Best Airline Credit Cards to Get You Off the Ground

Stack of traveling luggage in airport terminal and passenger plane flying over sky

Are you ready to explore the world? Whether you travel frequently for business or always look forward to your next vacation, airline credit cards are the great choice for saving on airline miles and other travel expenses is essential. You want to spend less on transportation and hotels so that you can spend more on experiences that create memories you’ll never forget.

7 Airline Credit Cards to Get You Off the Ground for Less

Airline credit cards are a subcategory of travel credit cards that allow you to earn free airline miles and other perks. They can substantially reduce the cost of travel if you fly even occasionally. You may also use your airline credit cards to book more direct flights or bump your seat up to first class. The more miles you accumulate, the more comfortable your flights may become.

Get ready to explore some of the leading airline credit cards available today! The first step to selecting a credit card is to compare credit cards online. We compiled a list of some of the most rewarding credit cards to get you started.

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

1. Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

Delta may become your preferred airline if you’re looking for airline credit cards that give you a variety of options to earn miles. You can earn two miles for every dollar spent at restaurants and supermarkets. And the same deal extends to all purchases with Delta. If you spend at least $10,000 on your card over the course of one calendar year, you can earn an additional $100 in-flight credits.

The Delta Gold credit card also entitles you to one free checked bag and access to priority boarding when you fly with Delta. Redeeming your points is easy because you can pay with the miles rather than waiting for credits or cash to hit your account before you can book a trip.

Pros

  • Earn approximately 2 miles for each dollar spent. This includes purchasing takeout food and delivery, but in the United States
  • Earn approximately 2 miles for each dollar spent at a grocery store in the United States
  • $1 per mile on all other purchases
  • Earn flight credit from Delta in the amount of $100, which can be used for future Delta travel after reaching $10K annually in purchase
  • Rewards never expire
  • Free checked bag
  • 0% interest first year

Cons

  • Requires an annual fee of $99
  • Low APR is more than 16%
  • Credit must be either good or excellent

JetBlue Credit Card

2. JetBlue Credit Card

JetBlue offers one of the most competitive airline credit cards because it allows you to earn miles for every purchase made with the card. Many cards limit your rewards miles to select purchases, but you will earn at least one mile for every dollar that you charge on this card. That makes it a great choice for an everyday credit card. You can use it for all of your daily purchases and then pay it off by the end of the month to accumulate points quickly without paying interest.

All of your JetBlue purchases will earn you three points per dollar. Purchases at restaurants and supermarkets will earn you two points per dollar spent. All other purchases are limited to one point per dollar spent.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 10,000 bonus points intro offer
  • Earn points on all purchases
  • 50% off some inflight purchases
  • First checked bag free for you and companions with the Jetblue Plus card
  • For every $1 spent, eligible for 3 times Jetblue purchases
  • For every $1 purchase at eligible restaurants and grocery stores, earn 2 times the points
  • All other purchases, earn a point for every $1 spent
  • No annual fees
  • Chip enabled
  • No fees for foreign transactions

Cons

  • No anniversary bonus
  • Paid checked bags

Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

3. Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

Forbes recognized this card as one of the best airline credit cards for first-time airline card-holders. It allows you to earn unlimited airline miles, and they never expire. There are also no blackout dates when scheduling your rewards flights. That means you don’t have to plan your travel dates around your airline miles.

Delta requires an annual fee of $550 on some of their rewards cards, but this one requires no annual fee. Other cards may offer more lucrative rewards programs, but you have to consider that high annual fee when determining which ones will save you the most on travel.

Delta often offers thousands of bonus miles for those opening cards during promotional periods. Comparing credit card rates and rewards programs online is a great first step. But make sure to check for temporary promotions to see if you can grab some extra miles just by timing your application correctly.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No blackout or expiration dates
  • Unlimited earned mileage with no expiration
  • Welcome bonus, easy to obtain
  • No fees for foreign transactions
  • Pay for airline ticket with miles earned - redeem $50 off airline ticket for every 5,000 earned miles. However, you must book the flight on Delta.com
  • Save 20% statement credit after using the card to buy food and beverages on a Delta flight.

Cons

  • Lowest APR is over 16%
  • Excellent credit score required
  • Small welcome bonus
  • No offer for 0% APR Intro
  • No priority boarding or free checked baggage

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

4. Capital One Venture Rewards Card

While Capital One requires an excellent credit score. This credit card lender is known to accept credit rates that are immediately denied by many others. The card comes with a lot of perks even though it does have a $95 annual fee that kicks in starting your second year. For starters, you can make purchases outside of the United States without any added fees.

You can also transfer earned points to other Capital One rewards programs. If you have other rewards credit cards from this lender, you may have the option of transferring points earned on those cards to your Venture card as well, which allows you to save even more on travel expenses. All points earned on this card are redeemable for airline miles, hotel stays and a variety of additional travel expenses. That gives you more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. You will earn two points for every dollar spent on this card. The type of purchase doesn’t matter.

Pros

  • Earn points on every purchase
  • Within first three months of owning the card, earn 20,000 bonus miles after spending $500
  • Annual fee waived the first year
  • 60,000 bonus miles can be earned
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Transfer points to other Capital One rewards programs
  • Rewards are unlimited
  • For every dollar spent on purchases, earn 2X miles
  • If you book a rental cars or hotels with the card, earn 5 miles for every dollar spent

Cons

  • Lowest APR is over 16%
  • Excellent credit score required
  • $95 annual fee after the first year
  • Interest rates start over 17%

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card

5. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card

This is the upgraded version of Capital One’s popular Venture credit card. You will need a high credit score to get approved. But the lack of an annual fee immediately saves you some money over the Venture card and many other airline credit cards. The VentureOne card also offers credit cards with low-interest rates. Interest under 15% for select consumers, which is lower than many other rewards cards.

You will earn 1.25 points for every point spent on this credit card. That’s a slight increase over the points awarded for the Venture card. If you spend at least $1,000 in the first three months, you’ll also receive a bonus of 20,000 points. You can transfer those points to other Capital One Rewards programs as needed, allowing you to maximize savings if you have access to multiple cards from the lender.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 20,000-point introductory offer
  • Starting APR under 15%
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • For every dollar spent on purchases, earn 1.25 miles
  • Accumulated miles easy to redeem
  • Travel accident insurance

Cons

  • Excellent credit score required

Alaska Airlines Signature Visa Card

6. Alaska Airlines Signature Visa Card

If you rarely travel alone, this is possibly one of the most lucrative airline credit cards for your wallet. It allows you to earn discounts on companion fare. So you’re not the only one who gets to fly for less. You earn this perk every year on your account anniversary, and companion fares start at $121 with no blackout dates. Your card also entitles you to a free checked bag, and up to six guests can share this perk when they check in with you.

All purchases made on this card will earn you one mile per dollar spent.  All purchases from Alaska Airlines will earn you three miles per dollar spent. When you buy day passes to airport lounges, you’ll pay half price when paying with your card, and inflight purchases are discounted by 20%. There is no limit to the number of miles you can earn. Which makes this a great choice for a daily use card. Just make sure to pay your balance off each month to avoid paying interest.

Are you worried about timing your trips to take advantage of all miles earned before they expire? That madness is eliminated with this card because your miles never expire as long as your account is in active status. Your miles are redeemable with Alaska Airlines and a list of affiliated partners, including Korean Air, British Airways, and American Airlines.

Pros

  • Earn 3 miles for each dollar spent
  • Introductory rewards package offered
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles never expire
  • Not limited to Alaska Airlines
  • New applicants, earn 60K bonus miles, but you must purchase $3,000 or more within the first three months of being approved for an account
  • No cap on earning miles
  • Free checked bag
  • Yearly low companion fare starting at $121
  • 50% day passes for Alaska Lounge while traveling

Cons

  • $75 annual fee
  • Miles are limited to select airlines
  • Credit score of 670 or more required

Chase United Explorer Card

7. Chase United Explorer Card

Chase United Explorer CardThis is one of those airline credit cards that may not seem competitive at first glance. It does require higher interest rates than some of our other top picks. But it’s still worth considering if you travel with a companion at times or want to take advantage of travel perks beyond airline miles. Not only will you receive one free checked bag each time you fly, but your companion will receive the same benefit when checking in with you.

If you spend $3,000 or more on the card within your first three months, you’ll receive 60,000 bonus miles. The card allows you to earn at least one mile for every dollar spent. And you can earn two miles per dollar for all purchases from hotels and restaurants. You need to use your card to pay for your hotel stays directly through the hotel, so purchases from travel deal websites won’t earn you the miles. Purchases from United will also earn you two miles per dollar spent.

Chase offers some travel benefits that move beyond airline miles, which may make the card’s higher interest rates and annual fee worth the bargain. For instance, you’ll receive a statement credit of $100 every four years when you use your card to cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Remember, the interest rate doesn’t matter much if you pay your charges off each month. This could work as a daily use card that delivers a lot of free miles, free checked bags and other travel-related discounts.

Pros

  • Annual fee waived for the first year
  • Companion checked bag benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No flight black out dates
  • Tap-to-pay technology
  • Other travel benefits for cardholders
  • Earn 2 miles for each dollar spent on restaurant and hotel purchases
  • Earn 1 mile for all other purchases
  • 10K additional miles after spending $6K in the first 180 days
  • Earn 60K bonus miles as a new applicant, but you must purchase $3,000 or more within the first three months of being approved for an account

Cons

  • $95 annual fee after the first year
  • Interest rates start at close to 18%
  • No annual bonus
  • High APR
  • Awards on flights are expensive and controlled

Are Airline Credit Cards Available with the Shopping Trick?

The credit card shopping trick allows you to secure fast credit card approval for store cards. While shopping with select retailers, you’ll receive a popup asking if you want to apply for a credit card. If you accept the opportunity, you may receive an offer of credit instantly. In some cases, the offer is extended without a hard pull on your credit, but that isn’t always the case. Always assume you will receive a hard inquiry and consider it a plus if you don’t with some cards.

If you have bad credit, this trick may appeal to you, but there are some downsides. The cards offered are limited to those backed by select financial institutions, namely Comenity Bank. The big retail stores that you may shop regularly may not offer credit cards with approval through pop-ups, so you may end up with credit cards that you will rarely use. You won’t find many airline credit cards offered if any.

What the shopping card trick may do for you is help you re-establish your credit. So that you can qualify for the airline credit cards you do want. If you open a few credit cards through the shopping trick and then make small purchases and pay them off each month, you can boost your credit score and prove you’re a responsible credit card user. Simply having those accounts open may also increase your available credit. Which can help you achieve a lower utilization rate if you don’t charge them up.

That may open the door to the most lucrative rewards credit cards, which are often offered only to those with high credit scores and limited blemishes on their credit reports.

Are Airline Credit Cards the Best Type of Rewards Card?

Airline miles are valuable rewards for making everyday purchases with a credit card, but there are other types of rewards credit cards that may make traveling more affordable and/or comfortable. If you don’t fly frequently or just want to weigh your options before applying for credit cards, you should consider a few other reward card options before making your final decisions.

Other types of rewards credit cards worth considering include:

  • Gas Credit Cards – The number of genuine gas credit cards is dwindling. But you may still find one here and there. They allow you to redeem points for free gas fill-ups, which may reduce the cost of everyday driving or cut the expense of a road trip.
  • Cashback Credit Cards – These cards allow you to earn cash without limiting what you spend it on. You may receive the cash as a credit on your statement or cash transferred to your bank account. Some cards give you the option to transfer your rewards balance to gift cards for a variety of retail stores and restaurants, which you could apply to food expenses and other supplies needed while traveling.
  • Luxury Credit Cards – Some luxury cards will give you access to VIP lounges and other upscale perks that make traveling more comfortable. If you only want to secure one rewards credit card, weigh the perks of a luxury carefully against the option to simply earn miles toward your next flight.

If you travel a lot or would travel more if it were affordable, you may secure multiple reward cards to enjoy a wider variety of benefits. One strategy is to use credit cards for everyday purchases and then pay the cards off within the same month. Instead of using money from your debit card or cash to make those purchases, you simply pay with a credit card to earn the rewards. And then use your bank account to pay it off so you don’t carry debt and pay interest.

Conclusion

Some airline credit cards have annual fees while others make it more difficult to redeem points earned. It’s important to figure out those cons before you start actively using the card. The most ideal airline credit cards will minimize fees while making the reward redemption process quick and easy. If there are too many restrictions on how you may redeem your rewards, you may never get the rewards that you worked so hard to earn.

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Credit Cards for Dummies for Those That Aren’t Dummies

Searching for a credit card is a bit like trying to find the perfect outfit. It’s an intensely personal experience. In other words, the credit card you choose should be a reflection of your financial situation as well as your current credit status. If you don’t have A1 credit you can’t apply for a platinum gold Mastercard. You need to know your creditworthiness and what type of credit card you can realistically expect to be approved for. With this being said, it’s a good idea to do your homework before you go ham and just start applying for credit. A little education about credit cards can go a long way and put you on the path to building a strong credit history if you’re proactive.

Starter Pack of Information About Credit Cards

In simple terms, credit is simply a loan. You are using a bank’s money to make purchases that you agree to pay for later. Most credit cards bill credit cardholders every month. This means that you are required to make a minimum payment on your credit card account once a month. You can carry a balance or you can pay the total balance in full. As long as you are making your minimum payments on time, your credit can grow.

However, other factors come into play, like how much you’ve spent on your credit cards and how many other credit cards you have. Although the concept of a loan is simple, other factors can make credit a little confusing. One of the things that many young people may view as an adult rite of passage is getting a credit card. Even if you’re not a young person, choosing to start using credit card, particularly if you’re new to it, can be both exciting and scary. However, it doesn’t have to be. Investing a little time in securing a fundamental understanding of how credit works are all you need. It’s important to know when you have a limited understanding of a topic.

A credit cards for dummies mindset helps you seek education before choosing a credit offer.

Let’s Dive Into the Ocean of Q&A Related to Credit Cards

Credit cards for dummies teaches the uneducated credit seeker to look at the details. You need to be careful and try to avoid credit card mistakes. We’ve learned that credit use is similar to borrowing money from a bank. In essence, that little plastic card acts as cash allowing you to make online purchases as well as purchases at stores and other retailers. The balance you create is interest-bearing, however. Most cards offer users a twenty to a thirty-day grace period. This means that if the balance is paid in full each month by the due date your purchases are interest-free.

However, you aren’t required to pay off the balance in full. You comply with the guidelines of the creditor if you pay the minimum balance by the due date every month. However, failure to male payments by your due date as well as failure to pay the minimum amount required reflects poorly on your creditworthiness and could damage your credit. Plus, you should keep in mind that the interest on your unpaid balance is growing monthly. If you’re not at least paying the minimum amount due, you could end up paying substantially more than the original amount of your purchases due to the interest that credit cards carry when balances aren’t paid in full.

Getting to the Bottom of It…

Credit can be tricky. Credit cards for dummies ideology encourages research and smart planning when it comes to credit. This is why its best to have a plan, process, and strategic approach when it comes to weeding through credit card offers. Truthfully, most sound so appealing, from cashback offers to free air miles, it can be quite confusing to navigate which credit card is worth your time. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to determine if a credit card is for you as well as if its al that it’s chopped up to be. As you open the letter with your credit card offer or read a new email detailing your credit card offer, your credit savvy education can come to your rescue.

There are several questions you should answer and consider to help guide your choice:

Is the Credit Offer Unsolicited and From an Unfamiliar Bank?

If so, do your homework. It’s not uncommon for scam artists to craft enticing emails and letters to get your personal information. Do your research to determine the legitimacy of the offer. Credit cards for dummies explores different credit offers and focuses on teaching consumers how to choose the best credit offers for themselves.

Does the Credit Offer Meet Your Needs?

If you know you need a card that offers balance transfers and a low APR, make sure that the card offer you’re considering has the elements of what you’re looking for. It may be a great card offer but if it doesn’t meet your specific needs, its not the card for you. The credit cards for dummies approach forced the consumer to become extremely personal and hyper-focused on their unique situation and whether or not a credit offer is truly for them.

Hand turns cubes and changes the word 'wants' to 'needs'.

Is the Fee Schedule Clearly Outlined and do You Agree with the Terms?

Many people don’t even look at a credit card fee schedule in detail. They may study the APR but don’t look at the nuts and bolts of an offer. This is important. Does the card charge exorbitant late fees? Are some of the fees strange or unusual? Most importantly, are you in agreement with the types of fees associated with the credit card?

These are loaded questions that you must answer for yourself to proceed. People who are intimidated by numbers may shy away from understanding or even looking at the fee schedule. However, this is a mistake. You don’t want to be a dummy when it comes to your credit. Credit cards for dummies encourages education in the place of willing ignorance.

Does the Card Have an Annual Fee and How does it Stack up Against Offers Without an Annual Fee?

Do the math on this one. It will help you to make a decision. You can answer many financial decisions in regards to credit offers by being willing to take a close look at all the fees that come with a card. Credit cards for dummies help people that aren’t in the know learn about credit and make better choices.

If the Credit Card Offer Includes the Lure of Rewards, are these Rewards Truly Relevant to You?

Many credit card offers come with the perk of reward offers attached to making certain purchases. This is an area where you need to pay close attention. If your credit card offers rewards for items or items that you don’t typically buy, it may not be worth pursuing. If you are a person who flies a lot, a card that offers free mileage as a reward for your purchases may be a useful card for you.

Selecting a credit card is an intensely personal experience that should take into consideration your lifestyle, budget and spending habits, as well as your preferences. Be honest with yourself. Not all that glitters is gold. Credit cards for dummies sheds light on how valuable an offer or offers are to your unique situation and challenges you to make sober decisions.

Does the Credit Card Offer Other Benefits that May be of Value?

Does your credit offer mention travel protection or purchase protection? These are both examples of additional benefits that may or may not be attractive to you. Regardless, use the benefits offered to help you decide on the card, along with all the other details. These additional benefits may have a practical use for you. Consider them when choosing a credit card. Credit cards for dummies seeks to eliminate confusion and educate consumers.

Is the Credit Card’s Payment Network Widely Accepted?

You may receive a great credit card offer from a payment network that isn’t widely accepted. For example, Visa and Mastercard are the two most widely accepted payment networks. although Discover and other networks may still be accepted, you may run into trouble with retailers or shops that don’t accept these less popular payment networks. You will need to consider how this might impact your ability to use the card in the way that you want to. If you don’t plan on using the card for a wide variety of purchases, having a card with a payment network that’s not widely accepted may not be a big deal. However, as an uneducated person, credit cards for dummies encourages consumers to consider this aspect of a credit offer as well.

Does the Credit Card Offer Align with Your Credit Score?

This is very important. You may get an American Express credit offer in the mail. However, your 460 credit score probably makes it highly unlikely that you’ll be approved for this card. Be honest and realistic with yourself. Applying for credit that you’re not eligible for only hurts you by creating an unnecessary inquiry on your credit profile. You don’t need that. Choose the credit offers you apply for wisely. Do your research.

Determine the target credit score that these creditors are most likely to serve and extend credit to. If its not your credit score or tier, move on to something more appropriate for you. Credit cards for dummies push consumers to make smart educated decisions when it comes to choosing credit cards that will best serve them. All credit offers aren’t created equal and some offers are better suited for you than others.

Credit score scale

Does the Interest Rate Make the Credit Offer a Practical Choice for You and Your Spending and Payment Habits?

This is a big one. If you’re not one to pay off the entire balance on your credit cards monthly, you may need to ask yourself if getting a credit card with a high-interest rate is practical for you. If you’re someone who gets by making the minimum payment, you’ll be paying through the nose for your purchases if you choose a card with a high-interest rate. Also, if you’re someone who typically doesn’t carry a balance, the interest rate may not be as significant to you.

This is a personal question that demands your honesty. This could be the difference between paying considerably more for an item purchased on credit or paying considerably less based on the interest rate.

Have You Read ALL of the Fine Print?

This can be boring and tedious but it’s necessary when it comes to making an educated and informed choice about a credit offer. You will thank yourself later if you do your homework. The fine print will detail everything that will come with accepting this credit card offer. The fine print details fees, the fee schedule, benefits, and rewards, as well as a whole host of other details that you need to know if you want to be a cardholder.

Consider this, you will only have to pour over the fine print once or twice to make an educated solid decision. However, the time you take to do this will be well worth it. You won’t be fooled or caught off guard. Plus, this allows you to ask any questions you may have about the credit offer before you apply.

Putting All the Pieces Together

All the questions that you consider regarding a credit card offer will help you to make a solid and informed choice about which credit cards will be best for you. It’s best to leave no stone unturned. The more you know the better. Many things aren’t readily apparent when it comes to evaluating a credit offer. This is why you should take your time and read between the lines as much as possible. You can’t go wrong by doing this. After all, this is your financial health and future that you will be impacting when you make a credit card choice. It’s best to choose well.

For example, if you need brain surgery and need to choose between two or three different surgeons, yure going to want the one that specializes in your particular kind of brain surgery and has the credits and training to show it. Right? Although credit and brain surgery are two different things, you still need to make a choice that serves you and your unique situation well.

Late Payments, Missed Payments, and Maxed Out Credit Cards

As a new credit cardholder, it’s a good idea to get a firm understanding of one thing. If you don’t make your payments on time you will tarnish your credit history. On the other hand, paying off a credit card balance on time can improve your credit score. Payment history comprises thirty-five percent of your credit score so it’s safe to assume that it’s pretty important to creditors. It’s common sense. If you loan someone money you want to know that you’re going to get it back, as promised. In essence, a credit card is a small plastic promise to pay back borrowed funds. It can help people in a pinch.

However, when it’s neglected and not handled properly, it can destroy your financial health and creditworthiness. If you miss payments, pay late, and /or use all the funds available on your credit card, you will be perceived as a credit risk if this becomes the way you handle credit in general. Be careful with your spending, honor the terms of your credit card, and pay your bill on time.

Calling All First Timers and Credit Card Newbies…

Now that you have a basic understanding of how credit works, you may be wondering how to choose and pursue the right credit card offers best suited for you. This is not difficult either. There are many tools to help you with this pursuit. You can use different tools to help you determine your best first credit card and you can also compare credit cards online. You should do both. Research and explore as much as possible because this will help you to find the credit card that is truly best for you. Loanry can help. We select credible credit card companies for you to consider.

Conclusion

Navigating credit card offers when you don’t know much can be a little intimidating. However, you don’t have to be intimidated if you don’t want to be. All you need is a little education and credit savvy along with the willingness to do your homework. Don’t be lazy and don’t take short cuts. Read the fine print. Research unfamiliar banks and understand the details of any credit offer before you apply. There are many tools that you can use to help guide your decisions. Many are free and most just require common sense and a willingness to pay attention to details.

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Rewards Credit Cards for a Rewarding Experience

Rewards credit cards are a way to earn money back, points, or miles for your spending. You could get rewards for specific categories or you could get a flat rate for purchases. When shopping for a rewards card, you can see that the cards will vary widely in whether or not there are a sign-up bonus and annual fee, and the kind of rewards that are offered. Cash back cards may not have any annual fees but many travel cards will.

Different Types of Rewards Credit Cards

There are a number of different types of rewards credit cards, including airline loyalty cards, hotel, and cash back cards, along with gas and retail cards. About 60% of credit cards that are issued in the country are actually tied to a rewards program.

Gas

These can also be called fuel cards. This type of credit card started back in the 1920s for convenience. New rewards cards have pretty much replaced the gas credit card. However, there can still be some generous rewards for these types of cards and they only require a fair credit score to apply. If you are on the road a lot, this can be a good option for you.

Travel

There are different types of travel rewards cards, including general purpose, hotel, and airline. Some cards will reward you with an extra boost in your points through a redemption portal. This is a good option if you are okay with not traveling with a particular brand. If you choose a hotel or airline card that partners with specific brands, you can redeem your points for those brands. Since hotel partnerships are so large you are able to access hundreds of hotels in many different countries with just a single card.

Cash Back

Discover originally started the cash back program as a way to give money back at the end of the year based on the charges. This has since expanded to cards that give cash back in bank accounts, checks, and statement credits. Many cash back cards will give you a certain percentage for everything and there may be quarterly categories that give you more cash back.

Store

This type of rewards card is tied to a department store or store brand. The cards can give high percentages of cash back for first purchases and can help you save when you shop at that store.

Luxury

If you travel often then a luxury card can be a good choice since you get access to airport lounges and concierge services.

Business

You can get cash back for business-related spending with this type of card. If you spend a lot on business items then this type of card might make sense.

Popular Credit Card Rewards Programs

There are many different types of credit card rewards programs and you are sure to find one that suits your needs.

chase ultimate rewards

Chase Ultimate Rewards

This is a travel portal that you can use. Chase offers two types of rewards cards for a total of six cards. There are some with an annual fee and some without an annual fee. You can earn points through travel and dining, and for rotating categories, such as groceries, gas, and more. With the portal, you can book all types of travel, as well as enjoy redemptions for merchandise and gift cards.

American Express Membership Rewards

American Express Membership Rewards

You can use these rewards on eligible airfare, hotel stays, retail purchases, car rentals, and more. There are also eligible business purchases, such as office supplies, that can be used.

Hilton Honors

This includes other brands, such as Homewood Suites and Waldorf Astoria. You get the chance to earn points through partners for car rentals, cruises, and more. You can use the points as a gift by purchasing gift cards or treating yourself to a weekend away. Use the points toward flights, vehicle upgrades, and more.

Резултат слика за Citi ThankYou Rewards

Citi ThankYou Rewards

This program is offered through a handful of Citi cards with options to redeem for travel, gift cards, electronics, merchandise, and more. Depending on the product, you can earn 1.25x points when you book travel in the same way that some of the Chase cards are structured. There are about 15 different airline partners in this program.

Cash Back

is the most appealing travel reward among U.S cardholders.

Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards logo.

Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards

There are two ways to earn rewards with this program. You can get them by spending with a Wells Fargo credit card or by shopping on the Earn More Mall site. Unlike other programs, these rewards can’t be transferred to an airline partner. Redemptions can come in the form of cash back, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, or travel.

Резултат слика за Bank of America Preferred Rewards

Bank of America Preferred Rewards

This program works a little differently from other card issuer programs. It also rewards you for how much you keep in your Bank of American bank accounts.

How to Choose a Rewards Credit Card

When choosing between different rewards credit cards, there are some things to keep in mind.

Travel or Cash Back Rewards: Determine if you prefer a cash back or travel rewards card.

How to Earn Rewards: See how to earn the rewards and if this would make sense with your current financial plans.

How Credits Are Redeemed: See how the rewards are redeemed with the card.

Minimum Spending: Make sure that you are able to meet any minimum spending requirements to actually earn the rewards.

When choosing a card, one credit card shopping trick is to pay attention to the sign-up bonus. See if there are any additional perks, such as access to airport lounges or tickets to some special events. Annual fees will vary from one credit card to another and can range from zero to several hundred dollars. You need to see if the annual fee is going to be worth the rewards you are getting. Some cards will also waive foreign transaction fees when using your card abroad. This may make sense for you if you travel abroad a lot.

Pros and Cons of Rewards Credit Cards

If you are going to have a credit card, it makes sense to use a rewards credit card or else you could be leaving money on the table. There can be great benefits, including waived fees, accrued points, and cash back. However, if you have trouble meeting the budget and tend to overspend with a credit card then these cards may not be the best option for you.

Pros

One of the main pros is you get points, miles, or cash back. Rewards cards can offer extended warranties, shopping and travel benefits, and rental car insurance. Just with other credit cards, rewards cards can be used as a way to build your credit, as long as you pay your bill on time each month. Another benefit is the fees waived on some of the best travel cards. Many of these cards don’t have any foreign transaction fees and some even waive the annual fee for the first year.

Cons

Even with so many positives of rewards credit cards, it helps to be aware of the cons. There may be a higher credit score required in order to qualify. While it’s possible to qualify with a lower score, the cards with better rewards tend to need a higher credit score. Be sure to check the required score of a card you are interested in before you apply. Some rewards cards can cost you in time since you have to spend some time to maximize cash or points. Some travel cards also have blackout dates that can limit your choices.

If you don’t want to invest any time then there are some rewards cards with flat rates. While it’s easy to improve your score each month with on-time payments, if you aren’t careful, the cards can destroy your score if you carry high balances. You also don’t want to destroy your budget if you aren’t paying attention to your spending and are only focusing on the rewards. Interest rates on some rewards cards may be higher. If you are going to pay off your card each month then it’s not a problem but that’s not always the case.

How to Maximize Credit Card Rewards

If you are spending wisely then you can earn a lot of cash back or points when you take advantage of rewards credit cards.

If you are loyal to a certain airline then their co-branded credit card can be a good option for you. When you choose a card that rewards where you spend the most money then you can get the most rewards possible. If you don’t travel much then you won’t benefit from a travel rewards credit card. In order to figure out what you spend the most money on, go through your credit card statements from the past few years to help you pick a card that lets you maximize your rewards.

Cards offer a sign-up bonus as a way to get new customers. It’s a good way to be able to quickly get lots of rewards. If a sign-up bonus looks good to you, make sure you know the terms of the bonus. To earn the bonus, you likely need to spend a specific amount of money in a specified time frame. Be sure you are able to pay off what you spend with that sign-up bonus. If you don’t then the points you accumulate may not be worth the interest you are paying. Also, note what purchases qualify for the bonus offer. Things like balance transfers may not qualify.

When you use your card for everyday expenses that you were going to purchase anyway, it’s a great way to get lots of rewards. Add utility bills, grocery shopping, gas, and streaming services to your card. Since these are things you are already paying for then they are likely to fit in your monthly budget. You may even get rewards for these spending categories.

When you add an authorized user to your credit card, it can help build up your rewards. People will usually like to add family members, such as a child or spouse. You are responsible for paying off the purchases that the authorized user makes so be sure it is someone you trust.

Some credit cards have revolving quarterly categories that give you more cash back. These cash back categories can include restaurants, gas stations, and rideshares. If you have one of these credit cards then try planning your spending throughout the year to get more rewards. Some rewards portals let you get more cash back if you purchase through online retailers when you link the card to their sites.

During the holidays, every store you visit tries to get you to apply for its store credit card. The key to getting the most rewards is to hold back and then just have one or two cards that offer the most rewards at the stores you shop at the most.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of different rewards credit cards to choose from that can help you earn miles, cash back, or points on purchases that you make. Choosing rewards credit cards will depend on your personal financial goals. If you travel often, you may find a travel rewards card is better suited for your needs. Keep in mind that there are pros and cons to rewards credit cards, just as there are to regular credit cards. Once you choose rewards credit cards, learn more about the program and some tips and tricks to maximize your rewards.

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