The Platinum Card From American Express: Best For Luxury Travel Perks
Why we picked it: The popular premium card from American Express comes fully-loaded with premium travel benefits, including luxury airport lounge access, Hilton Honors gold status, which entitles you to free Wi-Fi, late checkout and room upgrades , and an impressive list of travel credits thatll help you recoup its steep $695 annual fee. Those credits include an up to $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and up to $179 statement credit for CLEAR membership, as well as up to $200 in annual Uber Cash credits annually for rides or eats in the U.S. and up to $400 in annual credits combined for hotels and airline fees .
Pros: For base rewards, cardholders earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X points on eligible hotels booked with American Express Travel. They also receive 1X points on general purchases. The card currently touts a generous welcome offer: You can earn 100,000 points if you spend $6,000 in your first six months, which we estimate to be worth around $1,000 when you book through AmexTravel . Plus, youll receive 10X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S. in your first six months.
Who should apply? This card ticks off all the boxes for big spenders and frequent travelers looking for luxury travel perks, particularly complimentary airport lounge access.
Will I Still Earn Miles From Flying If I Earn Them On A Card
Yes. Using an airline credit card as payment does not affect your ability to earn frequent flyer miles on the same flight. You may earn bonus miles from the card you used to make your purchase, but will not earn bonus miles from the airline. The airline awards miles based on its formula, which uses a combination of ticket cost, miles flown, and elite status.
Cibc Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
- $139 annual fee First year free
- Earn 10,000 Aeroplan points after your first purchase
- Additional 10,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass when you spend $1,000 in the first 4 months
- Earn 1.5 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on gas, groceries, and Air Canada purchases
- Earn 1 Aeroplan point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- First bag checked free on Air Canada flights
The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card is the best airline credit card when it comes to Air Canada since you earn Aeroplan points. The standard welcome bonus is often 10,000 Aeroplan points after your first purchase. You would then get an additional 10,000 15,000 points, plus a Buddy Pass depending on what the current promotion is.
The earn rate of 1.5 miles per $1 spent on grocery, gas, and aircanada.com, plus 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases is respectable and is a quick way to earn Aeroplan Miles. This card also gives you your first checked bag free, so you can save quite a bit if youre a frequent flyer. Remember, with Aeroplan, you can now book any available seat with your points.
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Best Credit Card For Bad/rebuilding Credit
- 19.99% interest rate on purchases
- Not available to residents of Quebec
Do you have a less than stellar credit score thatâs making it difficult for you to get approved for new credit or loans? Maybe itâs because you were irresponsible with credit in the past, youâre new to Canada, or you hit a financial rough patch and had to go through a bankruptcy or consumer proposal. Whatever the reason, the Home Trust Secured Visa can help rebuild your credit.
The card has virtually no application requirements and youâre basically guaranteed to be approved. All your payment activity is reported to the credit bureaus, so when you use the card responsibly and make payments on time, you can gradually rebuild your credit score and get lenders to trust you with credit and borrowed money.
Like all secured credit cards, you must provide a deposit as collateral that will be equal to the size of your credit limit. You can provide a deposit of as little as $500 all the way up to $10,000. Your deposit will be reimbursed in full when you close your account, provided you donât owe any balance of course. The card doesnât have an annual fee and carries a standard interest rate of 19.99% . If you donât use the card at least once for a consecutive 365 day period, you will have to pay a $10 inactivity fee.
Why we like it:
How Many Credit Card Rewards Points Can I Earn
Typically, credit cards do not have a limit to how many points you can earn. That said, there may be limits on how much spending will qualify for a category bonus. For example, the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card* offers 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar on U.S. supermarket purchases, but only up to the first $6,000 in purchases per year. Purchases over that amount will earn 1 point per point.
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Citibusiness / Aadvantage Platinum Select Mastercard
Sign-up bonus: 65,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first four months of account opening worth $910, according to TPG valuations.
Rewards: 2x on eligible American Airlines purchases, cable and satellite providers, gas stations, telecommunications merchants and car rentals 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else
Why its the best airline card for American Airlines business flyers: For a low $99 annual fee , youre getting a card that earns bonus miles across multiple categories and provides a few elite-type perks, such as a free checked bag, inflight discounts and priority boarding. You can also earn a companion certificate for domestic travel after $30,000 or more in purchases each card membership year and renewing the card . And now that American Airlines has joined other top U.S. airlines in eliminating most change fees, theres even more reason to rack up on American Airlines miles.
Although you arent getting any luxury benefits such as Admirals Club access, this is a great option for anyone who travels on American Airlines for business.
The information for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Are Airline Credit Cards Worth It
Airline credit cards are worth it for people who travel at least two to three times per year. Most of the top-tier airline miles cards charge an annual fee. However, if youre able to pay for one ticket with points, thats potentially hundreds of dollars saved. Additionally, if you want to earn miles faster for free flights, you should sign up for an airline credit card. You’ll earn rewards on everyday purchases, such as dining or restaurant purchases, as well as an elevated earnings rate on airline-affiliated purchases. It’s also worth noting that you do not need an airline credit card to earn miles through a frequent flyer program, as they’re free to sign up for.
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Hsbc World Elite Mastercard
- $149 annual fee First year rebate
- Earn up to 100,000 HSBC points welcome bonus. Must apply by January 31, 2022. Conditions Apply.
- Quebec residents Earn up to 130,000 points welcome bonus w/ $149 annual fee
- 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases
- 1.5% in travel rewards on all other eligible purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is not only one of the best airline credit cards, but its also one of the best no foreign transaction fee credit cards in Canada. Although the card isnt co-branded with an airline, you can transfer your HSBC Rewards points to Asia Miles, Singapore Krisflyer Miles and British Airways Avios. Not many people know about these transfer partners as its not listed on the HSBC Rewards website, but if you call customer service, theyll be able to transfer your points for you.
Although Asia Miles and Singapore Krisflyer Miles have limited use in Canada , theyre highly valuable to people who frequently travel to Asia. The $100 annual travel enhancement credit can be used on things such as seat selection, baggage fees and even lounge access which technically makes this card one of .
Indusind Intermiles Voyage Amex Credit Card
The InterMiles Voyage Amex Credit Card allows you to earn InterMiles every time you swipe the card. You also get welcome and renewal benefits with the card.
Fee & Charges of InterMiles Voyage Amex Credit Card
- Joining Fee: Rs.2,000
Features and Benefits of InterMiles Voyage Amex Credit Card
- As a welcome gift, you get 2,000 InterMiles.
- You get 2X InterMiles on flight bookings, hotel bookings made via interbook.intermiles.com, and Amazon spends via intermiles.com
- Get 2.5X bonus InterMiles and also a discount of 5% on Etihad Airways tickets that you book on intermiles.com
- Get 1% waiver on your fuel surcharge across petrol stations in India. This is valid on transactions that range between Rs.400 and Rs.4,000.
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Travel Rewards Credit Card Vs Airline Credit Card: What Are The Major Differences
While both general travel rewards credit cards and airline credit cards appeal to frequent travelers, you could say theyâre credit card cousins, not identical twins.
So, what sets general travel rewards credit cards and airline credit cards apart?
Perhaps the biggest difference is in how the cards let you earn and redeem rewards. If youâre considering these cards, it may be helpful to look at how you can earn and use the rewardsâand any other perks.
Where You Can Use Rewards
The first thing to think about when comparing travel credit cards is how you travel. If you usually fly with the same carrier, an airline credit card could earn you miles to use with your favorite airline. And since many large airlines have partnerships with other carriers, you may earn rewards with other brands too.
On the other hand, a general travel rewards card may give you the flexibility to earn and use points or miles on a range of different airlines, as well as other travel purchases like car rentals, hotels and train tickets. Because general travel rewards cards may offer the flexibility of more choices, this may help make travel schedules more accommodating and provide access to more airports.
Where You Earn Rewards
What Types of Perks You Want
Finally, figure out what other travel credit card perks matter to you. With airline cards, these extras are often focused on the part of your trip that gets you from point A to point B, like free checked bags, priority boarding and seat upgrades.
How Much Are Aadvantage Miles Worth
In TPGs latest monthly valuation, American Airlines AAdvantage miles are pegged at 1.4 cents each. The carrier has been rapidly expanding economy web special deals utilizing miles, which can be a steal when they line up with your needs. AAdvantage miles are worth slightly more than United and Delta , partly because of the value you get redeeming them for Oneworld partner awards.
For just 70,000 miles, you can fly Cathay Pacifics excellent business class to anywhere in Asia. You can also fly Iberia business class to Europe for 57,500 miles and avoid some of the nasty fuel surcharges that British Airways is known for.
Bear in mind that some American cobranded cards also offer discounted awards to select rotating destinations. TPG Editor Nick Ewen took advantage of this for a round-trip flight to New Mexico, dropping the price of his three award tickets from 25,000 miles to just 17,500 miles. If you live near an airport that regularly appears on this rotating list of cities eligible for these discounts, having an American Airlines card could make a lot of sense.
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How To Maximize Your Airline Credit Cards
The simplest way to make the most of your airline credit card is to study all the perks and benefits that come with these products and then use them. If you check luggage on flights, you can save $60 round-trip with the free checked bag that typically comes with these cards or even more if you have travel companions.
If the card comes with statement credits, complete the spending required to get them. Use fee credits to cover expenses such as airport lounge access, seat upgrades or inflight food and beverage purchases.
For those chasing airline elite status, see if your credit card offers a way to help achieve it. If it does, consider doing the spending required to get it but remember the TPG Golden Rule of paying off your credit cards every month to get the maximum benefit.
You should also take advantage of free companion certificates to take a friend or loved one on a trip with you.
Finally, dont overlook benefits such as extended warranty coverage and purchase and return protection.
When Should I Transfer Travel Points To Airline Miles
You should opt to transfer credit card points to a participating air miles partner when the flight you want to book costs fewer miles when paid for with frequent flyer points than credit card points. Or when the credit card company offers additional miles when you transfer, exemplified in this Chase Sapphire Preferred review.
Often, credit card points or miles are worth 1 cent apiece. However, when transferred they sometimes get a boost if airlines value miles at something closer to 1.5 or 2 cents per mile. The deciding factor should be how many miles the flight costs with each method. If a domestic round-trip flight requires 25,000 Delta SkyMiles but would only cost $150 , you would be wasting miles if you transfer them first. On the flip side, if that same flight costs a whopping $395 , youd be silly not to transfer and book through the airline.
It is important to keep in mind, however, each of the best credit cards for travel miles offers and bonuses to make sure youre not cheating yourself out of earning additional points or miles.
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Airline Loyalty Programs And Transfer Partners
For airline credit cardholders, taking advantage of loyalty programs and transfer partners are essential parts of the travel toolkit. Both offer the potential for more value, more flexibility and a better overall travel experience.
Heres a list of informative resources from Bankrate:
Loyalty program guides
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
- Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, now enjoy more benefits and more ways to earn.
- 6,000 anniversary points each year.
- NEW! Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases.
- NEW! Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
- NEW! Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
- NEW! 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
- All points earned count towards Companion Pass®.
- No foreign transaction fees.
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How We Pick The Best Airline Credit Card
Major airlines generally offer three to four tiers of credit cards with a range of annual fees, rewards structures and available perks. The lower-tier cards have annual fees under $100, while the highest-tier cards have annual fees that can reach $450 to $500. Most of the airline credit cards we recommend fall in the middle of that range. This is because there are excellent no-annual-fee or low-fee cash-back credit cards available that offer better rewards rates than most airline cards. Once you reach the travel spending threshold required to make a $500 annual fee airline card worth it, you would see more value return from a high-end travel rewards card such as the Platinum Card from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, listed above.
To determine the best airline credit card, we researched all the available cards for seven major airlines and selected those that offer the best potential financial value. Given that the value of airline credit cards can fluctuate considerably based on factors like how many bags you check with your preferred airline in a given year, it’s harder to calculate the specific spending thresholds at which a card makes sense. That being said, we emphasize the rewards and perks that matter the most with each card so you can find the best airline credit card given your situation.
Best Travel Card For Flat
If you are looking to earn travel-based rewards on your everyday spending, you may find that a flat-rate rewards card is a good way to ensure that youre getting a steady return on your purchases without concern over spending categories or limits.
What to Know About This Card
- Annual Fee: $95
- Rewards Program Highlights: Unlimited 2x miles on every purchase that you make
- Introductory Offers: Earn 60,000 Miles by spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership
- Top Perks: Up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck when you pay with the card no foreign transaction fees
Why We Like It: If youre an avid traveler, youre likely going to want a Global Entry and/or a TSA PreCheck membership. Getting one of those for free through this card offsets the $95 annual fee. And the simplified points structure lets you earn miles on everyday purchases.
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Other Cards To Consider
Travel enthusiasts have multiple options besides airline cards, notably general travel credit cards. These cards provide travel rewards without tying you to a single airline. Their rewards usually apply to a wide range of travel-related expenses. And general travel cards tend to be simpler than airline-specific credit cards. So if you spread your flying among several airlines or dont fly that much, a general travel card may be a better choice than an airline card.
You might not need a travel card at all, if a different kind of rewards credit card is a better fit. Indeed, a 2016 NerdWallet study found that most people including many travelers would get more in rewards with a cash-back card than with any travel credit card.
Finally, if you fly different airlines but prefer a particular hotel chain or if you would just prefer free nights to free flights consider getting a hotel credit card.
To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, see this page.To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, see this page.To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, see this page.