The Best Airline Miles Credit Cards of 2016

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Loyalty is an excellent and rare trait but if you’re not careful, it can also be an expensive one.  Limiting yourself to one airline when you fly can cause you to be restricted in the time you have to depart and arrive as well as the possibility of losing out on cheaper flights elsewhere.  However if you’re absolutely certain your airline of choice is the best around, owning an airline miles credit card is an absolute must.

The best airline miles credit cards can be found from the most popular of airlines and credit card issuers.  Whether you fly American, Continental, Delta, Southwest, etc. you’ll be able to save even more money by owning one of the cards below.  Be careful though, because if these cards are used simply for making everyday purchases, you won’t be maximizing your savings.

PT’s Pick For Best Airline Miles Credit Card

Citi® AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®

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Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® – THE card for American flyers, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® dishes out 30,000 bonus miles after $1,000 is made in purchases during the first three months. When flying, your first checked back is always free and a 25% discount is given on in-flight purchases.

Double AAdvantage miles are earned on American flights and single AAdvantage miles are earned on everything else. When you redeem your AAdvantage Miles, a bonus 10% is returned back to you (up to 10,000 extra miles annually) and while this card does have a $95 annual fee; it’s waived the first year.

Gold Delta Sky Miles

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Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express – The only Delta card on our list, the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express awards 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first three months from account opening, which is a good for a free flight AND a $50 statement credit. Earn As You Spend: Get 2X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles for all other eligible dollars spent. Check your first bag free on every Delta flight – that’s a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.

You also get Premium Travel Perks: Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding, and enjoy the skies with 20% in-flight savings to use toward meals, beverages, and movies awarded as a statement credit. There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms and Restrictions Apply.

British Airways Visa Signature

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British Airways Visa Signature® Card – 50,000 Avios are earned after cardholders make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.  This beauty also includes no foreign transaction fees and travel and purchase coverage for peace of mind.

Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa Card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years. The rewards program is better than most, offering 3 Avios per dollar spent on all British Airways purchases and 1 Avios per dollar spent on everything else. There’s a 15.99% variable APR attached to the British Airways Visa Signature Card, as well as a $95 annual fee.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier

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Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card – The only airline miles credit card I own (because I always find myself flying Southwest), the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card offers 6,000 bonus points every year you remain a cardholder. Also now, for a limited time, new cardmembers can earn 50,000 points after spending just $2,000 in the first three months of card ownership.

Double points are earned on all Southwest and AirTran purchases and one point is earned on every dollar spent on all other purchases. Using the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card internationally exchange fee free but there is a $99 annual fee attached.

United Mileage Plus Rewards

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United MileagePlus Explorer Card – The United MileagePlus Explorer Card has a litany of benefits that you may find to outweigh the costs.   At the very top, new cardholders will receive a 30,000 bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases during the first three months.  When flying United, every first check bag is free for both the primary cardholder and one companion (which means $100 can be saved round-trip) and cardholders will always receive priority boarding.  2 United Club passes are given each year, allowing cardmembers of the United MileagePlus Explorer Card to relax in style before a flight.  5,000 additional bonus miles are provided after one additional authorized cardmember is added to the account and there is a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived during the first year.

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Last Edited: July 12, 2016 @ 11:52 am The content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Michael Pruser

Michael Pruser is the man. After spending a ton of money to go to the private University of Miami, Michael now enjoys spending time at home, writing personal finance articles for the world to read. His journey out of debt continues 500 words at a time.