2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING CREDIT CARDS FOR AIRLINES


Finding the Best Credit Card for Airline Miles

With the average cost of a domestic flight last year settling around $361, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to earn free flights? How about on international flights which average closer to $1,000 per roundtrip ticket?

If you are one of the 895.5 million Americans that took a flight last year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, chances are that earning free flights is something that interests you.

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Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Airline Credit Cards

That is why you need an airline miles credit card in your wallet. The best airline credit cards allow you to earn miles for every dollar spent on purchases. These miles accumulated can then be redeemed for free flights. If you want to vacation in Aspen or take a trip down to Mexico but don’t have the money, having the best airline credit card may help you get there for free someday.

While airline credit cards are a great asset to have, it isn’t always easy to choose the best airline credit card. That is why we have reviewed and put together a list of the top options to help you pick the best airline rewards credit card for you. 

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of Top 6 Best Airlines Miles Credit Cards

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the credit card names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that credit card):


Top 6 Best Airline Credit Cards | Brief Comparison

Credit Card Names

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

Annual Fee

Foreign Transaction Fee

Bonus Offer (miles)

American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

15.99–24.99%

$95, waived the first year

None

50,000

British Airways Signature Visa Card

16.24–23.24%

$95

None

50,000

Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

16.24–23.24%

$95, waived the first year

None

30,000

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select®

15.49%

$95, waived the first year

None

30,000

JetBlue Card

12.24–25.24%

None

None

5,000

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

16.24–23.24%

$99

None

40,000

Table: Top 6 Best Airline Rewards Credit Cards | Above list is sorted alphabetically


 


Detailed Overview of What You Need in an Airline Miles Credit Card

When looking for the best credit card for flights, you will need to consider many options. With different airline rewards credit cards available, you need to look at a variety of features for your credit card for airline miles. The best airline credit cards will have a combination of the following attributes:

  • Easy to continually earn miles
  • No blackout dates
  • Flexibility of carriers
  • Signing bonus miles offer
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

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Source: TravelSort

You will find many credit cards with airline miles on the market, but not all of them are a good option for you. The best credit card for flights for one person might not be a good fit for you. Some credit cards with airline miles are for airline carriers that you may never fly with or the bonus offer doesn’t cover the annual fee you will pay. The best airline credit card will be for a carrier that you generally use that flies your favored routes.

Choosing the best credit card for flights takes careful consideration. While all of the airline credit cards on our list are good options to add to your wallet, the best airlines miles credit card for you depends on your personal preference.



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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Airline Miles Credit Card

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Source: Gizmodo

Below, please find the detailed review of each card on our list of best airline miles credit cards. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these credit cards with airline miles to score so high in our selection ranking. 

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American Express
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card Review


The American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card makes this list as one of the best airline credit cards. If you love flying Delta, then this card is definitely one to consider.

There is no introductory APR offer, so you will fall into an APR between 15.99% and 24.99% for purchases and balance transfers, depending on your credit history. This best airline credit card has an annual fee of $95 that is waived for the first year. There is also no foreign transaction fee, so you can use this best airline miles credit card for international purchases.

Miles Earning & Redemption

The great thing about this best airline credit card is that it is easy to earn the sign-up bonus miles. By spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, you will get the 30,000 bonus miles from Delta. Furthermore, you will earn two miles for every dollar that you spend with Delta and one mile for every dollar that you spend on other purchases. If you have a SkyMiles membership, you will also earn an extra 5 miles for every dollar spent at Delta.

As an added incentive, your first bag will fly for free on every Delta flight. There are also no blackout dates, making this one of the best airlines miles credit cards. In addition, you can redeem miles for one-way tickets which other credit cards do not offer. If Delta is your primary air carrier, this is probably the best airline miles credit card for you.



British Airways Visa Signature® Credit Card Review


The British Airways Visa Signature® Credit Card is a great airline miles credit card. If you often fly internationally or on American Airlines, then this is definitely an airline miles credit card to consider. It takes excellent credit to qualify for this best credit card for airline miles, but it is worth it.

This is one of the best airline credit cards due to its great bonus miles offer upon signing up. With a variable APR between 16.24% and 23.24% for purchases and balance transfers, this card from British Airways is one of the best airlines miles credit cards out there. There is also an annual fee of $95; however, it is not waived for the first year like some of the other options on our list. If you are looking for the best credit card for airline miles, you need to look at the British Airways Visa Signature® Credit Card.

Miles Earning & Redemption

If you send $3,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account, you will get 50,000 bonus miles – also called Avios – credited to your account. In addition, you will receive 3 Avios for every dollar that you spend at British Airways and 1 Avios for all other purchases. This best credit card for airline miles also offers a Travel Together Ticket, which is good for two years, every time you spend $30,000 in purchases over the span of a year. This ticket can be used to bring a companion with you on any domestic flight booked with your rewards miles.

Avios (miles) can be redeemed at over a dozen airlines around the world. American Airlines is one of these member airlines where you can use Avios for domestic flights in the United States.



Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card Review


On our list of the best airline rewards credit card, the Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card is great for United Airlines flyers.

This credit card has no foreign transaction fees; there is an annual fee of $95 that is waived for the first year. The variable APR of 16.24% to 23.24% causes this card to fall in the middle of our list of best airlines miles credit cards. One drawback for this best credit card for airline miles is that you will need excellent credit, between 720 and 850, to qualify.

Miles Earning & Redemption

For those who are loyal United flyers, this may be the best airline credit card option. If you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months, you will get 30,000 bonus miles. Furthermore, you earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on United tickets and 1 mile for every dollar spent on other items. As an added bonus, if you spend over $25,000 in the first year, you will receive 10,000 bonus miles.

As long as your credit card account is open, these miles will never expire and can be redeemed on any United flight – for any seat on any date. This is one of the best airline credit cards due to not having blackout dates as well as being able to rack up even more bonus miles after the signup bonus. 

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CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Review


The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® is a credit card with airline miles. If you often fly with American Airlines, then this could be the card for you.

One nice thing about this airline miles credit card is that there is no variable APR, so you will see an interest rate of 15.49% no matter what your credit score is. This set APR is also lower than many of the other variable APRs on our list of best airline credit cards. There is an annual fee of $95, but this will be waived for the first year. If you want to avoid foreign transaction fees and love flying with American Airlines, then this may be the best airline miles credit card for you.

Miles Earning & Redemption

Right off the bat, you can earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account. This is one of the best airline credit cards for that reason alone. You will also earn 1 mile per dollar spent on the credit card and double miles on eligible American Airlines purchases.

As an added bonus is receiving Group 1 boarding status on flights, and your first checked bag is free for domestic flights for you and four companions. If American Airlines is your carrier of choice, you can easily rack up rewards, making this one of the best airlines miles credit cards for you.



JetBlue Card Review


If you are looking for the best credit card for airline miles, the JetBlue Card is one to consider. JetBlue flyers will love how easy it is to earn JetBlue flights.

The JetBlue Card has a variable APR of 12.24% to 25.24%, which is the lowest on our list of best airline credit cards. It also has no annual fee, which puts it in its own class on the list as well. With no foreign transaction fees, this card may be the best airline miles credit card for loyal JetBlue flyers.

Miles Earning & Redemption

Though this has the smallest signup bonus on our list of the best airline credit cards, with no annual fee, you can still rack up bonus miles. You will get 5,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. In addition, you earn 3 points for every dollar spent with JetBlue and 2 miles for every $1 at restaurants and grocery stores. For all other purchases, you will earn one mile per dollar spent.

This makes our list of best airline credit cards because the JetBlue Card has no blackout dates. The points required for flights depend upon the fare at the time of booking. The JetBlue Card also offers 50% savings on in-flight purchases, such as food, movies, and cocktails. If you enjoy free JetBlue flights, this is the best airline miles credit card for you.

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review


The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is a credit card with airline miles that gives you the flexibility of travel destinations. With destinations throughout the United States and the Caribbean, you can cash in your free flights for so many hot vacation spots.

If you frequently fly with Southwest Airlines, then this may be the best airline miles credit card for you. The variable APR between 16.24% and 23.24% falls in line with the rest of the cards on our list of the best airlines miles credit cards. Though there is an annual fee of $99 that is not waived the first year, there is no foreign transaction fees and a nice bonus signing offer.

Miles Earning & Redemption

This airline credit card has one of the better bonus offers on our list. If you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account, you will get 40,000 miles, and every year after that, you receive 6,000 bonus miles. This does help offset the $99 annual fee. Aside from the bonus miles, you will receive 2 points for every dollar spent at Southwest and 1 point for all other purchases. When it comes to rewards, this is perhaps the best airline credit card.

The points that you earn with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card will never expire as long as you keep your account open. As on all Southwest flights, your bags fly free. There are also no blackout dates, so if you have the points, you can fly wherever, whenever.


Conclusion—Top 6 Best Airlines Miles Credit Cards

Having an airline miles credit card is a great way to earn free flights through purchases that you make regularly. You can set your cable, Internet, and electric bills to autopay on your credit card to gain miles on one of these best airline credit cards offered on our list. The real trick is finding the best credit card for airline miles for you.

It’s not easy to sort through an endless list of airline rewards credit cards to determine what the best airline rewards credit card is for you.

That is why we’ve narrowed down the numerous options to our in-depth list of the best credit cards for airline miles. While sorting through this list, it is important to consider the following:

  • A credit card from your preferred carrier
  • Bonus miles offers
  • Anniversary points
  • Easy redemption/no blackout dates
  • Extra perks (i.e., bags fly free, priority boarding, etc.)
  • No annual fees

While each of the airline credit cards that we outlined have unique features, the best airline miles credit card is the one that meets your personal needs. Above all, select an airline miles credit card that gives you access to miles from the carriers that you enjoy flying with.

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