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 1, 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

It can be overwhelming, searching for an airline credit card, what with all the options. But that can actually be a good thing – if you know how to look.

We can help. From identifying the travel partners for specific travel rewards programs to choosing the right airline card for you, we’ll break it all down for you. Here, we look at:

  • How to choose the right airline card for you
  • Credit card travel partners
  • What’s the difference between an airline vs. a travel rewards card?
  • How airline credit cards work
  • How to compare airline rewards cards
  • Can you transfer miles between airlines?

As you see, there’s a fair amount to understand about airline and travel rewards cards. Not sure where to start? Read on...

How to choose the right airline card for you

  1. What’s your credit score? First off, you’ll need to know your credit score before applying for any credit card. That’s because you want to be reasonably sure you’ll get the card you apply for, for credit-building reasons.
  2. How much do you travel? Whether you want an airline card or another type of travel card, you’ll need to make sure you’ll be traveling enough to justify a travel/airline card. If not, you may want to look at another type of rewards card, such as a cashback card.
  3. Is there a brand you love? If you use a particular airline often, then that will significantly narrow your options.
  4. Do you plan to pay in full each month? If not, there’s no point in having an airline card because of the interest charges you will incur otherwise.
  5. Is an annual fee a deal-breaker? If you don’t relish the idea of paying an annual fee, look for a card that waives the fee the first year.

Credit card travel partners

Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • AIR FRANCE/KLM
  • 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

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

Amex Membership Rewards® from Million Mile Secrets

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada (Aeroplan)
  • AIR FRANCE/KLM (Flying Blue)
  • Alitalia (Milleiglia)
  • 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

Starwood Preferred Guest 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

What's the difference between an airline vs. a travel rewards card?

An airline card is typically a product that rewards you for using a specific brand. Also called a co-branded card, an airline card gives improved rewards for purchases that are specific to the airline, such as tickets, items on board, checked baggage and so on. A travel rewards card can be an airline card or it can be a more general product that rewards you for specific categories, such as the Chase Sapphire® Preferred, or for most purchases, such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus®. While travel rewards cards will frequently allow you to earn boosted miles or points on most purchases, airline cards can be more restrictive but also more generous in the number of miles earned for each dollar spent on the airline.

How airline credit cards work

  1. Sign-up bonus. When you first get the card, you will usually have an opportunity to earn points or miles provided you spend a minimum within a specific amount of time, usually 90 days or 3 months.
  2. Waived annual fee. Often, the annual fee is waived the first year, but that’s not always the case, so check.
  3. Interest charges. Right out of the gate, you’ll want to pay the bill in full each month to avoid interest fees.
  4. Purchase rewards. Airline cards reward you with points or miles for your purchases. The more you spend, the more you earn. Then, those miles can go toward travel and even shopping.
  5. Foreign transaction fee. Many airline cards offer no foreign transaction fee, which can be helpful with travel or shopping overseas.
  6. Penalties. By paying late or going over your balance you run the risk of getting fined or even losing your account, so pay on time and in full each month.

How to compare airline rewards cards

  • Are you loyal to a specific brand? If you are, choose an airline card that suits your travel habits.
  • What do the sign-up bonuses look like? Compare sign-on bonuses to see which matches your spending the first few months of card membership.
  • How do the points valuations look? The value of miles and points varies depending on the program you are using or transferring to. Go to The Points Guy to compare.
  • Which redemption type works for you? Some issuers offer an open-ended portal for redemption while others provide a booking portal that rewards you further for its use.
  • How do the purchase rewards compare? You might want a card that rewards you with most purchases or you might want to be rewarded generously for purchases with specific brands or categories.
  • What are the other benefits? Some airline cards offer free first checked bags, access to airport lounges worldwide and more. A few waive the fee for TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry.
  • Is there an annual fee? Most airline cards have an annual fee, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Often, it’s because the rewards are particularly rich.
  • Is there a foreign transaction fee? Many airline cards offer no foreign transaction fee. If you travel or shop overseas often, this can be worth your while.
  • What’s the APR? While this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, because you should plan to pay in full each month, it’s good to check the APR out.

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.