Apr 20, †Ј Co-branded credit cards are a hybrid between a store card and a rewards card, and since they're backed by a major network and/or a major . Apr 15, †Ј Co-branded airline credit cards sometimes offer the biggest benefits toward airfare and related purchases. Travel rewards cards provide broader rewards categories, but many don't offer the same level of rewards for airline-based earnings. If you fly frequently with a particular airline, you should consider a co-branded airline card.
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. While was anything but normal, some temporary changes have made cobranded credit cards more rewarding than ever.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter. Due to cl US Airways and American Airlines merger that happened inthere are still two different banks that issue American Airlines credit cards: Citi and Barclays. This means you have bramded choices as an American Airlines flyer than you would as say, cxrds United Airlines flyer, since all United credit cards are issued by one bank.
The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. Note that these are the cards available for new customer sign-ups, but some other Barclays-issued American Airlines cards may only be available for current Aviator cardholders.
Note: Bonus valuation is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here. Also note that due to the coronavirusnew Citi cardholders who applied for a Citi credit card between Dec. Those are the basics. For more information, read our AAdvantage Platinum Select card review. For more information, read our AAdvantage MileUp card review. The category bonuses are fairly standard:.
Due to the coronavirus, those who earn one of these companion tickets from Mar. Who should get it: The AAdvantage Aviator Red card is a fantastic option for those who want a big sign-up bonus that can be earned after buying something as small as a pack of chewing gum. The perks are solid for the occasional American Airlines flyer. Earn an additional 10, miles when an employee card is used for a purchase. Benefits: As a business card, the AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard offers benefits what is on screen takeoff improve the business traveler experience:.
Who should cl it: This small business card is brznded for frequent American Airlines travelers who want an extra push toward elite status or a chance to earn a companion certificate each credlt with their small business spending.
Related: The crediit cards for each business credit card category. Who should get it: The additional spending category bonuses on this small business card make it an attractive option for small wgat owners who want to caeds extra American miles on a variety of charges. For more information, read our CitiBusiness AAdvantage card review.
Benefits: In addition to the sign-up bonus, the card comes with the following perks:. Who should get it: This is a card for American Airlines elite flyers Ч or those who fly American a lot but just not quite enough for a meaningful status level.
Having this card is a lot like having elite status, crexit the first class upgrades. But even with this perk, the card may or may not be the right one to add to your wallet.
For more information, read our AAdvantage Executive card review. Related: Earning another American Airlines card sign-up bonus: What you need to know. The amount of miles you earn also varies based on your AAdvantage elite status. And while it can make a whole lot of sense to have and use an American Airlines cobranded credit card for your American ticket purchases, there are also situations where other credit cards may be an even better choice.
Consider the following cards for your American Airlines tickets, some of which carry generous built-in travel protections compared to some of the Barclays or Citi cobranded American Airlines cards. How to clean granite mortar and pestle, if you prefer the simplicity of cash fares.
You can redeem acrds points for 1. If you spend a lot in these two categories, you could be ready to book an award flight in no time. As whaat Januarythe card also awards 10x points on Lyft. You get lounge access through Priority Pass Select membershipplus excellent si protections if you put the airfare or the taxes and fees on award flights on your card. Chase has also added limited-time benefits related to the coronavirus pandemic.
For more information, read our Sapphire Reserve card review. Benefits: This card offers double points on all travel and dining purchases not just American tickets at a reasonable annual fee. The Ultimate Rewards points earned can be transferred to United, British Airways, Southwest Airlines as well as several other airline and hotel cxrds. You can also book flights and other travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portalat a value of 1.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card also features primary rental car insurance and some travel and purchase protection benefits. For more information, read our Id Preferred card review. You may be targeted for a ,point bonus offer through CardMatch offer subject to change at any time. You can use points transferred to any of these programs to book award tickets on American-operated flights. The Platinum Card earns 5x Membership Rewards points on all flights booked directly with airlines or via American Express Travel, as well as prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
For more information, read our Amex Platinum card review. In addition to the nice sign-up offer, this card earns 5x Citi ThankYou Points cerdit dollar spent on air travel and restaurants; 3x points per dollar spent on hotels and cruise lines, and 1x point per dollar spent on everything else. For more information, read our Citi Prestige card review. American moved to dynamic pricing waht award tickets what is the difference between wrought iron and steel, which has made some awards more affordable but others extremely expensive.
However, if you fly even just a couple of times per year with American, you can save a lot of money with some of the perks provided by the cobranded cards. Perhaps the most valuable is the free checked bags. Many credti the American Airlines cobranded cards offer free checked bags for four or even eight additional people on the reservation, making it a money-saver for the whole family. Of course, a couple of the cards can also help you earn elite status faster via bonuses you get for spending certain amounts on the cards each year.
Related: How to avoid checked bag fees. The carrier has been rapidly expanding economy web special deals utilizing miles, which can be a steal when they line up with your needs.
AAdvantage miles are worth slightly more than United 1. You cwrds also fly Iberia business class creedit Europe for 57, miles and avoid some of cerdit nasty fuel surcharges that British Airways is known for. If you primarily use your miles for domestic American flights, you might struggle to get a higher value, but it can happen.
Bear in mind that some American cobranded cards also offer discounted awards to select, rotating destinations. TPG Editor Nick Ewen took advantage of this for a round-trip flight to New Mexico, dropping the price of his three award tickets from 25, miles to just 17, miles. If you live near an airport that regularly appears on this rotating list of cities eligible for these discounts, having an American Airlines card could make a lot of sense.
Additionally, you can theoretically have more than cardx Citi-issued American Airlines card if you wish. As always, read the fine print in the carcs and conditions carefully, but there are cardds to have more than one American Airlines branded card if you wish. During non-pandemic timesAmerican Airlines miles are one of the last major types of airline miles in the U. If you let your American AAdvantage account sit for 18 xards without activity in your account, all those miles you worked so bfanded for caards Е disappear.
However, it is pretty easy to keep that from happening even without flying American Airlines simply be earning at least one mile. While you can do that without crdit American Airlines credit card, simply making periodic purchases on the card at least once every 17 months or sowill be enough to keep your American miles from expiring. When travel is normal, deciding which card American Airlines credit card is best comes down to how often you fly American Airlines, how much you value lounge access, whether you need help achieving American Airlines elite status and what other cards you have in your wallet.
For most occasional American Airlines flyers, the Aviator Red will be the way to go. The card provides a sizable 60,mile welcome bonus after you hit the spending requirements to boost your account from the beginning and some nice perks like waht first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries.
For example, The Platinum Card from American Express awards 5x Membership Reward points per dollar on American Airlines ticket purchases made directly with the airline and includes Priority Pass access. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is another what does auxiliary heat mean on a honeywell thermostat choice crddit travelers who want some built-in travel protections and bonus points without being locked into earning miles with American Airlines.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older offers below.
Enrollment required for cdedit benefits. Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank carcs.
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Sign-up Successful! Welcome to The Points Guy! Wilson is the credit cards editor for Ccredit. Known as the Aviation Queen, she's a veteran aviation journalist who has covered airports, security and the airline passenger experience.
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In This Post
Mar 28, †Ј Mastercard has recognised Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) for the launch and outstanding performance of its Ooredoo Co-Branded Corporate Credit Cards, the first-of-their-kind corporate payment solutions. Apr 15, †Ј Hotel credit cards reward cardholders at different rates for different spending categories. For co-branded cards, the highest rate will be for spending with a specific hotel brand. Both co-branded and general travel cards may also offer bonus points for other types of spending, such as gas, grocery or dining purchases. Apr 21, †Ј While we've detailed the top 12 best credit cards for rewards, the Chase Sapphire ReserveЃ takes the cake for best travel rewards credit card. You'll get a 50% redemption bonus when booking travel through the Chase Ultimate RewardsЃ online travel portal Ч stretching the value of your points further than other cards can offer.
One of the most important considerations in choosing an airline credit card Ч if not the most important Ч has nothing to do with the card. Other airports have more competition, giving you a choice of cards. You earn 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 1 point per dollar elsewhere.
Points are worth 1. Plus, the card comes with a generous sign-up bonus. You earn 2X points on all travel and dining, and the points are more valuable and more flexible than many airlines' frequent flyer miles. You'll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, at restaurants and at U. Terms apply. There's a great bonus offer for new cardholders, too. And if you like to travel as a group, this card provides a free checked bag for yourself and up to eight other people traveling on your reservation.
You also get priority boarding. And the top-notch checked-bag benefit can save hundreds of dollars a year if you travel often and not necessarily light. Rewards: 2 points per dollar spent with Southwest and its hotel and rental-car partners; 1 point per dollar on other purchases. Many airline credit cards waive the annual fee the first year, but this one does not.
Like to travel abroad? Southwest provides service to only a limited number of international destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. You earn 2 miles per dollar on United purchases, at restaurants and on hotel stays; other purchases earn 1 mile per dollar. The first checked bag is free for you and a companion, and you get priority boarding.
Each year, you receive two one-time passes to United Club airport lounges, and the card reimburses your application fee for TSA Precheck or Global Entry. You even get primary rental car insurance and a great sign-up bonus. Other cards provide a free checked bag for more people traveling on your reservation.
As with any branded airline card, you're limited in how you can redeem your rewards. If you fly United regularly Ч or have the option to Ч it's a must. The rewards are similar to what you'd earn with any airline card: 2 points per dollar on purchases directly with Delta and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. But you also get 2 points per dollar at restaurants. You don't get the free checked bags or priority boarding privileges that other cards offer Ч but then again, you're not paying for those perks either.
To unlock the most valuable perks of airline credit cards, you'll have to pay an annual fee. You get a free checked bag for you and up to four other people on your reservation, priority boarding on domestic flights and a discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases. Small-business credit cards aren't just for people with storefronts or offices. If you're a freelancer, have a "side hustle" or do gig work, you may a good candidate for a small-business credit card, too. Having a dedicated card for your money-making enterprise helps you keep business and personal finances separate.
Every year, you get a companion certificate, which lets you bring someone with you on a domestic flight, regardless of what fare class your ticket is. Rewards: 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases rising to 1. There's a super bonus offer, too. That fee can be a deductible business expense, though, and if you use this card as intended, you'll get your money's worth.
The annual companion certificate Ч which is good even in first class Ч and the checked-bag benefit adds considerable value, too. Rewards: 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases. And don't forget the sterling bonus offer.
Lounge access is only valuable if you use it, and to use a companion certificate, you have to pay full price for a ticket for yourself. Also valuable: a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation. As for rewards, you earn 3 miles per dollar spent directly on Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile per dollar on everything else.
There's also a nice bonus for new cardholders. And the annual fee is not waived for the first year, as it is with some other airline cards. NerdWallet's ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formulas take into account multiple data points for each financial product and service. Click the card name to read our review. Our pick for: American Airlines. Enjoy bonus rewards at gas stations and restaurants, a fine sign-up bonus, a checked-bag benefit, priority boarding and more.
Read our review. The sign-up bonus is stellar, too. Our pick for: Southwest Airlines. Southwest Airlines' priciest card is also its best. And the perks are outstanding for a basic airline card Ч a free checked bag, priority boarding, lounge passes and more.
Our pick for: No-annual-fee airline card. A best-in-class checked-bag benefit first bag free for you and up to eight others on your reservation , priority boarding and the opportunity to earn a flight credit each year make this card a bargain for Delta stalwarts. Our pick for: Premium airline card. Our pick for: Airline card for small business. The annual companion certificate Ч which is good even in first class Ч and the checked-bag benefit add considerable value, too.
Our pick for: Alaska Airlines. The annual Companion Fare benefit alone can more than make up for the reasonable annual fee. Our pick for: JetBlue. Because of its relatively limited footprint, JetBlue isn't an option for everyone. If you do fly the airline, though, take a good, long look at the JetBlue Plus Card. This card gives you high-value miles Ч and a lot of them Ч plus a checked bag benefit, a generous anniversary bonus and other perks.
Airline credit cards earn frequent-flyer program miles every time you use the card, but the value of these miles depends both on the airline and how you redeem the miles. To better understand what miles are worth, NerdWallet researched the cash prices and reward-redemption values for hundreds of flights. Our results:. For details about our methodology, see our valuations page.
Our valuations are different from many others you may find. You should therefore use these values as a baseline for your own redemptions.
If you can redeem your points and miles for the values listed, you are doing well. The first step in choosing an airline credit card is determining whether an airline card even makes sense for you, especially compared with a general travel credit card whose rewards aren't tied to a specific carrier.
An airline card can be a good choice if you regularly fly the same airline and do so often enough that the benefits you get from the card justify the annual fee.
The more you fly a particular airline, the more able you are to rack up enough miles for a free flight or seat upgrade and use those rewards for a flight you want. Checked bags are a big consideration because most major airline cards include a checked bag fee waiver, which can be valuable and quickly make up for the annual fee. If you fly mostly one airline, choose a card from that carrier. If you regularly fly a couple of airlines, you might even consider getting cards for both.
If you think lounge access is worth it, get the premium card but be prepared to absorb a hefty annual fee. Beware that a lower-tier, no-annual-fee airline card might not include free checked bags.
For more, see our guide to choosing an airline credit card. The three biggest domestic airlines all offer credit cards with no annual fee:. No-annual-fee airline cards are best for people who don't travel regularly but still want to earn airline miles Ч those who get a psychological boost from "getting closer to a trip" with each purchase.
NerdWallet doesn't recommend no-annual-fee airline cards for frequent flyers because while they earn miles often at comparable rates to annual-fee cards and sometimes entitle you to a discount on in-flight food and entertainment, they lack the most valuable benefits of carrying an airline card:.
Annual-fee airline cards generally include a free checked bag for you and at least one other person traveling on your reservation. As a rule, no-annual-fee cards do not include free bags.
Annual-fee airline cards usually give you preference in boarding. Some airlines call this "priority boarding," others call it "preferred boarding. No-annual-fee cards don't give you and head start on boarding. Annual-fee airline cards offer richer bonuses. New cardholder bonus offers on cards with fees are typically hundreds of dollars more than on no-annual-fee cards.
If you fly a single airline a couple of times a year and you regularly check bags, you'll easily save more money with an annual-fee card than with a no-annual-fee option. But if you're dead-set against paying annual fees in any case, consider skipping an airline card entirely. Consider a no-annual-fee general-purpose travel credit card whose rewards can be used on any airline or any other travel expense , or get a good cash-back credit card and save your cash rewards for your next trip.
And with some airlines, notably United Airlines and JetBlue Airways, you must use your airline card to pay for your tickets in order to qualify for free checked bags. Many airline cards have no foreign transaction fees, so can be a good choice to use while traveling abroad. Because airline cards typically give you accelerated rewards for airline purchases Ч often 2 miles or more per dollar spent Ч use the card for airfare, in-flight purchases and other airline-related expenses.
For more, see our guides to airline frequent flyer programs. Travel enthusiasts have multiple options besides airline cards, notably general travel credit cards. These cards provide travel rewards without tying you to a single airline.