If you're a frequent flyer or hope to become one, an airline credit card might sweeten the deal. With the best airline credit cards, you can earn points redeemable for free airfare, seat upgrades, and more. And with co-branded airline credit cards specifically, you might get other perks like priority boarding or free checked bags.
With that being said, the best airline credit card is different for everyone. Before you decide, you should take a closer look at your travel goals and spending style to see which card might benefit you the most. Here are four of the best airline credit cards to consider along the way:
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – Best Flexible Airline Credit Card
While the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card wasn't made to be an airline credit card, it can be. With this card in your wallet, you'll earn points you can transfer to airlines like British Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines at a 1:1 ratio. Plus, you can use your points to book flights with any airline directly using the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
The fact that this card comes with free trip cancellation/interruption insurance, primary auto rental coverage, and a huge signup bonus is just icing on the cake. And since the $95 annual fee is waived the first year, you can try this card out for a year before you commit.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card- Best for Domestic Flights
If you mostly travel close to home, the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is a solid bet. With this card, you'll earn points you can redeem for free travel within the continental United States and the Caribbean. Better yet, the Southwest Rapid Rewards program comes with no blackout dates or capacity controls, which means actually using your points is a breeze. As an added bonus, your first two checked bags are free on Southwest no matter how you pay.
This card does charge an annual fee the first year, but the huge signup bonus keeps its first-year value high.
British Airways Visa Signature®Card – Good for Domestic and International Flights
The British Airways Visa Signature®Card offers everything we want in an airline credit card – a big signup bonus, the ability to earn ongoing rewards, the plenty of ways to use your miles (or, in this case, avios).
While you can use your avios with any OneWorld Alliance member when booking domestic flights, these points offer considerable value for international travel on British Airways metal, too. Plus, you'll get a free Travel Together Ticket when you spend at least $30,000 on your card in a single year and redeem Avios for a reward seat. This card does charge a $95 annual fee, but the rewards are well worth it.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® - Best for International Travel
If you want to score free travel overseas, get the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® the next time the signup bonus is high. With this card, you'll earn American AAdvantage miles good for travel all over the world. And if you're able to take advantage of one of American's off-peak rates, you can stretch these points out rather far.
In addition to a large signup bonus, this card waives its annual fee the first year. Once you sign up, you'll also score a free checked bag for you and up to your companions on domestic flights, priority boarding, and 25 percent off eligible in-flight purchases.