Best Airline Credit Cards of 2022
Travelling is an activity that many people enjoy. Some do it for fun, some for cultural reasons, and others for business. Everyone loves embarking on a journey, but sometimes it can be very expensive.
Airline credit cards are a great opportunity to get rewarded for your journeys. If you fly frequently, this type of credit card might be just right for you. This way, you can collect miles or points on your purchases, which can be redeemed towards booking flights!
There are even cards specific to the airline. This option is ideal for those who are loyal to one company. However, if you prefer more flexibility, there are other travel reward cards for you!
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Airline Credit Cards: Best Offers
There is a great choice of cards to satisfy the needs of all customers. Not everyone has the same spending habits or abilities. What you need to figure out is to consider what kind of card would be best for you, and then explore its options. To help you pick the best airline credit card, we made a selection provided below.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® is not only an excellent rewards card, but also a great airline credit card. With a rewards rate of 1x to 5x, it gives you a chance to collect points for a variety of purchases. Travelling expenses purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® earn you 5x your points!
Their introductory offer gives you a chance to earn 60,000 bonus points. All you have to do is spend $4000 in the first three months. This will bring you $750 that you can use towards travel expenses.
Their annual fee is $95. The Annual Percentage Rate varies from 18.99% to 25.99% , depending on your credit score. The recommended score is from good (690) to excellent (850). You even get various types of insurance!
- Intro bonus.
- High rewards rate.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Annual fee.
- No intro APR.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
As a Delta Air Lines fan, this credit card will be your favorite! Collect miles with Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card on various expenses and get free flights with them. There is also an opportunity to have your first bag checked for no fees.
Their intro offer can get you up to 65,000 miles. You need to spend $2,000 within the first six months to be eligible. On all purchases with Delta, get 2 miles per dollar, and 1 mile for all other expenses.
The APR varies from 18.74% to 27.74%, since there is no introductory offer on this one. However, there is an intro annual fee offer of $0 for the first year and $99 later on. To qualify, your credit score must be in the following range: 690 to 850.
- Excellent intro offer.
- Free checked bag.
- Great rewards rate.
- Annual fee.
- No intro APR.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
Are you a frequent flyer? Is American Airlines your company of choice? In that case, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is something you need to check out! Get double miles for every dollar you spend on gas, dining, and AA purchases!
Do you want to get 50,000 bonus miles? In that case, you need to spend $2,500 in the first three months of having the card. Furthermore, if you spend $20,000 in the first year and decide to renew your membership, you can get a $125 discount on a flight. There is no maximum to the miles you can earn!
For the first 12 months you do not have to pay the annual fee, but there will be a charge of $99 after that. There is no intro APR and the regular rate ranges from 18.99% to 27.99%. To apply, your credit score must be good or excellent.
- Various rewards.
- No earning cap.
- Intro bonus.
- Annual fee.
United℠ Explorer Card
If you truly enjoy travelling, you deserve a credit card that provides you with specific perks! From airport lounge passes and free checked bags to other constant bonuses. If you fly with United often, you can get 2 miles per each dollar on all United purchases.
Once you spend $3,000 in the first three months, you can get 50,000 miles. You can even get reimbursed for certain fees and expenses. This is not a cashback credit card, but you can get 25% back for purchases on United-operated flights.
The APR varies in the range of 19.49%-26.49%. The annual fee is $0 for the entire first year, and $95 after. Your credit score must be in the following range: 690 to 850.
- Introductory bonus.
- Intro annual fee.
- Luxurious benefits.
- Annual fee of $95.
- Requires good credit score.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Southwest is a perfect airline, and if you are a fan, you should definitely be looking into their Rapid Rewards® Priority credit card. Even though this card has an annual fee of $145, it offers many perks that cover that expense in no time. Even though their other cards are cheaper, this one can provide you with better benefits.
Spend $1,000 in the first three months and get 50,000 bonus points! You will also get 7,500 points on your anniversary each year. That equals to $75 towards Southwest travel! The APR varies from 18.99% to 25.99%, and you need good credit score.
- Perks and bonuses throughout the year.
- Intro bonus.
- 3x rewards rate.
- High annual fee.
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card
Another American Airlines card, but this one is ideal for those who travel occasionally. If you love going on vacations via planes and want to get the most of it, check out American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card. Even though this airline credit card does not offer tons of perks, it brings you double points.
You can get $50 if you earn 10,000 points in the first three months from opening your account. All you have to do is spend $500. There is no annual fee, and the regular APR ranges from 18.99% to 27.99%. This card requires good or excellent credit score.
- There is no annual fee.
- Ideal for occasional trips.
- Intro offer.
- Less perks.
- Foreign transaction fees apply.
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
Is Alaska Airlines your company of choice for trips? You do not even have to travel often, and you will still get your money’s worth with Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card. One of the biggest perks you will get is their well-known Companion Fare on your account anniversary.
If you spend $2,000 or more on purchases in your first 90 days, you can get 50,000 bonus points, as well as a companion fare. Bear in mind that there is an annual fee of $75. You must have good credit score to apply, and the APR ranges from 18.99% to 26.99%.
- Companion Fare.
- Intro offer.
- Checked bag for free.
- Annual fee.
- Limited flight options.
What Airline Credit Card Is?
An airline credit card is a travel rewards card that helps you fly and earn at the same time. You can get redeemable miles/points and many other perks. All you have to do is use your card with a specific airline and make different purchases. Depending on the airline, you can earn double or triple points on some of those!
Airline points can be redeemed towards booking flights and sometimes even hotels. You can also get free checked bags or access to the airport lounge if your card offers such benefits. There even might be discounts for onboard purchases!
Airline and airport benefits
Bags checked for free
Credit to be used for future flights
Bonuses for a variety of purchases
High annual fees
Restriction to one airline
Usually requires high credit score
How to Compare Airline Credit Cards
There are numerous options that provide perks for booking flights and hotels. And airline credit cards are a great way to get rewarded for spending money on trips.
As there are many choices, you need to do your research before you make a decision. Each card offers different benefits, so you need to find the one that suits your needs. Some charge fees, others do not have intro APR period, and so on. For that reason, you have to consider all factors before picking your card!
This tends to be a determining factor when it comes to selecting your airline credit card. Some companies charge high yearly fees but compensate you in other perks. However, some charge fees and have nothing to offer in return.
It is up to you to look into their offer and bonuses before you decide. You have to check if you will get your money’s worth. There are also many credit cards that do not charge the annual fee, but they usually have fewer benefits.
In simple terms, rewards rate is the amount you get per each purchase. For example, some cards can give you 5x total points on hotel bookings. On the other hand, they can offer 1x points on other purchases.
The most common optimal offer is 2x. That means that you will get double points on each dollar you spend. The reward rates can vary significantly based on the credit card and other benefits it might have. Your card might have a low rate but no annual fee, which would make it acceptable in some instances.
Every credit card that wants to have competitive offers can provide you with an introductory bonus. This generally consists of bonus points that you can earn in the first few months from opening your account. However, the term to be eligible for such bonus is to spend a specific amount of money in that time.
Check out what each card has to offer. Consider other perks they offer, such as annual fees, APR, additional benefits. Once you have all the information, you can decide if the intro bonus is worth it.
How to Get Airline Credit Card
The process for getting an airline card is fairly simple. First off, do proper research and pick the best credit card for your own needs. Once you have done that, here are the steps you need to follow:
- Make sure you fit the requirements
Do you have good or excellent credit score? How often do you travel? There are many questions you need to ask yourself before you apply for an airline rewards card.
- Gather the documents
When you determine you have what is required, get the documentation in one place. You will need an ID, possibly a copy of your passport, proof of your credit score, and so on.
Once you have all the documents, send them to your company of choice. Some applications are online, while others can be in person.
- Wait to get approved
Now all you have to do is wait for approval. The company will notify you if you are eligible to get a travel rewards card. If you are, go ahead and reap the rewards!
How to Maximize Your Airline Credit Cards
The first step towards getting the most out of this deal is picking the right card! Ensure your airline credit card suits your needs and possibilities. If you do not travel often, do not get a card for frequent flyers. You have to be aware of your own situation.
When you already have a rewards card, remember to make the most of the intro bonus. Try your best to get the full amount! Be on the constant lookout for additional bonuses. This especially applies to those cards with rotating bonus categories!
- What card is best for getting free plane tickets?
There are many airline cards that can get you free plane tickets. For example, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers an excellent intro bonus. Using that bonus can get you a $750 flight for free.
- Do airline credit cards charge an annual fee?
Quite a few airline cards charge annual fees. Depending on the card and its perks, the fee can be high or low. However, for those who do not travel that much but still want a card, there are many companies that do not charge a fee at all.
- Which credit card is best for overall travel?
This is something you have to decide based on your needs. However, when looking into travel credit cards, you have to consider flexibility. One of the best cards for that is Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
- Is cashback better than air miles?
Generally, airline miles and cashback can get you the same amount in rewards. However, miles can be customized with most cards. It is entirely up to you to decide which one works better.