Can't decide which is the best airline credit card for miles and points? The following summary breaks down all the top air miles cards for frequent flyers, along with each card's mileage features and introductory rates. Click on a card name to visit the issuer's official site and online application.
Here are 2018's best credit cards for airline miles:
If the idea of flying all over the world and not having to pay for it appeals to you, then you’re in luck. The opportunity to fly for little-to-no-money has never been easier or more available than it is right now.
That’s because nearly every airline now has its own credit card, making it easy to earn frequent flyer miles without ever needing to leave the ground. For those not dedicated to a single airline, flexible points cards allow users to transfer rewards points to partner airlines.
To earn even more miles, you can take advantage of a special deals through both types of cards, including through partner programs and lucrative signup bonuses. Always make sure your purchases fit your budget, however, as no extra miles are worth expensive interest fees.
1. Look for partnership deals
Some credit card companies offer deals for purchasing subscriptions and services through businesses they partner with simply by syncing your frequent flyer account. These could include newspaper and magazine subscriptions, insurance company quotes and policies, hotels and car rentals agencies – you name it. If this is something you need anyway, why not earn miles for it?
2. Take advantage of one-time bonus miles
Many credit card companies offer substantial signup bonuses, which can provide tens of thousands of extra miles simply for hitting a minimum spending threshold within a certain period of time after opening your account. The amount you need to spend will vary by card and specific bonus offer. In most cases, the more miles you can earn, the more money you’ll be required to spend.
Signup bonuses are by far the fastest way to accrue a large number of miles, with many bonuses large enough to help you travel for free as soon as they post. Just remember to not spend more than you can repay simply to earn a signup bonus. Interest fees can easily eat into the value of your bonus and make it more difficult to pay down your debt.
3. Use the right card
If you’re planning to make a major purchase, like buying a new car, boat, or even furniture or appliances, use a credit card that will take full advantage of your purchase. Many cards will offer bonus rewards for purchases that fall into certain categories, which can be extremely valuable for big-ticket items.
4. Watch for special offers
In addition to special brand partnerships that can help you earn miles automatically when you sync your accounts, many airlines offer additional ways to earn extra miles through special offers. For example, your airline co-branded credit card may offer a few thousand miles for signing up an authorized user or referring a friend to apply for a card.
5. Look for points that don’t expire
Most of the credit card airline mile rewards points are good indefinitely. That may not be true, however, with the airline frequent flyer programs themselves. If you do plan to transfer points from a credit card reward plan to an airline frequent flyer program, be aware of mile expiration dates.
Credit card airline miles are a great way to fly for practically free. Take full advantage of all the extra bonuses and ways to earn more miles. If you regularly use your airline miles credit card for the majority of your purchases, your miles will add up faster than you think. Soon you’ll be flying high and enjoying the rewards.
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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
The information on this page was reviewed for accuracy on .
About the Author
Ashley Dull is the editor-in-chief of CardRates.com, where she works closely with industry leaders in all sectors of finance to develop authoritative guides, news, and advice articles read by millions of Americans. Her expertise lies in credit cards and rewards programs as well as credit reports and how credit scores affect all aspects of consumerism. She is often asked to serve as an expert source on financial topics for national media outlets, such as CNN Money, MarketWatch, Money Matters, ABC News, and NBC News, and has recurring contributions to several leading finance websites. Connect with Ashley on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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