Mileage Credit Cards

by Cristina  

creditcardsAirline mileage credit cards are popular both for business travelers and regular consumers because the cardholder can quickly earn airline miles or other travel reward bonuses by doing nothing other than charging their normal expenses on one of these specific cards. Some are better than others and it’s important to understand the fine print before you commit because there are usually some fees involved. As long as the decision is made carefully, these cards can be an excellent tool to quickly and painlessly earn free travel.

Popular Airline or Travel Reward Credit Cards

Blue Cash from American Express

Our Rating: A+

Details: No annual fee. Purchase APR as low as 17.24% and will range between 17.24% and 21.24%. Earn up to 5% cash back on everyday purchases (including gas and purchases at the supermarket). Other “general purchases” earn up to 1.5% cash back.

The Gold Card from American Express OPEN

Our Rating: A+

Details: For business owners. No APR. $125 annual fee (waived first year). 1 Membership Rewards point for each dollar spent, plus bonus points. Points can be redeemed for rewards from 21 airlines, hundreds of hotels worldwide, vacation packages, over 50 cruise itineraries, and spa retreats; points can be transferred to 11 frequent flyer programs (1 point for 1 mile); points can also be redeemed for rewards from over 50 participant stores. Rewards can be reinvested in the business.

Discover Open Road Card

Our Rating: A

Details: 0% APR for 12 months for purchases; 11.99% to 20.99% thereafter; 0% on balance transfers for 12 months. 5% to 20% Cashback Bonus at top online retailers, 1% cash back on all other purchases; Double Cashback Bonus on grocery store purchases in November and December. There is no limit on the amount of rebates which can be earned and the rebates don’t expire as long as the card is active within a 36 months period. Rewards can be redeemed for gift certificates.

Blue Sky from American Express

Blue Sky

Our Rating: A

Details: No Annual fee the purchase APR is as low as 17.24% and will vary between 17.24% and 21.24%. Earn 1 mile per dollar spent, with no restrictions. With the Blue Sky American Express, points can be redeemed anywhere for discounts on flights, hotel, car rental or cruise and there aren’t any restrictions.

Miles by Discover Card

Miles discoveryApply Here

Our rating: A

Details: The card has no annual fee and the APR is 0% on purchases and balance transfers for six months. Afterwards the APR is 9.99%. When using the card you earn double miles for each dollar spent on up to $3,000 travel or restaurant purchases and 1 mile for 1 dollar spent on all other purchases, as well as bonus miles. Points can be redeemed for airfare or reduced airfare on most major US-based airlines, as well as gift cards from 50 brand-name partners or cash.

Visa Black Card

Become a member today and enjoy 24-Hour Concierge Service. Apply Now!

Our rating: A

Details: Visa Black Card is aimed at the high profile clients with excellent credit. As part of the membership, they get 1% cash back on purchases or earn points (1 point for each dollar spent). Points can be redeemed for travel on any airline at anytime. Cardholders can use their travel lounge Priority Pass and benefit from other perks as well.

Delta Reserve Credit Card

Apply Now.

Our rating: A

Details: Delta Reserve Credit Card is aimed at those who travel quite frequently and want to earn rewards fast. Each dollar spent earns 1 mile. Rewards can be redeemed for free tickets, get your first baggage free and annual companion ticket.

Escape by Discover Card

Apply here

Our rating: A

Details: Members earn 1,000 Miles each month you make a purchase for the first 25 months. Miles never expire and can be used for booking any airline, cruise, hotel stay, or car rental. Also, you can redeem the miles for gift cards to 90 brand-name partners or for cash.

IberiaBank Visa Platinum Rewards Card

Iberia PLatinumApply Here

Our rating: B+

Details: No annual fee, the APR is 0% on Balance Transfers for Your First 6 Billing Cycles. You earn 1 point for each dollar spent in Qualifying Net Retail Purchases. Points can be redeemed for merchandise, travel and gift certificates to participating restaurants and merchants.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Platinum DeltaApply Here

Our rating: B

Details: The annual fee is $150 ($95 if you are a qualified American Express Cardmember) and the APR is 13.24%. At participating locations each dollar spent earns two miles while all other purchases earn 1 mile per 1 dollar spent. Each year the owner can get a free companion ticket.


What Are Mileage Credit Cards


Mileage Credit Cards are an important factor in the whole business travel/lifestyle equation. Each employer has a preference when it comes to how exactly you spend your moolah on the road. They may offer your a corporate credit card, provide petty cash or let you spend away on your own credit card and reimburse your expenses. I would definitely opt for the third, although it may entail a little more time and effort in the expense reports. If you take that smidgen of extra time, you can rack up some serious miles.

I, for example, spent about $3,000 a month with my last job. With airline rewards tickets starting at about 20,000 miles, that means you can earn enough miles for a ticket JUST BY USING YOUR CREDIT CARD in about seven months. That’s a whole extra ticket a year, not including all of the miles you’ll earn from your regular tickets and hotel rewards.

Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hotel chains offer rewards cards as well, which is a great deal for you if you value your points more than your miles. These cards generally offer some sort of a deal like double points on purchases made at the hotel. Not too shabby.

Popular Hotel Credit Cards

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

Apply Here

Our rating: A

Details: No annual fee for the first year, $45 afterwards. The APR on purchases is 13.24%. Purchases earn 2 points for each dollar spent at Starwood properties and participating retail outlets, 1 point for each dollar spent in all other cases and additionally 1 point for 1 dollar spent on qualified purchases based on the Starwood Preferred Guest® loyalty program. Points can be redeemed for travel services, such as hotel stays or airline tickets and you can also transfer points to frequent flyer programs from over 30 airlines.

Other General Travel Rewards Cards

Your third option for a rewards credit card is to get a card that offers general rewards. These cards are offered by banks like Bank of America and credit card companies such as American Express. The beauty of this type of card is that you aren’t limited to the type of reward you choose. You can redeem your point for anything from a bicycle to a ticket to Tokyo. This is by far your most flexible option.

The information contained on this page is meant as a summary and is deemed accurate although not guaranteed. Many factors, including periodic program changes by the banks providing these cards may change at any time, and we highly recommend reading the details if applying for any credit card, including the ones listed on this page.

photo by Andres Rueda

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