The Best Airline Miles Credit Cards

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If you find yourself doing a lot of traveling, having a travel rewards credit card is a must.  When that travel means flying a particular airline, then an airline miles credit card is the way to go.  Airline miles credit cards can offer unique benefits for frequent flyers that most travel rewards credit cards cannot and as the movie “Up In The Air” has shown, the miles can be racked up in the millions.

Make no mistake, choosing an airline miles credit card should be done only if you enjoy flying a particular airline.  Too often, consumers find themselves tied to an airline they have poor experiences with simply because they earn a few additional miles.  Whether your airline of choice is American, Continental, Delta or a few others, we’ve got a co-branded credit card that can make your flying experience much more enjoyable.

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard

Editor's Pick

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard

Apply for the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard
  • Named 'Best for Travel Rewards' Money Magazine, October 2013
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles if you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next trip!
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • No mileage caps and no foreign transaction fees
  • Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
  • Use miles for a statement credit toward any airline purchase to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates
  • Easily redeem your miles for statement credits toward flights, cruises, car rentals, hotels and more
  • Complimentary subscription to TripIt Pro mobile travel organizer — a $49 annual value!
Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®
Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®
Apply Now...
at CitiBank's
secure site
  • Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of cardmembership*
  • Your first eligible checked bag is free*
  • Group 1 boarding and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases*
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount every cardmembership year with qualifying purchases and cardmembership renewal*
  • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee
Intro APR Intro APR Period Intro APR Intro APR Period
N/A N/A N/A N/A 13.99% - 21.99%* Variable $95, waived for first 12 months*
723 Average credit score approved for this card† 642 Lowest credit score approved for this card†

The US Airways Premier World MasterCard®
The US Airways Premier World MasterCard®
Apply Now...
at Barclaycard's
secure site
  • Earn up to 40,000 bonus miles on qualifying transactions
  • Exclusive: Book award flights for 5,000 fewer miles - award travel starts at just 20,000 miles for cardmembers
  • Zone 2 boarding on every flight
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 on US Airways purchases
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent everywhere else
  • Annual companion certificate good for round-trip travel for up to 2 companions at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
  • First Class check-in
  • Please see terms and conditions for complete details
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee
Intro APR Intro APR Period Intro APR Intro APR Period
0% 12 Months 0% 12 Months 15.99% or 24.99%* Variable $89
753 Average credit score approved for this card† 680 Lowest credit score approved for this card†

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®
The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®
Apply Now...
at Barclaycard's
secure site
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn up to 10,000 bonus miles on balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) in the first 90 days
  • Earn DOUBLE miles on purchases at FlyFrontier.com and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates! Book any roundtrip award flight on Frontier starting at 20,000 miles (subject to fees/taxes from $5)
  • Cardmember Exclusive! Redeem roundtrip companion award tickets for 5,000 less miles (from 15,000 miles plus taxes/fees from $5)
  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, a variable APR, currently 15.99% or 24.99% based on your creditworthiness
  • $69 Annual Fee
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee
Intro APR Intro APR Period Intro APR Intro APR Period
0% 12 Months 0% 12 Months 15.99% or 24.99%* Variable $69
0 Average credit score approved for this card† 0 Lowest credit score approved for this card†

The Premier Miles & More World MasterCard®
The Premier Miles & More World MasterCard®
Apply Now...
at Barclaycard's
secure site
  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
  • Earn up to 15,000 award miles with balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) within 30 days of account opening
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Annual Companion Ticket after first purchase, then annually thereafter
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Redeem miles for flight awards and upgrades on Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, Star Alliance airlines and other partners
  • $79 Annual Fee, waived for SEN and HON Circle Members
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee
Intro APR Intro APR Period Intro APR Intro APR Period
0% 12 Months 0% 12 Months 15.99% or 24.99%* Variable $79
726 Average credit score approved for this card† 670 Lowest credit score approved for this card†

Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® - Earn 1x on All Purchases
Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® - Earn 1x on All Purchases
Apply Now...
at Barclaycard's
secure site
  • Start by earning 20,000 bonus miles when you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 20,000 bonus miles equates to $200 off your next trip!
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X miles on travel and dining purchases
  • Earn 1X miles on all other purchases
  • No mileage caps or foreign transaction fees
  • Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
  • Use miles for a statement credit toward any airline purchase to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates
  • Easily redeem your miles for statement credits toward flights, cruises, car rentals, hotels and more
  • Complimentary one year subscription of TripIt Pro mobile travel organizer – a $49 value
  • Complimentary FICO® Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Scores from your Barclaycard online account.
Purchases Balance Transfers Regular APR Annual Fee
Intro APR Intro APR Period Intro APR Intro APR Period
0% 12 Months 0% 12 Months 14.99% or 18.99%* Variable $0
730 Average credit score approved for this card† 678 Lowest credit score approved for this card†

Published or Updated: February 21, 2014
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. LittleNoah says:

    I would strongly recommend against CitiCards. We recently signed up for one of their cards based on a promotion with Expedia. We had one problem after another. After talking with Citi and asking for help with our problems, we got basically nowhere. The customer service was simply horrible. We’ve had great success with CapitalOne. They have various rewards cards that you can find one that meets your situation and needs the best.

  2. HI-sailor says:

    I have NEVER before bothered to post a comment on a story but reading the initial comment basically demanded I do so.
    I have carried a Citi AAdvantage Gold card for a dozen years. While credit card companies are never going to be warm and fuzzy, Citi has been consistently reasonable and responsible.
    In contrast, I used to carry TWO CapitalOne cards (from before I had the Citi card) and had one for 10+ years and the other 5+ years (from memory). Every little thing with the CapitalOne cards turned into a massive hassle. After completing a significant European vacation using one of my CapitalOne cards almost exclusively I found one overcharge on my bill (out of probably 100+ charges) and filed all of the proper work to contest the overcharge. CapitalOne did nothing to support my claim against the vendor and kept piling on interest/penalty fees (I had paid everything BUT the contested charge) and fought with me for ca. a FULL YEAR before dropping the interest/penalty charges and accepting my version of the bill–which, from memory, was about 85% of the posted billing.
    After I dropped that card in disgust, years later CapitalOne closed my other card for non-use (which was true, since I was still angry about the massive hassles)–no problem.
    But here’s the kicker–years later CapitalOne sent me a targeted, individually identified offering for another card. The benefits seemed to make it a worthwhile deal so I said yes. THEN THEY REFUSED ME, citing poor credit (and the only problems I’d ever had was with them) and, in the process, screwing with my existing credit rating.
    First THEY solicit ME, and then they screw with my credit rating!
    Best advice I can offer is NEVER deal with CapitalOne–if you do, sooner or later, you’re going to be very sorry.

  3. Ron says:

    HI-sailor,
    I agree with you 100 %. Credit Card companies are not warm and fuzzy, they are money making enterprises. But, as you stated, Citi has never done me wrong. I asked them to waive annual fee this year because I hadn’t used it in a few months. The employee said to make 5 purchases in 30 days at any price (a dollar 5 times) and they would reimburse me for the 85 dollar fee. I stayed with them and will keep their cards. If you have a bad experience with any card you need to pursue the issue until it is resolved. They don’t want to lose you.

  4. Well even if I don’t use these credit cards, it’s always good to know everything about it.

  5. Janet says:

    I usually fly Delta, but I will not get the credit card. The flights are too high and the charge for baggage is outrageous! I’ll take the bus even though it takes longer.

  6. You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the paintings you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

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