1. General Travel Rewards Cards – General travel rewards cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred and American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card 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.
It’s no secret that here at CreditShout we love the Venture card from Capital One. With this card you earn double miles on all purchases. There are no hidden fees, or rotating rewards categories to keep track of so you will always be earning the maximum rewards.
The miles you earn can then be redeemed for ANY travel expenses including hotel rooms, airfare and car rentals. This card also has no foreign transaction fees, which is a huge plus for international travelers.
Capital One Venture Rewards:
- 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
- As seen in Money® Magazine’s “Best” issue three years in a row. – Money® Magazine May 2010, 2011, 2012
- Earn 10,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $100 in travel
- Redeem your miles for any travel expense
- No limit on the miles you can earn and miles don’t expire
- Fly on any airline, any time with no blackout dates
- No foreign transaction fees
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
Capital One is currently offering new cardholders 10,000 bonus miles, just make $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your card membership.
Premier Rewards Gold Card Rewards:
- Earn More: earn 25K Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2K during your first three months of Card membership; earn 15K points after you spend $30,000 within one calendar year
- Earn Fast: 3X points for flights booked with airlines, 2X points at US gas stations and US supermarkets, 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- Use points for gift cards for dining, entertainment, and to shop over 300 of some of your favorite brands
- Access to Benefits: Baggage Insurance Plan* when you travel, and shop with confidence with Extended Warranty* and Return Protection.*Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company
- Book two consecutive hotel nights through American Express Travel and receive $75 back at checkout. Restrictions may apply
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
- Terms and Restrictions Apply
American Express is also now completely waiving the annual fee for the first year, making this card one of our top choices, and a great choice for really anyone who is looking to earn a ton of travel rewards.
This card also has a great rewards program (again if you fly Delta) and the annual fee is completely waived for the first year. The REAL perk with this card is that you will no longer have to pay baggage fees (at least for your first bag) – it’s free to check a bag for you and up to 9 people on your reservation.
Gold Delta Skymiles Rewards:
- Bonus Miles: earn 30,000 bonus miles toward Award Travel after you spend $500 on the Card within the first three months of cardmembership.
- Earn As You Spend: Get 2X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles for all other eligible dollars spent.
- Check your first bag free on every Delta flight – that’s a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four
- Premium Travel Perks: Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding, and enjoy the skies with 20% in-flight savings to use toward meals, beverages, and movies awarded as a statement credit.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Terms and Restrictions Apply.
Blue Sky Rewards:
- Welcome Bonus: earn 7,500 points after you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of Cardmembership – redeemable for a $100 statement credit.
- Flexible Ways to Earn: earn 1 point for virtually every dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
- Unlimited Travel Options: Travel with any airline, hotel, cruise, car rental and travel package – with no blackout dates.
- Flexible Bill Payments: pay your bill all at once or over time.
- No annual membership fee and 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months, after that, your APR will be a variable rate, currently 17.24%- 22.24%.
- Terms and Restrictions Apply.
How Do I Redeem My Points or Miles?
Redeeming points and miles with a travel rewards card like Chase Sapphire or Amex Gold 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.
Tip: If you book your travel through American Express Membership Rewards, or your card issuers travel site, your points can be worth up to 25% more than their face value.
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.
View The Best Airline Miles Credit Cards by Airline:
If you live near a major airport this isn’t a HUGE deal because you will find that most major carriers fly into just about every major airport, but it can be an inconvenience so do your research!
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.