Airline Credit Cards

Disclosure:  Emily & I get a commission for links on the blog.  You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do.  We don’t write about all the credit cards available in the US, but only the ones which get us miles and points or cash back for Big Travel with Small Money!

I keep the information on this page updated, but please double check the credit card applications for details about terms and conditions of the offers.  Please let me know if you find a better offer so that I can list it here!  The card offers are listed alphabetically by airline.

Here are 40+ ways to complete the minimum spending on credit cards if you are concerned about completing the minimum spending requirements.


1.  Alaska Airlines

Bank of America Alaska Air


2.  American Airlines 

Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® 

Citi American Airlines MasterCard

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $3,000 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

3.  AAdvantage Executive

 Citi

ExecutiveSM / AAdvantage®World EliteTM MasterCard®

Citi Executive AAdvantage

My thoughts on the  Citi ExecutiveSM / AAdvantage®World EliteTM MasterCard®

Sign-Up Bonus:   60,000 American Airlines miles after  spending $5,000 on the Citi AAdvantage Executive within 3 months.  A much better offer for 100,000 miles after spending $10,000 within 3 months.

Fees:  $450 annual fee NOT waived; No foreign transaction fee

Other Perks:  Free Admiral’s club lounge membership, 1 free checked bag for domestic travel, and priority AAccess

- Earn 10,000 elite qualifying miles after spending $40,000 in a calendar year


4.  Delta

Daraius’ Tips

5.   Delta Platinum

American Express Delta Platinum  

Delta Platinum American Express

  • 35,000 bonus miles (5,000 are elite qualifying miles) after spending $1,000 within 3 months on the American Express Delta Platinum (personal).  
  • $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within 1st 3 months.
  • First checked bag is free
  • $150 fee NOT waived for first year; No foreign transaction fee
  • Earn 2 Delta miles per $1 spent on Delta & 1 mile for  everything else
  • Earn 10,000 elite miles after spending $25,000 and an additional 10,000 after spending $50,000 in a calendar year

6.   Delta Reserve

American Express Delta Reserve

Delta Reserve American Express

  • 10,000 medallion (elite) miles after 1st purchase with the American Express Delta Reserve card
  • First checked bag is free; free Delta lounge access
  • $450 fee NOT waived for first year; No foreign transaction fee
  • Earn 2 Delta miles per $1 spent on Delta & 1 mile for everything else
  • Earn 15,000 regular & elite miles after spending $30,000 and an additional 15,000 regular & elite miles after spending another $30,000 in a calendar year
  • Tip:  This card could be worth the high fee if you’re looking for Delta club access and medallion (elite) qualifying miles.  Otherwise, skip it.

7.  Frontier Airlines


8.  Hawaiian Airlines


9.  Lufthansa 

Daraius’ Tip:  See these 18 ways to use Lufthansa miles.


10.   Southwest

Daraius Tip:  How to get the Southwest Companion Pass!

11.   United Airlines

Daraius Tip:  See the Hot Deals tab for other offers.


12.   US Airways

Barclay’s US Airways

US Airways MasterCard


13.   Virgin Atlantic

Bank of America Virgin Atlantic 

Virgin Atlantic

  • 20,000 Virgin Atlantic miles after 1st purchase with Bank of America Virgin Atlantic card
  • 25,000 miles after spending $2,500 within 3 months
  • 5,000 additional miles for adding 2 authorized users to your account
  • Virgin Atlantic points transfer to Hilton in 3:4 ratio, so 50,000 Virgin Airline miles becomes 75,000 Hilton hotel points
  •  $90 annual fee NOT waived for the first year; 1% foreign transaction fee
  • My review of the Virgin Atlantic credit card

14.   Other Airline Card Offers

Missing your favorite offer?  Please let me know!

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

1,071 Responses to Airline Credit Cards

  1. Hi there! Thanks for the awesome information! Do you have a similar links page for business cards? I am looking for American Advantage Miles. Thanks again!

  2. @Jennifer – Thanks for reading! Here’s a page which may help.

  3. Mark the Meanderer

    Hi Darius, do you happen to know if the AAdvantage 50k bonus with mastercard is valid if I already applied for the AAdvantage 50k bonus AMEX? I had cancelled this AMEX card half a year ago, so I’m wondering if I’m eligible. Your response is much appreciated.

  4. My wife just received the United 65,000 offer with no particular effort to do so. Simply logged on to MileagePlus account and the link was right there.

    Also, another out that I’ve not seen anyone make (though I’m sure it’s been suggested) is that if you have a Chase United MASTERCARD that was a legacy continental OnePass MasterCard… you can apply for a Chase United VISA card, as this is in fact a different account. Wife and I both did this in February to the tune of 100,000 miles total. I’ve spoken to many United flyer friends who did not consider this was an option. Might be worth pointing out?

  5. @Mark the Meanderer – You usually have to wait at least 18+ months from when you were last approved to get the bonus again.

    @Ray Purkis – Thanks for the tips. You can usually get the bonus again if it has changed versions.

  6. I didn’t try making an application for any other card. My hubby and I both have active Citi AAdvantage cards. Opened around the exact same time about 6 mths earlier. We have been shopping with the Mile Multiplier thru AAdvantage eShopping and good friends have been letting us order exactly what they require and paying us back. EXCELLENT CLOSE FRIENDS !!! So, what’s the advice then when we make use of these miles however wish to get the bonus miles for credit cards once again? Wait up until when? double browser trick? Cancel one for signup for other, timeframe in between? other ideas?

  7. @D Swan – You could try for the Citi Executive card which currently has a 100K sign-up bonus.

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  9. On the United 65,000 offer above, when I go to the website there is a link for 30,000 points if you spend $1,000. Where do I find the link for 65,000 miles?

  10. any idea if and when we will be able to combine AA and USairways miles for award redemption?
    Thanks!

  11. Hi Darius,

    I applied and received the BOA Alaska Airlines Visa Signature and noticed that BOA already credited my account with the 25,000 miles and I have not yet met the $1,000 minimum spend. Should I continue to meet the spend or move on to another card spend requirements and assume my miles are safe?

    Thanks

  12. @eric – Not sure of exact dates, but should be possible to move miles across airlines at some point.

    @Steve – I’d meet the minimum spending just in case!

  13. To Michael: You have to log in to your UA account at UAL.com, then you can see the higher offer. Mine is 50000 after spend $2000 within three months.

  14. Hi Darius,
    I applied UA mileage card 18 months ago in Oct 2012, canceled it in Sep 2013, can I re-apply the card and get bonus again or have to wait until oct 2014. (Do I need to wait 18 months or 2 year from the date I last approved?)
    Thank you very much for your help!

  15. poohcrackers

    Hi Daraius,
    I’m going to be flying Delta a handful of times this year so I was looking at getting the Delta Gold AMEX for the priority boarding and free checked bag. I noticed that if I click your link to the 30k deal or if I just browse the AMEX website in the browser I normally use, it has my visit cached and knows I’m an AMEX card holder as I have the no-AF Hilton AMEX for several years. It offers me an upgrade to the Hilton Surpass with a bonus of 50k points which is not as good as the 75k offer. Anyways, back to Delta. If I browse the (cached) website, I only see a 10k Delta bonus for the Gold. If I use your targeted link and log into Delta, I get a deal for 35k with $500 spend. Reading the details for the card it states “If you are identified as a current American Express® Card Member, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer.”

    Sorry for the long-winded build up, but in your experience if I apply for the Gold AMEX through the targeted offer, would I get the 35k miles after meeting the spend? Or is AMEX pretty strict on giving out any bonuses? I would use a different browser with cleared cache, but looking forward to your input. Thanks!

  16. @Sylvia – it is usually 2 years from when you close the card.

    @ poohcrackers – It is hard to say, but AMEX is tightening on the sign-up bonuses.

  17. Hope you can help! We have a USAir premiere card with 53,000 miles. I have 20,000 miles in my acct but they can’t be combined unless I share them into my husbands acct for 200$. We want to go to europe in the fall which would take 110,000. Miles. What credit card should we apply for that would give us enough points.

  18. @Jane – It is 60K miles for a roundtrip in coach to Europe. You could consider earning United and American Airlines miles (though be careful of the fuel surcharges charged by American Airlines if you redeem for flights on British Airways).

  19. I don’t know if this has been mentioned yet but with the US Airways Mastercard you also get an annual companion certificate. It allows you to buy a round trip in the United States (excludes Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada and then take two other people with you for $99 each before tax.

    Also if you pay the annual fee you also get the award processing fee waived along with the 5000 mile rebate if you book all US Airways flights.

    At the end of the year you also get 10000 mile bonus towards a preferred status. It’s not mileage you get in your account, but if you’ve only flown 15,000 miles that year the bonus will make it look like you flew 25000 miles which will qualify you for the first preferred level Silver. Now that US and AA are merging you also get benefits and miles on both.

  20. Hi Darius,
    I make family trips to Phoenix from Boston 3-4 times per year. What would be my best tactic to accumulate airfare miles other thorn using the Barclaycard Arrival card? Thanx for your help

  21. @CindiaG – I’ve written about this before, but it was some time ago!

    @Dana – You could use the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold as well.

  22. Hi Darius,
    I am planning to bring my family in beginning of June from Houston to San diego (roundtrip)
    I need to buy like 5 tickets which comes to $2300 approximately. Considering I have less than 2 months to accumulate the points which card would you suggest me. both me and my husband can apply for one. But when will they exactly credit our account. as soon as we purchase the limit or in other words would we be able to use those miles to book with time less than 2 months. thanks I really appreciate your help.

  23. Mark Killington

    Interesting reading about the Chase re-apply policies. I have read in the past that you could get another card 18 months to two years after your previous one was cancelled. However I notice that the Chase terms now explicitly state that if you have ever had the card in the past, you will not qualify for a signup miles bonus. So I’d definitely like to know what peoples’ experiences are.

  24. @Mukta – It will be hard to get the miles for everyone to post so quickly. That said, you could get the Barclays Arrival card which will get you ~$440 towards travel which can be used towards any tickets.

  25. Daraius, thanks for your reply to my previous question. I don’t want to give up the United Chase Presidential Plus card b/c the net cost to us is $145 and in addition to the two free bags we use when we winter in Puerto Vallarta we get premier status and club privileges. When we missed a connection in Houston during the storms in January people waited hours in ticket lines while we just went into the club and the concierge got us taken care of immediately. Well worth it!
    But since I realize it’s going to cost me 70k miles for stsndard awards from here on out I need to get a better second card and a new one that will give me a big infusion of miles I can use on united. Chase sapphire? Barclays? I don’t really understand the points but if they transfer 1:1 then they are equivalent to miles. We dine out a lot and the one that gives you bonus on groceries is good too… Your thoughts? From Columbus we are pretty locked into United for PV and my husband has health issues so easiest travel conditions back and forth to PV is current goal. Thanks!

  26. @Janie Blank – You don’t have to give up your existing card, but can apply for new cards to earn more miles or cash back.

  27. Thanks for your reply on 4/4! But I got confused. I read your post(Emily’s Dec churn) and you mentioned that Emily used to get sapphire preferred in Dec 2011, after she canceled in June 2012, and got the bonus again in Dec 2012(that’s 18 months after she first got approved). Does that mean one doesn’t need to wait two years after closing a/c to get another bonus?
    Appreciate!

  28. Hi Darius, do you happen to know how the Bluebird can help me get the $ 10.000 that I need? And how to work? Thanks

  29. Hi Andrey,

    Buy One Vanilla Visa Gift card at CVS and pay by credit card and upload at Walmart Money Center. In addition, you can buy cash card from Costco online if you are member and shop a lot there or your favorite grocery store. Ask around your friends, relatives to pay their bill, buy gift card and next time you will do for them the same.

  30. Hi , wife and I want to go to Europe in May of 2015. Which card would you recommend I use for airline / hotels?

    Thanks

  31. Greetings Darius, Re: Southwest Companion Pass. I earned 50k with personal visa, 30k with (Sapphire->Hyatt) transfer and was declined for Southwest Business visa. What would be best strategy to earn 30k points for coveted Companion Pass? I appreciate your guidance!

  32. if i already have a DL platinum amex and i am considering upgrading to the reserve card, will i get the 10k MQM’s when i upgrade, or will i have to spend 30k in 1 yr to get any MQM’s? I opened my platinum Amex account almost 10 yrs ago.

  33. Can I transfer miles or points from an American Express Platinum to redeem for travel hotels etc on my U.S. Airways Premier world Card?

    I heard that if I transfer points between cards, they a redeemable at better value per points on certain cards,

    Thank you for a great website!!

  34. @Andrey – See this post

    @Ed D – I’d consider earning United miles from the United card and from the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus/Bold cards which you can transfer to United. For hotels, I’d consider the Hyatt card, Club Carlson card, or the Starwood hotel card deepening on your destination. See this post on how to choose a hotel credit card.

    @James – You could buy the points from Choice hotels and transfer or try again for the SW business card.

    @David Black – It depends on the upgrade offer. Usually you don’t get the sign-up bonus for upgrading, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if they have an upgrade offer.

    @Terrance – Unfortunately, you can’t transfer points from the American Express Platinum to other credit card. But you could transfer points to select airlines and hotels such as British Airways etc.

  35. looking for a combination amex citi american airlines card
    do you know where to find

  36. Jessica Alfieri

    Does any bank/credit card company other than Citi offer miles on American Airlines?

  37. Hello Darius! Long time lurker, first time poster!
    Question 1: I finally signed up for the 100k mile offer with Citi and got approved. I just got a “welcome email” from them, but it doesn’t reference anything about the 100k miles with $10k spent in first 3 months. Should I worry? I did a screen print of the landing page that has all the good stuff – 100k miles, $200 statement credit, etc. before I inputted my name and it took me to the rather simple application form. I suppose if I don’t get the 100k miles shortly after 3 months, I should call?
    Question 2: I have had a Citi AA Gold account since 1996 and got the miles for signing up back then. $50 annual fee. That’s the ONLY card I use. Am I not maximizing the credit cards available? Should I cancel this one and get another? Or just cancel since i’m getting this new one with $450 fee per year? I only got this one b/c it was the whopping 100k mile offer and I always wanted membership to AA lounge.

  38. Chowmi,

    When you called to activate the credit just ask them to make sure. I was in the same boat couple months ago. I called to activate and ask them to make sure.

  39. @george – I can’t find a link to the Citi American Airlines AMEX card.

    @Jessica Alfieri – You can get the US Air card which will eventually become American Airlines miles. Or Starwood hotel points which you can transfer to American Airlines.

    @chowmi – Welcome! I wouldn’t cancel the card if it is one of your oldest cards because it could help your credit score.

  40. Hey Darius,

    I really appreciate this site. I’ve been churning delta credit cards for a few years, but only recently did the light bulb go off that I could and should do the same with other airlines. If I get a Chase United Cards while I have a Chase Amazon Card, will I still qualify for the United bonus? Thanks!

  41. Darius (and Hoang),

    Thank you! I received the card in a fancy box yesterday, and it did specify the 100k in 3 months/10k spent bonus miles. Thanks again!

  42. @Andrew – You can get the bonus on different cards if approved.

    @chowmi – Glad it worked out!

  43. I was approved for 1 Barclay & 2 Chase cards about 3 weeks ago. Plus I have another fee free Visa Chase/Signature card from many years back.
    1. When would be a good time to apply for add’l cards ?
    2. Any idea how much a dent my credit score would get hit again if I decided to apply for more cards ?
    3. I already have 3 Chase cards. How many Chase cards is allowed at any one time?

  44. Great Site!

    The Amex Gold Delta Skymiles card has a $50.00 statement credit after making a “qualified” purchase from Delta in 3 months from card opening.

    If I use Skymiles to buy a ticket, and use my Amex/Delta card to pay TSA security fees, is that qualified?

  45. How long do I have to keep the Hawaiian airlines credit card open before I can cancel? I want the 35,000 bonus miles but don’t want to keep it open after I make the $1000 in spend.

  46. Carolyn Bethel

    We currently have both a green and gold card with Amex which gives us mileage on Delta. However, a rt ticket to Barcelona from Detroit costs us each 138,000 miles. They are now offering a Premium Gold Card with triple miles for only $25.00 more per year. Should we get that card or would we be better off getting another card that gives us better mileage. Delta seems tocharge more iles than any other airline. We currently have 238,00 miles on Amex but they don’t let you use it with any other airline than Delta from our start point. I want to get extra miles with either a hotel based credit card or another airline card. Please help me with the best card I can get at this time. I need to make my airline and hotel reservations soon. Thank You so much for your help. Carrie

  47. Pingback: All the Ways to Earn American Airlines Miles | Million Mile Secrets

  48. Thanks so much for this website full of great information. It has been very helpful.

    I just wanted to share a little more info with you

    The American Express Delta Reserve Card no longer has foreign transaction fees

    Thanks again

  49. Thanks as usual. Your blog is the most helpful and revealing than others that I follow. Used your links for more cards. Thanks.

  50. I clicked on the wrong link for the citi executive card. I clicked on the one offering 60,000 miles instead of the 100,000. I was approved but when I realized my mistake the rep offered to cancel the application and told me to reapply tomorrow. She said it will not be a pull-they only do a pull every 30 days but only 1 application per day. Has this ever happened to you? Hopefully she is right about applying tomorrow.

  51. @kevin – You could apply for a card form other banks such as AMEX or Citi. Each bank will assign you a certain limit on cards and credit lines.

    @LuvToTrvl – No personal experience, but it should work!

    @ Heather – You can close the card whenever you want, but I usually keep it open for at least 8 to 10 months.

    @Carolyn Bethel – I’d choose another card such as an American Airlines or United card. For hotels, I like the Hyatt, Starwood and Hilton cards.

    @Brian J – Thanks! I’ve updated the listing.

    @ Mumum – Thanks for reading and for using our links!

    @mimi – I thought it was 1 application every 8 days, but keep us posted!

  52. Pingback: 50,000 Lufthansa Miles Card Ends on Sunday | Million Mile Secrets

  53. The Amex Gold Delta Skymiles card has a $50.00 statement credit after making a “qualified” purchase from Delta in 3 months from card opening.
    What is the consensus on the least expensive way to earn the $50.00 statement credit without buying a ticke or having a flight booked? I am thinking $14 for DELTA 24 HOUR WI-FI PASS. IF I had a flight booked , would a food or drink purchase scheduled online before the flight qualify? , would a food or drink purchase on the flight qualify? thx

  54. I do most of my award travel on AA, and have had the Citi Platinum AA card for a decade now – accumulated almost 450k just off the card purchases (240k left). With a family of 5 now, I need more miles. Any suggestions for AA miles accumulation?

  55. @julie – That could work, but no recent personal experience.

    @Pete – See this post for more information!

  56. Thank you for the reply. Anyone have any personal experience with purchasing a $14 for DELTA 24 HOUR WI-FI PASS or .another idea for less than $20 spend to get the $50 statement credit?

  57. I’m trying to use my Southwest points for an international flight for the first time. Unfortunately, when I’m trying to book a British Airways flight it doesn’t give me the option to upgrade to the Premium Economy class, although I know it is available. Do you know if I use my points to purchase through Southwest, would I be able to upgrade to the Premium Economy class through British airways later?

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  59. I was looking at the Delta website and it requires you to enter in a “skymiles” number to see what your offer is. Where can I get that number if I didn’t receive the offer from them?

  60. @Nikki – I’m not sure.

    @ Jesse – The Skymiles number is your Delta frequent flyer number. You can sign-up using the links on this page.

  61. It’s not a referral link, but there’s still a live 50K link for SW here. https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/southwest/2fftmicrosite

  62. Are there any restrictions on traveling to Hawaii and/or Alaska with the Alaska $99 companion fare?

  63. @Adam K – Thanks! I updated the Hot Deals tab.

    @ Scott – Not that I know about.

  64. Is there anyway to transfer my Ultimate Rewards to points to my MileagePlus Account or any other one ?
    Same with my AmericanExpress points. Thanks.

  65. @steph – You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points (if you have the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold/Plus) to United. You can’t transfer AMEX points, but can transfer to Air Canada and redeem for United flights.

  66. Is it possible to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest so they count toward the Companion Pass?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

  67. How long do you keep miles credit cards active AFTER you met the min spending and collected the miles?

    Thanks for the info you provide!

  68. Hey Darius,

    I currently have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card as well as Barclays Arrival Plus Card. In generally I fly around 8 round trips annually with 3 of them being between Dallas and Atlanta and the rest being between Dallas and San Francisco/Seattle. I’m currently flying US Airways/AA, Alaskan Airlines, and Sprit for the most part. I have no strong loyalties to a particular airline, but am trying to figure out which would be best for me to stick to as far as earning miles and getting a credit card with based on the locations I generally fly.

    Would you recommend getting an airline card for one of those airlines based on my the locations that I’m flying? Also, what airline would be the best for redeeming flights using Barclays Arrival Plus Card and/or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Cards?

    Thanks for your help!!

  69. @Marc – That would be too easy!

    @Ben – I keep them for 9 to 10 months after opening them and then evaluate if they are worth the annual fee.

    @Alex – I’d suggesting flying the airlines which are the cheapest. If you have the Sapphire Preferred you earn 2x points on all travel. You could also get the airline card to get more points via the sign-up bonus.

  70. Since the Citi Executive 100K offer is now dead, would it be possible to sign up for the Citi Platinum Select for 50K miles (first year annual fee free) for my husband even if he already has one? I got in on the Citi executive but he didn’t. TIA

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