worth much less when you convert them to actual airline miles.

If you want to earn the maximum travel for your spending (as a miles card user you probably do) you should look for cards that offer 1:1 miles transfer to frequent flyer programs. Some miles programs also let you get a lot more value when you redeem your miles in certain ways.

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least liket_cc_credit_requiredRelated links
Chase Sapphire Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

N/A

16.99% - 23.99% Variable

Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Why we like it
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
Excellent Credit

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least liket_cc_credit_requiredRelated links
Barclaycard Arrival Plus<sup>®</sup> World Elite Mastercard<sup>®</sup>

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website
  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers.
APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website

0% on balance transfers for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable

$89 - Waived first year

Why we like it
  • Excellent travel rewards program.
  • Intro APR period for balance transfers.
We least like
  • No intro APR period for purchases.
Excellent

Another potentially profitable source of value for any travel bargain hunter is the FlexPerks® program from U.S. Bank, which lets you redeem FlexPoints® for travel through its Travelocity powered site in a set of spending tiers. If you play your cards right, you can double the value of your points! For example 20,000 FlexPoints can be redeemed for up to $400 in travel, when the normal value of those points would be just $200. So if you redeem that amount for a $400 ticket, you are literally getting twice the value. You can also use cash along with points, so if your ticket costs $420 you can make up the extra $20 in cash rather than move into the next tier (30,000 points for between $401 and $600 travel) and lose value.

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least liket_cc_credit_requiredRelated links
Chase Sapphire Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

N/A

16.99% - 23.99% Variable

Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Why we like it
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
Excellent Credit
Barclaycard Arrival Plus<sup>®</sup> World Elite Mastercard<sup>®</sup>

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website
  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers.
APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website

0% on balance transfers for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable

$89 - Waived first year

Why we like it
  • Excellent travel rewards program.
  • Intro APR period for balance transfers.
We least like
  • No intro APR period for purchases.
Excellent