As airlines continue to add a variety of fees to compensate for keeping fare prices low to complete with each other, the overall cost to fly is increasing. Adding to the base cost of a flight are fees like fuel surcharges, checked baggage fees, and in-flight fees for food, drinks, headphones and pillows. Some airlines are now even charging for carry-on luggage. Some of the best airline miles credit cards allow customers to waive a few of these excessive fees and are accompanied by a quality rewards program. These features help customers save money on fees as well as apply discounts to fares.
These are the best airline miles credit cards available to consumers today. If you fly frequently on any of the below airlines, you could save thousands of dollars in airfare every year, but even less frequent travelers will still be able to save money. If you own a card not found on this list and consider the card to be valuable, please leave a comment with the card information and I will add it to the list.
Chase Sapphire Preferred®. New card holders for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card can qualify for 40,000 bonus points by spending $3,000 on purchases during the first three months of card ownership. These points can be redeemed for $500 in travel rewards when booked through Ultimate Rewards, making this the most valuable card for airline travel available today. The card also includes a reward program, with two points for every dollar spent for travel expenses and dining at restaurants. As well as offering the standard one point for every dollar spent in other categories. Also, the card offers no foreign transaction fee and a 7% annual points dividend on all new points earned on purchases – even on points already redeemed.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express opens with 30,000 bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first three months of Cardmembership and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. The standard rewards program on the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express offers two miles for every dollar spent on qualifying Delta purchases and one mile for all other eligible dollars spent. Take advantage of premium travel perks such as Priority Boarding in addition when you book a flight with and fly Delta, your first checked bag is free, that’s a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four. This card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, after that the annual fee is $95. Terms and Restrictions Apply.
With the fees on some of the airline miles cards, becoming a member may not be worthwhile unless you pay your bill in full every month and fly frequently for the points to be more worthwhile than a cash back card. Many cards have fees, so consider whether you will use the card enough to take advantage of discounts and fee waivers exceeding the amount of those annual fees. Using an airline miles card also ties you into using a specific airline. If you fly the same route frequently, you may already have that level of loyalty.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.
Important Note! The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that offers change frequently. Therefore, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit or charge card prior to applying.
Leave a comment if you are a fan of other airline miles credit cards.
Updated March 3, 2014 and originally published February 4, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.