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Last Updated: July 22nd 2017
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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

The information for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

$69

  • Earn 40,000 points

2 points/$1 spent on Southwest® purchases

Full review

U.P. Rating:

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Terms Apply

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles

Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.

Apply Now Full review

U.P. Rating:

Rates & Fees
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Terms Apply

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles

Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.

Apply Now Full review

U.P. Rating:

Rates & Fees
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

The information for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by Upgraded Points. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

$195

  • Earn 35,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles

Earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.

Apply Now Full review

U.P. Rating:

Rates & Fees
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

The information for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

$99

  • Earn 40,000 points

2 points/$1 spent on Southwest® purchases

Full review

U.P. Rating:

Chase British Airways Visa Signature® Card

The information for the Chase British Airways Visa Signature® Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

$95

  • Earn 50,000 Avios and up to 50,000 more within the first year

Earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Full review

U.P. Rating:

Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card

The information for the Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

$0 first year, then $95

  • Earn 50,000 United miles

Earn 2x miles for purchases with United Airlines and in select business categories

Full review

U.P. Rating:

The JetBlue Business Card

$99 per year

  • 30,000 points

Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases and 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores

Apply Now Full review

U.P. Rating:

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

$95 (Fee waived for the first 12 months)

  • Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles

Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications, car rental merchants and at gas stations.

Apply Now Full review

U.P. Rating:

Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®

$50 (Fee waived for the first 12 months)

  • Earn 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles

1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on purchases.

Apply Now Full review

U.P. Rating:

Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express

The information for the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by Upgraded Points. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

$450

  • Get 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 10,000 bonus Skymiles

2 pts/$1 on Delta purchases

Apply Now Full review

U.P. Rating:

Rates & Fees
United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

The information for the Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

$95

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles

Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United

Full review

U.P. Rating:

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Terms Apply

$195

  • Earn 35,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs)

Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.

Apply Now Full review

U.P. Rating:

Rates & Fees
JetBlue Card

$0

  • Earn 5,000 bonus points

Earn 3 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases and 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores

Apply Now Full review

U.P. Rating:

JetBlue Plus Card

$99

  • Earn 30,000 bonus points

Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases and 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores

Apply Now Full review

U.P. Rating:

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card

$75

  • 30,000 points

1-5 pts/$1

Apply Now Full review

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Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

$450

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles

Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases

Apply Now Full review

U.P. Rating:

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

$95 (Fee waived for the first 12 months)

  • Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles

Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on American Airlines purchases.

Apply Now Full review

U.P. Rating:

What Are Airline Credit Cards?

Airline credit cards are associated with a specific airline, such as American Airlines or Delta Air Lines. These cards typically earn bonus points for purchases through the airline but do not generally have any other bonus categories.

Instead, many of these cards offer some type of reduced elite status benefit to the card holder, such as a free checked bag or priority boarding.

These cards also typically come with some sort of travel insurance to go along with the card, whether it is baggage insurance or travel accident insurance.

Building up points with these cards can be somewhat harder due to the lack of extra bonus categories. (Note that "points" are referred to as "miles" when speaking about airline cards.)

Usage of points is also more restricted with these cards since rewards must be redeemed with a single airline and its partners.

However, many of these cards can hold tremendous value if used correctly!

How Do Airline Credit Cards Earn Points?

Each airline card will earn two to three points per dollar when making purchases with the airline. There are a few exceptions to this, but in general, you'll find this to be the case across the board.

Qualifying purchases don't just include flights, but also bag fees, in-flight purchases, and anything else that will be categorized as a service provided by the airline (in-flight WiFi does not count since it is provided by a third party).

For all other purchases, you will earn one point per dollar.

Which Airlines Offer Branded Credit Cards?

Most major airlines have at least one branded credit card, and many of the largest airlines have multiple options available.

We have reviewed credit cards for American Airlines, British Airways, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and Delta Air Lines.

These cards include the following:

  • Chase British Airways Visa Signature® Card
  • United MileagePlus® Explorer Card
  • Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card
  • Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
  • Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
  • The JetBlue Card
  • The JetBlue Plus Card
  • The JetBlue Business Card

Airline cards are great for rewards if you have specific carriers you prefer, or already have points in one of the specific loyalty programs.

Chase British Airways Visa Signature® Card

You can earn 2x Avios for your British Airways Executive Club account when you use the Chase British Airways Visa Signature® Card, the only British Airways credit card.

After spending $30,000 in a year, you'll also get a free companion pass you can use for an award or regular travel in any class.

The card also offers 1x Avios on all other purchases, a 10% discount on all purchased travel (must use a code), and other travel insurances.

It costs $95 per year.

Citi / AAdvantage Credit Cards

There are four Citi / AAdvantage credit cards that we have reviewed on the site:

Earn 2x miles in your American AAdvantage account when you use the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®.

This card also offers a 10% rebate for all miles redeemed in a year (up to 10,000 miles back), 25% off in-flight beverages and food, a free checked bag, and priority boarding.

You also get access to reduced mileage awards, which are only available every other month and must be booked by phone. Using these options will save you a couple thousand miles per award!

For all other purchases, you'll earn 1x miles. Fees are $95 per year but are waived the first year.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is the premium, luxury travel card for American Airlines. You earn 2x points on all purchases with the airline and 1x points on all other purchases.

However, the card comes with an Admirals Club Membership, priority check-in, a $100 Global Entry Fee credit, and more. The annual fee on the card is $450, but frequent travelers won't have trouble finding value!

At the other end of the spectrum is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®. This simple card earns just 1x points for all purchases. It has Reduced Mileage Award benefits as well as a 25% in-flight discount.

The cost of this card is $0 the first year and $50 per year every year after.

Finally, business owners can earn 2x points for American services as well as on select telecommunications, car rentals, and gas station purchases with the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®.

There are other perks to the card as well, and it costs $95 per year.

United Credit Cards

Earn 2x miles in your MileagePlus account for all United purchases when you use the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card.

This card also offers a 10,000-point bonus when you spend $25,000 or more in a year, two United Club passes, a free checked bag, and priority boarding.

You will earn 1x miles for all other purchases, and this card also costs $95 per year with a first-year fee waiver.

The Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card is very similar in that it earns 2x miles for all United purchases, but it also earns 2x miles at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores for the same fee.

Southwest Credit Cards

With the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, you will earn 2x points towards your Rapid Rewards account for all Southwest Airlines purchases.

The 6,000 point annual bonus helps pay for the cost of the card, and you can earn 1,500 Tier-Qualifying points (TQP) for every $10,000 spent (up to 15,000 TQP annually).

One of the most valuable benefits, however, is the fact that every point you earn on the card, (including the sign-up bonus!), goes toward getting the Southwest Companion Pass.

Once earned, this pass is good for the remainder of the current year AND all the way through the next calendar year.

This is perhaps the most valuable benefit in all of travel, since it allows you to bring a companion with you on all your flights for just the cost of taxes and fees. Your companion will get a confirmed seat, as this is not just a stand-by benefit.

You'll pay $99 per year for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

The  Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card earns 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® and Rapid Rewards® purchases and participating Hotel and Car Rental partners, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card costs $69 per year and comes with a 3,000 point bonus every year.

Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards from American Express

We have reviewed the following cards that Delta offers:

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Card from American Express also earns 2x points for all Delta purchases, which are deposited directly into your SkyMiles account just like most other airline credit cards.

When you own this card, you get a free checked bag, priority boarding, and discounted Sky Club lounge access.

Additionally, you will get 20% off in-flight purchases when you use the card, on top of the 2x points. The annual fee is $95.

The difference between the former card and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is that the latter has a big spend bonus which earns additional bonus award miles plus Medallion Qualification Miles.

That means you can reach your elite status more quickly to take advantage of some of the nice benefits. The annual fee is $195.

Finally, the luxury card for Delta Air Lines is the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, which has the same point earning structure and similar benefits of the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.

The big difference for this card is the complimentary Delta Sky Club access as well as a Companion Certificate. The annual fee is $450.

JetBlue TrueBlue Credit Cards from Barclaycard

JetBlue recently formed a partnership with Barclaycard to administer its credit cards, and there are three:

All cards offer some additional perks to flying JetBlue, such as a 50% in-flight discount.

The JetBlue Card earns 3x points on JetBlue purchases and 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores. It earns 1x points for all other purchases and has no annual fee.

A step up from this card is The JetBlue Plus Card, which earns 6x points instead of the 3x points with JetBlue and has the same earning categories for the other two. It costs $99 per year.

Finally, The JetBlue Business Card earns 6x points for JetBlue purchases, 2x points for restaurants and office supply stores, and 1x points for everything else. It costs $99 per year.