Best Airline Credit Cards of 2017

Compare top airline cards to get a big signup bonus, ongoing rewards, and traveler-centric perks.

Hey, frequent travelers! If you’re hitting the road (or the sky or sea) without a travel rewards credit card, you’re missing out. The top airline credit cards of 2017 boast massive signup bonuses, plus travel-ready perks and attractive rewards rates that make it easy to earn free trips — and travel in style.

Airline cards are a good choice if you fly frequently with a particular airline. But this year, our top pick for most people is actually the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. As a more general travel rewards card, it’ll give you more flexibility when it’s time to redeem your rewards for travel. As a cardmember, you’ll also get access to members-only travel deals through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program — and a 25% points bonus when you redeem for travel through Chase’s portal.

If you also own the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom®, there’s even more to love: Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are transferrable between the two cards. That means you can pair the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s 2X points per dollar on travel and dining worldwide with the Chase Freedom®’s 5% cash back in rotating categories. Because this rewards strategy covers multiple types of purchases, your rewards will stack up quickly. Redemption options include travel, cash, gift cards, and 1:1 points transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.

It’s true that a general travel rewards card has the greatest long-term rewards potential for most people. But if you fly often, earning airline miles is a priority, and you have an airline of choice, it’s worth looking into a co-branded airline credit card. The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is our top airline pick this year. With this card, you can earn a 60,000 mile signup bonus after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 4 months, plus 2X miles per dollar on Delta purchases (terms apply). That solid rewards rate plus Delta flight availability (323 destinations in 59 countries at time of posting) makes the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express a top contender in the airline credit card space.

Not sure which card fits your needs best? Explore our top picks for 2017 to find your ideal airline credit card.

The Simple Dollar’s Best Airline Credit Cards for 2017

Most flexible travel rewards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is our top pick because it allows cardholders to both earn and spend rewards with multiple airlines. At 2X points per dollar on travel, it offers the same rewards rate that many airline cards offer — plus 2X points on dining at restaurants worldwide. Since travel and restaurant spending go hand in hand, this makes for excellent rewards potential on the road (and at home, too, if you dine out frequently!)

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you’ll enjoy access to the popular Chase Ultimate Rewards® program. That’s where this card really shines: points are worth 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Options include airfare, cruises, hotels, and more. You can also transfer points 1:1 to travel loyalty programs like United MileagePlus® and Marriott Rewards® — or redeem for gift cards or cash.

Last but not least is the huge signup bonus. Those 50,000 bonus points are worth $625 toward travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. That should go a long way toward a free vacation!

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Our Verdict

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Spend $4,000 in your first 3 months to earn the signup bonus.
  • Use this card for all travel and restaurant purchases for 2X points per dollar.
  • Redeem points for travel, gift cards, eDeposit, or 1:1 points transfer to leading frequent travel programs.
  • Consider pairing with the Chase Freedom® for 5% cash back in rotating categories. Points are transferrable between the two cards.
There’s a $95 annual fee after the first year. Also, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers general travel perks like Trip Cancellation Insurance, it’s short on airline-specific perks. For comparison, our favorite airline card, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, offers one free checked bag per flight, in-flight savings, and Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
There are plenty of reasons the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card tops so many best-of lists this year. With a huge signup bonus, high ongoing rewards potential, and lots of points redemption options, this is a standout travel rewards credit card with few compromises.

Best with no annual fee:
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card is a new addition to this year’s list. Like the Discover it® Miles, it offers unlimited 1.5X points per dollar spent. But here’s the kicker: if you’re a current Bank of America customer, you’ll get a 10% customer points bonus on every purchase; all you need is an active Bank of America® checking or savings account. And Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients can increase that bonus to 25% – 75%. (Preferred Rewards status is based on your combined balance in Bank of America®, Merrill Edge®, and Merrill Lynch® accounts, with Gold status at $20k.)

Because rewards points are redeemable for a travel statement credit, you can book via the website or travel service of your choice. This allows you to combine savings via a fare sale or discount travel site with points redemption to stretch your rewards even further. Simply book your travel as you usually would, then reimburse yourself with a statement credit. Eligible purchases include flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars and baggage fees.

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Our Verdict

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 15.74% - 23.74% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
  • Spend $1,000 in your first 90 days to earn the signup bonus.
  • Earn 1.5X rewards on every purchase.
  • Book travel during a sale or via a discount travel site, then reimburse yourself with a travel statement credit.
  • Maintain an active Bank of America® checking or savings account for a 10% customer points bonus on every purchase.
Unlimited 1.5X points per dollar with no annual fee means strong rewards with minimal ongoing cost. But if you travel often, it’s worth considering the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. While it does have a $95 annual fee after the first year, you’ll earn 2X points per dollar on travel and dining worldwide — and a 25% bonus when you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Even with the annual fee, that can mean higher rewards potential over time for frequent travelers.
With a $0 annual fee and unlimited 1.5X rewards, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card is an attractive option for people who want to earn free travel — but may not travel often enough to justify a card that emphasizes travel spending (or has a costly annual fee). Use this card to earn 1.5X points on everyday purchases. If you’re a current Bank of America customer, your rewards will stack up even faster.

Best travel perks:
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is the obvious choice for anyone who travels frequently with Delta. In addition to 2X miles per dollar on purchases made directly with Delta, you’ll enjoy standout perks like a free checked bag each time you fly with Delta, Priority Boarding, and in-flight savings on food, beverages, and more.

Flying soon? You’re going to need a place to stay when you get there, so you might as well earn some SkyMiles! As a cardmember, you can earn rewards in two popular programs via Crossover Rewards™. Through this program, you can earn Delta SkyMiles on eligible stays with Starwood Preferred Guest® hotels — and Starpoints® on eligible Delta flights.

Also worth noting: the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is one of few airline cards out there that gives you the option to redeem points with other airlines. Miles are redeemable toward travel on Delta and more than 15 airline partners.

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Our Verdict

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 4 months.
  • Plus, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 4 months. Offer expires on 7/5/2017.
  • Earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • 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.
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Spend $3,000 in your first 4 months to earn the signup bonus.
  • Purchase flights with Delta to earn 2X miles per dollar.
  • Take advantage of a free checked bag and Priority Boarding when you fly with Delta.
  • Enroll in the Crossover Rewards™ program to earn SkyMiles on eligible stays with Starwood Preferred Guest® hotels.
  • Terms Apply
The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express makes a lot of sense if you only fly with Delta. It’ll even let you redeem your miles with 15+ airline partners. But if you’d like the flexibility to earn 2X points with other airlines, we suggest the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It’ll give you 2X points per dollar on travel and dining worldwide, regardless of who you book with — and allow you to transfer points 1:1 to a variety of airline and hotel programs.
With the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, you’ll earn 2X miles per dollar spent with Delta. That means high-rate rewards every time you fly! And with perks like Priority Boarding and a free checked bag per flight, this card has plenty to offer the frequent traveler. Use it to earn free flights — and travel in style.

Great signup bonus:
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card boasts one of the highest signup bonuses on our list: a whopping 40,000 points. It’s easy to earn, too: just spend $1,000 in your first 3 months. Even modest spenders should have little trouble meeting that threshold. (Many airline credit cards have a significantly higher signup bonus threshold.) Aside from the 2X points you’ll earn on Southwest purchases (and 1X points on everything else), you’ll also get 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary. Once you earn them, your points won’t expire as long as your card account is open.

Cardmembers enjoy plenty of flexibility when redeeming points for travel with Southwest. There are no blackout dates or seat restrictions, so if your itinerary of choice is available, you can book it with minimal fuss. If your travel plans change, good news: there are no change fees when you book with your card (though fare differences may apply). Finally, you’ll enjoy not one, but two checked bags for free. That means savings on baggage fees each and every time you fly.

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Our Verdict

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Earn unlimited points that don't expire as long as your account is open
  • 3,000 points after your Cardmember anniversary every year
  • 2 points/$1 spent on Southwest® and participating Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental partners purchases
  • 1 point/$1 spent on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Bags fly free®
  • No change fees
  • Fly Southwest and book with your card to earn 2X points per dollar.
  • Enjoy 2 free checked bags each time you fly Southwest. (Weight and size limits apply.)
  • Change flights as needed — there are no change fees when you book with your card.
The $69 annual fee is not waived for your first year. That being said, it’s lower than the average annual fee for both travel and airline credit cards. If you’d prefer a travel card with no annual fee, we recommend the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card for unlimited 1.5X points on every purchase.
In addition to a generous signup bonus, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card offers cardmembers high-value perks like $0 change fees and two free checked bags per flight. Choose this card to earn rewards that will make your next vacation affordable and convenient, with no blackout dates in sight.

Fewest fees:
JetBlue Card

JetBlue CardApply Nowon Barclaycard's secure website

The JetBlue Card is a newcomer, and it made quite a splash with its 2016 release. While it offers one of the more modest signup bonuses on our list (5,000 points), it makes up for that with an unusually high rewards rate. With this card, you’ll earn 3X points per dollar on JetBlue purchases. You’ll also get 2X points at restaurants and grocery stores (and 1X points on everything else). That’s significant: the 2X points category offers twice the everyday rewards potential that most travel cards do with their 1X “everything else” category. This will help any cardmember earn free trips faster — though infrequent travelers and frugal spenders will see the greatest benefit.

Another benefit for frugal cardmembers: Family Pooling. You can combine your TrueBlue points with family members to earn free flights more quickly. Once you’ve saved up enough points, you can redeem them for any available seat on a JetBlue flight with no blackout dates. Finally, the JetBlue Card is one of very few airline credit cards with no annual fee. With such a low barrier to entry, it’s an ideal travel credit card for people who don’t travel often enough to justify a high annual fee — as long as JetBlue flights are available in your area.

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Our Verdict

  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking.
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don't expire.
  • Earn and share points together with Family Pooling.
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food on JetBlue-operated flights
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Chip technology & $0 Fraud Liability protection
  • Fly JetBlue and pay with your card to earn 3X points.
  • Use this card on grocery and restaurant purchases to earn 2X points.
  • Save 50% on eligible in-flight purchases.
  • Take advantage of Family Pooling to share points.
If you like flying with JetBlue, the JetBlue Card has few drawbacks. Note that if JetBlue flights aren’t readily available in your area, you could run into trouble redeeming your points. That’s because you won’t be able to transfer points to multiple airlines like you could with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. If you don’t live near a major airport, check flight availability before you choose; if it’s iffy, consider a card with more flexible redemption options.
With no annual fee, high-rate travel rewards, and 2X points per dollar on everyday purchases, the JetBlue Card is a standout option for thrifty travelers. Altogether, it offers incredible value with an airline that has ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Low-Cost Carriers in North America” by J.D. Power 12 years in a row.

Best first-year bonus:
Discover it® Miles

Discover it® MilesApply Nowon Discover's secure website

If you don’t want to play favorites with a certain airline or hotel chain, you don’t have to! The no-annual-fee Discover it® Miles makes it easy to both earn and redeem rewards, no matter where you book your trip. With this card, you’ll earn unlimited 1.5X miles per dollar spent on all purchases, every day — no need to track spending in certain categories. And because miles are redeemable for a travel statement credit, you can book with the airline, hotel, etc. of your choice. (This also allows you to compound savings by booking through a discount travel site or during a sale. Comparison shop before booking to make each rewards mile stretch further!) There are no blackout dates to contend with, either; simply book your travel and use your travel statement credit to reimburse yourself for airfare, hotel stays, rental cars, and more.

Discover offers a unique first-year bonus for new customers that will effectively double your rewards. At the end of your first year, Discover will match all miles you’ve earned. For example, if you’ve earned 20,000 miles, you’ll get an extra 20,000 from Discover, totaling 40,000 miles you can apply toward any eligible travel expenses. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

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Our Verdict

Card Highlights Provided by Discover:
  • Bonus Miles - For example, if you earn 20,000 Miles, you get 40,000 Miles. We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your rewards in any amount for cash or a travel credit.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match® details & other information.
  • Use this card as often as possible to earn 1.5X miles on every purchase — and make the most of your first-year Bonus Miles.
  • Redeem miles for a travel statement credit after you book travel.
  • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements and online to monitor your credit.
While unlimited 1.5X miles is an attractive offer, you may be able to earn higher-rate rewards with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers 2X points on travel and dining (and a 25% points bonus when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.) Also, Discover cards aren’t accepted as widely as cards backed by Visa® or MasterCard®. (That’s less of a concern with national retailers, but acceptance may vary among small businesses.)
Choose the Discover it® Miles for unlimited, effortless rewards and no annual fee. When it’s time to redeem your miles, you’ll have the freedom to book your trip where and how you choose — the world is your oyster!

The Simple Dollar’s Best Airline Credit Cards for 2017: Summed Up

Research the Best Airline Credit Cards

Below is a directory with the most popular airline miles credit cards available today. The directory is updated on a weekly basis to reflect any new changes, to add new cards, and to remove expired cards. The airline credit cards directory is a component of the rewards credit cards directory. This custom directory highlights the most important features for each airline card.

Airline Credit Card Directory

In order to rank and value each of these airline cards, certain features were analyzed based on overall importance to the prospective cardholder. The most heavily weighted features of an airline card are Signup Bonus, Rewards Rate, and Perks.

Sort, filter, or search for what matters most to find the best airline credit card for you.

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Common Filters Good Signup Bonus
Great Ongoing Rewards
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Rating Methodology

After studying every airline credit card, I made the decision early on that the best airline miles credit cards wouldn’t be based solely on the rewards you can earn. While rewards are still the most important factor, the perks and benefits from airline credit cards should not be overlooked.

Sign-up bonuses, travel benefits, companion fares, and the actual airlines are all important to judging the quality of the card. You’re not getting an airline card for low interest rates — you’re getting it for miles and benefits — so APRs shouldn’t matter as much.

Signup Bonus

Signup Bonus is the amount of extra points the card offers to a new cardmember. Airlines tend to offer high Signup Bonuses, many of which range between 25,000 and 50,000 points. Depending on how you use airline points, that means that a 40,000 point bonus translates to at least $400 with that airline or its partners. In many cases, it can be significantly more.

Signup Bonus carries a high importance rating because the bonus can knock off a chunk of money on an upcoming flight.

Don’t wait until the last minute to act on a Signup Bonus, however. There are usually certain spending requirements you need to fulfill before you actually earn the points and can use them. It is common for credit card issuers to require you to spend $3,000 in the first three months you have the card before the Signup Bonus kicks in.

Rewards Rate

The next high importance feature is Rewards Rate, which is the actual rate at which your purchases on the card earn you airline points. It is common to see an airline card earn 2% in points for travel-related spending with that airline or its partners. Airline cards also usually have a base rate. This base rate is typically 1% and applies to all other purchases you make with that card.

If you travel often but are not loyal to one airline, you can get a higher Rewards Rate in more spending categories by picking up one of the best travel credit cards. The main difference is that the best travel cards generally give you better rewards in more categories, and offer you more flexibility for redeeming points with different airline carriers.

Benefits

Benefits refers to other perks or programs that make the airline card stand out. Many airline cards offer priority check-in, free checked bags, seat upgrades, or lounge access. With the state of travel these days, the extra Benefits you receive as an airline credit card holder will be the deciding factor when Rewards Rate or Signup Bonus features are similar between comparable cards. This is why Benefits carries a high importance rating.

Redemption Options

For airline credit cards, Redemption Options can dramatically impact how much flexibility you have for where you redeem points on travel. Airline credit card points are always redeemable for flights or other perks with the specific airline. Traditionally, this has been your only option. However, airlines have developed their own partner networks, and in many cases, you can “transfer” your points from one airline to another within the same network. For instance, American Airlines miles can be exchanged for British Airways Avios through the oneworld network.

The result is that you are not as constrained in your airline options. The largest airline networks are oneworld and Star Alliance. Other airlines create their own partner networks and join forces with hotels and rental car companies to try and give the customer more options for redeeming points.

Rewards Categories

Rewards Categories are the spending categories in which your credit card earns greater than 1%. Rewards Categories carry a low importance rating for airline cards and are not factored into our ratings as much. The main reason is that when airlines issue credit cards, they usually issue higher rewards for travel booked on their airline and a 1% base rate for all other purchases. In contrast, some of the best travel credit cards have enhanced rewards in spending categories like dining or hotels, which helps you capitalize on other spending to rack up rewards you can use for travel.

Two of the best travel cards offer different Rewards Categories. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 2x miles on travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards platforms and 2% for dining out. That card earns 1% on all other purchases. The Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® has the same structure — 2x miles on travel booked through Barclaycard and 2x miles on dining. Both of these cards are talked about in more detail in my colleague’s post on the best travel credit cards.

APR

The APR on airline cards also carry low importance. I never recommend signing up for a credit card if you plan on carrying a balance, as you should pay off your balance each month. If you plan to carry a balance on a credit card, look for low APR cards or a balance transfer card to avoid interest during the grace period. Interest charges destroy the value of any points you may accumulate, so it never makes sense to have any type of rewards card if you plan to carry a balance.

What to Consider Before Getting An Airline Credit Card

Here are my basic rules for getting an airline credit card:

  1. You are loyal to one airline.
  2. You fly more than five times per year.
  3. You have no problem occasionally paying more for airfare.
  4. You will take advantage of companion fares.
  5. You own or plan on owning an all-around rewards credit card for purchases away from the airline. (This is very important.)
  6. You always pay your balance on time.

Make sure an airline credit card isn’t the only credit card you own.

Personally, I don’t think you should own an airline credit card without owning a top rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This card gets you the same rewards rate on travel as most of the best miles credit cards, plus you get the 2X rate on dining as well.

Rewards aren’t the only thing that matters for airline credit cards.

I mentioned the importance of maximizing the value of an airline credit card, but there are other ways these cards offer value in addition to rewards. While rewards are still the most important factor, the perks and benefits from airline credit cards should not be overlooked.

Using An Airline Card Strategically

Business travelers who are on the road (technically, in the air) 80% of the time know the value of a good airline card. For them, there’s no problem relying on one airline or a partner network because the points are king. They know how to max out points by taking inconvenient flights, standbys, or extra flights.

But what about you? Personally, I fly whatever airline gets me there the quickest (#1), has the best times (#2), and is the cheapest (#3). I find it very difficult to be loyal to one airline, but I can certainly see the advantages for many people.

For those of you who see the value of owning an airline credit card, I’m going to outline some key things to be aware of.

Airline Rewards Programs

Significant Rewards Rate and Rewards Category Differences

The reason I always say that you should never own an airline card as your first card is because you miss out on additional rewards when using it to make everyday purchases. At a minimum, you’re cutting your rewards in half, and probably more.

If you do the math, the difference is pretty significant between settling on 1% versus 2% on all purchases (assuming an airline point is worth $0.01).

Say you’re a busy professional and you spend $1,000 per month over the course of two years dining out. Assume every airline credit card has a rewards rate of 1% or 1X miles on all purchases away from the airline. At that rate, you’ll accumulate $240 worth of rewards after two years in this category.

Now, let’s say you make the same purchases with a 2X rewards card. That card will get you $480 worth of rewards.

That’s probably a free flight just for using the right card!

Airline Loyalty Programs

When you own an airline credit card, you’re attached to that airline’s rewards program. Your rewards are not tied to a superb travel rewards program, which gives you the flexibility to book any airline or hotel. With a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, your points are tied to the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform that has tons of flexibility. You also have the option to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points on a 1:1 basis to several frequent flyer programs if needed.

Some airline rewards programs have a sketchy history and people aren’t exactly happy with them. There are hundreds and possibly thousands of court cases filed each year against airline loyalty programs.

Airline miles and credit cards aren’t overly stable. The bottom line: Airlines can do anything they want with your loyalty program. You never really know what’s going to happen next in the airline industry. In the past few years, we’ve seen bankruptcy, rewards program changes, airline mergers, and random worker strikes.

It happened when Northwest merged with Delta and the Northwest Airlines frequent flyers took the brunt of the merger. Their miles transferred over but expired after a shorter time period. The WorldPerks® Visa Card was eliminated.

Given all of these warning signs I outline here, I think the airlines have learned from the previous backlash and most programs will be safe moving forward. It’s just something you should be aware of before tying yourself to an airline credit card.

About this resource:

Created on: May 17, 2017

Updated on: May 26, 2017

Edited by: Chelsea Brierton, Christine Neilson

Research by: Mike Jelinek, Montana Thomas