Air Miles Credit Card Review

Why Use an Air Miles Credit Card?

As a perceptive consumer, you've already discovered that you can use reward credit cards to your advantage. If you enjoy travel or aspire to travel, the best way to earn miles is by using airline credit cards. These are ideal rewards credit card option because they give you an opportunity to earn air miles rewards simply by using your credit card to make everyday purchases. In addition to providing you with air miles that you can leverage to help fund your travels, these cards often include additional perks, like free bag checking or priority boarding, that can make your travel either less expensive or more convenient.

The best airline credit cards we've identified include the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. For tips on how to get the maximum benefit from your frequent flyer miles card, visit our Learning Center to read articles about air miles credit cards.

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Air Miles Credit Cards: What to Look For

Evaluating air miles credit cards can be challenging because in addition to air miles, there are additional travel benefits and financial factors to consider. We used the following criteria to determine the top airline miles credit cards.

Travel Benefits
For each dollar you spend, most air miles credit cards give you one mile or one point. The best miles credit cards give you the opportunity to earn double miles when you make certain purchases, such as purchasing a flight from the participating airline, which makes it easier for you to accumulate the miles you need to earn a flight.

In addition to earning miles, most air miles credit cards have additional benefits that enhance your enjoyment of the card. The best frequent flyer miles provide travel benefits like in-flight discounts, priority boarding and access to VIP lounges inside airports. They also don't have blackout dates that might restrict your ability to use your miles at optimal times.

Key Features
The best frequent flyer credit cards include features that give you peace of mind when you travel, as they provide you with the assistance you would need in the event of an emergency. Many of these features automatically activate when you use your air miles credit cards to purchase your travel fare. Examples of these features include lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance and rental car insurance.

APR
Like any other credit card, an important consideration when you're selecting an air miles card is the annual percentage rate that it carries. The annual percentage rates should be relatively low for purchases and balance transfers. APRs for cash advances and penalties should be on par with those charged by other credit cards.

Fees & Penalties
You should expect your air miles credit card's fees and penalties to be in line with industry-standards. Common fees include a cash-advance fee, a balance transfer fee, a late fee and a returned payment fee. The best air miles credit cards don't have annual fees and don't charge you international purchase fees.

Member Support
When you're traveling, being able to contact your credit card provider at any time of day or night isn't just a convenience, it's a necessity. Your air miles credit card company should provide 24/7 member support that you can contact by phone. In the event that your card is lost or stolen, the company should be willing to get you an emergency card replacement as quickly as possible – preferably, they should overnight it to you. Other member support features on the company's website, like live chat and a list of frequently asked questions, make it easy for you to find helpful information about your card's benefits, thus increasing the overall convenience of using your card.

Air Miles Credit Cards: Specific Considerations

Depending on your overall use of the credit card and your ability to take advantage of the benefits that it provides, your individual preferences and needs may vary. Here are some key decisive features, along with our recommendations based on each feature.

No Annual Fee
If you don't want to pay an annual fee and don't want to have to remember to cancel a card after the introductory period expires, consider the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card or Blue Sky from American Express®.

Free VIP Lounge Access
If you want a comfortable place to rest while you're waiting for your flights and VIP Lounge Access is a perk you can't do without, check out the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card or the United MileagePlus® Club Card.

Priority Boarding
If being able to board the plane a little sooner helps you snag a better overhead bin or helps you get your little one settled, look for a card that gives you this advantage. In addition to the first two cards on our lineup, also consider the Citi® AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® or the United MileagePlus® Club Card.

Introductory APR
If you want a card that gives you a 0% APR as an introductory bonus, check out the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card or the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card.

For the frequent or would-be traveler, an air miles credit card is an excellent choice of rewards credit card because it helps you earn frequent flyer miles simply by making everyday purchases. With this type of card, you may even be able to earn double points when you use the card to purchase flights. Many cards also provide benefits that elevate your travel experience, like VIP lounge access, priority boarding and concierge service.

*Disclaimer: The Annual Percentage Rate or APR is reflective of the date this review was last updated.

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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express United MileagePlus® Explorer Card Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card The JetBlue Card from American Express Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Plus Card Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Card United MileagePlus® Club Card Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold MasterCard®
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express United MileagePlus® Explorer Card Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card The JetBlue Card  from American Express Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Plus Card Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Card United MileagePlus® Club Card Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold MasterCard®
Reviewer Comments Read Review
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Ratings
9.40
9.10
8.58
8.53
8.45
8.32
8.23
8.03
7.73
7.60
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
9.38
8.75
8.75
9.38
10.00
8.13
8.75
8.75
9.38
6.88
9.38
9.38
9.38
10.00
6.25
9.38
10.00
10.00
10.00
6.88
9.38
9.38
8.75
9.38
10.00
5.00
9.38
8.75
8.13
6.88
8.75
9.38
8.13
9.38
6.88
8.75
8.75
7.50
9.38
7.50
8.13
8.75
3.75
9.38
6.88
6.25
9.38
9.38
8.13
 
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Travel Benefits
Miles/Points to Dollars Spent Ratio 1 Mile/1 Dollar Spent 1 Mile/1 Dollar Spent 2 Miles/1 Dollar Spent 1.25 Miles/1 Dollar Spent 1 Point/1 Dollar Spent 1 Mile/1 Dollar Spent 1 Point/1 Dollar Spent 1 Point/1 Dollar Spent 1.5 Miles/1 Dollar Spent 1 Mile/1 Dollar Spent
Sign-Up Offer 30,000 bonus miles after $1,000 spent in first 3 months 30,000 bonus miles after $1,000 spent in first 3 months 40,000 bonus miles after $3,000 spent in first 3 months 20,000 bonus miles after $1,000 spent in first 3 months 20,000 TrueBlue points after $1,000 spent in first 3 months 50,000 bonus miles after $3,000 spent in first 3 months 25,000 bonus points after $1,000 spent in first 3 months 25,000 bonus points after $1,000 spent in first 3 months $100 statement credit after first purchase 25,000 bonus miles after $750 spent in first 3 months
No Blackout Dates
 
International Flights
Earn Double Miles or Points
  
 
Free Bag Check
   
 
Priority Boarding
   
  
 
VIP Lounge Access $
      
 
In-Flight Purchase Discounts
   
   
Annual Bonus Miles or Points  
   
  
Concierge Service  
 
  
Key Features
Travel Accident Insurance
Rental Car Insurance
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
 
24/7 Roadside Assistance
 
 
Zero Liability
Miles/Points Don't Expire
 
 
No Cap on Miles/Points
 
Extended Product Warranty
Purchase Protection
Return Protection
      
 
APR
Standard APR* 15.24% - 19.24% Variable 15.99% Variable 13.9% - 20.9% Variable 11.9% - 19.9% Variable 15.24% Variable 13.99% - 21.99% Variable 15.99% Variable 15.99% Variable 15.99% Variable 13.99% - 21.99% Variable
Cash Advance APR* 25.24% Variable 19.24% Variable 24.9% Variable 24.9% Variable 25.24% Variable 25.24% Variable 19.24% Variable 19.24% Variable 19.24% Variable 25.24% Variable
Balance Transfer APR* 15.24% - 19.24% Variable 15.99% Variable 13.9% - 20.9% Variable 11.9% - 19.9% Variable 15.24% Variable 13.99% - 21.99% Variable 15.99% Variable 15.99% Variable 15.99% Variable 13.99% - 21.99% Variable
Penalty APR* 27.24% Variable 29.99% Variable 29.4% Variable 29.4% Variable 27.24% Variable 29.99% Variable 29.99% Variable 29.99% Variable 29.99% Variable 29.99% Variable
Introductory APR*     0% on Purchases       
Introductory Period     Until Feb. 2016       
Fees & Penalties
Annual Fee $0 first year, then $95 $0 first year, then $95 $0 first year, then $59 None $0 first year, then $40 $0 first year, then $95 $69 $99 $395 $0 first year, then $50
Late Fee Up to $38 Up to $35 Up to $35 Up to $35 Up to $38 Up to $35 Up to $35 Up to $35 Up to $35 Up to $35
International Purchase Fee None None None None 2.7% 3% 3% None None 3%
Cash Advance Fee $5 or 3% $10 or 3% $10 or 3% $10 or 3% $5 or 3% $10 or 5% $10 or 3% $10 or 3% $10 or 3% $10 or 5%
Balance Transfer Fee $5 or 3% $5 or 3% None None $5 or 3% $5 or 3% $5 or 3% $5 or 3% $5 or 3% $5 or 3%
Returned Payment Fee Up to $38 Up to $35 Up to $35 Up to $35 Up to $38 Up to $35 Up to $35 Up to $35 Up to $35 Up to $35
Grace Period 25 Days 21 Days 25 Days 25 Days 25 Days 23 Days 21 Days 21 Days 21 Days 23 Days
Member Support
Phone 24/7
Emergency Card Replacement
Live Chat
 
   
Email  
  
 
FAQs
*The Annual Percentage Rate or APR is reflective of the date this site was last updated.