Airline credit cards can be worth it if you travel frequently with a certain airline. You’ll often get extra rewards for buying your tickets from that airline and may receive special perks like early boarding or free checked bags. You can also get general miles cards that aren’t partnered with any specific airline. Those cards often provide more versatility and better overall value than airline-branded cards. Let’s look at some examples of both types.
50,000 miles bonus when you spend $3,000 within the first 90 days and pay the annual fee of $89. 2 miles / $1 on all Miles & More airline partners, 1 mile / $1 on everything else. One companion ticket and two business lounge vouchers per year. Good credit necessary.
40,000 points bonus after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days. 6 points / $1 on JetBlue purchases. Free first checked bag for you and up to 3 companions on the same reservation. Requires excellent credit. $99 annual fee.
5,000 points bonus after you pay your $0 1st yr, $25 after annual fee or after first card use. 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Can get with bad credit; this is a secured card, so you’ll have to make a $300 security deposit.
100,000 miles bonus when you spend $20,000 within the first 12 months or 50,000 miles for purchases of at least $3,000 in the first 3 months. Unlimited 2 miles per $1 on all purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees. Complimentary travel insurance and concierge service. $95 annual fee. Good credit necessary.
A lot of airline cards will also have other travel-related perks. You might get insurance for travel accidents, trip cancellation, lost baggage, and/or rental cars. Read through your card’s terms and conditions to see all the benefits, and shop around to find the best airline card for you.
The easiest airline credit cards to get approved for are the LATAM Secured Credit Card and the SKYPASS Secured Credit Card. Since they’re secured cards, you can get approved even if your credit is bad. You just have to place a security deposit, which will serve as your credit line. All other airline cards are a lot harder to get because they require at least good credit for approval.… read full answer
This card, co-branded with Korean Air, accepts people with bad credit, gives 5,000 miles SKYPASS bonus miles when you make your first purchase, and rewards you with 1 mile per $1 on all purchases. You must submit a $300 deposit. There is a $50 annual fee.
This card, co-branded with the Latin-American provider LATAM Airlines, accepts people with bad credit. You get 5,000 points bonus after your first purchase, and earn 1 point per $1 on all purchases. You also get a 10% discount on your first LATAM Airlines purchase ($500 or less) each year. You need to submit a $300 deposit. The annual fee is $0 1st yr, $25 after that.
If you’re a student with limited history, you can apply. If you apply online, you get 25,000 points bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. You get 1.5 points / $1 on all purchases, and 3 points / $1 at the Bank of America Travel Center. There’s no deposit, and the annual fee is $0.
You might notice that the two secured credit cards affiliated with an airline seem very similar in their terms. That’s because they’re all issued by U.S. Bank. If you’re a frequent flyer on those airlines, it might be worthwhile to apply. And if you’re a student, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students will give you the best travel value, even though it uses points rather than miles. If you want to qualify for most airline credit cards, though, you’ll have to work on getting your credit into the good or excellent range.
Yes, airline miles are worth it. Whether you earn airline miles through an airline’s frequent flyer program or from a credit card with miles, you’re earning something of value in return for money you would be spending anyway. The miles you earn can then be redeemed for free flights and flight upgrades, saving you money on future purchases.… read full answer
Frequent flyer programs affiliated with major airlines are free to join. Once you sign up, you just have to enter your membership number each time you book a flight to get your miles. Airline credit cards and general travel rewards credit cards help you earn miles much faster, since you can earn miles on tons of different purchases. Many cards also have signup bonuses.
The best airline and travel credit cards often have annual fees. So you’ll have to weigh the value of the miles you’d earn against the cost of the card to determine if the airline miles are worth it. You can also choose a credit card with a $0 annual fee, but you may not earn as many miles.
If you’re usually loyal to one airline, it makes sense to get a credit card for that specific airline. However, if you instead bounce around and book flights on whichever airline has the best and cheapest route, you should get a general travel rewards credit card that’s not affiliated with just one airline.
You can redeem miles for free flights and flight upgrades, whether you’re earning them from a frequent flyer program or a rewards credit card. Credit card miles can also be redeemed for other travel-related purchases, like hotel stays and car rentals, in most cases.
Only if you're particularly fond of a specific airline. If not, they're not that good.
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