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Credit card companies rely on air miles and points to build loyalty among business travelers and affluent consumers. Road warriors love to pick up bonus miles, especially when charging reimbursable business expenses to their favorite affinity cards. Meanwhile, everyday Americans have discovered how to convert their everyday purchases into vacation travel vouchers for flights, hotels and car rentals.

Many air miles credit cards offer signup bonuses that can put many new cardholders within easy reach of free or deeply discounted travel. However, every frequent flier program values its miles a little differently, while offering varied bonuses. Use our interactive credit card comparison tool to find air miles and points cards with the best value for your spending and traveling patterns.

Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
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  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days -- that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
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Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
X

  • We'll DOUBLE all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. So if you've earned 20,000 Miles, we'll double it to 40,000 Miles - Automatically. Only for new cardmembers.*
  • No annual fee* & unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar you spend on purchases. 0% intro APR* on purchases for 12 months--then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 11.24% - 23.24%.
  • Discover pays you back for your in-flight Wi-Fi fees—up to $30 a year—with an automatic statement credit.*
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Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
X

  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days -- that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on travel & dining and 1X miles on all other purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
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Credit Needed
Good/Fair
X

  • 2X points on purchases for gas, groceries and utilities, and 1X points on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Points don't expire as long as account is open, active and in good standing
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Credit Needed
Excellent
X

  • Created for those with EXCELLENT CREDIT and approval is based on your credit rating and application review.
  • Low 9.50% variable standard purchase APR and platinum benefits
  • No balance transfer fee for balances transferred
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Credit Needed
Excellent
X

  • Limited-time offer: Welcome Bonus of 25,000 Aeroplan Miles and annual fee is waived for the first year.*
  • Not only will you earn 2 Aeroplan Miles on Air Canada purchases and 1 mile per $1 on your other everyday purchases, but with the welcome bonus of 25,000 miles, you may want to use your miles for a roundtrip ClassicFlight® reward in the continental US and Canada.
  • Not only will your Aeroplan Miles add up faster than ever, but you'll have access to a range of extras like:
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Credit Needed
Excellent
X

  • 0% APR promo balance transfer rate for 12 mos. After that, the APR for the unpaid balance and any new balance transfers will be 10.24% to 17.99%. APR will vary w/the market based on Prime Rate. 3% balance transfer fee per transaction. Subject to credit approval.
  • Rate and offers current as of February 1, 2016 and subject to change.
  • Earn 5 points on airfare purchases.
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Disclaimer:*These quotes are from credit card issuers which have paid for a link to their website. Offers are subject to change without notice and may not be the same for all consumers.

Find the Best Points or Air Miles Credit Card - Best Travel Rewards

"Frequent flier" credit cards

For decades, traditional airlines have partnered with credit card issuers on frequent flier programs that drive loyalty, especially among business travelers. Bonus miles and points on expensive business class fares quickly add up. Meanwhile, special perks like airport lounge access and concierge-level hotel rooms lure customers back to the same carriers, even when discount airlines offer cheaper fares.

That's why many of the most popular discount airlines have started to fight back, updating their own loyalty programs with credit card partnerships that result in fast rewards. In return, traditional carriers have upped the ante with signup bonuses that include tens of thousands of reward miles. Some limited promotions for zero percent interest credit cards have even included enough bonus miles to cover one or two round trip flights, after holding a new card for just a few months.

Credit cards that earn points toward travel

With travel companies in a skirmish over pricing and service, some banks have launched credit cards that use their own versions of points and miles as a reward currency. Instead of banking miles toward a reward flight on a single airline, these rewards credit cards let you fly on any carrier you like and stay at any hotel you wish. You'll earn credits toward upcoming travel purchases, making you feel like a frequent flier even if you don't take to the skies very often. Some cards even let you apply points against earlier eligible travel purchases.

Affinity credit cards with travel perks

Airlines and hotel chains have new company in the crowded rewards credit card market: discount online travel booking sites. Affinity cards offered in conjunction with web travel agencies reward travelers for consolidating their purchases to a single provider. Some of today's best credit card offers include accounts that let you waive third-party booking fees while building rebate credit good towards future trips. A handful of travel credit cards make special sales and new properties available to cardholders before the general public.You can check your rewards through free credit report to check if you have gained any and if not how you can.

Airline credit cards vs. cash back rewards cards

Which is better, miles or cash back? Airline credit cards that align with an "on the road" lifestyle can save you significant amounts of money, especially when you save up your rewards for exotic trips or packaged vacations. If you're a casual traveler or a hardcore bargain hunter, you may prefer the nuts and bolts convenience of a cash back rewards card. Travel websites have made cheap flights and discounted hotels easier than ever to find. Some credit card issuers now promote seasonal bonuses on travel purchases, offering up to 5 percent cash back on flights, hotels, and car rentals at certain times of years.

Using our credit card tables to find the right offer means matching up your travel history and your personal goals against the many current rewards programs. If you're planning on making just one or two big trips over the next few years, a cash back card can maximize rewards that you can use for other important areas of your life. Otherwise, a traditional airline credit card can help you convert your itineraries into free flights and resort stays that you'll cherish much more than your typical business trip.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company.