The best credit cards for airline miles can help you get free flights, and in some cases can even help with free hotel rooms and other travel rewards. With a little research about airline credit cards, this could help you get great value when planning your dream vacation. Airlines offer especially good rewards to loyal customers who both choose to fly frequently with them and use one of their credit cards for their every day purchases. When these two factors combine, you could easily be jetting off on a free flight for your next vacation. Finding the best travel reward credit card will take a little investigating, so take the time to find the right one for you.a
Every major airline offers incentives to earn loyal customers. This can mean keeping track of miles for free flights, complimentary upgrades, priority luggage handling, and priority seating. The best credit cards for airline miles depend on a variety of factors. For example, one of the most important things to consider is your home airport. Do any airlines use your home airport as a hub? Do you usually fly with one particular carrier because they offer the most flights from your home carrier or the most convenient flights to your preferred destinations? If so, you should choose this airline for your credit card miles, as it will be easiest to redeem your points once they add up.
There are a few other things that the best travel rewards credit card will have in common. Many travelers prefer flexibility. This means that rewards are widely available, whether in the form of flights, hotel rooms, or other travel bonuses. If you can’t ever cash in your rewards, it doesn’t matter how easy it is for your points to accumulate. Other factors to consider include whether or not the card has an annual fee—many do, but the fee is often waived for the first year—as well as the interest rate for the card. With a little research, many travelers find that they can change their current credit card to be one with travel rewards. For example if you bank with Chase and currently have a Chase card, it will be simple to change over to a Continental Chase card that earns points towards flights on Continental. US Bank, for instance, has a travel rewards Visa card that accrues points that can be redeemed through Travelocity, which helps if you want more variety in your travel options.
The best credit cards for airline miles are also the ones where points don’t expire. Some credit cards offer the ability for miles to rack up quickly, but they must be used within a certain time frame. For most travelers, this isn’t feasible, so look for cards that offer a little more flexibility. If you can tie in both your everyday purchases as well as miles earned flying with one specific airline, this is the best way to see your points add up quickly. Read the fine print to discover opportunities to earn even more points. Many credit cards offer double points for dining or double points during a certain month of the year, so keep an eye out for opportunities to earn bonus travel rewards.
The best travel reward credit card is ultimately the one that fits with your lifestyle. If you’ve always been a fan of American Express, sign up for one of their travel rewards programs, such as a hotel credit card. If you prefer Visa or MasterCard, look into their array of airline rewards cards. You might just be surprised at how integrated these programs are. For example, you can link up your Continental OnePass account with your Chase Continental credit card, and watch your points add up online. The ease of online banking will allow for you to keep a close eye on your progress and when you have earned enough miles for a free flight.