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Airline Credit Cards

Airline Credit Cards allow you to rack up airline miles and come with perks like free checked bags and priority boarding.

In general, you want to start with Business Credit cards first if eligibile (and this page will explain how your small side hustle may qualify you for those bigger business credit cards bonuses) followed by general travel rewards-earning credit cards.

Once you have all the cards you want in those categories, it’s time to think about if you could benefit from the perks of a co-branded airline credit card. In general, the lower end airline cards (annual fee of less than $100) are best for avoiding checked bag fees, assuming you don’t already have airline status which would confer the same benefit, while the premium airline cards (annual fees of over $400) are best for those that want airline lounge access with that airline or want to earn extra status miles via spending.

As an example, the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard comes with AA Admiral’s Lounge access for less than the cost of paying for a lounge membership outright. The Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card from American Express does the same and also allows card holders to earn Delta MQMs (Elite Medallion Qualification Miles) by meeting yearly spending thresholds.

We base our ratings on the value of the points of each card by the amount of the bonus. Pretty simple!

Advertiser Disclosure: Your Best Credit Cards has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Your Best Credit Cards and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Commissions do not affect or prioritize placement within our results and not all cards displayed earn us a commission. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.

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26 Cards Available:

Credit card

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

Annual Fee: $0 Introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99

Estimated Bonus Value :

$975

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Annual Fee: $99

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$975

Offer: 65,000 bonus AAdvantage® miles after spending $4,000 in your first 4 months

Review: Get a free checked bag and preferred boarding on American Airlines. The free checked bag is valid for for you and up to 4 travel companions. Earn a $99 companion certificate for domestic main cabin travel.

Earn AAdvantage miles at the rate of 2x for American Airlines, telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants, and gas stations, plus 1x for everything else.

Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible mile earned from purchases

NOTE: Our estimated rewards values assume all of your airline spend is with AA for the purposes of valuing your rewards for this card. If you spend across multiple airlines, your rewards will be lower as this card earns 2x on AA purchases only.

Offer: 65,000 bonus AAdvantage® miles after spending $4,000 in your first 4 months
Credit card

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite MasterCard

Annual Fee: $0 Introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99

Estimated Bonus Value :

$750

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Annual Fee: $99

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$750

Offer: Get 50,000 AAdvantage miles when you spend $2,500 in your first 3 months

Review: Get a free checked bag and preferred boarding on American Airlines. Earn 2x AAdvantage miles at gas stations and restaurants, as well as on American Airlines. Also earn a $100 flight discount after spending $20,000 and renewing your card.

Also, you'll earn 1 Loyalty Point (towards elite status) for every 1 eligible mile earned from purchases

NOTE: In calculating your potential rewards for this card, we are assuming that all spend entered as "Airline" is on American Airlines. If some of your airline spend is on other airlines, that spend will earn 1x rather than 2x miles and reduce your expected rewards.

Offer: Get 50,000 AAdvantage miles when you spend $2,500 in your first 3 months
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$750

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Annual Fee: $450

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$750

Offer: Get 50,000 AAdvantage miles when you spend $5,000 in your first 3 months.

Review: Get full Admirals Club Membership for the primary cardholder, plus Admirals Club access for authorized users. Get a free checked bag for you and up to 8 companions on the same record, priority boarding, priority check-in, and priority screening (screening where available).

Earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles, and earn a bonus of 10,000 EQMs (towards elite qualification) in any calendar year you spend $40,000 on the card.

NOTE: In calculating your potential rewards for this card, we are assuming that all spend entered as "Airline" is on American Airlines. If some of your airline spend is on other airlines, that spend will earn 1x rather than 2x miles and reduce your expected rewards.

Offer: Get 50,000 AAdvantage miles when you spend $5,000 in your first 3 months.
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$750

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Annual Fee: $95

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$750

Offer: Earn a Welcome Flight Reward worth up to 50,000 points when you spend $3,000 within 3 months + up to 51,000 points via 10x total points on travel and dining for your first 6 months.

Earn Rate

  • 3X points for every dollar spent on dining, takeout, and eligible delivery services
  • 3X points for every dollar spent at grocery stores
  • 3X points for each dollar spent directly with Air Canada
  • 1 point for each dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Plus, 500 bonus points for every $2,000 spent in a calendar month (up to a maximum of 1,500 points per calendar month)

Card Benefits

  • Status Boost: Automatically receive Aeroplan 25K Elite Status for the remainder of the first calendar year, plus the following calendar year, allowing primary cardmembers to enjoy benefits such as priority check-in, early boarding, upgrades and more on Air Canada flights. Cardmembers can requalify as follows:
    • Earn 25K Status through the next year after spending $15,000 in a calendar year
    • Existing status holders earn a one-level status boost to 35K Status or higher for the next year after spending $50,000 in a calendar year
    • Additional spend thresholds starting at $100,000 of spend in a calendar year will unlock unprecedented Aeroplan redemption benefits, including 50% off Priority Rewards and companion benefits
    • (If you apply in December 2021, you will still have status until Dec 31, 2023 - more than two full years.)
  • Pay Yourself Back: The Aeroplan Credit Card is the first co-branded card to do this (starting soon, not right at launch) and you will be able to Pay Yourself Back with up to 50,000 Aeroplan points annually. This will be good for any all travel from Ubers to flights and will be at 1.25 cents per point in value, so $625 a year max.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Global Entry / PreCheck / Nexus reimbursement once every four years (This is the only credit card in the US that reimburses Nexus, which is like a Canadian Global Entry and is available to US citizens as well)
  • Free checked bag for you and up to 8 companions on the same itinerary
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Roadside Assistance
  • The card is a World Elite Mastercard, so you’ll get all of those benefits.

Spend Threshold Bonuses

  • At $100,000, $250,000, $500,000 and at $750,000 spend in a calendar year you get a 50% off reward certificate. These vary in utility based on your tier but if you have top tier Air Canada status, they are good for 50% off any award you can find.  In fact, you can even use them to book an Aeroplan-metal economy award (if that is what your status allows) and then use eUpgrade credits to get into Business Class.
  • At $1,000,000 in spend, you het a GLOBAL +1 Award, which grants you 100% of your points back for all redemptions in all cabins on any metal for a designated companion.

NOTE: If you used our Credit Cards Optimization Tool to find this card, please remember that the 3X bonus rate for Air Canada flights only applies to paid flights booked via Air Canada. Other flights would earn 1X.

Offer: Earn a Welcome Flight Reward worth up to 50,000 points when you spend $3,000 within 3 months + up to 51,000 points via 10x total points on travel and dining for your first 6 months.
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$720

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Annual Fee: $250

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$720

Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) when you spend $3,000 in your first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates and Fees)

With the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card you'll get an annual main cabin "Buy One, Get One" companion certificate, plus your first checked bag free and priority boarding on Delta.

Earn bonus Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) and bonus miles at tiered spending thresholds. Spending $25,000 in a year on this card will waive the MQDs requirement for Medallion qualification up to Platinum status.

Delta Business Platinum Bonus Categories

  • Earn 3X miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 3X miles on hotels (purchased directly with the hotel - much better than when you have to use a booking portal!)
  • Earn 1.5 miles on purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 50,000 miles per year.

Additional Amex Delta Business Platinum Benefits

  • $100 statement credit every 4 years for Global Entry or an $85 statement credit for TSA Pre✓® every 4.5 years.
  • Buy One, Get One Companion Certificate on select fares.
  • $39 Delta SkyClub per-visit lounge access.

NOTE: Our rewards calculator and Estimated Rewards Values assume all "Airfare" is on Delta and is therefore counted at 3x points. If you also fly another carrier, you will only earn 1x points for those purchases and your Reward Values would be lower than indicated.

Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) when you spend $3,000 in your first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates and Fees)
Credit card
Estimated Bonus Value :

$720

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Annual Fee: $550

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$720

Offer: Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) when you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates and Fees)

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Credit Card offers an annual companion certificate in any cabin class and Delta Sky Club Access + Centurion Lounge, plus your first checked bag free and priority boarding on Delta.

Earn bonus Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) and bonus miles at tiered spending thresholds. Spending $25,000 in a year on this card will waive the MQDs requirement for Medallion qualification up to Platinum status.

Delta Reserve Bonus Categories

  • Earn 3X miles on Delta purchases

Additional Delta Reserve Benefits

  • Complimentary Delta Upgrades: For those without Delta Medallion Elite status, you will still be eligible for complimentary domestic upgrades after all elite members have cleared.
  • Additionally, Reserve cardholders with status get upgrade list priority over members at the same Medallion tier without the Reserve card
  • Annual domestic companion certificate in any class, including First and Business (This can be an amazing value, especially on a Delta One transcontinental flight).
  • $100 statement credit every 4 years for Global Entry or an $85 statement credit for TSA Pre✓® every 4.5 years.

Terms apply.

NOTE: Our rewards calculator and Estimated Rewards Values assume all "Airfare" is on Delta and is therefore counted at 3x points. If you also fly another carrier, you will only earn 1x points for those purchases and your Reward Values would be lower than indicated.

Offer: Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) when you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates and Fees)
Credit card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

Annual Fee: $0 Introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99

Estimated Bonus Value :

$600

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Annual Fee: $99

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$600

Offer: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after spending $2,000 within 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates and Fees)

With the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, you'll get your first checked bag free and priority boarding on Delta.

Spending $25,000 in a year on this card will waive the MQDs requirement for Medallion qualification up to Platinum status. Terms apply.

Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card Earn Rate

  • 2X Delta SkyMiles on Delta purchases
  • 2X miles on shipping with U.S. merchants
  • 2X miles on restaurants worldwide
  • 2X miles on U.S. advertising in select media (online, TV)
  • 1X miles on everything else

New Delta Flight Benefit

Get a $100 Delta credit towards a flight when you have spent $10,000 in a calendar year.

NOTE: Our rewards calculator and Estimated Rewards Values assume all "Airfare" is on Delta and is therefore counted at 2x points. If you also fly another carrier, you will only earn 1x points for those purchases and your Reward Values would be lower than indicated.

Offer: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after spending $2,000 within 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates and Fees)