Best Airlines Co-branded Credit Cards to Earn Points

Airline credit cards come with different features that often confuse customers. Here we picked our favorite airline credit cards that turn your expenses into great amount of airline points and stack them to bring you closer to a free travel.
Airline credit cards come with different features that often confuse customers. Here we picked our favorite airline credit cards that turn your expenses into great amount of airline points and stack them to bring you closer to a free travel.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

One of the greatest airline co-branded credit card that allows your companion travel with you for free!

  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 60,000 points signup bonus
  • Companion Pass after 110,000 points earned
  • Card anniversary points bonus
  • $99 annual fee
  • Limited list of destinations to fly with Southwest airlines
  • No luxury perks

You get a 60,000 sign up bonus after you spend $2,000 on this card within first 3 months. You get 2 reward points per each $1 spent towards Southwest airlines flights and car rental agencies. 1 point per each $1 will be granted on all other purchases. Your points never expire as long as you keep your account open. Plus, each credit card anniversary you get 6,000 bonus points. In addition, for the first 3 months after account opening you will get 1 point per each $1 of the balance transfer (valid for the first $15,000 transferred to your account).

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card provides you flight-related benefits mostly. First and second checked bags (if they meet size and weight requirements) are free for you, and no changes fee will be applied. Plus, you can book Southwest tickets without blackout dates.

With Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card you can easily move towards Southwest Rapid Rewards® Elite status called “Companion Pass”. As soon as you perform 100 one-way trips with Southwest during a calendar year, or earn 110,000 reward points during a calendar year, you will be able to get a free ticket for any companion to fly with you on any flight with Southwest.

How much it costs

Annual fee is $99. A variable 16.74%-23.74% APR will be applied based on your creditworthiness. Penalty fees up to $37 might be charged in case if late or returned payment appear.

To learn more about Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card, read our full review.

JetBlue Plus Card

An ultimate credit card for frequent JetBlue fliers with one of the most attractive reward points earning rate among airline credit cards.

  • Great JetBlue-related travel perks and earning rate
  • 0% foreign transaction fee
  • 0% on balance transfers for the first 12 months
  • $99 annual fee
  • Excellent credit score required

Earn a 30,000 sign up bonus after you spend $1,000 on this card within first 3 months. Each anniversary of your credit card you get additional 5,000 reward points to your account.

When you pay by this card, you get 6 reward points per each $1 spent towards JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 spent at grocery stores and restaurants, and 1 points per $1 on all other purchases. Points don’t expire as long as your card is active. When you redeem your reward points for any purpose – not only on airfare or travel – you get 10% of the amount you redeem back. For JetBlue airfare you can redeem points with no blackout dates and for any seat.

JetBlue Plus credit card really shines when it comes to the built-in perks that you can use if you fly with JetBlue. You can enjoy the next benefits:

  • Free first checked bags for you and 3 your companions,
  • 50% discount on eligible in-flight purchases, such as beverages and food,
  • TrueBlue Mosaic status after you spend $50,000 on your card (for 1 year each year), that grants you extra reward points, complimentary in-flight beverages, priority boarding, and many other complimentary benefits.

JetBlue Plus credit card is a must for frequent travellers who prefers (or likes) to travel with JetBlue airlines, spends a lot on groceries and dining out. Note, that this card has three APR tiers, and the highest one (25.74%) is much higher than APR of most of other airline credit cards. Thus, if you don’t want to overpay the interest, consider to apply for this card only if you have an excellent credit score.

If you don’t travel that much with JetBlue or you are not a big spender, consider to apply for the simpler version of this card with no annual fee. This card is a JetBlue credit card, which you can learn more about in our review.

Liked features of JetBlue Plus credit card? Proceed to our full review of this card to learn more about it and to order it in just a few clicks.

How much it costs

Annual fee is $99. A 12.74%, 20.74% or 25.74% variable APR on purchases and for balance transfer applies based on your creditworthiness. Note, that for balance transfer a 0% introductory APR is offered for new cardmembers for the first 12 months. For late or returned payments bank may charge you up to $37.

United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

A top airline credit card when it comes to the rewards earning rate together with coziness of the boarding procedure and opportunities to save on your flight.

  • 0% foreign transaction fee
  • Good 50,000 points signup bonus
  • $95 annual fee

With this card you get a 50,000 signup bonus after you spend $3,000 on this card in purchases within first 3 months. Additional 5,000 points will be transferred to your account as soon as you add a first authorized user to your account and make a first purchase. You will get even more bonus points – 10,000 – at the end of each calendar year if you spend $25,000 on this card during this year. Thus, during first year you can get up to 65,000 bonus points.

You get 2 miles per each $1 spent on airfare bought at United, and 1 mile per each $1 spent on all other purchases. Miles have no limit and don’t expire as long as your credit card is open.

Such miles earning rate is quite regular, but the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card really shines when it comes to the services offered prior or during your flight with United Airlines. First, each flight for you and your companion indicated in your reservation one checked bag is free. Thus, in fact, you can cover up your annual fee just with one flight since United charges $25 per bag.

Second, the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card grants you a priority boarding on the flights that are operated by United Airlines. Third, each anniversary of your card you get two United Club one-time passes that allows you to access lounge zones with complimentary beverages, snacks and free Wi-Fi.

Although this card is designed for frequent United Airlines fliers, it has one of the best set of rewards and additional perks and benefits. If you prefer to fly with United, this card is definitely the one to be on the top of your wallet.

How much it costs

Annual fee is $95. A variable 16.99% - 23.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers applies based on your creditworthiness. Foreign transaction fee is 0%. Penalty fee up to $37 might be charged if you make any payment late or payment is returned.

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

Best card for frequent American Airlines travellers with nice reward points earning rate and additional services.

  • Nice 50,000 signup bonus
  • Good rewards rate for purchases
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Travel benefits for those who flies with American Airlines
  • $95 annual fee
  • Excellent score required

With this card you earn a 50,000 signup bonus after you spend $3,000 on this card within first 3 months. You also will earn 2 rewards points per each $1 spent with American Airlines and 1 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is great for a list of travel-related perks and services that make your flight more cozy. With this card you can use so-called Reduced Mileage Awards service that allows you to save up to 7,500 points redeemed on certain domestic flights. Destinations eligible for Reduced Mileage Awards rotate every month, but for frequent traveller it’s a small inconvenience.

When you fly with American Airlines, with this card the first checked bag will be free for you and up to four your companions that are indicated in the same itinerary. You also will enjoy a priority boarding and a 25% discount on all in-flight purchases.

In addition, you can enjoy best services offered by Citi – first of all Citi Price Rewind and Citi PrivatePass.

How much it costs

A $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. Variable 16.74% - 24.74% APR applies based on your creditworthiness. APR for cash advances is 26.24%. Foreign transaction fee is 0%. A 29.99% penalty APR might apply if you make any payment late.

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