The Amex Platinum is unmatched when it comes to travel perks and benefits. If lounge access, hotel elite status and annual statement credits are important to you, this card is well worth the high annual fee. Read our full review of the Platinum Card from American Express.
The Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex provides valuable elite-like benefits for causal Delta flyers including a first checked bag free and priority boarding. It can easily justify getting and keeping this card. Read our full review of the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card.
The Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is the best for those who fly American Airlines and want Admirals Club lounge access. It also gives you helps you earn and maintain elite status and comes with priority perks. Read our full review of the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card is ideal for business travelers and loyal Southwest flyers interested in hitting A-List status or earning a Companion Pass. Read our full review of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card.
Rewards: Earn 5 points per dollar on airfare purchased directly with the airlines or through Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 each calendar year) and 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel. Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Rewards: Earn 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel and 2 miles per dollar on every purchase.
Rewards: 3 miles per dollar on eligible Delta flights and Delta Vacations and purchases made directly with hotels, 2 miles per dollar on restaurants and U.S. supermarkets and 1 mile per dollar on everything else.
Rewards: 3 miles per dollar on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, 2 miles per dollar on gas, local transit, ride-sharing, cable and some streaming services, and 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else.
Rewards: 2 miles per dollar on United purchases, dining (including eligible delivery services), at gas stations, office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
Rewards: 2 miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines purchases, cable and satellite providers, gas stations, telecommunications merchants and car rentals; 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else.
The information for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Sensing an opportunity to attract younger customers or those who might just be getting started with credit, as well as customers who prefer earning miles over elite-style benefits, several airlines have introduced new no-annual-fee credit cards with pared-down perks.
These cards may not offer the same rewards as their more expensive counterparts, but they are worth considering in some cases. For example, if you want to hang onto a credit card for several years without having to shell out an annual fee each year, a no-annual-fee card can be a good solution.
Rewards: This card offers you double miles at restaurants worldwide as well as on all Delta purchases, including Sky Club membership or passes, Delta Vacations packages, seat upgrades and inflight purchases of food, beverages and audio headsets. You earn 1 mile per dollar spent elsewhere.
If the majority of your spending is on non-JetBlue purchases and you prefer a card with no annual fee, you might as well get the regular JetBlue Card since it earns the same number of points on non-airline spending.
If the card comes with statement credits, complete the spending required to get them. Use fee credits to cover expenses such as airport lounge access, seat upgrades or inflight food and beverage purchases.
Airline credit cards of a more premium nature may also earn elite-qualifying miles for those pursuing airline status and even lounge access in some cases. Those who need a little help hitting elite status or want to enjoy elite status-like benefits while they work to hit a tier can benefit from an airline card and its perks.
At the end of the day, TPG staffers all have our favorites and there is no right or wrong preference. In fact, as you saw from the above list, most major airlines offer multiple cobranded cards to fit the needs of a wide range of customers.
Most airline credit card users will be better off paying an annual fee to reap many more benefits from their card, but there are some exceptions. For example, the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card is a great choice for infrequent travelers and Delta flyers who want to earn double miles at restaurants.
Likewise, the AAdvantage MileUp card lets you earn double AAdvantage miles at supermarkets and grocery stores. Even the no-annual-fee JetBlue card from Barclays offers you double points at restaurants and grocery stores, along with 3 points per dollar spent on JetBlue purchases.
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United's top-tier card offering ups its game with 4 miles per dollar earnings on United purchases. A suite of travel perks makes the card an even better value, with the United Club membership alone worth more than the annual fee.
This card has the brawn to handle just about all of your credit card spending needs without an over-inflated price tag. The card has an annual fee of $0, yet comes with a pumped-up earnings structure that covers a wide swath of expenses including travel, drugstores and dining plus rotating quarterly bonus categories in areas many households are likely to find appealing.
This card offers superior points earning rates if you spend frequently on travel and dining out. The $300 travel credit justifies much of the annual fee, and redeeming points for travel on Chase Ultimate Rewards.
It makes sense for Delta high-fliers to grab the top-of-the-line Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card. The access to Sky Club alone helps justify the annual fee for frequent Delta flyers, then add in the annual companion certificate for eligible domestic flights (plus taxes and fees), free first checked bag when you fly Delta, priority boarding, and bonus MQM miles toward Elite status. However, the mediocre miles earning rates reduce the card's overall appeal.
A top choice for casual or moderate United fliers; the perks can easily outweigh the annual fee. If you're prepared to spend on dining and hotels in addition to United purchases, you'll earn 2 miles per dollar.
The Platinum Card is destined for frequent travelers who intend to fully leverage the rich set of luxury travel benefits and Platinum Concierge service. In the right hands, the classic status card's staggering annual fee is well justified.
If you're flying at least once per year on Jetblue and spend modestly on groceries and restaurants, the math on this card works out in your favor. Be careful about holding a balance on purchases as the 0% APR offer applies only to balance transfers.
If we look only at the mileage earning rates, this card doesn't stand out compared to its peers. However, for Delta frequent fliers, the abundant perks are compelling. Math-wise, the companion ticket for eligible flights (when you pay taxes and fees) can more than justify the expense of the annual fee, plus there's a sweet welcome bonus.
For the AA frequent flier who will use the complimentary Admirals Club lounge access, this alone more than offsets the annual fee. Considering that all authorized cardholders are eligible, this can be an incredible value. Extra perks such as VIP check-in, priority boarding, concierge service, and free checked bag sweeten the deal.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes packed with benefits and stacks on top of the included free authorized user cards, meaning that everyone in the family can share in the premium benefits including airport lounge access and cell phone insurance. The annual fee, which is on the low end for a premium card, is offset by both an up to $300 in annual travel statement credits on bookings made through Capital One Travel and an annual 10,000 miles bonus, which can be redeemed for $100 toward travel.
Rewards: Earn 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel and 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel.
Capital One miles are easy to both earn and redeem. They can be applied towards travel purchases in a variety of categories including airfare, hotel stays, vacation rentals and car rentals or transferred to over a dozen travel partners. The only downside to Venture Miles is a lack of U.S. based airline and hotel partners, which means that if you want to transfer the miles you will have to learn about points programs you might not be familiar with.
Rewards: Earn 4 miles per dollar on United purchases, 2 miles per dollar on all other travel, on dining including eligible delivery services and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.
Other Benefits and Drawbacks: For a no-annual-fee card, the Freedom Flex has a solid sheet of benefits including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, cell phone insurance and auto rental insurance.
Other Benefits and Drawbacks: The Aeroplan card comes with the Air Canada benefits you expect from an airline card like a free first checked bag but adds access to reduced fee flight awards, meaning you can stretch your redemptions as well as bumping up your earnings. It also has a comprehensive set of travel insurances, auto rental coverage and purchase protection. 59ce067264