Air Miles and Points
Monday, 21st January 2013 (By Joe Taylor Jr.)
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.
- Earn 25K Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 during your first three months of Card membership
- Premium travel benefits: access over 600 lounges worldwide when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, no foreign transaction fees
- Receive up to $200 annually in a statement credit with the airline of your choice to use towards baggage fees, flight-change fees, in-flight food and beverage purchases and more
- Bonus Miles: Earn 30,000 bonus miles toward Award Travel after you spend $500 on the Card within the first three months of Cardmembership.
- Earn As You Spend: Get 2X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles for all other eligible dollars spent.
- Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
- Welcome Bonus: earn 7,500 points after you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of Cardmembership - redeemable for a $100 statement credit.
- Flexible Ways to Earn: earn 1 point for virtually every dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
- Unlimited Travel Options: Travel with any airline, hotel, cruise, car rental and travel package - with no blackout dates.
- Starpoints® bonus: earn up to 25,000 bonus points: 10,000 after your first purchase and another 15,000 after you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months of Cardmembership
- That's enough for a weekend getaway to a Category 4 Hotel like the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, or six free nights at a Category 2 Hotel
- Earn up to 5 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG hotels and resorts -- that's 2 Starpoints for using the Card in addition to the Starpoints you earn as an SPG member. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
- Created for those with Excellent Credit and approval is based on your credit rating and application review.
- Travel Rewards - cardholders who enroll in the program receive one point per net dollar spent
- Choose any U.S. based airline or ticket class. No blackout dates or seating restrictions.
- Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of cardmembership*
- Your first eligible checked bag is free*
- Priority Boarding with Group 1 privileges* and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases*
- Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors portfolio after $2,500 in eligible purchases within 4 months of account opening*
- Earn 10 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton HHonors portfolio*
- Earn 5 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases*
- Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 within 4 months of account opening*
- Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at a participating hotel within the Hilton HHonors portfolio.*
- Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations.*
- Earn 15,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $1000 in card purchases within 3 months of account opening - enough for $150 in gift cards or other great rewards!
- 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 12 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99%-22.99% based upon your creditworthiness*
- Earn 1 ThankYou Point for every $1 you spend on all purchases
- Access to Exclusive Benefits: Baggage Insurance Plan* when you travel, and shop with confidence with Extended Warranty* and Return Protection
- Use points for gift cards for dining, entertainment, and to shop over 300 of some of your favorite merchants
- Get discounts and low rates at hotels and resorts, plus a $75 hotel credit when you book through Gold Hotel Collection
- Earn More: earn 25K Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2K during your first three months of Card membership; earn 15K points after you spend $30,000 within one calendar year
- Earn Fast: 3X points for flights booked with airlines, 2X points at US gas stations and US supermarkets, 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- Use points for gift cards for dining, entertainment, and to shop over 300 of some of your favorite brands
- 20,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 in the first 3 months of opening the Card account - that's worth $200 toward your next round-trip airline ticket
- Earn 5 points per dollar spent on airfare purchases
- Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
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.
This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.
Discover is a paid advertiser of this site. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the Discover online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards.
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.