5 Best Airline Credit Cards for Earning Free Trips

5 Best Airline Credit Cards for Earning Free Trips

Quick List: 4 Best

The top four picks on our list
#1
Best for Flexible Redemption
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • It offers a large signup bonus compared with similar cards
  • You'll get a rewards boost if you use your points to book travel through Chase
  • Redeem points for airlines and hotels, without being tied to any specific companies
#2
Best for United Airlines Patrons
United℠ Explorer Card
  • Finance your next trip with a large signup bonus
  • Travel in style with lounge access and other flight perks
  • Travel abroad without the stress of foreign transaction fees
#3
Best for Frequent AA Fliers
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®
  • A large signup bonus that will cover the cost of almost any flight, with minimal spending required
  • Get VIP treatment with special perks on domestic flights
  • Travel internationally with no extra fees
#4
Best for Budget Travelers
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
  • If you spend enough, you could earn Southwest's lucrative Companion Pass
  • No blackout dates or award restrictions like with some other airlines
  • The card offers an annual bonus to help offset the annual fee
Quick Look: 5 Best Airline Credit Cards for Earning Free Trips
British Airways Visa Signature® Card
British Airways Visa Signature® Card
  • Spend enough on this card to unlock a companion travel pass
  • Book your next flight with a generous signup bonus that will probably cover the cost
  • Spend money abroad without racking up additional fees
Check on Britishairways
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
  • If you spend enough, you could earn Southwest's lucrative Companion Pass
  • No blackout dates or award restrictions like with some other airlines
  • The card offers an annual bonus to help offset the annual fee
Check on Creditcards.chase
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®
  • A large signup bonus that will cover the cost of almost any flight, with minimal spending required
  • Get VIP treatment with special perks on domestic flights
  • Travel internationally with no extra fees
Check on Secure.fly.aa
United℠ Explorer Card
United℠ Explorer Card
  • Finance your next trip with a large signup bonus
  • Travel in style with lounge access and other flight perks
  • Travel abroad without the stress of foreign transaction fees
Check on Creditcards.chase
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • It offers a large signup bonus compared with similar cards
  • You'll get a rewards boost if you use your points to book travel through Chase
  • Redeem points for airlines and hotels, without being tied to any specific companies
Check on Creditcards.chase

It almost seems like credit cards were invented for frequent travelers, especially because the best airline credit cards have some of the best rewards out there.

In fact, if you're not booking your flights with one of the best airline miles credit card options, you're missing out on numerous awards that rack up quickly.

Here's the deal:

In order to pick your perfect credit card for earning air miles, it's necessary to analyze your travel habits, especially when it comes to your airline of choice. We will help you decide between some of the best airline credit cards, including options like these:

  • United Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Virgin Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • British Airways

There's one credit card on our list of the best airline credit cards that doesn't require committing to a specific airline, but the rest require you to pledge your allegiance accordingly. Most of these credit cards have high annual fees just short of $100 each, but these fees are easily offset by all the perks each card offers users. Once you've decided on your airline of choice, perks usually include things such as:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free first checked bag
  • Free passes to airline lounges
  • Priority boarding

Additionally, preferential use of a certain airline combined with that airline's credit card means earning additional bonus points faster, which can be redeemed for free flights down the road.

Now:

If you're not aligned with a certain airline, the following list of the best airline credit cards can help you to determine the best fit for you and your lifestyle. So read on, apply for a card (or two!), and start reaping the rewards of your frequent traveler status!

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated July 11, 2018 but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.


Editorial staff

Last updated: July 11, 2018