Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.

The 13 Best Personal and Business Credit Cards for Airline Purchases [2024]

Christine Krzyszton's image
Christine Krzyszton
Christine Krzyszton's image

Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

311 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 98U.S. States Visited: 45

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
Edited by: Jessica Merritt
Jessica Merritt's image

Jessica Merritt

Editor & Content Contributor

91 Published Articles 504 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 4U.S. States Visited: 23

A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
& Juan Ruiz
Juan Ruiz's image

Juan Ruiz

Senior Editor & Content Contributor

102 Published Articles 695 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 41U.S. States Visited: 28

Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been ...

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Upgraded Points: Expertise You Can Trust

Our seasoned and experienced team brings years of expertise in the credit card and travel sectors. Committed to integrity, we offer data-driven guides to help you find the card(s) that best fit your requirements. See details on our intensive editorial policies and card rating methodologies.

  • Content by Leading Industry Experts
  • Routine Updates and Fact-Checks
  • First-Hand Credit Card Experience
  • Shared Across 200+ Top Outlets
  • Methodical “U.P. Rating” System
  • 1040+ Expert Credit Card Guides

One question we’re asked consistently is, “Which credit card is the best for airline purchases?” Fortunately, it’s a simple question to answer as so many travel rewards cards are designed for frequent travelers who purchase airline tickets, as well as other travel, on a regular basis.

If you spend a lot on airline flights or on change fees, inflight purchases, or other airline incidentals, you’ll want a card that offers elevated earnings on those purchases.

And while earning rewards is important, trip protections can add value to a travel rewards card. Finding a balance between the highest level of rewards earnings for airline purchases and useful trip protection can determine the right card match for you.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular travel rewards cards to see how they stack up for earning on airline purchases and providing trip benefits.

Hide SummaryShow Summary

The 10 Best Cards for Airline Purchases — Overview

The best travel rewards card for your airline purchases will depend on whether you value higher earnings over trip protections or vice versa.

Here’s a simplified breakdown comparing card earnings and trip protections the top travel cards we’ve featured in our article.

SCROLL FOR MORE
Travel Rewards CardWelcome Bonus and Annual FeeEarnings on Airline PurchasesTrip Protections
The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Earn 80,000 points after spending $8,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
  • Annual fee of $695 (rates & fees)
5x points on flights purchased directly with airlines or through AmexTravel.com
  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • Trip cancellation, trip interruption, and trip delay coverage
  • Evacuation insurance
  • Baggage loss and damage insurance
American Express® Gold Card
  • Earn 60,000 points when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
  • Annual fee of $250 (rates & fees)
3x points on flights purchased directly with airlines or through AmexTravel.com
  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Baggage loss and damage insurance
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
  • Earn 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Annual fee of $395 (rates & fees)
  • 5x miles on flights via Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles on all other purchases, including flights
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay coverage
  • Lost luggage insurance
  • Emergency travel assistance
  • Travel accident insurance
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Earn 75,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Annual fee of $550
  • 5x points on flights purchased via the Chase Travel portal
  • 3x points on travel purchases including flights
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay coverage
  • Lost and delayed baggage insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Emergency evacuation, $2,500 limited medical and dental
  • Emergency travel assistance
  • Travel accident insurance
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Earn 75,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Annual fee of $95
  • 5x points on flights purchased via the Chase Travel portal
  • 2x points on travel purchases including flights
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay coverage
  • Lost and delayed baggage insurance
  • Emergency travel assistance
  • Travel accident insurance
Citi Premier® Card
  • Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel portal through June 30, 2024.
  • Annual fee of $95
3x points on travel purchases including flightsNo travel protections
U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
  • Earn 50,000 points  after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee of $400
3x points on travel purchases including flights
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay coverage
  • Lost luggage insurance
  • Emergency travel assistance
  • Travel accident insurance
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
  • ELEVATED OFFER: Earn 150,000 points after spending $20,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Annual fee of $695 (rates & fees)
5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through AmexTravel.com
  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • Lost, damaged, or stolen baggage insurance
  • Evacuation insurance
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
  • NEW OFFER: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Annual fee of $95
  • 5x points on travel via the Chase travel portal
  • 3x points on travel purchases, including airline purchases
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay
  • Lost, stolen, delayed, and damaged baggage insurance
  • Emergency travel assistance
  • Travel accident insurance
American Express® Business Gold Card
  • Earn 70,000 points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Annual fee of $375 (rates & fees)

3x points on flights, prepaid hotels, prepaid flight + hotel packages booked via AmexTravel.com

  • Secondary car rental insurance with access to purchase Premium Protection
  • Lost, damaged, or stolen baggage insurance

Trip protection descriptions have been abbreviated and are not inclusive of all benefits and protections that come with each card. You will need to access the guide to benefits for each card to view complete coverage information.

Bottom Line: Finding the right travel card comes down to a bonus category mix that matches the majority of your travel spending and a collection of travel protections that can save you money or provide peace of mind.

Best 7 Personal Cards for Airline Purchases

The best travel rewards cards come with more than elevated earnings on airline purchases. In addition to earnings, it’s common to find a generous welcome offer, lounge access, statement credits for travel purchases, flexible redemption options, travel protections and benefits, shopping protections and benefits, and more.

Let’s look at some of the additional benefits that come with our featured personal travel rewards cards.

Amex Platinum Card (Best for Worldwide Lounge Access, Premium Benefits & Perks)

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros
  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 125k (or 150k) points with the Amex Platinum. The current public offer is 80,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

Earning on Flight Purchases

Flights purchased via AmexTravel.com or directly through the airlines earn 5x Membership Rewards points.

Why We Like the Card

The Amex Platinum card comes with a long list of travel benefits and ranks at the top of the best travel rewards cards list. It also has one of the highest earning rates for airline purchases.

Hot Tip: If you are loyal to a specific airline, consider our guide to the best airline credit cards.

Amex Gold Card (Best for Travel Rewards & Everyday Spending)

BEST FOR DINING
American Express® Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
60,000 points
$1,320
$250
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

Pros
  • 4x points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
  • 3x points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines or at AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 90,000 points with the Amex Gold card. The current public offer is 60,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

Earning on Flight Purchases

Flights purchased directly from airlines earn 3x Membership Rewards points.

Why We Like the Card

The Amex Gold card balances its dual identity well. It offers the redemption and earning options of a travel rewards card and the versatility of an everyday spending card. This allows you to get great benefits from the Amex Gold card.

Capital One Venture X Card (Best for Premium Benefits & Travel Insurance)

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$395
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-840)

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.

Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.

Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.

 

Pros
  • 10x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 5x miles per $1 on flights purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • $395 annual fee (rates & fees)
  • Does not offer bonus categories for flights or hotel purchases made directly with the airline or hotel group, the preferred booking method for those looking to earn elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

 

Earnings on Flight Purchases

You’ll earn 5x miles on flights via Capital One Travel and 2x miles on travel, including flights.

Why We Like the Card

The Capital One Venture X card offers plenty of overall value to the traveler and has an annual fee that is lower than most premium travel rewards cards. Here’s more information on all the top benefits of the Capital One Venture X card.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (Best for Earning Points & Travel Insurance)

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth $1,125 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$550
22.49%-29.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.

The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options.  Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.

Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!

Pros
  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
Cons
  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $1125 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority PassTM Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 22.49%-29.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Earning on Flight Purchases

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card earns 5x Ultimate Rewards points on flights via the Chase travel portal and 3x points on all other travel purchases including flight purchases.

Why We Like the Card

If you want a premium travel rewards card with strong earnings, flexible redemptions, travel credits and perks, and valuable trip protections, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card checks all those boxes.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (Excellent First-time Card)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth over $900 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$95
21.49%-28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros
  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase TravelSM, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $937.50 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%-28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Earning on Flight Purchases

You’ll earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points on flights via the Chase travel portal and 2x Ultimate Rewards points on all other travel purchases, including airline purchases.

Why We Like the Card

  • Earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • Earn 3x points on dining
  • Earn 2x points on all other travel purchases
  • Welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars toward travel
  • The card earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed at 1.25 cents per point for travel
  • $50 prepaid hotel credit
  • Points are transferable to hotel and airline partners
  • The card offers primary rental car insurance worldwide plus trip interruption and cancellation insurance
  • Lower annual fee, flexible rewards, and travel benefits make it a great starter travel rewards card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of our favorite cards and it’s a great first travel rewards card.

Bottom Line: While earnings can be strong for airline purchases on the Amex Platinum card and Amex Gold card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has elevated earnings on the broader travel category that includes airline purchases.

Citi Premier Card (Best for Points on All Travel Purchases)

Citi Premier® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

*The information regarding the Citi Premier card has expired and the card is no longer open to applicants.

*The information regarding the Citi Premier card has expired and the card is no longer open to applicants.
Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
60,000 points
$960
$95
21.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent option for anyone looking for an all-around travel rewards credit card. The card helps you earn points fast with great 3x bonus categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels. Plus, it offers access to airline and hotel transfer partners, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and has a reasonable annual fee!

Pros
  • 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotel purchases
  • Access to Citi transfer partners
  • Annual hotel credit
Cons
    • $95 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards redeemable for $600 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Earning on Flight Purchases

Earn 3x ThankYou Points on travel, including airline purchases.

Why We Like the Card

  • Welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars in travel
  • 3x earnings on all travel purchases, not just airline purchases
  • 3x earnings at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations

The Citi Premier card is a great first Citi card to have if you’re spending a lot on travel as you’ll earn 3x flexible ThankYou Points on your travel purchases.

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Card (Best for Points on Travel & Priority Pass)

Earning on Flight Purchases

Earn 3x points on travel, including airline purchases.

Why We Like the Card

  • A generous welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars in travel
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select worldwide lounge membership
  • Earns 3x points on mobile wallet purchases
  • $325 annual statement credit for travel purchases
  • Points are worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed for travel

For the traveler on the go, earning 3x points for every dollar spent on travel and on mobile wallet purchases creates a perfect match. Add in an annual travel statement credit, Wi-Fi while you’re in the air, and a nice comfy lounge to relax in, and you’ve got a package a traveler can appreciate.

Hot Tip: Looking for seat upgrades on your flights? Check out our list of the best credit cards for flight upgrades.

Best 3 Business Cards for Airline Purchases

Running a business involves paying a lot of expenses. Without the right business credit card, that outgoing cash flow can go unrewarded.

If you’re spending a lot with airlines, or on travel in general, you’re missing out on travel rewards that could be used to offset your business travel expenses or even used to fund your family vacations. Once again, higher earnings alone won’t determine the best card for airline purchases if you value trip protection.

Here are 3 business travel cards to consider that offer elevated earnings on airline purchases or travel.

Bottom Line: If your business involves travel, rewards cards that earn well on flights and other travel purchases can add value to your bottom line by offsetting the cost of business travel. Travel protections can save you money and provide assistance if something goes wrong during your travels. 

Amex Business Platinum Card (Best Business Card for Worldwide Lounge Access, Premium Benefits & Perks)

150K OFFER
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This card is ideal for business travelers who enjoy luxury travel and are looking for a card loaded with benefits!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)
This card is ideal for business travelers who enjoy luxury travel and are looking for a card loaded with benefits!
Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
150,000 points
$3,300
$695
19.49% - 28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium travel rewards card tailored toward business owners who are frequent travelers with a high number of annual expenses.

When you factor in the large number of perks that the card offers like the best airport lounge access at over 1,400 lounges, along with tons of annual credits, it’s easy to see why this card can is a top option for frequent traveling business owners.

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a huge welcome bonus offer of up to 170,000 points with the Amex Business Platinum. The current public offer is 150,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

Pros
  • 5x Membership Rewards points per $1 on flights and prepaid hotels at Amex Travel
  • Access to over 1,400 worldwide airport lounges as part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards points (1.5 points per $1) on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more (cap applies)
Cons
  • High annual fee of $695 (rates & fees)
  • Airline fee credit does not cover airfare, only incidentals like checked bags
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on each eligible purchase at US construction material, hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in statement credits on select purchases, including tech, recruiting and wireless in the first year of membership with the Business Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. See how you can unlock over $1,000 annually in credits on select purchases with the Business Platinum Card®, here.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to the Card.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Use your card and get up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year on your CLEAR® Plus Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use the Business Platinum Card®.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market as of 03/2023.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.49% - 28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a huge welcome bonus offer of up to 170,000 points with the Amex Business Platinum. The current public offer is 150,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

Earning on Flight Purchases

Earn 5x Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com.

Why We Like the Card

  • Up to $200 airline fee credit each year
  • Receive a 35% airline bonus rebate when using Pay With Points to purchase flights on your pre-selected airline when booking through AmexTravel.com, up to 1,000,000 bonus points per year
  • Earn 1.5x on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else (up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year)
  • Hotel and rental car elite status upon enrollment

Ink Business Preferred Card (Best for Earning Points – Sub-$100 Annual Fee Card)

NEW OFFER
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Ink Business Preferred card is hard to beat, with a huge welcome bonus offer and 3x points per $1 on the first $150,000 in so many business categories.

The Ink Business Preferred card is hard to beat, with a huge welcome bonus offer and 3x points per $1 on the first $150,000 in so many business categories.
Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel
100,000 points
$2,000
$95
21.24%-26.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a powerhouse for earning lots of points from your business purchases, especially for business owners that spend regularly on ads.

Plus the card offers flexible redemption options, including access to Chase airline and hotel transfer partners where you can achieve outsized value.

Business owners will also love the protections the card provides like excellent cell phone insurance, rental car insurance, purchase protection, and more.

Pros
  • 3x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on up to $150,000 in combined purchases on internet, cable and phone services, shipping expenses, travel, and ads purchased with search engines or social media sites
  • Cell phone protection
  • Purchase protection
Cons
    • No elite travel benefits like airport lounge access
  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel℠
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Round-the-clock monitoring for unusual credit card purchases
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Travel℠
  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24%-26.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Earning on Flight Purchases

Earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points on all travel purchases, including airline purchases.

Why We Like the Card

  • A sign-up bonus worth $1,000 in travel
  • Earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points on common business categories such as shipping, internet, cable, phone, and advertising with social media or search engines
  • Flexibility to transfer points to hotel and airline partners or redeem for travel at 1.25 cents per point
  • $100 deductible cell phone coverage when you pay your bill with your card
  • Low annual fee

Amex Business Gold Card (Best Business Card for Earning Lots of Points)

BEST FOR BONUSES
American Express® Business Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Get 4x points in 2 select categories where your business spends the most each month (on your first $150,000 spent each year).

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)
Get 4x points in 2 select categories where your business spends the most each month (on your first $150,000 spent each year).
Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership
70,000 points
$1,540
$375
19.49% - 28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Business Gold Card is excellent at racking up rewards for your business spend.

The card earns a whopping 4x points per $1 in the 2 categories (from a list of 6) that your business spends the most money on each month. With no need to opt-in or preselect your categories, so you can focus on what matters most — running your business.

Pros
  • 4x points per dollar spent on your 2 highest purchase categories each month up to $150,000 each calendar year in purchases; categories include:
    • NEW! Transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways
    • NEW! U.S. purchases made from electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers
    • NEW! Monthly wireless telephone service charges made directly from a wireless telephone service provider in the U.S.
    • U.S. purchases at gas stations
    • U.S. purchases at restaurants, including takeout and delivery
    • Purchases at U.S. media providers for advertising in select media (online such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, plus TV and radio)
  • 3x points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com using your Business Gold Card
  • Access to Amex’s The Hotel Collection
Cons
  • $375 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • No elite travel benefits like airport lounge access or elite status
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from 6 eligible categories. While your top 2 categories may change, you will earn 4X points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these categories each calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Only the top 2 categories each billing cycle will count towards the $150,000 cap.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com using your Business Gold Card.
  • Earn up to $20 in statement credits monthly after you use the Business Gold Card for eligible U.S. purchases at FedEx, Grubhub, and Office Supply Stores. This can be an annual savings of up to $240. Enrollment required.
  • Get up to a $12.95** statement credit back each month after you pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with your Business Gold Card. **Up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes on one membership fee.
  • Your Card – Your Choice. Choose from Gold or Rose Gold.
  • *Terms Apply
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.49% - 28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a huge welcome bonus offer of up to 110,000 points with the Amex Business Gold card! The current public offer is 70,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

Earning on Flight Purchases

Earn 3x Membership Rewards points on prepaid flight + hotel packages booked via AmexTravel.com and airfare purchased directly from the airlines.

Why We Like the Card

  • A welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars in travel
  • Your business earns 4x points on the top 2 highest bonus category expenses each billing cycle up to $150,000 each calendar year
  • Transfer points to hotel and airline partners or redeem them for travel
  • Purchases over $100 can be paid back over time

Hot Tip: You need to be a business owner to qualify for a business credit card, but you may be surprised by what qualifies as a business. Check out our guide to applying for a small business credit card. It has all the information you need to know.

The Best 3 No-Annual-Fee Credit Cards for Airline Purchases

The best travel rewards credit cards come with annual fees, but you can earn plenty on airline purchases with these no-annual-fee cards.

  • Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card — 3x points on travel purchases
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited® — 5% cash-back on travel purchased via the Chase travel portal, including flights, and 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases
  • Chase Freedom Flex℠ — 5% cash-back on travel purchased via the Chase travel portal, including flights

Bottom Line: You don’t need to pay an annual fee to earn rewards on airline purchases, but the best credit cards for airline purchases come with annual fees. The elevated earnings, travel benefits, statement credits, and welcome bonus value you receive can potentially outweigh any annual fee.

Final Thoughts

It’s a simple process to determine which travel rewards card earns the most on airline purchases. However, the card that earns the most may not have a useful mix of associated trip benefits or protections.

The Amex Platinum card, for example, earns well with 5x Membership Rewards points on flights via AmexTravel.com and comes with trip interruption, delay, or cancellation insurance. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points and offers these coverages, plus more. You’ll need to determine which is more important to you when selecting a card.

Another factor to consider is whether you spend a lot on travel in general or your greatest expense is on airfare. Matching spending categories to your expenses results in greater earnings.

Finally, many travel rewards cards come with annual statement credits for travel or flight-associated purchases. These credits can help offset travel costs.

Pair those earnings with a selection of benefits you can use and you’ll have made a wise travel rewards card decision.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

Enrollment required through Capital One website or mobile app. Upon enrollment, eligible cardholders will remain at upgraded status level through December 31, 2024.  Please note, enrolling through the normal Hertz Gold Plus Rewards enrollment process (e.g. at Hertz.com) will not automatically detect a cardholder as being eligible for the program and cardholders will not be automatically upgraded to the applicable status tier.  Additional terms apply.

For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car rental loss or damage coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. For the trip cancellation and interruption insurance and trip delay insurance benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company. For the baggage insurance plan benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the Premium Global Assist Hotline benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. If approved and coordinated by Premium Global Assist Hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, card members may be responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car rental loss or damage coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. For the trip cancellation and interruption insurance benefits of the American Express® Gold Card, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company. For the baggage insurance plan benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the Premium Global Assist Hotline benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. If approved and coordinated by Premium Global Assist Hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, card members may be responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car rental loss or damage coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. For the baggage insurance plan benefit of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the Premium Global Assist Hotline benefit of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. If approved and coordinated by Premium Global Assist Hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, card members may be responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of the American Express® Business Gold Card, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car rental loss or damage coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. For the baggage insurance plan benefit of the American Express® Business Gold Card, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the Premium Global Assist Hotline benefit of the American Express® Business Gold Card, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. If approved and coordinated by Global Assist Hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, card members may be responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.
The information regarding the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

The information regarding the Citi Premier® Card has expired and the card is no longer open to applicants.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best card for airline purchases?

The best card for airline purchases is one that has elevated earnings on airline or travel expenses and has travel protections that you deem valuable.

For example, the best card for airline purchases may offer 5x earnings but have no trip interruption, cancellation, or trip delay coverage.

If you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy, card travel protections might not be important to you. You might select a card with elevated earnings alone and few or no travel protections.

If you’ve utilized travel protections in the past and find a lot of value in having that peace of mind, you may select a card that earns slightly less but has strong travel benefits.

How do I use credit card rewards for free flights?

Each travel rewards-earning credit card has its own rewards currency that you earn by making purchases with that card.

Most of the cards we’ve highlighted in this article earn points that can be redeemed for flights through the credit card issuer’s online travel website or by calling the affiliated travel program.

Points such as Membership Rewards, Capital One miles, ThankYou Points, and Ultimate Rewards points can also be transferred to airline frequent flyer programs and redeemed for award tickets.

When you log in to your credit card’s online account, you’ll find a section designed for redeeming your rewards.

Are credit card travel protections worth it?

The travel protections that come with credit cards can save you money. Plus, the coverage is complimentary.

Trip cancellation, delay, and interruption insurance can reimburse you for buying incidentals, hotel expenses, and other financial outlays you incur due to trip disruption.

Premium roadside assistance can provide complimentary service calls should you break down during a road trip.

Luggage insurance can cover damaged, lost, or stolen baggage.

Car rental coverage can allow you to decline the rental car agency’s coverage and save you the cost of that daily added-on expense.

Are there any travel rewards cards without an annual fee?

Premium travel rewards cards come with annual fees, but plenty of no-annual-fee credit cards earn 1.5% to 3% on airline purchases. This article mentions a few high-earning no-annual-fee cards.

Christine Krzyszton's image

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

INSIDERS ONLY: UP PULSE

Deluxe Travel Provided by UP Pulse

Get the latest travel tips, crucial news, flight & hotel deal alerts...

Plus — expert strategies to maximize your points & miles by joining our (free) newsletter.

We respect your privacy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA. Google's privacy policy  and terms of service  apply.

Deluxe Travel Provided by UP Pulse
DMCA.com Protection Status