Frequent flier programs represent one of the oldest merchant rebate programs in the country.
Some years ago, credit cards companies began to realize that offering travels benefits to customers was a great selling point and incentive for customers looking for the best travel credit card.
Mileage credit cards are especially important for business travelers. Today, there are thousands of credit cards that offer frequent flier miles and traveling points.
What Criteria Defines the Best Airline Miles Credit Card?
Travel Credit Cards are very popular with travelers who are disenchanted with airline and hotel awards programs that have far too many restrictions.
Travel Credit Cards offer a lot more flexibility when choosing airlines, hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions.
The best airline credit card is the one that offers the highest number of points/miles, provides the largest variety of opportunities to earn points/miles, and allows points to be used for the widest range of travel services.
Here are a few of the best credit cards for miles.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – This card’s beginning bonus is 40,000 miles after $3,000 has been spent is the first quarter of the card’s validity. An additional 25% bonus is offered for booking travel arrangement’s through Chase’s site. If a second authorized user is added, a 5,000 mile bonus is added after the first charge by that user. Finally, 2:1 miles are offered on travel and restaurant expenditures, and 1:1 on all other charges.
- Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® Visa Signature® Card – The initial bonus is 30,000 miles for $1,000 spent in the first quarter. Every hotel booking done on this card receives 3,000 miles. While those bonuses appear ordinary, the card also provides priority boarding and more travel benefits than most other cards.
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® – The welcome bonus is the same as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. The great part is receiving 2:1 miles for all expenditures with no expiration on miles as long as the card is active. The other key feature is a 10% miles rebate on the amount of every redemption.
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – This card only offers 10,000 miles after the first $1,000 spent in the first quarter. However, the award of 2:1 miles on every purchase makes this card extremely valuable for active cardholders. On any reservations for air travel, the cardholder automatically receives accident and travel insurance. On the downside, this card does not provide priority boarding or VIP lounge access.
- Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card – While this card in not listed as a travel card, the benefits are quite favorable for travelers. The card requires no membership fee and charges no fees for foreign transaction. Cash rebates are offered at 1.5% on all purchases, including airfare and travel costs which are usually a large amounts.
- Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® – This card offers miles as both a credit card and an airline rewards program. The beginning bonus is 30,000 miles after the first $1,000 spent in the first quarter. Any charges made purchasing American Airline travel services are awarded points on a 2:1 basis. Otherwise, points are awarded at 1:1. If airfare is purchased, the cardholder receives rental car insurance and travel accident insurance automatically and for free. The other fun benefit is that the first bag checked on an American Airline flight will be free.
It is important to note that almost all travel credit cards have competitive APRs, card membership fees ranging from $35-$95, and most of them offer some type of travel benefits such as VIP lounge access, free baggage check and priority boarding. The cards listed here have distinguished themselves by aggressively providing cardholders with an opportunity to accumulate miles fast.