We cover the best airline miles credit cards of 2018. You’ll find airline-specific cards and offers that can be used with any airline. Our top pick offers up to a $625 signup bonus.
The cost of flying is going up. Airlines continue to add a variety of fees to compensate for keeping fare prices low to compete with each other. 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. The are also 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. Even less frequent travelers will still be able to save money. If you own a card not on this list, leave a comment and tell us why you love it.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: New card holders for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card can qualify for 50,000 bonus points by spending $4,000 on purchases during the first three months of card ownership. These points can be redeemed for $625 in travel rewards when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This makes it the most valuable card for airline travel available today.
The card also includes a reward program, with 2X points for every dollar spent for travel expenses and dining at restaurants. As well as offering the standard 1X point for every dollar spent on all other purchases. The card has no foreign transaction fee plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
There is a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived for all first year cardholders.
Other Top Airline Credit Card Offers
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: With the Venture card you can earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. These bonus miles are worth $400 when redeemed for travel. You’ll also earn two miles for every $1 in purchases charged to the card. There is a $0 intro annual fee the first year, but $95 annual fee thereafter.
For a limited time, Capital One is offering a killer promotion when you book through hotels.com. Using the Hotels.com/Venture link, you’ll earn 10 miles for every dollar spent!
There are no foreign transaction fees associated with any Capital One product but there is also no intro APR to speak of.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express: The Starwood Preferred American Express is ideal for those who frequently stay at Starwood properties. You’ll receive 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use the card to make $3,000 in purchases in the first three months. There are no foreign transaction fees, and get free nights at over 1,200 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries with no blackout dates.
Cardholders receive two Starpoints for every dollar spent at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels and one Starpoint per dollar spent on all other purchases. When you combine those points with the Triple Starpoints you earn when you become a Starwood rewards member, this card has the potential of earning you five points per dollar spent on Starwood and Marriott brands.
This card carries a $95 annual fee, waived for all first year members.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card: New cardholders of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card will earn 50,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months. Two points per dollar spent are earning on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and card rental partner purchases and single points per dollar spent are earned elsewhere.
Every year you remain a Southwest cardholder, you’ll earn a 6,000 bonus points (credited on your anniversary date). There are no foreign transaction fees to worry about, no blackout dates or seat restrictions and as always on Southwest flights, bags fly free.
The annual fee is $99 (and it is NOT waived for the first year).
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: You earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first three months of card membership.
- With the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, you earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.
- Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
- Take advantage of premium travel perks such as priority boarding when you book a flight with and fly Delta.
- Check your first bag free on every Delta flight–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 conditions apply.)
- Learn more about this card HERE
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card: This is the no annual fee version of the Venture card. In exchange for avoiding the annual fee, the benefits are bit lower. You can earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on the card in the first three months. And for every $1 charged to the card, you earn 1.25 miles.
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 justify 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.
This card also includes the same Hotels.com promotion, where you can earn 10 points per dollar spent using the link Hotels.com/Venture
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.
Published or updated April 16, 2018.
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