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Do you travel often? Whether it's for business or pleasure, are you enjoying your trips as much as you could be? What about the price tag? Are you missing out on deals and discounts that could save money or get you more for your buck? Airline credit cards to the rescue!
By Brendan Harkness
By Brendan Harkness
Do you travel by plane every year? Are you planning a big trip?
If so, chances are good that you could save some money and access valuable travel perks with an airline credit card. You’re already planning on spending the money, so why not take advantage of a great card offer?
An airline card, if it’s right for you, should fit neatly into your current or projected spending habits. As long as you use it responsibly, and pay the statement balance in full each month, you can get a variety of benefits without paying a dime of interest.
Many big airlines provide co-branded credit cards, and you can probably find one to suit your needs. They come with perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, discounts on in-flight purchases, and access to airport lounges. You may be able to transfer miles to other loyalty programs.
The more you travel, the more value you’ll get out of an airline card.
In many cases there are no blackout dates when redeeming the frequent flyer miles you earn. This isn’t always true for general travel credit cards.
Ask yourself some questions to help figure out which airline card (or cards) you should apply for:
If you don’t fly with a specific airline somewhat regularly, a co-branded card probably won’t be very valuable for you. Instead, look into a general travel rewards card like those above, which you can use with any airline.
|Best for||Card & Rewards||Annual Fee|
|Allegiant Air||Allegiant World Mastercard®
|Asiana Airlines||Asiana Airlines Visa® Signature Credit Card
|British Airways||British Airways Visa Signature® Card (Review)
|Cathay Pacific||Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Card
|Korean Air||SKYPASS Visa Signature Credit Card
|LATAM Airlines||LATAM Visa Signature® Card
||$75, $0 first year|
|Lufthansa||Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® (Review)
||$89 (waived for Senator and HON Circle Members)|
|Spirit Airlines||Spirit Airlines World Mastercard®
||$59, $0 first year|
Airline credit cards provide miles or points for the purchases you make. You can usually book flights with those rewards, shopping around until you find a good deal.
Some cards are designed to be used with various airlines — they provide rewards no matter what airline you’re booking. And you can typically transfer those rewards to a selection of airline partners, where you can use them as you see fit.
There are a handful of top-notch airline cards. The right one for you will depend on your favorite airline:
The value of airline miles will vary depending on how you use them.
Say you have 10,000 miles, and you use them to book a flight worth $200 — that would mean your miles are worth 2 cents each. $200 divided by 10,000 miles equals $0.02 per mile.
Different airlines, routes, and fare classes may all lead to different values for miles. The same is true for certain times of year, and how far in advance you book.
Whether you’re flying with United, Southwest, Delta, or any other airline, it can pay to look for a good deal. It’s often wise to wait until you can get a high value per mile; until then, pay with your air miles credit card and keep stacking those rewards.
So, did you find the right airline card for you? If not, check out some general travel rewards credit cards that might be more your style. Or consider hotel credit cards, which are co-branded with specific hotels and tend to be quite valuable.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
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The information related to Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, Citi Prestige® Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.