Airline Miles Rewards Credit Cards

Branded airline credit cards offer a reward for flying and flight redemption. Typically, these cards will have many types of travel insurance associated with them, ranging from travel accident insurance to hotel burglary insurance.

 

Airline-branded cards are tied to one primary airline that might connect them to other airlines through partnership agreements, and they offer rewards for staying loyal to one company by providing faster mile accumulation and preferential treatment while flying (e.g., preferred boarding, free bag check-in, or access to the lounge).

6 Key Considerations
  1. Blackout Dates. Some airline companies put restrictions on when and how you can redeem your accumulated points/miles. Check to make sure that the program is not too restricted.
  2. Insurance Limitations. Most travel credit cards will come with many types of insurance. If you are planning to rely on these as your primary travel insurance, it is worthwhile to check limitations and conditions. Some cards make it very cumbersome to receive the payment, or the liability limit is too low to be used as real insurance.
  3. Airline Alliance. Most airlines are part of an alliance that allows you to redeem your rewards with other members of the alliance. If you want the perks of an airline-branded credit card but with more choice, look for a card with the most partnership options.
  4. Sign-up Bonus. Many cards will offer thousands of miles as a sign-up bonus. If you are planning to sign up for the card for the bonus miles only, make sure you understand if there is any spending requirement to receive the bonus.
  5. Miles Expiry. If you are not planning to use an airline credit card very often, check the miles expiry policy. Some airlines will void your miles after 12 months of inactivity.
  6. Earn Double the Miles. When booking flights, some airlines allow you to earn multiple miles by using both your airline loyalty card and your airline credit card. This is a good way to use the same transaction to earn double the miles.
Sort 14 Credit Cards by
BONUS MILES
CREDIT CARD NAME
ANNUAL FEE
PURCHASE APR
KEY BENEFITS

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
Rewards
ANNUAL FEE:

$0

Purchase APR: 17.74% - 25.74%

Key Benefits:
  • Travel (7)
  • Sign Up Benefits (3)
  • Security (4)
  • Insurance (2)
  • Fees Benefits (1)
  • Discounts (2)
Credit Score: Good

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
Rewards
ANNUAL FEE:

$0

Purchase APR: 17.99% - 25.99%

Key Benefits:
  • Travel (7)
  • Sign Up Benefits (3)
  • Security (3)
  • Insurance (3)
  • Fees Benefits (1)
  • Discounts (2)
Credit Score: Good

American Airlines AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Credit Card

American Airlines AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Credit Card
Rewards
ANNUAL FEE:

$0

Purchase APR: 17.24% - 25.24%

Key Benefits:
  • Travel (6)
  • Sign Up Benefits (3)
  • Security (3)
  • Insurance (3)
  • Fees Benefits (1)
  • Discounts (2)
Credit Score: Good

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
Rewards
ANNUAL FEE:

$450

Purchase APR: 17.74% - 25.74%

Key Benefits:
  • Travel (9)
  • Sign Up Benefits (2)
  • Security (4)
  • Insurance (4)
  • Fees Benefits (1)
  • Discounts (2)
Credit Score: Excellent

BarclaysUS Mastercard® Gold Card™

BarclaysUS Mastercard® Gold Card™
Rewards
Balance Transfer
ANNUAL FEE:

$995

Purchase APR: 16.99%

Key Benefits:
  • Travel (10)
  • Sign Up Benefits (2)
  • Security (5)
  • Insurance (8)
  • Fees Benefits (2)
Credit Score: Excellent

Lufthansa Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®

Lufthansa Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®
Rewards
Balance Transfer
ANNUAL FEE:

$89

Purchase APR: 17.99% - 26.99%

Key Benefits:
  • Travel (6)
  • Sign Up Benefits (2)
  • Security (3)
  • Insurance (4)
  • Fees Benefits (2)
  • Discounts (1)
Credit Score: Excellent

Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®

Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®
Rewards
Balance Transfer
ANNUAL FEE:

$69

Purchase APR: 17.99% - 26.99%

Key Benefits:
  • Travel (3)
  • Sign Up Benefits (1)
  • Security (5)
  • Insurance (4)
  • Fees Benefits (2)
Credit Score: Good

Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®

Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®
Rewards
ANNUAL FEE:

$90

Purchase APR: 16.99% - 24.99%

Key Benefits:
  • Travel (3)
  • Sign Up Benefits (1)
  • Security (4)
  • Insurance (11)
  • Fees Benefits (2)
  • Discounts (1)
Credit Score: Excellent

Asiana Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card

Asiana Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card
Rewards
ANNUAL FEE:

$99

Purchase APR: 16.99% - 24.99%

Key Benefits:
  • Travel (3)
  • Sign Up Benefits (1)
  • Services (1)
  • Security (4)
  • Insurance (2)
  • Fees Benefits (2)
Credit Score: Excellent

Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card

Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card
Rewards
ANNUAL FEE:

$75

Purchase APR: 16.99% - 24.99%

Key Benefits:
  • Travel (5)
  • Sign Up Benefits (1)
  • Services (1)
  • Security (4)
  • Insurance (2)
  • Fees Benefits (2)
Credit Score: Good

Are there 0 balance transfer credit cards with airline miles?

You can find a card that gives 0 balance transfer and airline miles, like the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard. With cards like this, it’s best to ensure that you aren’t increasing your debt just for the sake of earning miles. Also, avoid paying additional interest by ensuring your balance transfer is paid off before the 0% introductory period expires.

Do no annual fee credit cards with airline miles exist?

There are credit cards that offer both airline miles and no annual fee. The Blue Delta Sky Miles Credit Card from American Express is one of them. It offers 2 miles per dollar for purchases made at U.S. restaurants and on Delta airline purchases. One mile per dollar is earned on all other eligible purchases. To see this and other no fee airline miles credit cards, click here.

What airline credit cards give 50,000 bonus miles?

You can find such cards here. For example, the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard offers 50,000 bonus miles. Cardholders earn 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent at restaurants, gas stations and on eligible American Airlines purchases. All other eligible purchases earn 1 mile per dollar. To receive the bonus miles, you must spend $2500 within 90 days of owning the card. The card doesn’t limit the number of miles you can earn, nor do the rewards expire.

Are there credit cards giving 30,000 bonus miles?

There are a couple of airlines that offer this. For example, spend $1000 within the first 90 days of owning the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card and you can earn 30,000 miles. Purchases made through Alaska Airlines earn 3 miles per $1; all other purchases earn 1 point per $1. There is no limit to how many miles you can get.

What airline rewards cards give 75,000 bonus miles?

There are cards that will offer 75,000 bonus miles. The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is one of them. You’ll need excellent credit to get it. The card lets you earn this windfall when you spend $7,500 within the first 90 days of the account opening. With this card, you earn 1 mile per $1 spent. There is no limit to the number of rewards you can receive, and they do not expire.

Can you transfer airline miles to another person?

It is possible to transfer your frequent flyer miles, but fees and limitations apply. Most of the major airlines, like United, charge a service fee and a per mile transferred fee. They also set a cap for how many miles can be moved between accounts, even for immediate family members. There are a small number of airlines that do not allow transfers at all.

So what can you do?  You may:

  • Purchase a ticket for someone else using your miles. Most frequent flyer programs allow this. You may only have to pay a small fee.
  • Give miles as gifts. You can purchase the miles directly from the airline and send them to the recipient. There is a possibility you may still pay a decent-sized fee (approximately $35 per 1,000 miles bought). Yet, depending on if there is a promotion available, this may be the most cost-effective solution.
  • Pool miles. A few airlines allow immediate family or same-household members to combine the miles in their accounts. JetBlue and British Airways offer some version of pooling. For more information, review the terms and conditions.

Can you sell your airline miles?

No. Technically, it isn’t illegal to sell your miles (except if you’re conducting part or all of the transaction in Utah). It is against the airline’s frequent flyer contract to do so. Some people attempt to sell their miles through a miles broker. We don’t recommend this because the potential risk is not worth the extra income.

Airlines are always on the lookout for people who do this. If they catch you (and they likely will), they’ll confiscate all of your points, not just the ones you are attempting to sell. Trying to get your points back is an exercise in futility.

While you can’t sell your points, you may be able to gift them, pool them, or transfer them. Some airlines may offer you the ability to buy someone else’s ticket using miles.