Travel and Airline Credit Cards

Check out our list of the latest travel credit card offers, including bonus offers. Whether it's flights, nights or points, we've made it easy to compare. If you're a frequent flyer or road warrior, an airline or travel card will help you earn perks faster. The following cards from our partners offer travel rewards. Find the one suits you best and apply online .

See offers from our partners below.

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 APPLY ONLINE

at Capital One's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent, Good
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $400 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
  • Get a metal Venture Card when you apply today
  • See additional Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card details
 APPLY NOW

at Capital One's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent, Good
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
    Annual Fee
    $0 intro for first year; $59 after that
    Credit Needed
    Excellent, Good
 APPLY ONLINE

at Capital One's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent, Good
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.74%-22.74% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • See additional Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card details
 APPLY NOW

at Capital One's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent, Good
  • Purchases Intro APR
    0% intro on purchases for 12 months
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    12.74% - 22.74% (Variable)
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Credit Needed
    Excellent, Good
 APPLY ONLINE

at Chase's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent Credit
  • Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • See additional Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ details
 APPLY NOW

at Chase's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent Credit
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    16.74%-23.74% Variable
    Annual Fee
    $450
    Credit Needed
    Excellent Credit
 APPLY ONLINE

at Bank of America's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Limited Time Offer - Buy 1 ticket, get 1 for just the taxes and fees with Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer.
  • Get 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
  • Get another Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22) every year on your account anniversary valid on Alaska and Virgin America flights booked on alaskaair.com.
  • Save with a free checked bag on Alaska and Virgin America flights for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation.
  • Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines and Virgin America purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. No foreign transaction fees.
  • There are two types of cards: the Visa Signature® card and the Platinum Plus® card. The card you receive will be determined by several factors including your income and credit history.
  • The benefits and bonus miles above apply to Visa Signature cards only. The Annual Fees, benefits and bonus miles for Platinum Plus® cards are different.
  • For more information on the differences, see the Features section accompanying the application.
  • See additional Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card details
 APPLY NOW

at Bank of America's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    See Terms
    Annual Fee
    $75
    Credit Needed
    Excellent/Good
 APPLY ONLINE

at Chase's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • See additional Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card details
 APPLY NOW

at Chase's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    16.74% - 23.74% Variable
    Annual Fee
    Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
    Credit Needed
    Excellent/Good
 APPLY ONLINE

at Bank of America's
secure site

 APPLY BY PHONE
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days — that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want — you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
  • See additional BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card details
 APPLY NOW

at Bank of America's
secure site

or call Bank of America at
877-915-7732


Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Purchases Intro APR
    See Terms for 12 billing cycles
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    See Terms
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Credit Needed
    Excellent/Good
 APPLY ONLINE

at Discover's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. Bonus Miles - For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your rewards in any amount for cash or a travel credit.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • See additional Discover it® Miles details
 APPLY NOW

at Discover's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Purchases Intro APR
    0% for 14 months
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    10.99% for 14 months
    Regular APR
    11.74% - 23.74% Variable
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Credit Needed
    Excellent/Good
 APPLY ONLINE

at Barclaycard's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Redeem for travel or cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. Redemption values vary
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.74%, 20.74% or 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers
  • See additional Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® details
 APPLY NOW

at Barclaycard's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)
    Regular APR
    16.74%, 20.74% or 23.74% Variable
    Annual Fee
    $89 - Waived first year
    Credit Needed
    Excellent
 APPLY ONLINE

at Chase's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.74-24.49%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Redeem for cash — any amount, anytime
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
  • See additional Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ details
 APPLY NOW

at Chase's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Purchases Intro APR
    0% for 15 months
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    0% for 15 months
    Regular APR
    15.74% - 24.49% Variable
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Credit Needed
    Excellent/Good
 APPLY ONLINE

at Citi's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • For a limited time, earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases.1
  • Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
  • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back — up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*
  • See additional Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® details
 APPLY NOW

at Citi's
secure site

Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    16.74% - 24.74%* (Variable)
    Annual Fee
    $95, waived for first 12 months*
    Credit Needed
    Excellent/Good
Show More Results


Compare Travel Credit Card Offers

Updated: June 28, 2017

Card Welcome Bonus Bonus Requirement Rewards Rate
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card 40,000 Miles Spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card 20,000 Miles Spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening Unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card 30,000 Bonus Miles and a companion fare from $121 ($99, plus taxes and fees from $22) Make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines and Virgin America & 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 50,000 Bonus Points Spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card 20,000 Online Bonus Points Make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days Unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
Discover it® Miles Matches all rewards new cardmembers have earned at the end of their first year Automatic Unlimited 1.5x rewards on every purchase, every day
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® 50,000 Bonus Miles Spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days Earn 2X miles on all purchases
Chase Freedom UnlimitedSM $150 Bonus Spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening Unlimited 1.5% cash back
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard® 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® Bonus Miles Make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases

Travel and Airline Cards: The Basics

Travel cards offer a twofold bonus. First, you can use them to maximize the returns on your travel spending. Second, they can offer special access to travel rewards, such as free nights in swanky hotels, access to exclusive airport lounges and more. Those who work around the world or who travel for pleasure often should strongly consider these reward programs. Here’s what you need to know to find the best one:

General rewards rate
Travel rewards cards offer rewards as a points system, where the points have a certain cash value applicable toward travel spending. Sometimes, these cards refer to points as miles. They are pretty much the same thing.

You earn points per dollar spent on the credit card. The most common earnings rate is 1 points per dollar spent. Some cards offer a 2:1 points-per-dollar ration for certain spending categories, while others will offer a flat 2:1 points-per-dollar ratio on all purchases. Take stock of how much you spend, on average, for categories like restaurants, gas and yes, even airfare. You can use these numbers to figure out how to earn the most miles for your lifestyle.

Some cards will increase the rewards rate if you redeem them through their travel purchase portal. This is important to consider if you don’t mind the extra work.

Sign-up bonus
Besides the general rewards plan, you should closely examine the sign-up bonus when deciding on a travel rewards card. You will have to meet a minimum spend requirement in the first few months, so know your budget going in, to ensure you can meet the goal.

Airline-specific perks
Airline-specific cards can offer unique perks, such as free checked bags, priority boarding or lounge access. If you have a loyalty to a certain airline, the right rewards rate combined with these perks may make them a superior deal compared to more general travel cards.

Transfer partnerships
Those looking for a general travel rewards card can find opportunities to transfer points or miles to brand-specific rewards programs. These programs can be airline programs or hotel programs. This allows you to strike a balance between finding the best deal and investing in a few regular brands for rewards.

If this sounds like the right move for you, pay attention to the exchange rates. Points and miles will transfer at different rates. A 1:1 transfer rate is favorable, but you may find certain transfer rates as good as 3:1.

Fine print and fees
Certain offers come with blackout dates where you can’t apply your points to reservations for certain flights or nights in a hotel. They’re usually reserved for heavily trafficked times, like holidays or days near major events. Again, having a plan comes in handy. Do you require fuss-free redemptions? Or do you travel enough during off-peak times that blackout dates won’t bother you? Then, choose accordingly.

Also, pay attention to expiration dates. Certain programs will take away miles if you don’t use them by a certain day. Other offers allow you to keep your miles as long as your account is active. These are usually the best option, but if you are a frequent traveler, the expiration date may not affect you.

Some cards may require you to book through an airline’s website in order to apply your points to the cost of your flight. Other cards don’t. These will be most beneficial for those who bargain-hunt and are willing to fly multiple airlines to get the best deal.

Finally, some travel cards will offer a certain reimbursement amount if your trip is delayed.

You’ll often find fees associated with travel rewards cards, more so than most other credit cards. There are a few ways to mitigate that cost. Cards specific to a hotel or airline may offset the annual fee cost with certain perks, like one free night’s stay or free flight every year you keep your account open. These perks pay for the fee and then some. Other cards will waive the fee for the first year.

Want more information?
Below are a variety of frequently asked questions and answers regarding travel rewards and programs. You can also read our detailed reviews of travel credit cards once you have narrowed your choices down to a few cards. The reviews can help you confirm which offer fits your needs. If you’re honing in on a card for a specific airline or hotel, we have reviews for those, too.

What are airline miles?

Airline miles were originally designed for airline loyalty programs in which you got credit in the way of "miles" for your spending on a card. Today, miles cards sometimes are not attached to a specific airline, such as Discover it Miles, or a card may have partnerships with a variety of airlines, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

What is a travel credit card?

A travel credit card can reward you for travel behavior, such as eating at restaurants or staying at hotels. Some are loyalty cards in which you benefit from using specific hotel or airline brands. Others, such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, have an open-ended reward and redemption system that allows you to redeem for all manner of travel expenses.

How do frequent flyer credit cards work?

Frequent flyer credit cards reward you more for airline-related expenses including baggage checks, tickets, and food and drink. The higher end cards might also gain you access to such benefits as brand-specific airport lounges. The more you use the card on airline expenses, the more you benefit with miles that can be redeemed for flights.

How do you use your airline miles?

Cards vary widely when it comes to using your airline miles. Some cards offer a portal that allows you to redeem for qualified packages, flights, hotels and condos, and more, such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. The Arrival Plus allows you to redeem on any qualifying travel expense through a card portal that tracks how many points you need to redeem an item and how much more time you have to redeem for each item, Others limit how you use the miles to specific brands. For example, the American Express Delta cards' miles can be specifically used for Delta flights and other Delta expenses.

What are bonus miles?

Many travel cards offer a signup bonus in which you spend a certain amount on your card within a certain period of time, usually 3 months or 90 days, in exchange for a one-time bulk of miles or points. Some cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, also give you points for behaviors such as signing up your first authorized user within a certain amount of time. You typically have to be a new cardholder.

How many miles does it take to get a free flight?

Miles redemptions for a flight vary widely, and it depends on the type of ticket you want (ie. First class) and when and where you travel, but for example, on an Oct. 28, 2016, Delta flight from LAX to JFK (main cabin), it would have run you 25,000 miles.

How do you use a travel credit card to save money?

Using a travel card to save money only works if you use your card for purchases you plan to make anyway and if you pay your card bill in full and on time each month. That way, you avoid late fees and interest fees. You also want to make sure that your planned spending will put your miles or points above the annual fee. So, if you have an annual fee of $95, and the redemption is at $0.01 for every mile, you want to make sure you plan to earn at least 9,500 miles or points in a year.

What do you need to consider before getting a travel credit card?

4 things to consider before getting a travel credit card:

  • Are you going to earn more points or miles than the value of the annual fee?
  • Will you be able to pay off the balance each month and on time?
  • Will you have an opportunity to use the miles or points?
  • If it's a loyalty card, will you realistically use it for that brand without cramping your style?

What are strategies to maximize travel rewards?

9 strategies to maximize travel rewards:

  • Research thoroughly before choosing your card. Read the fine print. Do miles expire, and when? Are there blackout dates? Can you live with the limitations?
  • Make it your go-to card. See if you can pay your rent or utilities with it. Buy your groceries with it.
  • Don't spend just to earn miles. Only use it to buy what you were going to buy anyway.
  • If you can't pay it off in full each month, there's no point in acquiring it. The interest fees will overshadow any miles or points you've earned.
  • Never go over the limit or pay late. These are wasted dollars.
  • Letting points expire are a waste. Keep track of when points are due to expire and plan ahead to use them so you aren't wasting them on expensive travel dates. Also, with some programs, earning just one point can reset the expiration date.
  • Stay flexible and try a variety of travel dates when redeeming. For example, international flights are sometimes cheaper midweek. And flying on Christmas Day can be cheaper than flying on Christmas Eve.
  • Sign up for rewards programs, use shopping portals and use travel portals that might earn you additional points, such as the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Frequently check for deals.
  • Make a goal to use points for a trip, then do it.

What do you look for in a travel rewards credit card?

Here are 7 things to look for in a travel rewards credit card:

  • Is it flexible enough for your needs?
  • Will you earn more points than the cost of the annual fee?
  • Will you use it without overspending?
  • Are the benefits, such as complimentary auto rental insurance or airport lounges, items you will use?
  • Do you want a card with a shopping portal?
  • Will you use the loyalty program, if there is one?
  • Are blackout dates or points expiration rules a deal breaker?

How much is a frequent flyer mile worth?

While a frequent flyer mile is often worth $0.01, it can be more or less, depending on the program. For example, according to our valuation system, the Discover it Miles valuation is $.01 for every mile, while the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, is valued at $0.0126. That means if you have accumulated 30,000 miles with your Discover it Miles card, those miles are worth $300. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and you want to redeem them in the Ultimate Rewards portal, you will get the equivalent to $378 when you redeem. [CreditCards.com's valuation system: A reward value is determined by calculating the cost per reward unit (point or mile) for obtaining a good or service.]

How do you redeem airline miles?

When redeeming airline miles, sometimes it's as simple as going into a portal after the purchase and clicking a button. In other cases, such as the American Express Delta cards, you log into your Delta account to purchase your tickets. Before choosing a card, make sure you are clear about the steps and decide if you can live with those steps.

Do frequent flyer miles expire?

Frequent flyer miles often expire. Some, such as Delta, don't. Others require your account to remain active, although that can be as simple as earning a single mile before the expiration date. Make sure you read the fine print so you aren't scrambling to use your miles.

Can you transfer airline miles to hotel points?

Usually you can't transfer airline miles to hotel points, but there are exceptions. The question is really: Should you do it? The answer to that is typically no, because the transfer ratios are rarely favorable. It's best to choose your card carefully and make sure you will use it well.

Can you transfer miles to another person?

You might be able to transfer miles to another person, but it may not be to your advantage financially because you may be charged a fee for the transfer. Instead, book an award seat for someone else by entering their name instead of yours in the portal. Just keep in mind that in the case of international flights, some airlines require to see the card that was used and even the cardholder at flight time, or the ticket isn't honored.

Can you transfer miles from one airline to another?

Typically, you can't transfer miles directly between airline loyalty programs, although you may be able to earn and redeem miles for flights on partner airlines.

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