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
Matched MilesDiscover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card
Double MilesCapital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Signing BonusChase Sapphire Preferred® Card
All RoundBankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
Free Airport Lounge AccessThe Platinum Card® from American Express
Domestic & Overseas TravelUnited MileagePlus® Explorer Card
Overseas TravelBritish Airways Visa Signature® Card
Delta RewardsGold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

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

Best for Matched Miles the First Year: Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card

  • Unlimited 1.5x rewards on every purchase, every day. For every $1 you spend, you earn 1.5x Miles.

    Why we like it
    • Unlimited 1.5x rewards on every purchase, every day. For every $1 you spend, you earn 1.5x Miles.
    • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the rewards you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
    • Redeem your rewards in any amount for cash or a travel credit. You'll always get $1 for every 100 Miles you've earned.
    • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
    • 100% U.S. based customer service. Talk to a real person any time.
    • No Annual Fee.
    • Click "Apply Now" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match® details & other information.
    APPLY NOWAt Discover's secure website

    Intro APR

    0% on purchases and 10.99% on balance transfers for 14 months

    Regular APR

    11.49% - 23.49% Variable

    Annual Fee

    $0

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    APPLY NOWAt Discover's secure website
    Why we like it
    • Unlimited 1.5x rewards on every purchase, every day. For every $1 you spend, you earn 1.5x Miles.
    We least like
    • Not yet widely accepted outside of the U.S.

    Intro APR

    0% on purchases and 10.99% on balance transfers for 14 months

    Regular APR

    11.49% - 23.49% Variable

    Annual Fee

    $0

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    • Unlimited 1.5x rewards on every purchase, every day. For every $1 you spend, you earn 1.5x Miles.
    • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the rewards you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
    • Redeem your rewards in any amount for cash or a travel credit. You'll always get $1 for every 100 Miles you've earned.
    • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
    • 100% U.S. based customer service. Talk to a real person any time.
    • No Annual Fee.
    • Click "Apply Now" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match® details & other information.
    APPLY NOWAt Discover's secure website
Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card lets you earn Miles (unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar you spend on purchases) which you can redeem towards travel purchases on your statement (100 Miles = $1 value). You can redeem Miles in any amount towards travel credit, or if you prefer, you can even get a direct cash deposit straight into your bank account. This card now has an exclusive offer for new cardmembers only: Discover will automatically give you a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year. You get free overnight shipping of replacement cards to any U.S. street address and you won't be held responsible for unauthorized purchases made on your card, which is very convenient if your card is lost or damaged. No annual fee. Read our review of Discover it® Miles - Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card here.

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

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval, equal to $400 in travel

    Why we like it
    • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval, equal to $400 in travel
    • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
    • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
    • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
    • Miles don't expire and there's no limit to how many you can earn
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
    • Limited Time Offer: Get a metal Venture Card when you apply today

    Regular APR

    13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)

    Annual Fee

    $0 intro for first year; $59 after that

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    Why we like it
    • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
    We least like
    • No low introductory APR period.

    Regular APR

    13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)

    Annual Fee

    $0 intro for first year; $59 after that

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval, equal to $400 in travel
    • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
    • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
    • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
    • Miles don't expire and there's no limit to how many you can earn
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
    • Limited Time Offer: Get a metal Venture Card when you apply today
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a fantastic miles card that has a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles ($400 in travel) when you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval. What we love most about Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is you earn 2 miles (unlimited) per $1 spent on any purchase, which means that your mileage will increase twice as fast. You can book travel when you want, with no blackout dates. There's a $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that. Here's our Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card review.

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Best for Signing Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • 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®

    Why we like it
    • 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®
    • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
    • 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

    Regular APR

    16.49% - 23.49% Variable

    Annual Fee

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

    Credit Required

    Excellent
    APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
    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.

    Regular APR

    16.49% - 23.49% Variable

    Annual Fee

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

    Credit Required

    Excellent
    • 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®
    • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
    • 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
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. Plus 5,000 bonus points after adding the first authorized user and making a purchase within the first 3 months of account opening. You earn 2 points per dollar for travel purchases through their online mall 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 a intro 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

  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months

    Why we like it
    • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
    • 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
    • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year for baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
    • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply.
    • Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status with your Platinum Card.®
    • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
    • Terms and Conditions apply.
    • See Rates & Fees
    APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website

    Annual Fee

    $450

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website
    Why we like it
    • Rewards program.
    • Platinum benefits.
    • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
    We least like
    • Annual fee.

    Annual Fee

    $450

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
    • 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
    • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year for baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
    • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply.
    • Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status with your Platinum Card.®
    • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
    • Terms and Conditions apply.
    • See Rates & Fees
    APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website
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, The Platinum Card® from American Express lets you earn 40,000 points after you use your new Card to spend $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. The Platinum Card® from American Express has a $450 annual fee. Read our review of The Platinum Card® from American Express here to learn more about the card.

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

  • For a limited time, earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*

    Why we like it
    • For a limited time, earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
    • 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 Group 1 Boarding on American Airlines flights*
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases.1
    • Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
    • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
    • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*
    APPLY NOWAt Citi's secure website

    Regular APR

    16.24% - 24.24%* (Variable)

    Annual Fee

    $95, waived for first 12 months*

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    APPLY NOWAt Citi's secure website
    Why we like it
    • For a limited time, earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*.
    • Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*.

    Regular APR

    16.24% - 24.24%* (Variable)

    Annual Fee

    $95, waived for first 12 months*

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    • For a limited time, earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
    • 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 Group 1 Boarding on American Airlines flights*
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases.1
    • Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
    • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
    • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*
    APPLY NOWAt Citi's secure website
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 (for a limited time) 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. This Citibank card gives you double AAdvantage miles for each dollar you spend on (eligible) purchases from American Airlines, and 1 AAdvantage mile for every dollar you spend on other purchases. After redeeming your miles you will earn back 10% of the AAdvantage miles you redeem, up to 10,000 AAdvantage miles each calendar year. When flying with American Airlines on domestic itineraries, your first eligible checked bag will be free. The $95 annual fee is 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 Domestic and Overseas Travel: United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

  • Special offer: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open

    Why we like it
    • Special offer: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
    • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $100 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
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Your miles don't expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn
    • Use your miles for any seat, any time, on any United-operated flight at the MileagePlus Standard Award level
    • $95 annual fee
    APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

    Regular APR

    16.49% - 23.49% Variable

    Annual Fee

    $95

    Credit Required

    Excellent
    APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
    Why we like it
    • Rewards program.
    • $0 foreign transaction fee.
    • Special offer: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

    Regular APR

    16.49% - 23.49% Variable

    Annual Fee

    $95

    Credit Required

    Excellent
    • Special offer: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
    • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $100 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
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Your miles don't expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn
    • Use your miles for any seat, any time, on any United-operated flight at the MileagePlus Standard Award level
    • $95 annual fee
    APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
United MileagePlus® Explorer Card lets you earn double miles on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases. Start with 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 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 MileagePlus® 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. You will also receive up to 10,000 bonus miles per year if you spend more than $25,000 in net purchases annually on your card and 5,000 miles when you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first 3 months. Here's our United MileagePlus® Explorer Card review. There's a $95 annual fee.

Best for Overseas Travel: British Airways Visa Signature® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Why we like it
    • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
    • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you'll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
    • In addition to the bonus Avios, you will also get 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
    • Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home.
    APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

    Regular APR

    16.49% - 23.49% Variable

    Annual Fee

    $95

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
    Why we like it
    • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
    • Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

    Regular APR

    16.49% - 23.49% Variable

    Annual Fee

    $95

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
    • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you'll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
    • In addition to the bonus Avios, you will also get 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
    • Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home.
    APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
British Airways Visa Signature® Card is an exclusive airline credit card that is now offering new cardholders the chance to earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. This Visa card has no foreign transaction fees, which makes it ideal for those of you who travel abroad or make purchases in other currencies. When purchasing British Airways flights you will earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases. Upon spending $30,000 in one calendar year you will earn a Travel Together Ticket for a travel companion that can be used within two years of booking. British Airways Visa Signature® Card has smart chip technology, which will allow you to make purchases around Europe where some credit card terminals only accept credit cards with a microchip. You can still use your card normally at home. Here's our review of British Airways Visa Signature® Card. This card has a $95 annual fee.

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

  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months

    Why we like it
    • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within 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 per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
    • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
    • Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
    • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
    • Terms and Conditions apply.
    • See Rates & Fees
    APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website

    Intro APR

    None

    Regular APR

    16.24%-25.24% Variable

    Annual Fee

    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website
    Why we like it
    • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.

    Intro APR

    None

    Regular APR

    16.24%-25.24% Variable

    Annual Fee

    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within 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 per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
    • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
    • Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
    • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
    • Terms and Conditions apply.
    • See Rates & Fees
    APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, a partner card. With this card, you can earn 30,000 bonus miles after using your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. You can also get a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase with your new Card within the first 3 months of card membership. Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on Delta purchases 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 of Card Membership with an introductory offer, after that the annual fee is $95. Terms & Conditions Apply. See our full review of Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express to find out more.

Best for Budget Travel: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

  • Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open

    Why we like it
    • Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
    • Earn unlimited points that don't expire as long as your account is open
    • 3,000 points after your cardmember anniversary every year
    • 2 points/$1 spent on Southwest® and participating Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental partners purchases
    • 1 point/$1 spent on all other purchases
    • No blackout dates or seat restrictions
    • Bags fly free®
    • No change fees
    APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

    Regular APR

    16.49% - 23.49% Variable

    Annual Fee

    $69
    APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

    Regular APR

    16.49% - 23.49% Variable

    Annual Fee

    $69
    • Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
    • Earn unlimited points that don't expire as long as your account is open
    • 3,000 points after your cardmember anniversary every year
    • 2 points/$1 spent on Southwest® and participating Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental partners purchases
    • 1 point/$1 spent on all other purchases
    • No blackout dates or seat restrictions
    • Bags fly free®
    • No change fees
    APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is one of our favorite travel credit cards in the U.S. as it lets you earn points on all your purchases. Here's how it works: earn 2 points/$1 spent on Southwest® purchases and participating Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental partners. You will earn 1 point/$1 spent on all other purchases. This chip technology card has a great bonus point promotion which allows you to earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Points don't expire as long as your account is open. Points can be redeemed as travel credit against travel booking on airlines as well as hotels, vacation packages, cruises or car rentals, and can also be redeemed for gift cards. You will also receive 3,000 points yearly after your Card Anniversary. There's a $69 annual fee.

Best for Fast Rewards: JetBlue Plus Card

  • JetBlue Plus Card
    • Our Rating:
    • Our Rating:
    • 4.00/5
    • User Rating:
    • 5.00/5
    Rate This Card

    Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days

    Why we like it
    • Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days
    • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
    • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
    • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don't expire
    • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
    • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember's first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights
    • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card
    • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card
    APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website

    Intro APR

    0% on balance transfers for first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to account within 45 days of account opening

    Regular APR

    12.49%, 20.49% or 25.49% variable

    Annual Fee

    $99

    Credit Required

    Excellent
    APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website
    Why we like it
    • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
    • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember's first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights.

    Intro APR

    0% on balance transfers for first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to account within 45 days of account opening

    Regular APR

    12.49%, 20.49% or 25.49% variable

    Annual Fee

    $99

    Credit Required

    Excellent
    • Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days
    • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
    • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
    • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don't expire
    • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
    • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember's first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights
    • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card
    • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card
    APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website
JetBlue Plus Card is a powerful airline credit card for JetBlue flights. You earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases in your first 90 days after account opening. Plus, you earn 5,000 bonus points annually after your account anniversary each year. You earn 6 points for every $1 of JetBlue purchases, which is a very high earning rate. But you also earn 2 points per $1 you spend on purchases at grocery stores and restaurants, and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. That means you can chalk up miles just by using this card for everyday spending. Every time you redeem your points, you get 10% of your points back to use toward your next redemption. Benefits include 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases (including food, cocktails, and more), first checked bag free on JetBlue operated flights, upgrade to TrueBlue Mosaic for 1 calendar year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases after your anniversary date, and a $100 statement credit when you purchase a Jetblue Vacations package of $100 or more using this card. You also get a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening followed by 12.49%, 20.49% or 25.49% variable APR. You pay a $99 annual fee. Read our review of JetBlue Plus Card here.

Best for Budget Flights with $0 annual fee: JetBlue Card

  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

    Why we like it
    • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
    • Earn 3 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
    • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking.
    • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don't expire.
    • Earn and share points together with Family Pooling.
    • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food on JetBlue-operated flights
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Chip technology & $0 Fraud Liability protection
    APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website

    Intro APR

    0% on balance transfers for first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to account within 45 days of account opening

    Regular APR

    12.49%, 20.49% or 25.49% variable

    Annual Fee

    $0

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website
    Why we like it
    • Earn 3 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
    • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food on JetBlue-operated flights.

    Intro APR

    0% on balance transfers for first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to account within 45 days of account opening

    Regular APR

    12.49%, 20.49% or 25.49% variable

    Annual Fee

    $0

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
    • Earn 3 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
    • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking.
    • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don't expire.
    • Earn and share points together with Family Pooling.
    • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food on JetBlue-operated flights
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Chip technology & $0 Fraud Liability protection
    APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website
JetBlue Card has an offer which lets you earn 5,000 bonus points by spending $1,000 on purchases using this card in the first 90 days after your account is opened. JetBlue purchases earn 3 points per $1. Plus you get 2 points for each $1 of purchases you make at restaurants and grocery stores, and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. These broad categories help you earn TrueBlue Points fast on regular everyday spending. Your points don't expire, so you can collect points for as long as you like. Family Pooling options mean you can earn and share points together. Benefits include no foreign transaction fees and 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases (food, cocktails). This card has a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening, after which the standard 12.49%, 20.49% or 25.49% variable APR applies. What makes this airline credit card stand out is that it has a $0 annual fee!

Best General Travel Card for All Purchases: BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card

  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases

    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
    • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 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 15.49% - 23.49% 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
    or Call 800-335-4319 or Call 866-408-2765

    Intro APR

    0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases

    Regular APR

    15.49% - 23.49% Variable APR

    Annual Fee

    $0

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    APPLY NOWAt Bank of America's secure website
    or Call 800-335-4319 or Call 866-408-2765
    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.

    Intro APR

    0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases

    Regular APR

    15.49% - 23.49% Variable APR

    Annual Fee

    $0

    Credit Required

    Good, Excellent
    • 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
    • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 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 15.49% - 23.49% 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
    or Call 800-335-4319 or Call 866-408-2765
BankAmericard 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 (learn more about Preferred Rewards by clicking the "Apply Now" button). Earn 20,000 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 $200 statement credit towards travel purchases). Here's our BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card review. No foreign transaction fees. No annual fee.

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Best Rewards Card For Air Tickets, Restaurants And Gas Stations: U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card

U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card has an offer which lets you earn 30,000 bonus FlexPoints by spending $2,000 on purchases spent in the first 4 months after account opening. Purchases at restaurants will earn you 3X FlexPoints, earn 2X FlexPoints on both gas station and airlines purchases. All of your other purchases will earn you 1X FlexPoints. The points you earn with this card can be redeemed on more than 150 airlines (with no blackout dates or online redemption fees), for merchandise, gift cards, statement credits and more. This card includes a lot of useful benefits like Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, Complimentary Boingo Wi-Fi membership, Lost Luggage Insurance, Travel Accident Insurance and more. This card has a 14.24% - 24.24% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers. It has an $85 annual fee, but with all the benefits and perks this card has to offer we think it's worth it.

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, United MileagePlus, 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® Venture® 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 such as Citi Prestige® Card 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 United MileagePlus® Explorer Card you'll be able to check your first bag for free (for you and one traveling companion in your same reservation), saving you as much as $100 each round trip.

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, and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card provides up to $250,000 in travel accident insurance.

  • 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.