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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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25 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.

Gain access to Reduced Mileage Awards for up to 7,500 miles off rotating origins and destinations each month.

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.

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 :

$720

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Annual Fee: $250

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Estimated Bonus Value :

$720

Offer: Earn 60,000 SkyMiles, 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), + receive a $100 statement credit 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 SkyMiles, 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), + receive a $100 statement credit 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 SkyMiles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), + a $100 statement credit when you spend $4,000 within 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 SkyMiles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), + a $100 statement credit when you spend $4,000 within 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates and Fees)