This CreditShout guide was last updated on March 16, 2015.
Airline miles credit cards allow you to earn rewards on purchases that can than be redeemed for airline tickets, hotel rooms, and even cash back in some cases. When comparing these cards it’s important to understand that there are two types of cards which allow you to earn airline miles / travel rewards.

1. General Travel Rewards Cards – General travel rewards cards like Barclaycard Arrival and Capital One Venture allow you to earn miles or points that are redeemable with any airline. For most people, we recommend choosing this type of card because you have more options when it’s time to redeem.

2. Airline Specific Cards – These cards let you earn miles that can be redeemed with a specific airline, such as Delta or United.

We have hand-picked the best deals for both types of cards below.

Our top choice for earning miles and travel rewards is the the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard. This card offers an amazing opportunity to earn 2x miles on all purchases and a bonus worth $400 in free travel.

In addition to earning 2x miles on ALL purchases you also earn 10% of your miles back when you redeem for travel. This is what gives Barclaycard arrival a significant advantage over just about every other travel rewards card currently on the market. There are no major catches with this, simply redeem for travel and get a 10% of the miles you earn back.

With the 2x points version of this card you can also earn 40,000 bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases during your first 90 days – this is equivalent to receiving $400 in free travel!

Barclaycard also offers a version of the Arrival card without an annual fee. You will still earn 2x miles on travel and dining purchases, and for everything else you can earn 1 mile per dollar spent.

This rewards program rivals that of annual fee cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred, which has a very similar rewards program but costs $95 a year.

This version of the card also gives you 10% of your miles back if you choose to redeem them for travel.

The no annual fee version of the Arrival card is offering a 20,000 mile sign up bonus (equivalent to $200 in travel rewards) if you make $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of cardmembership.

We highly recommend the Priceline Rewards Visa for frequent flyers and travelers. With this card you can essentially earn an impressive 5x points on all travel purchases booked through You also earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

With the Priceline Rewards Visa, points act like cash, so 5x points is really like earning 5% back on travel. The opportunity to earn 5x points what makes this card a hidden gem for earning rewards on travel.

Most other cards only allow you to earn 2x points on travel – so this card provides amazing opportunity to rack up points if you travel often.

You also receive 5,000 bonus points after making your first purchase.

Airline Miles Credit Cards Q&A

How Do I Redeem My Points or Miles?

Redeeming points and miles with a travel rewards card like Barclaycard Arrival is pretty painless. You just book your trip with the card (it can be any airline, hotel etc..) and then you can apply the points you’ve earned towards those purchases, either online or over the phone.

Are Airline Credit Cards Any Good?

Some airline specific cards do have solid rewards programs. If you are planning to apply for a specific airlines rewards card, make sure that your airport is a hub for that airline! For example: Even though Delta flies into pretty much everywhere, your life will be much easier when it comes time to book if you live near a Delta hub like Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York (JFK), or Salt Lake City because there will be more available flights to choose from.

This is why many times it can be good to go with a general travel rewards card like Chase Sapphire, because you can book with any airline or hotel and not have to worry.

What’s The Difference Between An Airline Miles Card And A Frequent Flyer Card?

Frequent flyer programs work in conjunction with your airline or travel rewards credit card. By signing up for a frequent flyer program you receive miles and build status whenever you fly with an airline. These miles are usually in addition to the miles you earn on the purchases you make with your card.