Airline Credit Card Rewards

Airline Miles Calculators
Calculate airline credit card rewards based on spend and compare results side by side to find which airline cards are best for you. Also includes calculators for calculating the cash value of airline miles based on redemption and the transfer of rewards to and from frequent flyer programs.

Airline miles are great if you're looking to earn rewards that you can redeem towards award flights on your favorite airlines. They can also typically be used for seat upgrades, lounge access, and much more.

Most major airlines offer co-branded credit cards that allows you to earn a certain amount of miles per $1 spent. These cards can also grant additional benefits with the airline such as a free checked bag and priority boarding.

If you're looking to maximize your earnings, several travel rewards programs allow you to transfer your earned points directly to frequent flyer programs. In many cases this can earn you airline miles faster than using a co-branded airline credit card.

If you're loyal to a specific airline or two, I recommend considering an airline credit card. If you're not loyal to any given airline, you'll more than likely be better off with a travel rewards card.

Best Airline Credit Cards

When it comes to getting the most out of your favorite airlines, these cards are a step above the rest. Check out our top picks for earning airline credit card rewards.

Best Overall Card For United
Best Overall Card For Southwest
Find out which credit cards can earn you the most airline rewards based on spend and get our list of top picks.

Airport Services

If you frequently find yourself at the airport, you may want to consider several of the airport services listed below. Review the benefits of each service and find out which credit cards offer discounts or complimentary access to these airport services.

Global Entry offers expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
TSA Preâś“, read as TSA PreCheck, offers expedited traveler screening through TSA security checkpoints at select airports. With TSA Preâś“, you will not have to remove shoes, laptops, belts, and other articles of clothing.
CLEAR gives you expedited airport security through participating airports, stadiums, and other select venues by using biometrics. It's not an alternative to TSA Preâś“ or Global Entry and its usefulness will depend on if you frequent places that use CLEAR.
Priority Pass is a network of over 1,300 lounges around the world. Access to Priority Pass can be gained through select credit cards that offers membership, credit cards that offer complimentary passes, or you can pay for membership through prioritypass.com.

American Airlines AAdvantage Credit Cards

American Airlines offers six credit cards that earn AAdvantage Miles which consists of four Citi credit cards and two Barclays credit cards. They are part of the oneworld Alliance.

American Airlines AAdvantage is not a direct transfer partner of any major U.S. bank rewards program which makes AA credit cards the best option for rapidly earning AAdvantage Miles.

Best No-Fee Card For AA

Rewards Rate
2X
Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services
2X
Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
1X
Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
Main Card Highlights
  • Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • No Annual Fee
  • Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% - 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Annual Fee
$0
Authorized User Fee
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
3%

Delta Airlines SkyMiles Credit Cards

Delta offers a total of seven co-branded American Express credit cards. They are part of the SkyTeam Alliance.

Delta is a direct transfer partner of the American Express Membership Rewards Program. This opens up a large handful of additional credit cards you can use to earn lots of SkyMiles.

Best Overall Card For Delta

Intro Bonus
Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Rewards Rate
3X
Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
2X
Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
1X
Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
Main Card Highlights
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Annual Fee
$250
Authorized User Fee
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%
Best For Maximum Delta Benefits
Calculate the average cash value of Delta SkyMiles.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards

Southwest offers a total of three personal credit cards and two business credit cards. They are not part of any alliance and do not currently partner with any airline.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points can be transferred directly to Southwest Rapid Rewards at a 1:1 ratio which makes it a great program to invest in if you want to maximize your rewards with Southwest.

Best For Maximum Southwest Benefits

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
Intro Bonus
Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, now enjoy more benefits and more ways to earn.
Rewards Rate
3X
Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases.
2X
Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
2X
Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
1X
Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Main Card Highlights
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, now enjoy more benefits and more ways to earn.
  • $75 Southwest® travel credit each year.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings every year when available.
  • Earn 1,500 tier qualifying points towards A-List status for every $10,000 spent-with no limit on the amount of TQPs you can earn.
  • 25% back on inflight purchases.
  • 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass®.
Annual Fee
$149
Authorized User Fee
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%
Best For Frequent Southwest Flyers
Calculate the average cash value of Southwest Points.

United MileagePlus Credit Cards

United offers a total of six credit cards held by Chase Bank. This consists of four personal credit cards and two business credit cards.

United MileagePlus is a direct transfer partner of the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program. This adds up to an additional 7 credit cards you can use to build United Miles across everyday spending and intro bonuses.

Best Overall Card For United

Unitedâ„  Explorer Card
United Explorer Card
Intro Bonus
Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Rewards Rate
2X
Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on hotel stays and United purchases
2X
Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and eligible delivery services
1X
Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Main Card Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® fee Credit
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip) when you use your card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Clubâ„  with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining including eligible delivery services
Annual Fee
$0 the first year, then $95
Authorized User Fee
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%
Best For Earning Miles At No Annual Fee
Best For High Value & Benefits
Best For United Club Membership
Calculate the average cash value of United Miles.
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