Best airline credit cards of 2024

Earn rewards on airfare and travel with an airline card. Get matched to credit cards from our partners based on your unique credit profile.

Enjoy air travel perks

Get priority boarding, free checked bags and access airport lounges.

Get a welcome bonus

Meet the intro spending requirement and you could get a big reward.

Protect your trip

Get trip cancellation coverage, baggage loss insurance and other travel protection.

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Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card logo.

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey℠ Card

Intro bonus:

Earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s $600 toward your next trip.

Rewards:

1x-5x (Points per dollar)

Ongoing APR:

21.24%, 26.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR

Annual Fee:

$95

Annual percentage rate (APR)

The APR on credit cards is simply the interest rate the card issuer charges when you don't pay off your balance in full each month—it doesn't include the card's annual fees or other fees you may be charged for using your card. There are several types of APR that can apply to credit cards including purchase, balance transfer and cash advance.

Intro bonus

A credit card intro bonus, also called a welcome bonus, is a benefit that credit card issuers offer new cardholders when they're approved for the new card. While some intro bonuses offer automatic rewards upon approval, most require you to spend a certain amount on eligible purchases in a given timeframe to qualify. Look for cards with a high intro bonus and a low spending requirement.

Rewards

Airline rewards credit cards reward you with airline miles or points equal to a percentage of each dollar you spend, such as 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked with the card and 10 miles per dollar on hotels or rental cars. Look for an airline rewards credit card that reward the spending you do the most, and with miles and points redemption options that work for you.

Annual fee

Some credit cards have an annual fee you'll pay when you first receive the card and at each cardholder anniversary. Take the cost of an annual fee into account when considering which options will benefit you the most over the course of a year.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Intro bonus:

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Rewards:

2x (Miles per dollar)

Ongoing APR:

21.24% - 29.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee:

$99, waived for first 12 months

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Intro bonus:

Earn 95,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Rewards:

1x-3x (Miles per dollar)

Ongoing APR:

20.99%-29.99% Variable

Annual Fee:

$650

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Intro APR:

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Ongoing APR:

19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)

Rewards:

1.25x-5x (Miles per dollar)

Annual Fee:

$0

American Express® Gold Card

Intro bonus:

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Rewards:

1x-4x (Points per dollar)

Ongoing APR:

See Pay Over Time APR

Annual Fee:

$250

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Intro bonus:

Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Rewards:

2x-10x (Miles per dollar)

Ongoing APR:

19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee:

$395

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Intro bonus:

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Rewards:

1x-5x (Points per dollar)

Ongoing APR:

See Pay Over Time APR

Annual Fee:

$695

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Intro bonus:

Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.

Rewards:

1x-2x (Miles per dollar)

Ongoing APR:

20.99%-29.99% Variable

Annual Fee:

$0

Capital One VentureOne Rewards for Good Credit

Intro bonus:

N/A

Rewards:

1.25x-5x (Miles per dollar)

Ongoing APR:

29.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee:

$0

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Intro bonus:

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Rewards:

2x-5x (Miles per dollar)

Ongoing APR:

19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee:

$95

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

Intro bonus:

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value.

Rewards:

1x-3x (Points per dollar)

Ongoing APR:

20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR

Annual Fee:

$0

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Intro bonus:

Earn 65,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Rewards:

1x-2x (Miles per dollar)

Ongoing APR:

20.99%-29.99% Variable

Annual Fee:

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Intro bonus:

Earn 85,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

Rewards:

1x-3x (Miles per dollar)

Ongoing APR:

20.99%-29.99% Variable

Annual Fee:

$350

American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® Card logo.

American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® Card

Intro bonus:

Earn 15,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Rewards:

1x-2x (Miles per dollar)

Ongoing APR:

21.24% - 29.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee:

$0

Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the banks, lenders and credit card companies.

*For complete information, see the offer terms and conditions on the issuer or partner’s website. Once you click apply you will be directed to the issuer or partner’s website where you may review the terms and conditions of the offer before applying. We show a summary, not the full legal terms – and before applying you should understand the full terms of the offer as stated by the issuer or partner itself. While Experian Consumer Services uses reasonable efforts to present the most accurate information, all offer information is presented without warranty.

Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party companies ("our partners") from which Experian Consumer Services receives compensation. This compensation may impact how, where, and in what order the products appear on this site. The offers on the site do not represent all available financial services, companies, or products.

ΘCredit scores are used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any offer.

How to find the best airline credit card

1

Know your FICO® Score

Airline cards often require good to excellent credit—at least 670.

2

Consider airline loyalty

If you often fly the same airline, you may want to get their card.

3

Choose your benefits

Find a card that offers the perks you’ll use the most.

Start with your FICO® ScoreΘ and see card offers matched to your credit profile.

Get started for free

ΘCredit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more.

Frequently asked questions

An airline credit card is a card that offers benefits to travelers who frequently fly with a specific airline. These credit cards are co-branded, meaning they're issued by a specific credit card provider alongside a specific airline. You can use airline credit cards to earn rewards for purchases you make using the card, which helps you get more out of your everyday spending.

In addition to points and miles, airline credit cards also commonly offer other perks for travelers, such as travel insurance, free checked bags, priority boarding, access to airport lounges and more. When comparing various airline credit cards, keep all these potential benefits in mind to look for the credit card that offers you the greatest overall value. For example, if you fly very often, free checked bags could have big a financial payoff for you. If you fly less often, an airline credit card with flexible redemption options could help you get the most bang for your buck.

Airline miles are rewards that you earn for spending money with a specific airline, or that you rack up by using an airline co-branded credit card. Airline miles are also commonly referred to as frequent flyer miles, or simply as miles.

Airline miles are valuable for travelers because you can use them to reduce your airfare price, pay for purchases at the airport or in flight and sometimes redeem for cash back or merchandise. The most cost-effective way to use your airline miles will vary depending on the airline, so it's important to understand the redemption value for your specific airline mile credit card to come up with a strategy for getting the most out of your miles.

In order to use a specific co-branded airline credit card, it will be necessary to be enrolled in that airline's frequent flyer rewards program. That's how you'll be able to earn miles or points with your airline credit card. That said, anyone can join a frequent flyer program; you don't have to pay anything to join, and you can be a member regardless of how often you fly.

On the other hand, if you prefer not to join a specific airline loyalty program, non-branded travel credit cards can also allow you to earn rewards and take advantage of travel perks. The major difference is that, unlike a co-branded credit card, travel rewards cards allow you to maximize flexibility. Airline credit cards allow you to maximize rewards if you intend to fly primarily with a specific airline. Since your rewards are linked to their frequent flyer program, they often come at a more generous rate.

How much airline miles are worth depends on the specific airline credit card. There isn't one standard redemption value for all airline miles. A typical rate that many airline cards use is for each mile to be equivalent to around $0.01 each. For example, if you earned 1,000 miles, you'd have the equivalent of roughly $10. It's important to note that you'll typically get the most value if you redeem your miles directly for flights, rather than for cash.

Airline miles can expire, but if and when they expire depends on the specific airline. For example, Delta, JetBlue, United and Southwest miles do not expire at all, while American Airlines miles will expire after 24 months of account inactivity. Some airline miles won't expire as long as your frequent flyer account stays active, but will expire after a year of inactivity. You should check with your loyalty program and see if there is any expiration for your airline miles.

To start earning airline miles, you'll need to sign up for an airline credit card linked to a frequent flyer loyalty program at the airline of your choice to start earning and redeeming your miles.

Once you're signed up, you can earn airline miles in a variety of ways. It's a good idea to pick an airline credit card that rewards the spending you already do. For example, you could pick an airline credit card that offers 1 to 3 miles for every dollar spent on everyday purchases, from the gas you put in your car to the groceries you put in your fridge. That way, you'll get the most out of the spending you already do.

Next, you can earn more miles by using your airline credit card to purchase flights, book reservations at hotels, rent a car or make other travel-related purchases. Keep in mind that many airline credit cards reward qualified travel purchases affiliated with the airline at a higher rate than general purchases. So, for example, if you stock up on snacks in the airport refreshment shop or order a drink during your flight, you might get 5 miles per dollar spent. Compare that to other purchases, which might be rewarded at a rate of 1 to 3 miles per dollar spent.

The best way to redeem airline miles is typically through the airline's loyalty program website. Login to your frequent flyer account to review your redemption options. Be sure to pay attention to which redemption options give you the best value for your miles. You can also look for promotions that help you get even more out of your rewards. Often, you'll get the best value if you use your miles to book a flight directly through the airline's loyalty program. But in addition to using the rewards you rack up to pay for flights, you may be able to use them to upgrade your airline seating or to pay for other travel-related purchases, such as hotel stays, car rentals and merchandise.

Alternatively, you can typically redeem your airline credit card miles by logging into your credit card mobile app. You'll be able to review your rewards balance and review various redemption options. Options will vary card to card. If your airline rewards credit card offers you the ability to redeem your miles for gift cards or a statement credit, you can also do that through your credit card app. But keep in mind that these redemption options may not offer you the best value for your miles.

Yes, many airline rewards credit cards offer free checked bags as a cardholder perk. For example, some airline reward credit cards waive fees for your first checked bag on domestic flights. Credit cards that offer this benefit usually come with an annual fee, but you could still come out ahead if you use the free checked bag benefit and other perks. Be sure to balance this benefit with other incentives, such as flight discounts and welcome bonuses, when selecting the best airline credit card for you.

Credit score requirements vary between airline credit cards. Often, airline cards will require you to have good or excellent credit to qualify. That means you'll need a FICO® Score of 670 or higher. Before you weigh the benefits of specific airline credit cards, check your credit report and score through Experian. If your credit score needs improvement, learn about how to build credit before you apply to ensure you get the credit card with the benefits you want.

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