2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING CREDIT CARDS FOR MILES


Finding the Best Credit Card for Travel Miles

In 2015, 895.5 million Americans took a domestic or international flight. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that number was an increase of 5% from 2014. If you were one of those passengers last year, you have probably, at some point, thought about credit cards that earn miles.

If you love traveling, then you should consider taking advantage of a miles credit card; better yet, the best credit card to earn miles. Visiting family, exploring new places, and adventure trips are great, but they come at a cost. In 2016, the average cost of a U.S. domestic flight was $361; for international flights, that number soars closer to $1,000.

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Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Credit Cards for Miles

These costs do not always make it into a budget, which is why using one of the best credit cards for miles can benefit you. How does having the best card for miles help? By racking up credit card miles, you can redeem them for statement credits and free flights. Who doesn’t love free flights or having their travel expenses reimbursed?

Now that we have your attention centered on credit cards with miles, you’re probably wondering what the best credit card for travel miles is. While many airlines and companies offer credit cards for miles, determining the best option isn’t necessarily easy. That is why we have put together a list of the top 6 credit cards that earn miles to assist you in making your choice.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Credit Cards for Miles

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 Credit Cards for Miles | Brief Comparison

Credit Card Names

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

Initial
Bonus Offer

0% Intro APR Duration

Annual Fee

American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

15.99
-24.99%

Yes

None

$95

Capital One® Spark® Business Miles Rewards Card

17.24%

Yes

None

$59

Capital One® VentureOne®

12.24
-22.24%

Yes

12 months

None

Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

16.24
-23.24%

Yes

None

$95

Discover it® Miles Card

11.24
-23.24%

No

12 months

None

TD First Class Visa® Signature Credit Card

13.49%

Yes

None

$89

Table: Top 6 Best Credit Cards That Earn Miles| Above list is sorted alphabetically



Overview of How Credit Cards That Earn Miles Work and What to Look for in Credit Cards with Miles

When looking for the best credit card for miles, it is important to understand how these credit cards work. You might have questions, including:

  • What is so special about credit cards for miles?
  • How do you earn credit card miles?
  • How are credit card miles redeemed?

Credit card miles are earned every time you make a purchase with your miles credit card. These credit card miles can be redeemed in different ways, depending on the type of card you have. In your search for the best credit card for travel miles, you will see some that offer miles in exchange for flights while others that allow these miles to reimburse travel expenses after the fact.

The best miles card will have certain features that others do not. Although some credit cards with miles are better than others in certain aspects, there are a few key things to look for:

The best miles card that you find might not have all of these features, but it should have a majority of the features listed above.



Selection Methodology

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Please click here “AdvisoryHQ's Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.


Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Credit Cards for Miles

Below, please find a detailed review of each card on our list of best credit cards for miles. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these credit cards with 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 is one of the best credit cards for miles. Though the $95 annual fee is a bit hefty, it is waived for the first year. While you are charged an annual fee, this miles credit card comes with APRs between 15.99% and 24.99% for purchases and balance transfers.

Earning & Redeeming Miles

Right from the gate, you have the opportunity to rack up a bunch of SkyMiles. If you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of having the card, you will get 30,000 bonus miles. That’s a big bonus as well as why this card made our list of the best credit cards for miles. When buying tickets through Delta, you will earn at least 7 miles per dollar spent and 2 points on every other Delta purchase. Your miles won’t expire, and you can redeem them on any Delta flight since there are no blackout dates.

Who Should Get This Card?

If you fly Delta and prefer to fly Delta to other carriers, then this is the best credit card for travel miles for you. Spending $700 a year on Delta flights will already cover the annual fee.



 Capital One® Spark® Business Miles Rewards Card Review 


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Source: Capital One® Spark® Business Miles Rewards Card

If you want the best card for miles for your business, the Capital One® Spark® Business Miles Rewards Card is hard to beat. With an APR of 17.24% and a $59 fee, this best credit card for miles might not seem the most appealing. However, with no foreign transaction fees and a bonus miles offer, it’s a deal that is too good to pass up.

Earning & Redeeming Miles

The Capital One® Spark® Business Miles Rewards Card gives you two miles for every dollar you spend, no matter what the expense is. A $1,500 flight to Tokyo will get you 3,000 miles, just as buying a new $1,500 printer will. That is why it makes the list for best credit card for travel miles. There are also no limits on what you can earn, and you get a massive 50,000-mile bonus if you spend $4,500 within the first 3 months.

To redeem your miles, you can use its travel platform run by Orbitz or book elsewhere and use Capital One’s Purchase Eraser® to get a statement credit for the purchase. At Orbitz, points can be redeemed for $.01 per mile. If travel is not your thing, you can also redeem miles from this best credit card for miles for gift cards or cash, but the value is significantly lower.

Who Should Get This Card?

For business, this is the best credit card for miles on our list. If you don’t spend a lot on travel for your business but love to use the miles personally, then this is the best credit card for travel miles. By allowing you to rack up credit card miles on any type of purchase, you can reap the rewards by taking free flights.

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 Capital One® VentureOne® Review 


In the hunt for the best miles card, the Capital One® VentureOne® easily makes our list of the top six. It offers a 12-month period of 0% APR, followed by variable APRs from 12.24% to 22.24%. With no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, you can easily put this on your short list of the best credit cards for miles. If you’re planning on a big purchase, the bonus offer is also very easily attainable.

Earning & Redeeming Miles

What puts the Capital One VentureOne into consideration for the best credit card for travel miles is its flexibility. You earn an unlimited 1.25 miles for every dollar you spend on any purchase. These miles do not expire, and you can stay at any hotel and fly any airline, whenever you want, since there are no blackout dates with this best credit card for travel miles. There is also a bonus offer of 20,000 miles if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.

Who Should Get This Card?

Anyone who doesn’t like to be constrained should get the Capital One VentureOne. The ability to earn points via any purchase as well as redeem them at any hotel or airline carrier is unparalleled. This truly is one of the best credit cards for miles out there.



 Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card Review 


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Source: Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

The Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card is a miles credit card that has a lot to offer. The APR range of 16.24% to 23.24% is a bit higher than other cards on our list of the best credit cards for miles, and there is an annual fee of $95. However, there are no foreign transaction fees and a whopping 30,000-mile bonus.

Earning & Redeeming Miles

The Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card allows you to earn 1% (1 mile per dollar) on every purchase that you make. Plus, if you spend $1,000 in the first three months, you’ll get a 30,000-mile bonus. There is also an incentive for United Airlines purchases, as you will get 2 miles per $1 spent at United. For United travelers, this is easily the best credit card for travel miles.

Who Should Get This Card?

Loyal United Airlines fliers should flock to this card. 1% on every purchase with double miles on United purchases allow you to rack up credit card miles quicker. Furthermore, you shouldn’t have a problem redeeming these miles because there are no blackout dates. As a bonus, your first bag will fly free!



 Discover it® Miles Card Review 


Discover is known for its great rewards program, and the Discover it® Miles Card does not disappoint. This is one of the best credit cards for miles, and it has a 12-month 0% APR intro offer. After that, the APR goes up to between 11.24% and 23.24%, which is still lower than the rest on our list of the six best credit cards for miles. What makes the Discover it® Miles Card considered one of the best credit cards for miles is that there is no annual fees, and late payment fees are waived the first time.

Earning & Redeeming Miles

Discover doesn’t offer a traditional signup bonus, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other incentives. You will earn 1.5 miles per dollar that you spend, and these miles are redeemable for cash back or a travel statement credit for hotels, airlines, budget travel sites, and travel agents. As a bonus, through Discover Match®, it will double the miles you earned throughout the first year. With this incentive and free in-flight Wi-Fi credits, this easily tops the list for best credit cards for miles.

Who Should Get This Card?

This is the best credit card for miles for someone who is planning on spending a lot in the first year and who doesn’t like being tied down to a certain carrier. The Discover it® Miles Card eliminates the fees and frustrations that come with some of the other best credit cards for miles.

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 TD First Class Visa® Signature Credit Card 


If you are looking for the best miles credit card, the TD First Class Visa® Signature Credit Card is certainly one to consider. Though there is no intro APR offer period, with an APR of 13.49%, this card is still very intriguing. It comes with an $89 annual fee, but there are no foreign transaction fees, and you can easily rack up miles.

Earning & Redeeming Miles

The TD First Class Visa® Signature Credit Card allows you to earn 3 miles per $1 spent on restaurants and travel and 1 mile per dollar spent on other purchases. You will get 15,000 miles on your first purchase and another 10,000 if you spend $3,000 in the first 6 months. There are no blackout dates, no expiration dates, and no point limits. These credit card miles can be redeemed for a statement credit, gift cards, travel or merchandise.

Who Should Get This Card?

Anyone that spends a lot on restaurant and travel purchases would be a good fit for this miles credit card. It might not be the best credit card for travel miles due to the high annual fee, but if you are planning a trip in the near future, the bonus miles are easily accessible.


Conclusion—Top 6 Best Credit Cards for Miles

The best miles credit card for you might not be the best credit card to earn miles for others. As you search for your top choice, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Are there any bonus offers?
  • Is flexibility important?
  • Do you have any big purchases coming up?
  • Avoid annual fees if possible

When choosing the best credit card for travel miles, you need to assess your own financial situation. You should typically try to avoid annual fees; however, bonus offers can be clutch, and some programs can get you a set of roundtrip tickets if you use your credit card miles correctly.

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If you have large purchases coming up, a card with an introductory APR offer might tip the scales in its favor. Also, do you want to have flexibility in terms of carriers and other options when redeeming the miles?

When looking for a miles credit card, decide what is most important to you. If you likely won’t be flying United or Delta anytime soon, you can easily cross those cards off the list of the best credit cards for miles. If you want to avoid an annual fee, then that narrows your options down to two cards (Capital One VentureOne and Discover it® Miles Card).

So what is the best miles card? Hopefully, this review has helped give you an idea of what card features are most important to you. With our list of the top 6 best credit cards for miles, you can start benefitting the most from your travel-related expenses.

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AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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