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Find the Best Airline Rewards Credit Card

The best airline rewards credit cards allow you to earn double, triple, or more points. These co-branded cards also give you perks like complimentary luggage check, priority boarding, and lounge access. Find the top airline rewards credit card for you by comparing the offers below.

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Showing 70 Cards

Date Reviewed: April 09, 2021

United Quest Visa Signature Card

United Quest Visa Signature Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 16.49% to 23.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 16.49% to 23.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 24.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $250
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • 3X miles on United Purchases
  • 2X miles on all other travel purchases and streaming services
  • $125 annual United purchase credit
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® fee credit
  • Priority boarding
  • No foreign transaction fees
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 16.49% to 23.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 16.49% to 23.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%
  • Annual Fee: $250
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
  • Save 4% on hotel room stays - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on all purchases - Offer Expires on May 16, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room stays - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on all purchases - Offer Expires on May 16, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations in the U.S. - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room stays - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Date Reviewed: March 19, 2021

Icelandair Premium Mastercard®

Icelandair Premium Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 17.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 17.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $39
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn 2X points on Icelandair purchases
  • Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 17.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $39
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $35
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Date Reviewed: March 04, 2021

Icelandair Mastercard®

Icelandair Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 17.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 17.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn 1 point per dollar spent on Icelandair purchases
  • Earn 0.5 points per dollar spent on all other pucrhases
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 17.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $35
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Date Reviewed: February 25, 2021

Free Spirit® Points Mastercard®

Free Spirit® Points Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 26.99% to 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 26.99% to 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 27.99% to 31.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $0 or $75
  • Credit Needed Good , Fair
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 2X points on Spirit purchases
  • 1X points on all other purchases
  • Points never expire
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 26.99% to 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 26.99% to 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 4% of the amount of each Balance Transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 27.99% to 31.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each Cash Advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $0 or $75
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Date Reviewed: April 06, 2021

Free Spirit® Travel World Mastercard®

Free Spirit® Travel World Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 15.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 15.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 18.99% to 28.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Good
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • 2 points per dollar spent on eligible Spirit purchases
  • No limit to the points you can earn and no points expiration
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 18.99% to 28.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: 29.99%
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Date Reviewed: April 06, 2021

Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard®

Free Spirit® Travel More World Elite Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 15.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 15.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 18.99% to 28.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $0 for the first year; after that $79
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on eligible Spirit purchases
  • 2 points per $1 spent on eligible dining and grocery store purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Points never expire
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 18.99% to 28.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: 29.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year; after that $79
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Date Reviewed: March 18, 2021

United Gateway℠ Card

United Gateway℠ Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 16.49% to 23.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 16.49% to 23.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 24.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, at gas stations, and on local transit and commuting
  • Get 25% back on in-flight purchases, including food, beverages, and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights
  • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • No blackout dates when you use miles to book any United-operated flight
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 16.49% to 23.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 16.49% to 23.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
  • Save 4% on hotel room stays - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on all purchases - Offer Expires on May 16, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room stays - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on all purchases - Offer Expires on May 16, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations in the U.S. - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room stays - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Save 4% on hotel room reservations - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Date Reviewed: March 03, 2021

Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard®

Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $499
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Earn up to 3 Skywards Miles per dollar spent
  • Earn unlimited Skywards Miles that don't expire
  • Enjoy Emirates Skywards Gold tier membership during your first year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Complimentary lounge access to Emirates Business Class lounges worldwide for a cardmember and a guest
  • Earn 50% bonus Skywards Miles on Emirates flights
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $499
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Date Reviewed: March 03, 2021

Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard®

Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 15.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 15.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $99
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Earn up to 3 Skywards Miles per dollar spent
  • Earn unlimited Skywards Miles that don't expire
  • Unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges worldwide for you and a guest with Priority Pass Select
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn 25% bonus Skywards Miles on Emirates flights
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 15.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $99
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Date Reviewed: April 12, 2021

First Hawaiian Bank United® Card

First Hawaiian Bank United® Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 16.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 16.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 18% fixed
  • Annual Fee $99
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • 5x miles per $1 spent on groceries for the first $10,000 spent, or until 12/31/2021, whichever occurs first
  • Double miles on gas, groceries, and United flight bookings
  • 2 complimentary United club passes each year
  • First 2 checked bags free on United flights
  • Miles never expire
  • No foreign transaction fees
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 16.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 2.99% for 8 months from account opening date
  • Balance Transfer APR: 16.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 18% fixed
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each Cash Advance, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: 18%
  • Annual Fee: $99
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
  • Take a hike with an award-winning landscape photographer - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Italian food and wine - Offer Expires on January 24, 2031 - See Details
  • Exclusive tableware and home d?cor items from porcelain - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Go on a guided truffle-hunting expedition in the Motovun Forest - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a journey through the city of the Iron Throne - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Discover Agra beyond the Taj Mahal on a virtual tour - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Play the Hidden Network of Private Courses - Offer Expires on December 31, 2022 - See Details
  • Marvel at a celebrity stylist's star-studded fashion collection - Offer Expires on June 01, 2021 - See Details
  • Embark on a virtual trip to the Banaras' ghats, Sarnath, and more - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • Get a glimpse into India's history through the Gujarati thali - Offer Expires on December 31, 2021 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

The Ultimate Guide to Airline Credit Cards

The Differences Between an Airline Credit Card and a Travel Credit Card?

Airline credit cards are a type of rewards credit card that differs from general travel credit cards like the Platinum Card from American Express. Airline cards are co-branded credit cards that align with specific air carriers.

These cards offer rewards and perks that apply towards that specific airline or their codeshare partners. Partners typically include affiliated airlines (known as an airline alliance, like Oneworld, SkyTeam, or Star Alliance), hotel partners, or other affiliates. Airline credit cards offer significant value for travelers who prefer to use one carrier or want the ability to use valuable rewards miles with specific airline partners.

Benefits with airline cards are specific to flights and airports. These can include a wide array of perks, including:

  • Free checked bags
  • Specific amount of miles per dollar spent (ex. “earn 2x miles per $1 spent”)
  • Priority boarding
  • Lounge access
  • In-flight discounts
  • Airport of in-flight Wi-Fi

Airline cards are like travel credit cards in that the best rewards and perks come from cards that charge an annual fee. Cards that charge an annual fee over $95 usually offer lounge access, as well as substantial signup bonuses. Like travel cards, however, there are still some great offers for no annual fee.

What to Look for in the Best Airline Rewards Credit Card

When it comes to airline rewards cards, there are many things to consider, depending on an individual’s wants and needs. There are, however, several things that all flyers should keep an eye on:

Signup Bonus

One of the reasons why airline rewards cards are so popular is that they offer signup bonuses. As with travel cards and hotel credit cards, airlines provide big bonuses to entice new passengers. While the exact bonuses differ depending on the annual fee, some cards, such as those from Delta, Aer Lingus, British Airways, and others, offer signup bonuses of up to 100,000 miles.

Airline Alliances and Codeshare Agreements

Many people get airline rewards credit cards because they frequently travel with an airline and want rewards for their loyalty. One of the excellent things about these cards that people overlook, however, is the ability to rewards with several different carriers.

Many of the largest airlines in the world are members of global alliances. Delta Airlines, for example, is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, which also includes Air France, Aeromexico, KLM, Korean Air, and more. United Airlines is a member of Star Alliance, which also includes Avianca, Asiana, Air Canada, Lufthansa, and others. American Airlines is part of the Oneworld Alliance, also featuring carriers like Qantas and British Airways.

These alliances allow people with airline credit cards from one carrier to earn – and redeem – miles with any other member of the partnership. Some airlines aren’t members of an alliance. Instead, they have private “codeshare” agreements with other airlines. These codeshares operate in a similar vein to alliances, just on a one-on-one basis.

Related Article: How to Choose An Airline Rewards Credit Card

Flexibility of Rewards

Rewards flexibility is another critical consideration when it comes to this type of card. Many airline rewards credit cards – especially those part of frequent flyer programs, like Delta SkyMiles – have fairly strict terms of redemption. These are typically for flights with SkyTeam, seat upgrades, lounge access, or bookings with select hotel partners.

Perks

Before you apply for an airline rewards card always be check out the benefits cardholders can expect from card membership. The higher the annual fee, the better the perks. The same rationale applies to other perks, like frequent flyer tiers with airlines or other partners. By taking the time to consider what you want out of a card, you can whittle down the list to find the ideal card for you.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Many people overlook foreign transaction fees when exploring airline rewards credit cards. But what good is an airline card if you must pay to use it when you are traveling overseas? Always pay attention to foreign transaction fees. If you plan on using the credit card abroad, look for a card with no foreign transaction fees.

Should You Get an Airline Credit Card?

Airline rewards cards offer significant value, but should you apply? The answer is likely “yes” if you meet the following criteria:

  • You plan to fly with the same carrier. If, for example, you frequently fly domestically, the Frontier Mastercard may be a good bet. This also applies to flying with airlines that are part of an alliance with the preferred carrier, or codeshare partners. Flying with these partners will earn extra rewards.
  • The perks are valuable. Value with perks and benefits vary based on the individual. Do you fly enough o get value for free checked bags, lounge access, or other airline-specific perks?
  • You have an excellent credit score. Travel credit cards require higher credit scores, meaning that they may be out of the reach of many applicants. The best credit scores also get the biggest rewards. Before applying, make sure you have good odds of approval – otherwise, your credit report may take a hit with nothing to show for it.
  • You plan to pay your statement balance in full each month. Rewards cards make no sense if you carry a balance. That’s because the interest you accrue will eliminate the rewards you earn for every purchase.
  • The benefits outweigh the annual fee. Will the points/miles, perks, and credits offer more value than the yearly cost of being a card member?

The Value of Airline Miles

Current Frequent Flyer Program Valuations (Updated)

Before you decide on a co-branded airline credit card, make sure you understand how much the points or miles you earn are worth. Here are the latest valuations for leading frequent flyer loyalty programs:

  • Alaska Mileage Plan – 1.8 cents/mile
  • American Airlines AAdvantage Miles – 1.4 cents/mile
  • Avianca LifeMiles – 1.4 cents/mile
  • Delta SkyMiles – 1.2 cents/mile
  • Flying Blue Points – 1.2 cents/point
  • Flying Club Miles (Virgin Atlantic) – 1.5 cents/mile
  • Frontier Miles – 1.1 cents/mile
  • HawaiianMiles – 0.9 cents/mile
  • MileagePlus Miles (United) – 1.3 cents/mile
  • Miles & More Miles (Lufthansa) – 1.4 cents/mile
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Points – 1.5 cents/point
  • Spirit Airlines Free Spirit – 0.4 cents/point
  • TrueBlue Points (Jet Blue) – 1.3 cents/point

Browse Our Airline and Airline Alliance Program Guides:

Looking for a comprehensive guide to your favorite airline alliance of loyalty program? Chances are the we have it! Browse our Ultimate Guides:

The Basics of the Oneworld Alliance

Oneworld is the third-largest international alliance of airlines in the world. The coalition was founded in 1999 and currently consists of 15 member carriers, as well as numerous associate’s carriers that operate under the umbrella of one of the alliance members. Oneworld offers service to over 1,000 destinations across the globe and provides travelers with a seamless and pain-free travel experience when switching between connecting carriers.

Oneworld Members

  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • LATAM Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Moroc
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7 Airlines
  • Sri Lankan Airlines

Do Oneworld Miles Expire?

  • American Airlines – Miles expire after 18 months of inactivity on the account
  • British Airways – Miles expire after 36 months of inactivity on the account
  • Cathay Pacific – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of account activity
  • Finnair – Miles expire after 18 months of inactivity on the account
  • Iberia – Miles expire after 36 months of inactivity on the account
  • Japan Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of account activity
  • LATAM Airlines – Member must earn 1 mile every 36 months from a paid LATAM flight
  • Malaysia Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of account activity
  • Qantas – Miles expire after 18 months of inactivity on the account
  • Qatar Airways – Miles expire on 06/30 or 12/31 that occurs more than 36 months after they were earned, regardless of activity.
  • Royal Air Moroc – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of account activity
  • Royal Jordanian – Miles expire after 18 months of inactivity on the account
  • S7 Airlines – Miles do not expire until the end of the year, plus the next 2 full calendar years
  • Sri Lankan Airlines – Miles expire after three years and every 31st March and 30th September

The Basics of SkyTeam

SkyTeam is an alliance of 20 global airline carriers, boasting over 4,000 aircraft in its fleet and covering approximately 1,000 destinations around the world. The SkyTeam is the second-largest carrier alliance globally and allows members to save with Delta flights or travel with any of the following member carriers:

SkyTeam Members

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Europa
  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolineas Argentinas
  • Air France
  • Alitalia
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • Czech Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Kenya Airlines
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Saudia
  • TAROM
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • XiamenAir

Do SkyTeam Miles Expire?

  • Aeroflot – Miles expire after 24 months of inactivity on the account
  • Aerolineas Argentinas – Miles expire after 36 months of inactivity on the account
  • Aeromexico – Miles expire after 24 months of inactivity on the account
  • Air Europa – Miles expire after 24 months of inactivity n the account
  • Alitalia – Miles expire annually on 1/31, regardless of activity
  • Air France – Miles expire after 24 months of inactivity on the account
  • China Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of account activity
  • Czech Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of account activity
  • Delta Airlines – Miles do not expire
  • China Eastern Airlines – Miles expire on the 12/31 36 months after they were earned
  • China Southern Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of account activity
  • Garuda Indonesia – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of account activity
  • Kenya Airlines – Miles expire after 24 months of inactivity on the account
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – Miles expire after 24 months of inactivity on the account
  • Korean Air – Miles expire after 10 years, regardless of account activity
  • Middle East Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of account activity
  • Saudia – Miles expire on the 12/31 36 months after they were earned
  • TAROM – Miles expire after 24 months of inactivity n the account
  • Vietnam Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of account activity
  • XiamenAir – Miles expire on the 12/31 of the 4th calendar year in which they were earned

The Basics of Star Alliance

Star Alliance was the first global alliance of airline carriers, being founded in 1997. Today, Star Alliance has 28 partner airlines, who while maintaining their distinct style of service and culture, work together to ensure travelers have a smooth and seamless journey to any of the over 1,300 destinations in over 192 countries around the globe.

Star Alliance Members

  • Adria Airways
  • Aegean Airlines
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • EgyptAir
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • Shenzhen Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Swiss International Air Lines
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Thai Airways
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines

Do Star Alliance Miles Expire?

  • Adria Airways – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • Aegean Airlines – Miles expire after 60 months of inactivity on the account
  • Air Canada – Miles expire after 12 months of inactivity on the account
  • Air China – Miles expire on the 12/31 24 months after they were earned, regardless of activity
  • Asiana Airlines – Miles expire after ten years, regardless of activity
  • All Nippon Airways – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • Air India – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • Air New Zealand – Miles expire on account signup anniversary that is at least 48 months from when miles were earned, regardless of activity.
  • Austrian Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • Avianca – Miles expire after 24 months of inactivity on the account
  • Brussels Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • Copa Airlines – Miles expire after 24 months of inactivity on the account
  • Croatia Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • EgyptAir – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • Ethiopian Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • EVA Air – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • LOT Polish Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • Lufthansa – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • Scandinavian Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • Shenzhen Airlines – Miles expire after 24 months of inactivity on the account
  • Singapore Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • South African Airways – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • Swiss International Air Lines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • TAP Air Portugal – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • Thai Airways – Miles expire after at the end of each quarter, 3 years after they were earned, regardless of activity.
  • Turkish Airlines – Miles expire after 36 months, regardless of activity
  • United Airlines – Miles expire after 12 months of inactivity on the account

Third-Party Booking Site Credit Cards

Booking through third-party sites is a popular option when planning travel. Unfortunately, many reward programs limit the ability of members to do so. While this might seem like a negative, there are ways to earn points when booking through these sites.

One of the easiest ways to earn points when booking travel via a third-party is a credit card branded with those sites! Yes, third-party sites like Experida.com, Orbitz, and Priceline have their own credit cards!

Here are some of the top card offers for travel sites:

Airline Credit Cards for Small Businesses

A unique subset of airline credit cards is airline business cards. Business cards co-branded with major airlines can help companies that travel frequently save money – and travel in style. There is a great selection of credit cards for small to medium-sized businesses that like to fly. Here are a variety of current options:

For more information on business credit cards, including airline credit cards for small businesses, please visit our dedicated Business Credit Cards category page.

Travel Rewards Business Credit Cards

A much broader rewards option for small businesses is travel rewards cards. These credit cards come from a variety of banks and credit unions. Companies that travel – both near and far – can use their rewards to save money on flights, hotels, and other travel-related expenses.

Here are some of the leading travel credit cards for businesses:

For more information on business credit cards, including travel credit cards for small businesses, please visit our dedicated Business Credit Cards category page.

Travel Credit Cards from Smaller Banks

Just because your local bank isn’t Chase, Barclays, or Bank of America doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy great travel rewards. Many smaller or regional banks offer great rewards credit cards for consumers that allow them to save on travel purchases. Here are a few of the more notable travel card offers on the market today:

FAQs About Airline Rewards Credit Cards

Because airline credit cards cover a ton of ground, there are many questions that arise when considering applying. Here are some of the more commonly asked questions about airline cards, frequent flyer miles, and rewards – and helpful answers:

Is it worth getting an airline card?

  • Yes and no. If you travel rarely, airline cards don’t make much sense – unless it charges no annual fee. Those who frequently travel for business or pleasure can get significant value for an airline credit card. Many premium cards feature no blackout dates, Global Entry or TSA Precheck statement credits, or bonus points or miles after you spend a specific amount within the first thee months from account opening. Making frequent airline purchases or purchases at hotel and car rental companies can help earn impressive rewards, including free flights.

How many miles do you need to earn to get a free flight?

  • The number of miles needed to earn a free flight varies depending on the value of frequent flyer miles and the date of booking. Some domestic carriers allow free flight redemptions as low as 15,000 miles, while other international carriers require 35,000, 50,000, or even 75,000 miles for one-way international flight awards.

Do authorized users get the same perks as the account holder?

  • In most cases, authorized users will enjoy the same benefits and perks of airline or travel cards as the account holder. Authorized users do not, however, enjoy the benefits of sign up bonuses or annual spending bonuses. Instead, any spending by an authorized user will apply to the account holders only.

Are there airline cards for bad credit?

  • There are a few airline rewards credit cards that are also secured cards. The LATAM Secured Visa and SKYPASS Secured Visa are two good examples of secured airline cards for bad credit. Both cards earn frequent flyer miles with select purchases with LATAM and Korean Air, respectively. Both cards are perfect for travelers with a bad credit score or no credit history.

What’s the easiest airline credit card to get?

  • There is no guaranteed approval for airline credit cards. That said, the LATAM Secured, and SKYPASS Secured Visa is both excellent options for people who struggle to get other airline rewards cards.

Do all airline cards feature no foreign transaction fees?

  • While the majority of international airline cards, like the British Airways Visa Signature or Cathay Pacific Visa Signature, have no foreign transaction fees, some U.S.-based airline cards do charge a fee. Always read the terms and conditions of your credit card application before applying to ensure you avoid paying any fees you didn’t expect.

Are there other travel cards?

Browse the Best Airline Rewards Credit Cards of 2021

Trying to find your ideal credit card? BestCards has comprehensive and impartial reviews of the top credit cards for flyers available today. Scan our hundreds of reviews, use our comparison tool and take advantage of our extensive credit card resources and advice.

Ready to get started? Let’s find your best card today!

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