The best airline credit cards with no annual fee are Capital One VentureOne and Discover it Miles if you want a general miles card, or the Blue Delta SkyMiles, China Airlines and Frontier Airlines cards for those who want to earn airline-specific miles without paying an annual fee. The earning rates on the airline-specific cards aren’t quite as good, though, and you’ll only be able to use them for flights on one airline.
Here are the best airline credit cards with no annual fee:
Capital One VentureOne: 20,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. 1.25 miles per $1 on all purchases (10 at hotels.com/venture). 0% APR on purchases for 12 months. No foreign transaction fee. You need good credit.
Discover it Miles: 1.5 miles per $1 on all purchases. First year’s miles matched. 0% APR on purchases for 12 months. No foreign transaction fee. You need good credit.
Amex Blue Delta SkyMiles: 10,000 bonus miles for spending $500 in the first 3 months. 2 miles per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants and on Delta purchases (1 point per $1 on everything else). 20% statement credit on food, beverages and headsets purchased on Delta flights. 2.7% foreign transaction fee. You need good credit.
China Airlines Credit Card with No Annual Fee: 2,500 bonus miles for making your first purchase in the first 3 billing cycles. 1 mile per $1 in China Airlines purchases, and 1 mile per $2 spent elsewhere. No foreign transaction fee. You need good credit.
Frontier Airlines Credit Card with No Annual Fee: 10,000 bonus miles for making your first purchase. 1 mile per $1 in Frontier Airlines purchases, and 1 mile per $2 everywhere else. 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months (3% fee). 3% foreign transaction fee. You need good credit.
Overall, there aren’t too many airline credit cards with no annual fee. Most travel rewards credit cards charge, but many also offer more than enough rewards to make up for it, as long as you regularly make purchases and pay your bill in full every month. So you may want to waive your no-annual-fee rule if you spend at least $1,000 per month. That’s how much you have to shell out each of the first three months to get the Capital One Venture Card’s $500 initial bonus, for example. And that alone covers more than six years of annual fees, since Venture’s $95 charge is waived the first year.
But if you don’t spend quite that much, Capital One VentureOne or Discover it Miles is definitely the way to go. Keep in mind that Discover it has no foreign transaction fees, but it also has lower global acceptance than Visa or Mastercard.
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