Airline credit cards are a good way to maximize travel spending and enjoy perks along the way. An airline credit card is a card co-branded between a credit card company and a specific airline, earning you airline miles for your purchases on the card–often with added returns for purchases from that airline. If you’re looking at some future travel, an airline credit card might be a lucrative investment in your next trip.
The first thing to figure out with an airline specific card is which airline. First, check your travel history and see if there’s a natural leader in which airline you prefer to fly. You might also look at if a specific airline has a major hub near you. For example, American Airlines’ main hub is the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and United’s is in Denver. If you live by these airports, these airlines would be a good bet.
From there, it’s time to explore that airline’s different credit card offerings. Most airlines have a basic credit card, a mid-tier card, and a premium card and it can get confusing which one will fit the bill for you. You’ve got to think about where you stand on the size of acceptable annual fee, points per dollar, free checked bags, priority boarding, airport lounge access, and foreign transaction fees.
If you need some help, we’ve tried, tested, and read the fine print on each of the cards and picked our top choices of the best airline credit cards for the average frequent flier. Plus, if you’re feeling less airline loyal , we snuck a few general travel cards into the mix as well.
The Best Airline Credit Cards
- Alaska Airlines Visa Signature: Best for Alaska Airlines Flyers
- Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard: Best for American Airlines Premium Perks
- Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite: Best for Mid-Tier American Airlines Flyers
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card: Best for Premium Delta Airlines Flyers
- SouthWest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit…