Travel and Airline Credit Cards

If you're a frequent traveler, get a card that rewards you for spending on flights and hotels. Travel and airline credit cards offer generous travel perks like free checked bags or airport lounge access. Whether you prefer earning miles or points, these offers from our partners have something for everyone.

See offers from our partners below.

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent, Good
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 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; $95 after that
  • Get a metal Venture Card when you apply today
Apply Now at Capital One's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
14.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles

322 customer reviews

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. 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 Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • 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 free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • New! Receive Free Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.
Apply Now at Discover's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% for 14 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR
10.99% for 14 months
Regular APR
12.24% - 24.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
See Rates & Fees

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now 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; 13.24%-23.24% 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
Apply Now at Capital One's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
13.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

7,160 customer reviews

Apply Now 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®
  • 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
Apply Now at Chase's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.24% - 24.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

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

Apply Now 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 purchases1
  • 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*
Apply Now at Citi's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.24% - 25.24%* (Variable)
Annual Fee
$95, waived for first 12 months*
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Apply Now APPLY BY PHONE Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply Now at American Express's
secure site

or call American Express at

888-851-4804
Terms Apply
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
See Rates & Fees

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

8,818 customer reviews

Apply Now 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 16.24-24.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Apply Now at Chase's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Regular APR
16.24% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Apply Now APPLY BY PHONE Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a calendar year for baggage fees at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, when available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply Now at American Express's
secure site

or call American Express at

877-915-6387
Terms Apply
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
See Rates & Fees

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

7,875 customer reviews

Apply Now 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 of account opening - 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
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 16.24% - 24.24% Variable APR
  • 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%
Apply Now at Bank of America's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
16.24% - 24.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good

Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

Apply Now 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
Apply Now at Chase's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.24% - 24.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$450
Credit Needed
Excellent Credit

Compare Travel Credit Card Offers

Updated: January 19, 2018

Our Top Travel and Airline Credit Cards - January 2018

  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card - 50,000 Bonus Miles
  • Discover it® Miles - mile for mile match at the end of the first year
  • Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card - 20,000 Bonus Miles
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - 50,000 Bonus Points
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® - 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® Bonus Miles
  • The Platinum Card from American Express - 60,000 Membership Rewards® Bonus Points
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited® - $150 Bonus
  • Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express - 25,000 Membership Rewards® Bonus Points
  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card - 20,000 Online Bonus Points
  • Chase Sapphire ReserveSM - 3X points on travel and dining worldwide

To see more cards, visit our airline credit card reviews and travel credit card reviews.

Welcome to the World of Travel Cards

Airline and travel cards are exceptionally powerful products that can reward you for all manner of purchases, with airline cards giving particular attention to brand loyalty and with travel cards including general-purpose cards that reward for most purchases. Here, we look at:

  • Airline vs. travel rewards cards
  • How airline credit cards work
  • How to compare airline rewards cards
  • Is an airline card right for you?
  • Credit card travel partners
  • Can you transfer miles between airlines?

We’ll walk you through how the cards work and how to compare them:.

Airline vs. travel rewards card

Airline CardsTravel Cards
Loyal to airline brandGeneral purpose or loyal to hotel, airline brand
Rich rewards for specific purchasesRewards most purchases or brands
Often with annual feeOften with annual fee
Often with sign-up bonusOften with sign-up bonus
Sometimes offers partnershipsCan offer partnerships or reward for most travel purchases

How airline credit cards work

  • Sign-up bonus. Airline cards typically offer 5-digit sign-up bonuses in exchange for a minimum spend within a specified period of time, usually 3 months or 90 days.
  • Ongoing rewards. In exchange for loyalty to the airline brand, you get richer points or miles.
  • Redemptions. When it comes time to redeem your miles, whether for a flight or drinks on a flight, the redemption value can vary widely depending on the card, sometimes more than $0.02 or sometimes under $0.01 for every dollar spent, so check the valuations before committing to a card.
  • Benefits. Many airline cards offer benefits regardless of your points bank, such as auto rental insurance and travel protection.
  • Interest charges. If you don’t plan to pay in full each month, there’s no point in getting a travel card. That’s because you will be charged interest fees if you carry a balance, undoing the savings you’ve earned with the rewards.
  • Foreign transaction fee. Some airline cards don’t charge a foreign transaction fee, which can be handy if you travel or shop overseas often.
  • Annual fee. Most airline cards charge an annual fee, although some waive the fee the first year.

How to compare airline rewards cards

  • Understand the valuations. Each miles or points plan has a different valuation, which can range from under $0.01 to more than $0.02 for every dollar spent. You can check out the latest points or miles valuations at The Points Guy.
  • Compare the sign-up bonus. As mentioned, be sure to compare the bonuses according to the valuations of the cards, because 25,000 miles may not be worth the same on 2 different cards.
  • Check the ongoing rewards. These are the points or miles you can earn through purchases. Airline and hotel cards will particularly reward you for brand loyalty.
  • Look at the other benefits. Airline cards can offer features such as rental car insurance and travel or purchase protection.
  • Note the annual fee. All annual fees aren’t created equal. They can be $95 or $450, so be sure it’s a fee that won’t strap you. Some card issuers waive the fee the first year.
  • Check if there’s no foreign transaction fee. This can be helpful if you travel or shop overseas.

Is an airline card right for you?

  1. Do you have good or excellent credit? Most airline cards require better credit.
  2. Do you have a favorite brand? If you are loyal to a specific brand, an airline card might be a good choice. Otherwise, a general-purpose travel card may be your best bet.
  3. How often do you travel? If you don’t travel much, you may be better off with a general-purpose travel card or a cashback card. Also, check and see if there are no foreign transaction fees.
  4. Do you pay in full each month? If you don’t plan to pay in full each month, an airline card may not be a good choice because of interest charges. Instead, consider a balance transfer card for paying down debt.
  5. Do you mind paying an annual fee? Annual fees are often a tradeoff for richer rewards, so if you plan to take full advantage of the card, an annual fee may be worth your while.

Credit card travel partners

Amex Membership Rewards from Million Mile Secrets

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada (Aeroplan)
  • Air France KLM (Flying Blue)
  • Alitalia (Millemiglia)
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways
  • Delta Air Lines (SkyMiles)
  • El Al Israel Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin America
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways
  • Choice Privileges Rewards
  • Hilton Honors
  • Starwood SPG

Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Air France/KLM
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
  • World of Hyatt

Citi ThankYou Rewards

  • Air France/KLM
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Etihad Guest
  • Eva Air
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Hilton Honors
  • JetPrivilege
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Thai Royal Orchid Plus
  • TrueBlue
  • Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Starpoint Partners

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Aeroplan/Air Canada
  • Air China Companion
  • Air New Zealand Airpoints
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia
  • All Nippon Airways Mileage Club
  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • Amtrak Guest Rewards
  • Asia Miles
  • Asiana Airlines
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Airways
  • Air France/KLM
  • Gol Smiles
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia Plus
  • Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
  • Jet Airways
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass
  • LifeMiles of Avianca
  • Miles and More
  • Qatar Airways
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus
  • United Mileage Plus
  • Velocity Frequent Flyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Can you transfer miles between airlines?

While airline partnerships usually allow you to earn and redeem miles while flying on partner airlines, you typically can’t directly transfer miles from one airline to another, says The Points Guy. You can’t mix and match multiple airlines’ miles, says Million Mile Secrets. So, you can use American Airlines rewards to book a British Airways awards flight, but you can’t use 2 or more airlines’ rewards to book that flight.

Recap: Featured Travel/Airline Credit Cards of 2018

CardWelcome BonusBonus RequirementRewards Rate
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card50,000 MilesSpend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account openingUnlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Discover it® MilesMatch Mile For Mile: We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first yearAutomaticUnlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card20,000 MilesSpend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account openingUnlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card50,000 Bonus PointsSpend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® Bonus MilesMake $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account openingDouble AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
The Platinum Card from American Express60,000 Membership Rewards® PointsSpend $5,000 within the first 3 months of account opening5x points on flights booked through the Amex Travel site
Chase Freedom Unlimited®$150 BonusSpend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account openingUnlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express25,000 Membership Rewards® PointsMake $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening the account3x points for flights booked directly with airlines, 2x points at US restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card20,000 Online Bonus PointsMake at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 daysUnlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
Chase Sapphire ReserveSM50,000 Bonus PointsSpend $4,000 on purchases in first 3 months3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases

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 homing in on a card for a specific airline or hotel, we have reviews for those, too.

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* For additional rates, fees and costs see issuer's website for detailed pricing and terms.