Best Credit Card for Airline Miles
If you love traveling, you should take advantage of the attractive credit card deals that are available. You can only enjoy these bonuses if you choose a credit card that offers them. Even though you will benefit from these deals if you travel more, there are perks for just signing up for these cards. There are two types of credit cards that allow you to earn miles: cards that carry the brand of the airline and gives you bonuses for that airline, and travel cards that offer rewards, these rewards can be used at several airlines.
We have made a list of the best credit cards that allow you to earn miles. These are the best travel credit cards. These cards are considered the best based on their reward structures and promotional offers.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers you a signup bonus when you spend $4000 or more within the first three months. The bonus is offered in the form of points. You earn 50,000 points which are equivalent to $500 statement credits, with $625 in travel and redeemable from Chase’s travel portal. These points can also be transferred to the loyalty partners such as Hyatt, Southwest, and United. Your points may have more value if you transfer them to any of these partners. With this card, there are no foreign transaction fees, and Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders who book their trips through Chase Ultimate Rewards enjoy 25% more value. Travel expenditure which is considered by the card include airfares, hotel lodgings, car rental, and cruises. Cardholders can also participate in programs Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, British Airways Executive Club, Korean Air SKYPASS, Southwest Airline Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, World of Hyatt, and the Ritz-Calton Rewards.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is another credit card offered by Chase. This Chase, just like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, is a great card option for people who travel often. This card offers benefits people who travel at least three times in a year. You can easily earn the Ultimate Reward point sign up bonus of 50,000 points. The 50,000 points are equivalent to at least $750. You also get to earn three points on every dollar spent on travel and dining. This card also offers $300 travel credit each year. You also enjoy Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, travel insurance, Priority Pass Lounge Access and several other benefits. However, you should only consider getting this card if you travel frequently. The annual fee on this card is $450, but you get to enjoy benefits worth more than this card if you travel often. If you do not travel often, you may not recover the amount you paid as fees.
- American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card
With this card, you get to enjoy a $100 Airline fee credit for a year for baggage or other air charges at one airliner. When you pay for airfare directly to the airline, you earn 3X points on every $1. This card also offers $75 hotel credits and a free room upgrade at partner hotels. You will also earn 25,000 points when you spend $2000 in purchase within the first three months. Account holders also enjoy double bonus when you use the card at US gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets. You will also receive one point on other purchases made.
- Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card
This credit card is an excellent option for anyone looking for a basic credit card for travel. You do not need to pay annual fees, so you do not need to worry about the number of trips you make in a month. You will not pay foreign transaction fees if you use this card. Bank of America customers enjoys higher rewards compared to people who do not have accounts with the bank. These reward rates depend on your existing balance on your account. Bank of America customers who have at least $50,000 in their accounts earn points that are 2.25% to 2.63% more than non-customers. Cardholders earn 20,000 points when they make purchases worth $1000 in the first three months. The 20,000 points are equivalent to $200 statement credit towards travel purchases. You also earn 1.5% points on every dollar spent. These points do not expire.
- Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
The Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card allows cardholders to earn SkyMiles, priority boarding, and checked bags. Cardholders also earn 20% in-flight discount and 2 SkyMiles on every purchase made at Delta. You will also receive 1 point for every dollar spent on any other purchase. Delta does not limit its benefits to the cardholder alone; your companions also get to enjoy. You and eight people you are travelling with will get their bags checked for free. There is also a bonus for just signing up for Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card. You will be rewarded with 35,000 bonus SkyMiles for signing up. You will also be given a $50 credit statement as a bonus. You need not worry about the annual fee in the first year since American Express waives the $95 fee in the first year.
- Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select
With this card, you get to enjoy 2 times miles on American Airlines, gas station purchases, and dining. Another benefit is that you enjoy $100 American Airlines credit when you spend $20,000 within a year. You will also earn a 25% in-flight purchase discount. You and four of your travel companions will have your bags checked for free.
- Capital One Venture Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Credit card is excellent for travelers who love to travel with different airlines. You get to earn two times miles on all purchases. A new cardholder earns 50,000 points when he or she spends $3000 within the first three months. The account holder also earns two miles on every dollar spent. You can enjoy great flexibility with this card. You can use any app or travel website to book an airline or hotel. You are restricted to any airline or hotel. You will still enjoy benefits irrespective of the airline or hotel. There are no foreign transaction fees when you use this card. There are also no blackout dates for air travel.
- Alaska Airline Visa Signature Credit Card
This card is considered one of the best credit cards for people who fly frequently. The daily rewards rates are higher compared to the rate of other airlines. The rewards rate is 1.8%, and this credit card offers an annual companion fare. When you fly on Alaska Airlines, you and six companions will have your bags checked for free. Your Alaska miles can be used to book flights at American Airlines, Aer Lingus, British Airways, Korean Air, and many others. You also earn up to 30,000 points when you meet the required purchase amount within a given time frame.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
This card also offers many benefits making it attractive to frequent flyers. With this card, you get to earn a companion ticket when you reach 110,000 miles within one calendar year. You can use this ticket throughout that year and the following year. You also earn 2 points on every dollar spent on Southwest flights. You also earn one point on every dollar spent on other purchases. There is an anniversary bonus of 6000 points for cardholders. Cardholders also earn 40000 points when they spend $1000 on purchases within the first three months.
- AeroMexico Visa Secured Credit Card
This card is a good option for people with bad credit. People with bad credit do not have many options when it comes to a credit card for miles. It is required that you meet a certain credit score to qualify for credit cards. However, AeroMexico Visa Secured Credit Card is available for people with bad credit. This card has a low annual fee of $25 which makes it easy to benefit from their offers. You will enjoy a 2% reward rate on all AeroMexico airfare purchases. You will also enjoy free bag checks, and a $99 annual companion certificate. You will also receive 3,500 points when you use the card for the first time.
- United Explorer Card
The United Explorer card allows you to earn 40,000 points when you spend $2,000 within the first three months. The points offered is one of the highest rewards offered by credit card companies. The purchase requirement is also not high compared to other companies. This makes it easier to receive this bonus. You also earn 2 miles per dollar on every ticket bought from United Airlines. You will also receive 1 mile per dollar on all purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees when you use the United Explorer card. You will also benefit from priority boarding privileges. You can also visit the United Club with two one time passes. The $95 annual fee is also waived in the first year.
- United TravelBank Card
With this card, you will not pay fees. Applying for this card is quite different from other cards. You will need to apply through an airline. You will earn 2% on every dollar you spend purchasing United Airline tickets. You will also earn 1.5% back on other purchases. United also offers you 25% back as a statement credit on food and drink you purchase on United flights. You do not need to worry about blackout dates when you use this card.
- Capital One Spark Miles for Business
This card just like the Capital One Venture card offers numerous benefits for cardholders. You will earn 2 miles on every dollar you spend daily. You will also receive a bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend at least $4500 in the first three months. The good news is that the miles you earn have no restrictions. The miles have no expiration date so you can use it at any time as long as your account is still active. You are also not limited to use your bonus for a particular category. The annual for the first year is waived. You will pay $95 as annual fees for the subsequent years. You are also at liberty to redeem miles for cash back, travel, or even gift cards.
- Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard
This is one of the premier cards that offer top notch services for relatively low annual fees. You will be rewarded with 75,000 miles each year when you spend $25,000 before the year ends. The earning opportunities are unlimited. You also get to earn two times miles on every purchase you make. You will be given a $100 automatic credit statement to cover the cost of one global entry. This reward is given every five years. You will also have access to over 850 lounges worldwide. You will also not pay transaction fees when you use your card abroad. The annual fees on this credit card are $150. The good news is that the fees for the first year will be waived.
Requirements for choosing a credit card for miles
One of the most important requirements, when you are choosing a credit card, is information about the options available. Good knowledge about credit card options will help you to make the right decision when it comes to choosing a credit card. You now have a lot of information about the best credit cards for miles. We have also offered you the reasons why these cards are on the list. There is no card that can be regarded as the best among this options because these cards are offering different benefits. The best card will be the card that works for you. However, before you proceed to make your final decision regarding these credit cards, it is essential to consider specific factors.
We will discuss some factors that are important when it comes to choosing a credit card. Credit cards should not be burdensome to the holder they should be beneficial. This is why they should not be selected in haste. These are some factors to consider when selecting a credit card.
- Airline Credit Card or General Travel Credit Card?
The first thing to consider is the credit card type that will work for you. Airline credit cards are good options, but they are only excellent options if you fly one particular airline all the time. Airline Credit card rewards huge if you fly more miles with that airline. Usually, the airline expects you to meet a specified spending threshold to access benefits. If you do not spend up to the limit the company expects, you cannot enjoy the benefits. You can only meet that threshold if you fly that airline often. Hence, if you are someone who does not fly the same airline often, you may never meet the threshold. This means you may not enjoy the benefits. You may incur a loss if you do not get to enjoy the benefits of the credit card because the annual fees are sometimes expensive. Most people are able to offset the cost they paid as annual fees when they are rewarded with bonus points, extra miles, or free bag checks. It is, therefore, essential to consider these when choosing a credit card. If you are someone who does not travel on one flight, it is better to choose a general travel credit card.
- Which Airline Card?
Once you decide to choose an airline credit card, you should also think about the particular card to go in for. With this, you should choose the card issued by the airline you fly regularly. If you decide to choose a card that is issued by another airline because of the benefits, you should be prepared to fly that airline. Choosing a card that is offered by the airline you fly frequently or intend to fly frequently will help you to enjoy the benefits offered by that issuer.
- Do You Have Your Bags Checked Frequently?
Bag checks are quite expensive. Airlines typically charge around $25 for bag checks. Some airline credit cards offer free bag checks for you and your companions. This bag check can even slash up to half of the amount you paid as annual fees. So if usually require bags checks during trips, you should choose a credit card that offers free bag checks. It is important to check because some airline credit cards offer high pecks but do not offer free bag checks. You should also note that only airline credit cards offer free bag checks. General travel credit cards do not.
- Premium or Basic?
In choosing a credit card, you should also think about the lounge access. If the lounge access is worth it, you can get a premium credit card for miles. However, if it is not worth it, you can choose a basic card. The premium cards are more expensive than the basic cards. However, they offer more benefits. Airlines that offer premium services include United, America, and Delta airlines.
Why Do I Need an Airline Credit Card?
People travel almost every time, but not everyone uses airline credit cards. Why is that? The reason is simple: not everyone needs one. At least, not everyone thinks they need one. A lot of calculations go into getting an airline credit card. The main reason for going in for credit cards for airlines is to enjoy some benefits and get miles for travel. If your credit card will not serve that purpose, there is no need getting one.
- You Fly Frequently
It is an excellent idea to sign up for an airline credit card if you fly frequently. You get to accumulate more points to if you make a lot of airline purchases. You will only be eligible for bonuses if you meet the required points. Airlines usually require that cardholders spend between $20,000 and $50,000 to qualify for rewards. The amount depends on the airline you choose. You cannot spend these amounts in a single trip. However, you can easily spend the required amount when you go on trips frequently. Another reason is that you can use your rewards when you actually need them. Some airlines offer free miles for a specified period. If you know you will not be able to use the free miles within the given period. There is no need for getting the card for the sake of the reward. You cannot use the reward anyway. If you realize that you do not spend more than $1000 on travel each year, there is no need for a credit card for miles. You will not enjoy the maximum benefits the card offers.
- You Fly with a Single Airline
If you always travel with the same airline, you should consider checking the credit cards the airline offers. You will get to enjoy the benefits the airline offers if you sign up for their card. The good news is that some airlines even waive the annual fees for the first year. Even if the airline does not waive the initial annual fees, the benefits will offset the annual fees.
- You Have a Good Credit
It is easier to sign up for an airline credit card if you have good credit. If your credit score is higher than 690, it will be easier to get a credit card. You can have access to all the pecks and benefits without going through any stress.
- You Pay Off Your Balance Each Month
You may also get a credit card if you can pay off your balance on the card every month. The card is cheaper to use if you do not accumulate a lot of interest rates. The interest rate can overshadow the benefits if you keep debts on the card for too long. If you cannot pay off your balance monthly, there is no need to get a credit card because you may end up paying more as interest rates. If you cannot pay off the balance every month, it will be better to take a low interest credit card.
Credit cards help you to save money and enjoy extra miles. However, you can do more to fly at cheaper rates. Since getting airline credit cards are not always prudent, you should make calculations before getting the card. Calculate your earning potential to get a rough idea about how much you will be getting in rewards. Check the signup bonuses if any as well as the welcome offers. Subtract the annual fees and see if the earning can offset the annual fees. Even if the earnings cover the annual fees, you should also have a little left as benefits. If you make all your calculations and you realize that the fees you will pay will not overshadow the benefits, you can go ahead and sign up for a credit card that suits your needs.