Whether you stick with a particular airline or shop around for cheap flights, using an airline credit card can reward you with airline miles for your flight purchases and reduce the cost of future travel. These travel credit cards commonly provide allowances for free checked bags and credits or discounts for airport security services, in-flight purchases and more. Check out four of the best airline credit cards based on methodology such as the rewards points, welcome bonus and flight perks available.
Consider also: 4 Best Travel Rewards Cards
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1. Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa
While it has a substantial $550 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the travel rewards cards offering cardholders perks for several travel partners, such as JetBlue, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. This means you don't have to use a specific airline to get rewards points.
You can get 3x points (other travel), 5x points (airfare) and 10x points (car rentals, hotel stays and dining) per dollar for travel purchases. However, you must have spent $300 in the calendar year and used the Chase Ultimate Rewards website. Additionally, you get 3x points for everyday restaurant purchases and a 1x point earning rate elsewhere. Unlike the Chase Sapphire Preferred, this card provides a $300 statement credit toward annual travel purchases.
Chase will give you 50,000 bonus points if you open a new card account and spend $4,000 within 90 days. The interest rate runs from 16.99 to 23.99 percent. You can see application options for this travel rewards card here.
2. Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
With a $450 annual fee, this American Airlines AAdvantage card stands out for including an Admirals Club membership. This gives you premiere airport lounge access with shower suites, dining options, travel assistance, Wi-Fi and a business center.
The card issuer's rewards program gives you 2x miles for eligible American Airlines purchases and 1x miles for everything else. You get priority boarding, VIP check-in access, a statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, a free first checked bag and a 25 percent discount on in-flight drinks and meals. You don't pay a foreign transaction fee.
You can get 50,000 American Airlines bonus miles when you spend $5,000 within 90 days of being a card member. This card offers a 15.99 to 24.99 percent variable interest rate. To see which terms apply, view the application page here.
Consider also: Using Points for Holiday Travel
Whether you stick with a particular airline or shop around for cheap flights, using an airline credit card can reward you with airline miles for your flight purchases and reduce the cost of future travel.
3. Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card
Featuring a $99 annual fee after the first year, the American Express Delta SkyMiles Gold card offers numerous travel benefits for Delta flights along with benefits you can use daily.
You get 2x miles for dining, grocery store and Delta Air Lines purchases and a 1x mile reward rate elsewhere. You get a free first checked bag with Delta and the opportunity to get a $100 flight credit toward Delta purchases if your spending in a calendar year reaches $10,000. Other perks include 20 percent cash back for Delta in-flight purchases, car rental insurance, purchase protection and special entertainment experiences.
The sign-up bonus is 75,000 bonus miles upon spending $2,000 during the first three months of account opening. The interest rate is 15.74 to 24.74 percent based on your credit score. You can get this Amex card here.
4. United Explorer Visa Signature Card
Coming with a $95 annual fee after the first year, the Chase United Explorer Visa card focuses on airline rewards for United Airlines purchases with the MileagePlus program, but it does include a few additional perks.
This rewards credit card offers 2x miles for United air travel purchases, hotel stays and dining plus 1x miles for nontravel purchases. Your first checked bag with United costs nothing, and you get priority boarding. Statement credits are available for in-flight purchases and airport security services. Other perks include several types of travel and baggage insurance and fee discounts for DoorDash purchases.
The intro offer is for 60,000 bonus points upon spending $3,000 within 90 days of account opening. Your interest rate could be 16.49 to 23.49 percent. You can apply for this travel card here.
Consider also: How to Redeem Your Visa Reward Points