What is the best airline credit card? - Frequent Flyer Miles FAQ

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Credit Card Applications » Questions » FAQs » Frequent Flyer Miles » What is the best airline credit card?

What is the best airline credit card?

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If you are looking for the best airline credit card, then it depends on the airline you fly with. For example, if you do not fly Virgin America, there's no sense getting their credit card even it offers great sign-up bonus and generous ongoing rewards. It's quite logical to have a credit card from the airline you often fly with. This will potentially be the best airline card for you.

As for the best credit card for travel rewards, there are several factors you should consider before getting a credit card. Here are main things to bear in mind when choosing best credit card for travel:

  1. Think how often you fly a year. If it's less than two times, then a credit card that earns fixed rewards on all purchases and charges no annual fee will be the best choice. An example of such a card is the Discover it® Miles card. This card gives 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. It also has a sign-up bonus: all new cardmembers get their first-year miles matched at the end of the year. The card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
  2. Consider your expenses. If you fly two or more times a year, then a credit card that gives increased miles/point rewards for travel purchases can become your best choice. For example, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card card gives 3x points on travel purchases (that includes gas purchases), 2x points on dining and entertainment, and 1x points on all other purchases. As you can see, this card is aimed at frequent travelers who spend a lot on travel.
  3. Know redemption options. Most travel rewards credit cards will simply allow you to redeem earned miles/points for travel statement credits or cash. However, there are some offers that allow points/miles transfers to frequent flyer programs. This type of travel cards is good for those who already have an airline credit card and want to boost their earnings, or for members of frequent flyer programs who want an alternative to an airline credit card. When you choose a card that allows points transfers, you should first of all now which partners participate in the program. For example, the aforementioned Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has more than 10 partners, including TrueBlue, Flying Blue, and Virgin Atlantic. So make sure your frequent flyer program is a partner of the credit card's rewards program.

Finding a credit card that will be the best option for you is always a tricky proses as you should take into account your spending habits, credit accounts you already have, your goals and your finances. It's also worth calculating your potential savings to understand if the card you are going to apply will actually be working for you.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
  • Michael McMahon

    Airlines never has any flights available if you pay with air miles. I spent the $30K and got a companion pass, but could never use it. I think getting a regular card is good alternative

  • Gerry Gerry

    I always use my Citi premier card to buy airline tickets because of its high rewards rate. As far as I know Discover card is good too. Actually, these two cards have equal rewards. Citi give me 3 points per dollar. Discover offers 1.5 miles, but will match miles after first year. So, you’ll earn the same amount

  • Jenna Sommers

    I looked for a card that can give me airline rewards, but I didn’t want an annual fee. I chose discover it miles card. And I’m satisfied overall.

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INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
Excellent, Good Credit
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
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Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase. Plus, each year earn up to 25,000 loyalty bonus miles. That’s 75,000 miles each year if you spend $25,000 on purchases
Good/Excellent Credit
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