An airline credit card that gives you airline miles or points whenever you use your card is an unbeatable option for the avid traveler. Broadly speaking, such credit cards can be divided into two categories: (1) credit cards co-branded with specific airlines, and (2) credit cards not aligned with specific airlines. For the first group, co-branded airline credit cards let you earn miles which are credited directly into your account with that airline's frequent flyer program. For the second group, such credit cards offer flexibility in the sense that the reward points you earn can either be used to offset your travel purchases, or be transferred to frequent flyer programs of your choice. I used both types of airline credit cards to help me reach my One Million Air Miles goal in 2016 which I used to redeem for US$54,000 worth of air tickets.

Here, we at GET.com have done the research to pick the best airline miles cards this season.

GET.com's Best Airline Credit Cards

Best ForCredit Card
Double MilesCapital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Signing BonusChase Sapphire Preferred® Card
All RoundBank of America® Travel Rewards credit card - 25,000 Bonus Points Offer
Free Airport Lounge AccessThe Platinum Card® from American Express
United RewardsUnited℠ Explorer Card
Delta RewardsGold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Here are GET.com's Best Airline Credit Cards:

Best for Double Miles on Any Purchase: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least likeCredit RequiredRelated links
Capital One<sup>®</sup> Venture<sup>®</sup> Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

N/A

14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)

$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Why we like it
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture.
We least like
  • No low introductory APR period.
Excellent, Good
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a fantastic miles card that has a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles ($500 in travel) when you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. What we love most about Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is you earn 2X miles per $1 spent on any purchase, which means that your mileage will increase twice as fast. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture. You can book travel when you want, with no blackout dates. There's a $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that. Here's our Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card review.

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Best for Signing Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least likeCredit 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®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 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

17.99% - 24.99% Variable

$0 Intro for 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

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a highly recommended travel rewards credit card that offers you 50,000 bonus points worth $625 in travel rewards after you spend just $4,000 in the first 3 months. You earn 2 points per dollar for travel and restaurant purchases around the world, and 1 point per dollar for everything else. What we really love about Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is that you can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for airline tickets which are good for any airline, hotel stays, cash, merchandise and other rewards. There are no travel restrictions or blackout dates when redeeming for travel. You can also do a points transfer to participating frequent flyer programs at a 1:1 rate! There's an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95. $0 foreign transaction fee. You can read more about the 4 reasons why Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is ideal for a traveler or expat, or read our Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review.

Best for Free Airport Lounge Access: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least likeCredit RequiredRelated links
The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website

N/A

N/A

$550

Why we like it
  • Rewards program.
  • Platinum benefits.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
We least like
  • Annual fee.
Excellent/Good

The Platinum Card® from American Express, a GET.com advertiser, is a great Card that lets you travel in style and earn points quickly if you love traveling more than anything else. This Card gives you free access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide across 120 countries, including the International American Express lounges, The Centurion® lounge network, Airspace Lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs. Plus, you get to enroll in Priority Pass™ Select for free, courtesy of American Express. Additionally, besides rewarding you with 5X points for flights booked with American Express Travel or flights booked directly with airlines and on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com, The Platinum Card® from American Express lets you earn 60,000 points after you use your new Card to spend $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Terms Apply. The Platinum Card® from American Express has a $550 annual fee. Read our review of The Platinum Card® from American Express here to learn more about the card.

Best for United Airlines Rewards: United℠ Explorer Card

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least likeCredit RequiredRelated links
Limited Time Offer
United℠ Explorer Card

United℠ Explorer Card

Limited Time Offer
APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
  • Limited time offer! Earn up to 65,000 Bonus Miles.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel stays
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

N/A

17.99% - 24.99% Variable

$0 Intro for First Year, then $95

Why we like it
  • Rewards Program.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Limited time offer! Earn up to 65,000 Bonus Miles.
Excellent Credit

United℠ Explorer Card lets you earn double miles on tickets purchased from United and purchases at restaurants and hotel stays, and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases. Limited time offer of up to 65,000 bonus miles: Start with 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening and earn an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open. There is no limit to the miles you can earn, they do not expire as long as your credit card account is open and can be redeemed for air tickets, hotel stays and car rentals. Extra perks of United℠ Explorer Card include getting 2 complimentary one-time passes to the United Club, United's airport lounge, every year and getting your first bag checked in for free. When redeeming miles for flights, you're limited to United and other StarAlliance partners. Here's our United℠ Explorer Card review. There's a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Best for Frequent Domestic Travel: Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least likeCredit RequiredRelated links
Citi<sup>®</sup> / AAdvantage<sup>®</sup> Platinum Select<sup>®</sup> World Elite™ Mastercard<sup>®</sup>

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

APPLY NOWAt Citi's secure website
  • Earn up to 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles: 40,000 AAdvantage® miles after making $2,000 in purchases in first 3 months and 10,000 after making a total of $6,000 in purchases in first 12 months of account opening*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • Receive 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
APPLY NOWAt Citi's secure website

N/A

17.99% - 25.99%* (Variable)

$99, waived for first 12 months*

Why we like it
  • Earn up to 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles: 40,000 AAdvantage® miles after making $2,000 in purchases in first 3 months and 10,000 after making a total of $6,000 in purchases in first 12 months of account opening*.
  • Receive 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*.
Excellent, Good

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, a partner card, is a great airline credit card for those who fly with American Airlines as you can earn a bonus offer of 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and 10,000 miles after making a total of $6,000 in purchases in the first 12 months of account opening. This Citibank card gives you 2 AAdvantage miles for each dollar you spend on (eligible) purchases from American Airlines, at gas stations and restaurants. When flying with American Airlines on domestic itineraries, your first eligible checked bag will be free. There is a $99 annual fee (waived for the first 12 months). Here's our Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® review. We love Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® for its many benefits.

Best for Delta Air Lines Rewards: Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least likeCredit RequiredRelated links
Gold Delta SkyMiles<sup>®</sup> Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Want even more flexibility? Pay with Miles is a Card Member feature that gives you the option to redeem miles for all or part of the price of your tickets on Delta.com.
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website

N/A

17.74%-26.74% Variable

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Excellent/Good

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, a partner card. With this card, you can earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase with your new Card within the first 3 months. Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile per $1 spent on other eligible purchases. One of the highlights of this card is that it lets you get your first bag checked in for free on Delta flights for you and companions booked on the same reservation (up to 9 waivers per reservation) when purchasing your tickets with this card. Why is this perk so notable? Because just using this card to book round-trip tickets for a family of 4 can save you $200! You will also benefit from priority boarding and other premium travel perks. There is a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms Apply. See our full review of Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express to find out more.

Best for Delta Air Lines and Restaurant Rewards: Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least likeCredit RequiredRelated links
Blue Delta SkyMiles<sup>®</sup> Credit Card from American Express

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website
  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar at US restaurants.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Receive a 20% In-Flight Savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website

N/A

17.74%-26.74% Variable

$0

Excellent Credit

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express lets you earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months of card ownership and a 20% in-flight savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets. You earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on purchases you make directly with Delta and 2 miles per $1 spent at US restaurants. Earn 1 mile per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. Something noteworthy about this card is that it has no annual fee. It has a 17.74%-26.74% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers. You will also benefit from a host of other travel perks. Terms Apply.

Best Flexible Travel Rewards Card: Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least likeCredit RequiredRelated links
Bank of America<sup>®</sup> Premium Rewards<sup>®</sup> credit card

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

APPLY NOWAt Bank of America's secure website
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points- a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, you can get a 25%-75% rewards bonus on every purchase.
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don’t expire
  • Flexibility to redeem for a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® or Merrill Lynch® accounts like checking, savings, and 529, for gift cards or use at the Bank of America Travel Center.
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
APPLY NOWAt Bank of America's secure website

N/A

17.99% - 24.99% Variable APR

$95 annual fee

Excellent/Good

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card lets you earn 50,000 bonus points after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. You can earn 2 points for every $1 on purchases made on travel and dining and 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. These points are unlimited, don't expire and can be redeemed for gift cards, a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® or Merrill Lynch® accounts like checking, savings, and 529, or use at the Bank of America Travel Center. If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, you can get a 25%-75% rewards bonus on every purchase. This card has no foreign transaction fees, lets you get up to $200 in combined Airline Incidental and TSA Pre✓®/ Global Entry statement credits and has a $95 annual fee.

Best General Travel Card for All Purchases: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card - 25,000 Bonus Points Offer

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least likeCredit RequiredRelated links
Bank of America<sup>®</sup> Travel Rewards credit card - 25,000 Bonus Points Offer

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card - 25,000 Bonus Points Offer

APPLY NOWAt Bank of America's secure website
  • NEW OFFER: 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • NEW OFFER: 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 16.99% - 24.99% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
APPLY NOWAt Bank of America's secure website

0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases

16.99% - 24.99% Variable APR

$0

Why we like it
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.
Excellent/Good

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card lets you earn 1.5 points per 1 dollar spent on all purchases. Points do not expire and there is no limit to the total amount of points you can earn. Redeem points for statement credit toward travel purchases you make with this card. Bank of America customers with an active Bank of America® checking or savings account will benefit from an additional 10% customer points bonus on each purchase. That bonus can increase to 25%-75% if you're a Preferred Rewards client. Earn 25,000 online bonus points when you use your new credit card account to make at least $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of opening your account (that can be a $250 statement credit towards travel purchases). Here's our Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card review. No foreign transaction fees. No annual fee.

What is an Airline Credit Card?

There are many airline credit cards that give you special airline privileges and let you earn miles or points through the airline loyalty program. If there are 1 or 2 airlines that you always fly with, then using an airline-specific credit card can be a good way to earn miles fast. Most of these cards let you earn miles on every purchase you make.

If you always fly with different airlines, then a more general travel credit card like Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card could work better. This card lets you earn points (2X points per $1 spent on travel and restaurant dining worldwide, 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases) that can be redeemed to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs at full value (1:1 point transfer). So 1,000 points converts to 1,000 frequent flyer miles/points with partner airlines.

Airline-branded cards usually let you earn actual frequent flyer miles or points with one airline. Other more flexible travel cards have more complicated miles reward programs.

Here we highlight some of the most popular credit card rewards programs:

1. Chase Ultimate Rewards

The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is one of the best rewards programs in the US. Only certain Chase credit cards participate in this program. You get 1:1 point transfer when you convert the points you earn with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to frequent flyer programs such as Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air SKYPASS and British Airways Executive Club. This means you get to enjoy flexibility of your points without them losing value.

Alternatively you can also convert points to Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Hyatt Gold Passport.

Transfer to frequent flyer programs cannot be reversed, so only convert your points to miles when you are sure which airline you are flying with. You can also choose to redeem your points for gift cards, merchandise, or cash back. And points never expire as long as your account is in good standing. All things considered, Chase Ultimate Rewards is a pretty good travel rewards program.

2. Capital One® Rewards

This rewards program is used by certain Capital One® travel cards like Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card. You can choose to book travel through the Capital One rewards program. You can also choose to book travel yourself, and then just redeem your miles for a statement credit towards the cost of your travel purchases.

That makes this a very flexible travel rewards program to use. But the rate of miles to dollars is 100 miles to $1, or 1 mile per cent. That means redeeming 100,000 miles would get you $1,000 worth of travel. So your miles aren't worth quite as much as frequent flyer miles with airlines, as they don't convert 1 to 1. It may help to look at the miles you earn through this program as cash back or points rather than actual frequent flyer miles.

On the whole, this is a very flexible program that also lets you redeem miles for merchandise, gift cards (minimum 1,000 miles to redeem for a $10 gift card) or cash back.

3. FlexPerks℠ from U.S. Bank

This program lets you earn FlexPoints℠, which can be redeemed for airline tickets, travel gift certificates, cash back, merchandise and gift cards. You will have to book your tickets through the FlexPerks Rewards Center (powered by Travelocity®) when redeeming points for flights. It's easy and convenient, but you have to redeem points for travel through FlexPerks only, so it isn't as flexible as other programs.

But you can book tickets with no blackout dates on over 150 airlines as long as you have a minimum of 20,000 FlexPoints. FlexPerks has 16 different redemption tiers which let you get up to 2 cents in value for every point you redeem. That means you could redeem 20,000 points for an airline ticket that costs up to $400.

If you redeem 30,000 points, you can receive up to $600 in airfare. You can get a lot of travel for your points if you play these cards right. Most other programs give you 1 cent for every 1 point you redeem, which would only be $200 in airfare for 20,000 points.

With FlexPerks, you can get up to double that amount. Unfortunately, FlexPoints have a lifespan of 5 years, after which they expire. So if you want to save up a huge amount of points for a world tour, this may not be the program to use.

4. Citi ThankYou® Rewards

This rewards program actually earns points that can be redeemed in many different ways. One big travel perk that you get with some Citi cards is that you can convert points to these frequent flyer programs at a 1:1 rate (minimum 1000 points): Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer, Etihad Guest, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands and Asia Miles, Flying Blue Award Miles, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Airline Card Benefits

First Checked Bag Free

Some airline credit cards let you get a certain number of checked bags free when you use them to pay for your booking. For example, if you purchase your ticket in full with Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express you'll be able to check your first bag for free on every Delta flight, which comes out savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.

Travel Insurance

When you pay for travel bookings using some airline credit cards, you automatically receive travel insurance coverage for your trip. The most common types of coverage you receive are travel accident insurance (covers death or severe injury on a common carrier) and a secondary auto rental collision damage waiver which adds coverage above what your auto insurance policy gives you.

Better cards give you more comprehensive insurance coverage. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for example, gives you trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance and a primary auto rental collision damage waiver.

Here is a summary of what types of travel insurance coverage you might want to look for when choosing an airline credit card.

  • Travel Accident Insurance

    This type of travel insurance is offered by many credit cards. If the plane, cruiseship or other common carrier you travel on is involved in an accident, you can receive compensation for injuries, loss of mobility and more. For example, Chase Freedom® gives you up to $250,000 coverage for accidental death or dismemberment.

  • Trip Interruption/Cancellation Coverage

    This is one of the most useful types of travel insurance to have. Unfortunately not very many cards give you this coverage. This insurance covers you if a qualifying emergency like an unexpected illness of you or a family member/business partner forces you to cancel your trip.

    This insurance may also refund certain expenses like hotel stays or restaurant meals when a trip is interrupted unexpectedly (unexpected bad weather or technical difficulties, for example). This coverage and reimbursement only applies to purchases made with your card.

    If you have the Visa Signature version of Chase Freedom®, you can get reimbursed for up to $5,000 of non-refundable, pre-paid travel expenses (passenger fares, tours, hotels) per trip. Using the right card to pay for your bookings means you probably won't need to buy additional travel insurance.

  • Luggage Loss/Damage Insurance

    This is pretty self explanatory. If your luggage gets lost or damaged by a common carrier, you will get reimbursed up to a certain limit. For example, Chase Freedom® provides up to $3,000 of coverage per passenger with the Visa Signature version).

  • Rental Car Loss/Damage Waiver

    Rather than paying extra for auto rental insurance when you rent a vehicle, just pay for the rental using a credit card that gives you this insurance coverage. Many airline cards give you secondary auto rental insurance, and this may be limited to only a certain amount of coverage.

    But some cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card give you primary coverage up to the actual cash value of the vehicle. In every case, this coverage applies to collisions (and usually theft), but may not include things like windscreen damage or mechanical breakdowns.

  • But some cards give you primary coverage up to the actual cash value of the vehicle. In every case, this coverage applies to collisions (and usually theft), but may not include things like windscreen damage or mechanical breakdowns.

  • Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance

    This is a very useful insurance to have, but here again, this coverage only comes with a few credit cards. When you use a card that offers this insurance to pay for your travel bookings, you will be covered for the cost of transporting you to certified medical facility or even back to the US for care.

  • How we rate Airline Credit Cards

    At GET.com, we look at the miles you earn, if miles expire or not, and how much those miles are really worth in travel. We also look at the airline benefits that these cards offer, such as free checked bags, priority boarding, lounge access and on-board credit. We pay a lot of attention to bonus offers as well.

    Other important factors are flexibility in how you can earn and redeem rewards, and introductory low APR periods. Other benefits like travel insurance, shopping perks and travel discounts also feature highly in our rating process.

    We also consider the annual fee, standard APR, foreign transaction fees and compare these to the benefits the card offers to give you a clear picture of what each airline card really gives you.