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Best Airline Credit Card 2020

Best Airline Credit Card 2020

Best Airline Credit Card 2020. Airlines are vying for your loyalty any which way they can get it. Some offer lower prices, others entice with the offers of more leg room, priority boarding, deals with partner hotels and car rental companies – you name it, they’ll offer it. One way into your air travel heart that they have found includes partnering with financial institutions to offer credit cards tied to airline loyalty programs and rewards. This is nothing new, but it continues to evolve. Lenders are upping the ante daily, trying to lure qualified new card members into their ranks, which is why we’ve compiled our top picks for the best airline rewards credit cards from our partners to help make the decision making easier.

United℠ TravelBank Card – Best Airline Credit Card 2020

Pros
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 2% rewards rate on tickets purchased from United
  • 1.5% flat rewards rate on all other purchases

Cons

  • High regular APR
  • Rewards points are only redeemable for United flights
  • TravelBank cash is less valuable than United Miles

United℠ TravelBank Card

REGULAR APR

17.49% – 24.49% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

ANNUAL FEE

$0

WELCOME BONUS

$150 in United TravelBank cash

CREDIT SCORE

Good/Excellent

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card – Best Airline Credit Card 2020

This card makes sense for a narrow range of people: Casual AA fliers seeking a no-annual-fee card with moderate rewards and with no need to carry a balance. To maximize rewards earnings, spend on AA purchases and groceries to score 2x miles. The 3% foreign transaction fee and a lack of perks will turn off frequent international travelers.

Pros

  •  No foreign transaction fee
  •  Earn unlimited miles
  •  25% discount on in-flight purchases
  •  Earn 2x miles on groceries and AA purchases

Cons

  •  3% foreign transaction fee
  •  Lackluster travel perks
  •  Welcome bonus is below average
  •  Blackout dates apply to some redemptions

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

REGULAR APR

17.49% – 25.49% (Variable) APR on purchases and balance transfers

ANNUAL FEE

$0

WELCOME BONUS

10,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles and a $50 statement credit

CREDIT SCORE

Good/Excellent

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is a good starter card for casual Delta fliers to earn Skymiles without paying an annual fee. If you’re looking for airline perks, lounge benefits and a path to Elite status, it’s better to shell out the annual fee to carry one of Delta’s premium cards.

Pros

  • Earn unlimited miles that never expire
  • Easy-to-get welcome bonus
  • Delta’s only no annual fee card
  • No blackout dates

Cons

  • High regular APR
  • Missing airline perks such as free checked bag or priority boarding
  • No intro APR offer
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

REGULAR APR

17.24%-26.24% Variable

ANNUAL FEE

$0

WELCOME BONUS

15,000 bonus miles

CREDIT SCORE

Excellent Credit

JetBlue Card

The JetBlue Card is an excellent way for occasional Jetblue fliers to get started on Jetblue and earn miles toward flights. If you travel more frequently and would appreciate a set of perks, the JetBlue Plus Card is worth the annual fee.

Pros

  • Earn unlimited miles that never expire
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No blackout dates on Jetblue flights
  • Points pooling feature

Cons

  • Few redemption options
  • 3% fee on balance transfers
  • Miles cannot be redeemed for flights with layovers
  • High regular APR

JetBlue Card

REGULAR APR

17.49% – 26.49% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

ANNUAL FEE

$0

WELCOME BONUS

10,000 bonus points

CREDIT SCORE

Excellent

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

If we look only at the mileage earning rates, this card falls short when compared to others. However, for Delta frequent fliers, the perks are rich. Math-wise, the companion ticket more than offsets the annual fee, plus there’s a sweet welcome bonus.

Pros

  • Large number of airline partners
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Priority boarding
  • One free companion ticket per year

Cons

  • Only 1x miles-per-dollar earnings rate on all non-Delta purchases
  • Booking fees for some tickets issued in Europe
  • High standard APR

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

 

REGULAR APR

17.24%-26.24% Variable

ANNUAL FEE

$250

WELCOME BONUS

up to 100,000 bonus miles

CREDIT SCORE

Excellent/Good

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

For West Coast frequent fliers, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card is worth a serious look. You’ll snag the prized annual Companion Fare, plus free checked bags, Visa Signature benefits and other perks, which easily offset the annual fee.

Pros

  • Redeem miles on 18 airline global partners
  • Visa Signature® benefits
  • Annual Companion fare can save you hundreds of dollars

Cons

  • Poor flight options on the East Coast and Midwest
  • Companion ticket is limited to Air Alaska flights
  • No lounge benefits or priority boarding

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

 

REGULAR APR

17.49% – 25.49% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

ANNUAL FEE

$75

WELCOME BONUS

40,000 Bonus Mile + Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ Offer

CREDIT SCORE

Excellent/Good

JetBlue Plus Card – Best Airline Credit Card 2020

If you’re flying at least once per year on Jetblue and spend modestly on groceries and restaurants, the math on this card works out in your favor. Be careful about holding a balance on purchases as the 0% APR offer applies only to balance transfers.

Pros

  • No earnings limits on points and they never expire
  • Points pooling with up to 7 people
  • Free checked bag and other perks
  • No blackout dates

Cons

  • No airline transfer partners, aside from Hawaiian Airlines
  • High regular APR
  • No intro 0% APR offer for purchases
  • 3% balance transfer fee ($5 min)

JetBlue Plus Card

REGULAR APR

17.49% – 26.49% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

ANNUAL FEE

$99

WELCOME BONUS

40,000 bonus points

CREDIT SCORE

Good/Excellent

Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® – Best Airline Credit Card 2020

The Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® offers an above-average mileage earnings rate, $25k in annual spending gets you a companion ticket, and you’ll earn tier points toward your Flying Club status. Unfortunately, the card’s benefits don’t include priority boarding, free checked bags, instant elite status, or in-flight discounts.

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Impressive World Elite Mastercard travel benefits
  • Good mileage earnings rate
  • Earn up to 20,000 in bonus miles annually

Cons

  • 3% balance transfer fee (min $10)
  • High APR
  • No priority boarding or other in-flight perks
  • Limited redemption options

Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®

REGULAR APR

17.74% – 25.74% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

ANNUAL FEE

$90

WELCOME BONUS

30,000 Flying Club bonus miles

CREDIT SCORE

Good/Excellent

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

This card offers superior points earning rates if you spend frequently on travel and dining out. The $300 travel credit will offset much of the annual fee, and redeeming points for travel on Chase Ultimate Rewards nets you a 50% bonus.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Point transfers to airline and hotel partner programs
  • Up to 3x rewards
  • Welcome bonus

Cons

  • High regular APR
  • High annual fee of $550, not waived in first year
  • No intro APR offer
  • Requires excellent credit

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

 

REGULAR APR

18.49% – 25.49% Variable

ANNUAL FEE

$550

WELCOME BONUS

50,000 bonus points

CREDIT SCORE

Excellent Credit

 

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