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There are two kinds of airline credit cards available; those that earn bonus rewards for booking with any airline, including OTA (online travel agencies), and those that will earn you bonus rewards for booking with a specific airline. For those that don't fly very frequently -like those that travel for business- it may be in your best interest to get a credit card that earns rewards that can be redeemed for travel purchases with any airline or car rental agency. If your closest airport is relatively small, too, it's probably best to choose a rewards credit card that will allow you to book with any airline.
Compiled below is a list of the best credit card deals from our partners that will earn consumers airline miles, offer the highest bonus rewards that can be redeemed for travel purchases with any airline or online travel agencies. The savings on your first flight can be in the high hundreds and your continuous savings can be in the high thousands annually; if you fly enough, that is.
CompareCards.com Best Airline Rewards Credit Cards of 2014
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card- This card is great because it's non-specific to any individual airline, so earned miles can be used for any airline. Cardmembers earn a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles after making $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months-equal to $400 towards travel! You can earn 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase, everyday, and there's no limit to the number of miles you can earn -"No hassle rewards" is no joke. Just go to the Capital One website, use the Purchase Eraser and redeem your miles for any of your travel expenses.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card- After you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account, you can earn 50,000 bonus points - over $500 you can use towards travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Card holders can earn 2x the points on travel and dining purchases at restaurants, and 1 point can be earned on all other purchases. Furthermore, there are no foreign transaction fees, 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs with no transfer fees, and you get 20% off airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card-This rewards card by Citi can earn you up to 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Cardmembers can earn 3 ThankYou points per dollar spent on Travel purchases and 2 ThankYou Points on Dining Out and Entertainment. Meanwhile, you can earn 1 Point per dollar spent on all other purchases. To get the most out of your rewards redemption, redeem for travel purchases through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center.
Barclaycard Arrival™ Plus World Elite MasterCard®- Barclay offers two versions of this card, one with an annual fee and one without. Here, we are focusing on the card with an annual fee for two reasons; you earn more bonus miles and more rewards. You can earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of opening your account. Card holders earn 2x miles per $1 on all purchases with no mileage caps and no foreign transaction fees. When you redeem miles for travel, you get 5% of the miles back.
There are more rewards credit cards available that will allow you to redeem points for travel on any airline, but their bonus rewards aren't nearly as robust. Some examples include:
- Citi Prestige® Card- You can earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou points after $3,000 in purchases are made in the first months of account opening.
- Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi - Earn 25,000 Expedia+ bonus points after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
- Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® -Cardholders can earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
- Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card - You can earn 20,000 bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
- Expedia®+ Card from Citi –Earn 15,000 Expedia+ bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
- BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card- You can earn an online exclusive 20,000 bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
- Priceline Rewards ™ Visa® Card- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you make your first purchase.
- Travelocity® Rewards American Express® Card –Earn 5,000 bonus points after you make your first purchase.
*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.