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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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Delta SkyMiles® Debit Card

Delta SkyMiles® Debit Card
  • Annual Fee $0 for the first year, up to $95 after that
  • Credit Needed No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee for the first year
  • Earn 1 miles for every $2 spent on eligible purchases
  • Miles never expire
Rates & Fees
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, up to $95 after that
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $100
Credit Card Deals
card
Over 150,000 hotels in top destinations. Book now! Reservations.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2023 See Details
card
33% + Extra 10% off Hotel Stays Longer Than 7 Nights. OYO Hotels Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Bundle Sale: Get 35% off Tuffy Stereo Security Console and $75 off Alpine Radio. Morris 4x4 Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
FREE Shipping and returns with any MOLECULE purchase. MOLECULE Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
New Customers Offer - 15% off Your First Order of Contacts Plus Free shipping. Coastal.com Offer Expires on Jun 06, 2025 See Details
card
50% off Starter Kits. Candid Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
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Shop New Textbooks with Free Shipping! AbeBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
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Special Offer 49% Off an Annual Membership! Receive 12-Months for Only $59.95! ABCmouse.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
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Save 5% AVIS Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
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Save 5% Budget Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details

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% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee: $250
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
card
Save up to 30% on prescription refills 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Buy now, pay later with PayPal. Buckle Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
card
Save 20% off sitewide 1800flowers.com Offer Expires on Jul 07, 2022 See Details
card
Enjoy free standard shipping when you spend $49+ 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Save 5% at La Quinta Inns & Suites La Quinta Inns & Suites Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get 10% off when you book online GO Shuttle Offer Expires on Oct 10, 2021 See Details
card
Save 3% on all purchases Boost Mobile Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Rent a Wheels pedal-less E-Bike for safe and efficient Wheels Labs, Inc. Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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Save 8% on all purchases Godiva Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 1% on all purchases over $40 Red Robin Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

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
card
Over 150,000 hotels in top destinations. Book now! Reservations.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2023 See Details
card
33% + Extra 10% off Hotel Stays Longer Than 7 Nights. OYO Hotels Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Bundle Sale: Get 35% off Tuffy Stereo Security Console and $75 off Alpine Radio. Morris 4x4 Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
FREE Shipping and returns with any MOLECULE purchase. MOLECULE Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
New Customers Offer - 15% off Your First Order of Contacts Plus Free shipping. Coastal.com Offer Expires on Jun 06, 2025 See Details
card
50% off Starter Kits. Candid Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
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Shop New Textbooks with Free Shipping! AbeBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
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Special Offer 49% Off an Annual Membership! Receive 12-Months for Only $59.95! ABCmouse.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
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Save 5% AVIS Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
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Save 5% Budget Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details

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
card
Over 150,000 hotels in top destinations. Book now! Reservations.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2023 See Details
card
33% + Extra 10% off Hotel Stays Longer Than 7 Nights. OYO Hotels Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Bundle Sale: Get 35% off Tuffy Stereo Security Console and $75 off Alpine Radio. Morris 4x4 Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
FREE Shipping and returns with any MOLECULE purchase. MOLECULE Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
New Customers Offer - 15% off Your First Order of Contacts Plus Free shipping. Coastal.com Offer Expires on Jun 06, 2025 See Details
card
50% off Starter Kits. Candid Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
Shop New Textbooks with Free Shipping! AbeBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
Special Offer 49% Off an Annual Membership! Receive 12-Months for Only $59.95! ABCmouse.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
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Save 5% AVIS Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
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Save 5% Budget Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details

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 26.99% to 31.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $0 or $79
  • 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: 26.99% 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 $79
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 0% or 3% of each Purchase in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
card
Over 150,000 hotels in top destinations. Book now! Reservations.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2023 See Details
card
33% + Extra 10% off Hotel Stays Longer Than 7 Nights. OYO Hotels Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Bundle Sale: Get 35% off Tuffy Stereo Security Console and $75 off Alpine Radio. Morris 4x4 Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
FREE Shipping and returns with any MOLECULE purchase. MOLECULE Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
New Customers Offer - 15% off Your First Order of Contacts Plus Free shipping. Coastal.com Offer Expires on Jun 06, 2025 See Details
card
50% off Starter Kits. Candid Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
Shop New Textbooks with Free Shipping! AbeBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
Special Offer 49% Off an Annual Membership! Receive 12-Months for Only $59.95! ABCmouse.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
Save 5% AVIS Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
card
Save 5% Budget Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details

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
card
Over 150,000 hotels in top destinations. Book now! Reservations.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2023 See Details
card
33% + Extra 10% off Hotel Stays Longer Than 7 Nights. OYO Hotels Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Bundle Sale: Get 35% off Tuffy Stereo Security Console and $75 off Alpine Radio. Morris 4x4 Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
FREE Shipping and returns with any MOLECULE purchase. MOLECULE Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
New Customers Offer - 15% off Your First Order of Contacts Plus Free shipping. Coastal.com Offer Expires on Jun 06, 2025 See Details
card
50% off Starter Kits. Candid Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
Shop New Textbooks with Free Shipping! AbeBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
Special Offer 49% Off an Annual Membership! Receive 12-Months for Only $59.95! ABCmouse.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
Save 5% AVIS Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
card
Save 5% Budget Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details

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
card
Over 150,000 hotels in top destinations. Book now! Reservations.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2023 See Details
card
33% + Extra 10% off Hotel Stays Longer Than 7 Nights. OYO Hotels Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Bundle Sale: Get 35% off Tuffy Stereo Security Console and $75 off Alpine Radio. Morris 4x4 Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
FREE Shipping and returns with any MOLECULE purchase. MOLECULE Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
New Customers Offer - 15% off Your First Order of Contacts Plus Free shipping. Coastal.com Offer Expires on Jun 06, 2025 See Details
card
50% off Starter Kits. Candid Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
Shop New Textbooks with Free Shipping! AbeBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
Special Offer 49% Off an Annual Membership! Receive 12-Months for Only $59.95! ABCmouse.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
Save 5% AVIS Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
card
Save 5% Budget Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details

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
card
Save up to 30% on prescription refills 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Buy now, pay later with PayPal. Buckle Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
card
Save 20% off sitewide 1800flowers.com Offer Expires on Jul 07, 2022 See Details
card
Enjoy free standard shipping when you spend $49+ 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Save 5% at La Quinta Inns & Suites La Quinta Inns & Suites Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get 10% off when you book online GO Shuttle Offer Expires on Oct 10, 2021 See Details
card
Save 3% on all purchases Boost Mobile Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Rent a Wheels pedal-less E-Bike for safe and efficient Wheels Labs, Inc. Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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Save 8% on all purchases Godiva Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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Save 1% on all purchases over $40 Red Robin Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

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
card
Over 150,000 hotels in top destinations. Book now! Reservations.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2023 See Details
card
33% + Extra 10% off Hotel Stays Longer Than 7 Nights. OYO Hotels Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Bundle Sale: Get 35% off Tuffy Stereo Security Console and $75 off Alpine Radio. Morris 4x4 Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
FREE Shipping and returns with any MOLECULE purchase. MOLECULE Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
New Customers Offer - 15% off Your First Order of Contacts Plus Free shipping. Coastal.com Offer Expires on Jun 06, 2025 See Details
card
50% off Starter Kits. Candid Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
Shop New Textbooks with Free Shipping! AbeBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
Special Offer 49% Off an Annual Membership! Receive 12-Months for Only $59.95! ABCmouse.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
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Save 5% AVIS Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
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Save 5% Budget Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details

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
  • Complimentary lounge access to Emirates Business Class lounges in Dubai
  • 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
card
Over 150,000 hotels in top destinations. Book now! Reservations.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2023 See Details
card
33% + Extra 10% off Hotel Stays Longer Than 7 Nights. OYO Hotels Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Bundle Sale: Get 35% off Tuffy Stereo Security Console and $75 off Alpine Radio. Morris 4x4 Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
FREE Shipping and returns with any MOLECULE purchase. MOLECULE Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
New Customers Offer - 15% off Your First Order of Contacts Plus Free shipping. Coastal.com Offer Expires on Jun 06, 2025 See Details
card
50% off Starter Kits. Candid Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
Shop New Textbooks with Free Shipping! AbeBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
Special Offer 49% Off an Annual Membership! Receive 12-Months for Only $59.95! ABCmouse.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
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Save 5% AVIS Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
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Save 5% Budget Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details

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 Cards

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:

frequent flyer guide

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.

frequent flyer guide

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 is the ability to rewards with several different carriers. These alliances allow people with airline credit cards from one carrier to earn – and redeem – miles with any other member of the partnership

frequent flyer guide

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.

frequent flyer guide

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.

frequent flyer guide

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.

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:

Star Alliance
skyteam guide
SkyTeam Alliance
oneworld guide
Oneworld Allaince

Browse Our Frequent Flyer Program Guides

skymiles
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
trueblue guide
JetBlue TrueBlue
mileageplus guide
United Airlines MileagePlus
mileage planguide
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
aadvantage guide
American Airlines AAdvantage
Avios
Spirit Airlines Free Spirit
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

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

Should You Get an Airline Credit Card?

Airline rewards cards offer significant value, especially with their bonus miles after spending requirements are met, 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 or United Explorer Card from Chase 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. This requirement is especially true of ultra-premium cards, like the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card. 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?

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:

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. The Frees Spirit Points Card from First Bank & Trust is another excellent option to consider. 
  • 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.

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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