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The Best Travel Credit Cards with Airline Rewards

Getting a free flight has never been easier. Banks want your business, and they're more than happy to offer some great perks to get it. One of the biggest perks for those who like to travel is frequent flyer miles credit cards. These cards offer air travel credits as bonuses for completing a minimum amount of spend on the card. Some of these cards offer bonuses that can provide multiple free flights. Here are five of the top frequent flyer miles credit cards.

  1. Citi Executive AAdvantage World Mastercard

    This card currently offers the holy grail of frequent flyer bonuses. Those who are able to afford a $10,000 minimum spend over a three month period will earn 100,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. With the addition of US Airways routes to the American fold, this can be a very good deal that could earn four domestic round-trip flights or two off-season economy flights to Europe. The high spending requirement and the $450 annual fee that comes with this card might make it a bit prohibitive for many Americans.

  2. Citi AAdvantage World Mastercard

    Citi also offers additional cards for those who are not able to spend $10,000 within three months. American Airlines cards are offered the provide cardholders 50,000 miles for a $3,000 spend over three months or 30,000 miles for $1,000 in spending over the same period. The annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year, and users get back 10 percent of the miles they use each year. The larger 50,000 bonus could net two round-trip domestic flights in economy class or a round-trip ticket to Europe for off-peak travel.

  3. Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

    Users will earn 50,000 bonus miles after making a purchase and paying the $95 annual fee. That basically means a pack of gum or a soda and $95 will net nearly enough miles for two domestic round-trip tickets in economy class. A previous version of this card was connected US Airways before they merge with American Airlines. The bonus mile offer is one of the most generous available of any frequent flyer miles credit card.

  4. Chase United Airlines MileagePlus Explorer Visa

    This card from Chase Bank is a great option for those who live near an airport with United flights. The public version of this card offers 30,000 miles for $1,000 in spending over three months, but those who take the time to go to a Chase branch to apply can earn 50,000 miles for spending $2,000 over three months. That's enough for two low-level, round-trip tickets in the US or Canada.

  5. Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa

    This card does not offer miles in a particular program. It offers 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 in three months. The best thing about these Ultimate Rewards points is flexibility. Those who hold them can transfer them in increments of 1,000 at a 1:1 ratio into a number of frequent flyer programs. These include British Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, among others. This flexibility and a 7 percent annual dividend can be a great benefit.

There's no need to pay full price for a flight with all of these options. Most people will spend several hundred dollars each month on food and gas. Those with good credit can take advantage of credit card bonuses to literally see the world without going into debt in order to do so.

Last Updated: January 13, 2023