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TravelThe Best Airline Credit Cards of 2019

21:45  10 april  2019
21:45  10 april  2019 Source:   thepointsguy.com

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This Is Not a Drill: You Can Now Earn the Southwest Companion Pass With One Credit Card Bonus Southwest Airlines offers an amazing perk to its most frequent flyers who can earn 110,000 qualifying points or who take 100 qualifying flights in a year: two-for-one travel with its Companion Pass. This lets you bring along a friend or family member for free (minus taxes and fees) on both paid and award flights. There’s …

The best airline credit cards of 2019 . Madison Blancaflor. The best airline credit cards offer a panoply of perks that save travelers time, money and stress. The benefits that most airline cards confer seem fairly standard at this point, with only slight variations from one product to another.

The best airline credit cards stand out for high-value points or miles, superior perks, lucrative sign-up bonuses, or easy-to-earn rewards. Updated October 31, 2019 . If you fly frequently, you may be looking for the best airline credit cards . When you purchase plane tickets on an airline card , you

MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

Looking for the best airline credit cards? Most folks already know that if a particular airline sees a good chunk of your annual travel, it’s a smart move to apply for its corresponding co-branded card. But that’s not the only reason to add an airline card to your wallet. Some benefits can apply well beyond travel just on that particular carrier, especially when you consider each airline’s partners and redemption perks.

The Best Airline Credit Cards of 2019

The Best Airline Credit Cards of 2019© Provided by Bankrate, LLC Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 landing at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. (Photo by Carlos Yudica / Shutterstock.com)

Here are the Best Airline Credit Cards:

This Is Not a Drill: You Can Now Earn the Southwest Companion Pass With One Credit Card Bonus

This Is Not a Drill: You Can Now Earn the Southwest Companion Pass With One Credit Card Bonus MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers. Official application links: Earn the Companion Pass and enjoy 2-for-1 travel for the rest of 2019 with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier …

Airline credit cards can be a gold mine for frequent flyers, especially those who are loyal to a single airline . However, many cards offer such an extensive range of features that even occasional flyers can enjoy using them.

Which airlines win? [Click "See More" for Advertiser Disclosure] You can support our channel by choosing your next credit card via one of the links below

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card: Best for Southwest
  • United Explorer Card and United Explorer Business Card: Best for United
  • Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard: Best for American Airlines
  • Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express: Best for Delta
  • JetBlue Plus Card: Best for JetBlue

How We Chose the Best Airline Credit Cards

When we assembled our list of the best airline cobranded cards for this year, we made sure to consider the extra value each card can bring, whether you’re flying on that airline or not. Because with so many varying benefits, it’s important to know which card will best match your own travel needs and preferences.

One thing to take into account when you are deciding on an airline credit card is your airline preference. If you know what airline you want to travel on, that makes your decision much easier. You can review the best and worst airlines here. The other major criterion that impacted our list include: the annual fee, travel perks, offer bonus and spending requirements. Below you will find a credit card comparison table which lays out the major factors of our best credit cards so you can evaluate how they rank against each other.

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DoughRoller » Credit Cards » 5 Top Airline Miles Credit Cards of 2019 . Airline miles credit cards can boost the miles you receive through your preferred airline ’s mileage program.

Keep reading for the best airline credit cards to apply for this year. The Best Card for Airline -Specific Benefits: JetBlue Plus. This credit card earns two miles per dollar on American Airlines purchases, including tickets and in-flight food, which is typical of airline cards .

Comparing Airline Credit Cards

Below we can see how each airline credit card compares to the competition.

Card Bonus Offer Annual Fee Notable Perks
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. $69 3,000 bonus points at your card member anniversary each year
United Explorer Card 40,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months and another 20,000 miles after you spend $8,000 in the first 6 months $95* One free checked bag when you use the card to pay for your United flights

Priority boarding

Two United Club passes each year

Access to additional award space on United flights
United Explorer Business Card 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. $95* One free checked bag when you use the card to pay for your United flights

Priority boarding

Two United Club passes each year

Access to additional award space on United flights
Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard 60,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. $99* Free checked bag for you and up to four companions

Preferred boarding

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Updated on Oct 31, 2019 . Best Airline Credit Cards of 2019 . Earn your way toward a free trip plus more! The best airline credit cards help you earn free flights, priority boarding, and access to exclusive airport lounges. Co-branded airline credit cards are a great option for anyone who travels

The best travel credit cards can point you toward rewards that you can redeem through travel reservations including airfare, hotels, rental Why this is the best travel credit card for annual travel credits - The Platinum Card 's annual travel credits are unparalleled – earn a 0 annual airline fee

25% rebate on inflight food and beverage purchases

$125 American Airlines flight discount after you spend $20,000 in a membership year and renew your card
Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express 40,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. $450 Complimentary Sky Club access when you’re traveling on Delta

Free checked bag for you and up to eight companions

Companion certificate for domestic travel each year after your account anniversary

Earn bonus MQMs for high annual spend
JetBlue Plus Card 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days $99 Free checked bag for you and up to three companions

10% rebate on all redeemed TrueBlue points

5,000 bonus points at your card member anniversary each year

Earn JetBlue Mosaic elite status with $50,000 in annual spend

*Annual fee waived the first year.

Which Airline Credit Card is the Best:

Here we will dive into the details of the best airline credit cards and how you can maximize the benefits of each offer.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

The biggest complaint about airline miles is they’re impossible to use because there’s never any award space. Well, that’s never a problem with the Rapid Rewards points you can earn with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card. Southwest uses a revenue-based, fixed-value redemption system in which the number of points needed to redeem for an airline ticket is tied to the cost of the airfare. So you’ll never get outsized value for your points, but you’ll also never be unable to find award space (unless the flight itself is entirely sold out).

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With this card, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar spent at Southwest and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Unfortunately, this card does charge a 3% foreign-transaction fee, so you won’t want to use it on overseas trips. You’ll also get 3,000 bonus points after your card member anniversary each year, and with only a $69 annual fee, the cost of keeping the card long-term is at the low end of the scale for airline cobranded cards.

United Explorer Card and United Explorer Business Card

As United is a member of the Star Alliance, its miles can be used for some great international redemptions on partner airlines, which is one reason why the United Explorer cards is on our list.

But another reason is the somewhat unusual but very neat perk in which card holders get access to additional award space on United flights. These seats come out of an entirely different fare bucket than the normal United award space, so if you have this card and sign in to your frequent flyer account on united.com, you’ll have access to more award flights than folks without the card.

You’ll also get one free checked bag when you use the card to pay for your United flights, along with priority boarding and two United Club passes each year at your card member anniversary. Plus, with no foreign transaction fees, this is a card you’ll be able to use anywhere, so for a $95 annual fee, it’s one to think about getting if you’re a regular United traveler. Finally, the card recently added 2x earning rates for spending on dining and hotels, an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and 25% off inflight purchases.

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If you really value United Club access and aren’t averse to paying a higher annual fee, you might also consider the United MileagePlus Club Card. It offers a full United Club membership (the main draw), plus two free checked bags on United flights, priority check-in, security and boarding and more. There’s a $450 annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees. This card’s currently offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months — previously, it didn’t even offer a sign-up bonus.

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

If you’re a regular traveler on American Airlines, you’ll likely want to pick up the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard to take advantage of its benefits.

With a free checked bag on American flights for you and up to four companions on your reservation (even if you use a different card to pay for the ticket), priority boarding and a 25% rebate on inflight food and beverage purchases, it’s a must-have card for American flyers.

The card has a $99 annual fee, which is waived the first year. Like most other cards on this list, the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select waives foreign transaction fees. The card is currently offering a bonus of 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening. It also recently added 2x earning rates for spending at restaurants and gas stations, as well as a $125 American Airlines flight discount when you spend $20,000 on the card in a membership year and renew your card.

What's Changing in Airline Credit Cards

What's Changing in Airline Credit Cards A 60,000-mile sign-up bonus. Free passes to airport lounges. Waived fees for checked bags and early boarding. You've no doubt seen these credit card offers lately, as airlines are dangling all ma nner of perks to get you to sign up—or trade up—for their co-branded plastic. “We’ve seen more aggressive marketing from airlines, with elevated initial bonus offers, and also in-flight card pitches,” says Gary Leff, an expert in airline loyalty plans who pens the View From the Wing blog. One reason airlines are upping their ante: Just 13 percent of U.

Delta Reserve Credit Card From American Express

American Express has three personal cards in its Delta lineup, and with a $450 annual fee — the Delta Reserve Credit Card is the most expensive. That said, it could be worth the price if you frequently fly with the carrier and are working toward Delta elite status.

In addition to offering you complimentary Sky Club access when you’re traveling on Delta, the card offers Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) toward Medallion status, both as part of the welcome bonus and for cardholders who meet certain spending thresholds. If you charge at least $30,000 to the card in a year, you’ll get 15,000 bonus miles and 15,000 MQMs, and you’ll get another 15,000 of each if you charge $60,000 to the card in the same year. Silver Medallion status requires 30,000 MQMs, so you could meet that aspect of qualifying for Delta status through (significant) spending on this card alone.

Other benefits include a companion certificate for domestic travel each year after your account anniversary, 2x miles on Delta purchases, a free checked bag on Delta flights, priority boarding and no foreign transaction fees. If you don’t want to pay a $450 annual fee, you might also consider the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card From American Express, which has a $95 fee that’s waived the first year. With this card, you’ll get a free checked bag, priority boarding, no foreign transaction fees and 20% in savings on inflight purchases.

And as far as elite status goes, if you’re considering going for the Gold — or Silver, Platinum or Diamond — Delta will waive its MQD requirement up to Platinum status if you spend $25,000 on one of its co-branded cards. It recently increased the waiver requirement for Diamond status to $250,000.

JetBlue Plus Card

You may not be able to get outsized value for your points with TrueBlue, JetBlue’s fixed-value frequent flyer program. But the JetBlue Plus card comes with some great benefits that will make booking and flying on JetBlue easier than ever, plus some decent bonus categories to boot.

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As with most of the other cards on this list, with the JetBlue Plus you and up to three of your companions on the same reservation get a free checked bag whenever you fly JetBlue, which will save you at least $20 on every flight you take. You’ll also get a 10% rebate on all your redeemed TrueBlue points, but unlike the American AAdvantage cards, there’s no annual cap, so you’ll benefit from it every time you redeem. You can also earn JetBlue Mosaic elite status with $50,000 in annual spend on the card. And each year at your anniversary when you pay the $99 annual fee, you’ll get 5,000 bonus points just for renewing. Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, those points are worth $65, which offsets two-thirds of the annual fee.

On the earning side, the JetBlue Plus card outshines most of the other cards on this list, with 6 points per dollar on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per dollar at restaurants and grocery stores and 1x on all other purchases. For dining purchases you may want to use a card that earns flexible rewards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, but the return on grocery spend can definitely be useful for most households.

Featured image courtesy of Chris Sattlberger via Getty Images.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Airlines have made $1.3 billion off bag fees so far this year, data shows.
Airline financial data is out for the first quarter, and airline baggage fees are paying off in a big, millions of dollars kind of way.

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