Wondering what airlines credit cards are? These are cards that are specifically designed to offer various perks such as access to the airport lounge, free checked bags, etc. These cards also allow you to earn points that will help you to save on flights. In this write-up on airlines credit cards, we will analyze some of the best credit cards in this category. So, let us start.
Best Airlines Credit Cards
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
One of the most well-known credit cards for airlines is offered by Chase. Know as the Sapphire Preferred® Card, this credit card comes with a lot of perks that are perfect for frequent fliers. Let us check out the salient features offered by the card:
- Spend $4,000 during the first 90 days from the date of opening the account, and you will earn 50,000 points as a bonus. If you use the Chase Ultimate Rewards® for redeeming these points, you will get $625 towards travel expenses.
- If you use the Sapphire Preferred® Card for dining or traveling anywhere in the world, you will earn 2 points for every dollar you spend. For any other purchases, you will earn 1 point for every dollar you spend using the card.
- For loyalty programs of hotels and leading airlines, you can transfer the points at 1:1 ratio.
- If you redeem all your points via Chase Ultimate Rewards®, the points will have 25% more value.
- You can use the points anytime you want. There are no blackout dates and hence, no restriction on the day of travel.
- If you are using the card in any other country other than the USA, you do not have to pay any transaction charges.
- The card comes with an annual fee of $95, but you do not have to pay the charge for the first year.
- The variable APR of 17.99% to 24.99% applies right from day one. There is no introductory APR offer on this card.
2. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is one of the finest airlines credit cards that you can grab. With amazing rewards associated with card usage, this credit card is excellent for those people who fly or travel frequently. The best features of the card are:
- If you are making purchases in-flight using the card, you will earn 20% cash back.
- If you make purchases on Southwest® or you spend on car rentals or hotels that have partnered with Rapid Rewards®, you will earn 2 points against every dollar you spend.
- For any other purchase, you will earn one point for every dollar you spend using the card.
- In addition to those, if you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days, you will get 40,000 bonus points.
- You can earn another 7,500 bonus points after you reach your first Cardmember anniversary.
- When available, you will get four upgraded boardings each year.
- Each year, you will receive Southwest® travel credit of $75.
- If you use the card for transactions outside the USA, you do not have to pay any charges.
- Introductory APR is not available. The regular APR of 17.99% to 24.99% (variable) will apply from day one.
- The card has a high annual fee of $149.
3. American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
Another insanely popular card among airlines credit cards is the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. The card is best suited if you are traveling with your family (of four). The salient features of the card include:
- In the first three months (counting from the day of opening the account), if you spend $1,000 for purchasing, you will earn bonus miles of 30,000.
- If you make a direct Delta purchase with the card during the first 90 days, you will also get a statement credit of $50.
- If you make a direct Delta purchase, for every dollar that you spend using the card, you will earn 2 miles. For any other purchases, you will earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar you spend.
- If you are traveling with a family of four using Delta flights, the first bag checking is free. It translates into $200 saving in every round trip.
- You can buy tickets at Delta.com using the bonus miles. You can pay the entire ticket price with miles, or you can make partial payments with miles and pay for the remaining.
- You will get priority boarding with Delta flights and hence, you can get to your seat sooner.
- There is a yearly fee of $95 to use the card, but the fee is waived for the first year.
- There is no such thing as introductory APR (for balance transfer or purchase). You need to pay the regular APR of 17.74% to 26.74% (variable) depending on your creditworthiness.
4. Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®
The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® is another player in the world of airlines credit cards. The card is not a co-branded card, and hence, you can use or redeem the rewards while flying with any airline or while staying at any hotel. The best features available with the card include the following:
- In the first 90 days, if you are spending $5,000 on purchases, you will win 60,000 bonus miles.
- On every purchase you make, you will earn two bonus miles. There is no limit to the miles you earn.
- You can always redeem your miles as travel statement credit.
- Whenever you redeem your bonus miles, 5% of the miles will be credited back into your account so that you can redeem it the next time.
- The miles will never expire as long as your account is open and active and it has a good standing.
- If you use the card to transact in foreign countries, there will be no charges.
- The card comes with PIN and International Chip. It means that anywhere in the world if you can find self-service chip terminals, you can use the card.
- The card has an annual fee of $89, but you don’t need to pay the fee for the first year.
- You also get an introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. The offer remains for 12 months, and it can be accessed only and only if you transfer the balance within 45 days from the date of opening the account.
- The regular APR of the card is 17.99%, or 21.99%, or 24.99%. What you receive will depend on your creditworthiness.
Airlines credit cards are a great way to save money when you fly frequently. Whether to choose a non-co-branded card or a co-branded card will depend on whether you fly with a single airline or you fly with multiple airlines. Choose wisely depending on your needs.