Compare Airline Credit Card Offers
If you’re a frequent flyer and don’t yet use an airline credit card, you’re leaving money on the table. Airline credit cards are some of the best benefits and rewards of any credit cards out there, so if you’re planning to fly frequently in the near future, now is the time to get yourself an airline credit card.
Comparing airline credit card offers is fast and easy:
Compare Best Credit Card Offers
Best Airline Credit Cards
✔ Annual fee: $199
✔ Best for: Business, Travel rewards
✔ Welcome bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $7,500 on your card in your first 3 months
Our take: The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card is a no-brainer for business travelers. You get 9 reward points for every $1 spent at Hyatt properties around the world, plus 75,000 bonus points when you spend $7,500 on your card within the first 3 months.
✔ Annual fee: $0
✔ Best for: Travel & Cash back
Our take: The Synchrony Premier World Mastercard® is an excellent Travel cash back credit card with no annual fee. Get approved for an APR as low as 13.99% if you have excellent credit. This card has additional benefits such as free identity theft monitoring and access to a personal travel planning concierge service.
✔ Annual fee: $0
✔ Best for: Travel, Airlines
Our take: The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card is an excellent option for frequent travelers. You can earn bonus miles for every dollar you spend and an extra 10,000 AAdvantage® miles after you spend $500 within the first 3 months.
✔ Annual fee: $95
✔ Best for: Travel Rewards, Intro Offer
Our take: One of the best cards on the market for travel rewards, you should run, not walk, to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
✔ Annual fee: $0
✔ Best for: Cash back, Intro offer, Balance transfer
✔ Welcome bonus: 0% Intro APR offer for 15 months, earn a one-time $200 reward when you spend $500 on your card within the first 3 months
Our take: The Chase Freedom Flex card is a great choice if you're looking for a flexible cash back card with a 0% intro APR offer. This card is one of our top choices because it offers cardmembers a lot of rewards without charging an annual fee.
Not sure which credit card is right for you?
No worries, we've got you covered! Compare multiple credit card options to choose the best card for your needs.
What is an airline credit card?
An airline credit card is a type of rewards credit card that offers you benefits for spending with the card – specifically, benefits that make flying more pleasurable and/or more affordable.
How does an airline credit card work?
An airline credit card can be used just like any other credit card – it allows you to pay for products and services with the card which you then pay back later. Where an airline card differs is it also will reward you with perks for your purchases. Some cards will only reward you for spending in certain categories, such as travel or groceries, while others reward you for all spending. These rewards are often given to you as points or “air miles”.
What are credit card airline miles?
An airline credit card is a type of rewards card, so they usually issue your rewards as points which are called “air miles” (or a similar name, depending on the card). These airmiles (AKA points) can then be redeemed for things that make travel more pleasurable or affordable, such as early access to boarding, free seating upgrades, discounts, and more.
Who uses airline credit cards?
While anyone can apply for an airline credit card, the people that get the most out of them are:
- Those that travel for work (business owners and entrepreneurs)
- Frequent flyers, such as those with family in a distant state
- Travel enthusiasts
- Those that like to travel in style when they do
What are the pros and cons of airline credit cards?
- You’ll usually get priority boarding
- Seat upgrades
- Free checked bags
- Discounts on in-flight purchases
- Lounge access in airports
- Possibility of earning free (or heavily discounted) flights
- Earning miles is usually easy
- Some limit you to a single airline
- Travel is somewhat tenuous in the current climate, so if you like to travel internationally, you may not get to take advantage of the card as much as you’d like
- The reward redemption process can be more complicated than other rewards cards
- They nearly always have an annual fee, and it can be up to $500
What credit score do I need to qualify for an airline credit card?
You’ll need a good or excellent credit score to land the best offers – you’ll typically need a credit score of 650 or higher.
Can I get an airline credit card with no annual fee?
Fee-free airline credit cards do exist, but expect to get far fewer perks than if you had paid a fee. The top airline credit cards come with high fees because you (typically) get it all – seat upgrades, discounts, lounge access, priority boarding, and more. If you choose one that has no fee, it may offer you discounts on flights and little else.
Do I need to fly frequently to qualify for an airline credit card?
No – the card issuers aren’t concerned about whether you actually make use of the card’s benefits or not (in fact, it would be better for them if you didn’t!) so if you’re planning a big trip in the future and want to make it more affordable, applying for an airline credit card now may be a good move.
What are the best airline credit cards?
We’ve listed many of the best airline credit cards here in our comparison tables, but some of the highlights are:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – 60,000 points for getting the card, 1-5x points for spending (around 5 cents for every dollar spent), not tied to one airline (covers many major airlines), can also use for hotels, $95 annual fee
- American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card – Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on groceries and American Airlines purchases and an extra 10,000 AAdvantage® miles after you spend $500 within the first 3 months.
- Synchrony Premier World Mastercard® – Unlimited 2% cash back on all travel related spendings, discounts on in-flight purchases
Make sure you’re clear on what perks you want from your card and how often you’re going to want to use them so you can get the right card for your needs.
How do I qualify for an airline credit card?
To qualify for almost any airline credit card, you’ll typically need a credit score of 690 or higher, though this does vary from card to card. You’ll also need a reasonable credit utilization rate (how much debt you hold out of all the credit you have access to).
How to qualify for an airline credit card
If you want to qualify for an airline credit card, first check in with your credit score to see if you’re in good standing or not. If not, it’s best to improve your score before you apply. You can do this by clearing up any errors, paying down debt, and making sure you don’t miss a payment.
If your credit score is good, check your debt utilization. This is the amount of debt you hold out of the total credit you have access to. Ideally, you want this to be 35% or below (so if you had access to $10,000 across 3 cards, you’d want the total debt across those 3 cards to be $3,500 or less). If your debt utilization is high and you have credit cards, try to pay them down before you consider applying for an airline credit card.
Are airline credit cards worth it?
If you fly frequently or plan to travel in the future, it will be well worth getting an airline credit card. Airmiles rarely expire, so you can build them up over months or years before you use them.
How to apply for an airline credit card
If you’re ready to apply for an airline credit card, your first step should be to compare cards to find the best one for you. This not only depends on the cards you can qualify for (though most airline credit cards have the same qualification requirements) but what you’re looking for in a card.
Some cards are for just one airline, while others you can use your points for almost any major airline. Some offer lounge benefits as standard, others limit your access. If you fly regularly for work, having access to a comfortable lounge may be one of the perks you’re looking for, but if you’re more interested in getting discounts for long international flights, that perk may not mean as much to you.
Once you’ve chosen the card that’s right for you, you can move forward and apply. Most airline card applications can be completed online with an instant decision.
Compare airline credit card offers now
Ready to start collecting those airmiles? Compare the best airline credit cards here until you find the one that suits your needs. Once you find the one for you, all you need to do is apply. You’ll soon have access to all the perks that will make travel easier, more pleasurable, and more affordable.
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