Editors note: This post was originally published on June 26, 2019.
Every time you purchase an airline ticket with your credit card, you could be earning valuable bonus points or miles toward your next award trip. And you cant forget about the perks that make your flights go smoother and protect you when things go wrong.
Before you miss the opportunity earn additional rewards on this spending, consider opening and using one of these top cards for airfare purchases:
The Top Cards for Airfare Purchases
1.The Platinum Card from American Express: Best for airline miles
2.The Business Platinum Card from American Express: Best for airline bonus miles
3.Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best travel protections
4.Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Best sign-up bonus
5. American Express Gold Card: Best for global dining
6. Citi Premier Card: Best for broad travel categories
7. Citi Prestige: Best for airline miles and dining
|Card||Bonus for Airfare Purchases/Return Based on TPG Valuations||Notes||Annual Fee|
|Platinum Card from American Express||5x points/10%||5x on flights purchased directly from the airline or at Amex Travel. Terms Apply.||$550(See Rates & Fees)|
|The Business Platinum Card from American Express||5x points/10%||5x on flights purchased through Amex Travel. Terms Apply.||$595(See Rates & Fees)|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||3x points/6%||3x on travel (excluding $300 travel credit), including flights||$450|
|Ink Business Preferred Credit Card||3x points/6%||3x on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year across the categories of travel (including flights); shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines. This is a business card.||$95|
|American Express Gold Card||3x points/6%||3x points on flights purchased directly from the airline or at Amex Travel||$250 (See Rates & Fees)|
|Citi Premier Card||3x points/5.1%||3x points on travel including gas stations||$95|
|Citi Prestige||5x points/8.5%||5x points on air travel||$450 (increasing to $495 starting in September 2019)|
The information for the Citi Prestige and the Citi Premier Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Platinum Card from American Express
The Amex Platinum card has always been known for its impressive benefits, but not for any special rewards for spending. It now offers you5x points for airfarebooked directly throughthe airline or through Amex Travel. You also earn5x points on hotels booked through Amex Travel, 2x points on other purchasesfrom Amex Travel, and 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere.
Among numerous other card holderbenefits are a$200 annual airline fee credit, $200 in annual Uber credits and a $100 credit toward aGlobal Entryor $85 credit towardTSA PreCheckapplication. You also get access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta and aPriority Pass Selectlounge membership, along with access to theCenturion network of lounges, along with Escape and Airspace lounges. Plus you can transfer your points to 19 Amex airline partners. Finally, you receive Gold status with Hilton and Marriott, and elite status with Avis, Hertz and National car rentals. Theres a $550 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees). But it doesnt come with any travel protections in case your trip goes wrong.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express
The business version of the Platinum card also offers you5x points on airfareand on prepaid hotels booked though Amex Travel. But unlike with the personal Amex Platinum, you wont earn 5 points per dollar on tickets purchased directly through the airline, but if youre able to find what you need through the Amex portal, paying with the business card will get you the same impressive 10% return (based onTPGs valuations). Plus, with the Business Platinum, if you pay with points for first or business-class airfare on any airline or any class of airfare on your airline of choice, you get a 35% rebate, which effectively gets you 1.54 cents per point in value.
Other benefits include a $200 annual airline fee credit, a credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application and lounge access. This card has a $595 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees(See Rates & Fees). Like the Platinum Amex, this card doesnt come with any travel protections.
Theintroduction of this cardwas the number-one story in the credit card industry in 2016. Its popularity went mainstream, and for good reason. With the Sapphire Reserve, you earn 3x points on all travel expenses, including not just airfare, but hotels, car rentals and even parking and tolls. You also get 3x points on all dining purchases, and 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else.
According toTPGs latest monthly valuations, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 2 cents each. Points are earned in theUltimate Rewards program, which includes nine airline and three hotel 1:1 transfer partners. Or, points are worth 1.5 cents each toward travel and activities booked through theUltimate Rewards Travel Center.
Other benefits include anannual $300 travel statement credit, a Global Entry application fee credit and a Priority Pass Select membership that includes guests. If anything goes wrong with your flight, this is the card you want to carry, since it comes with industry-leading Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance,Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver,Lost Luggage Reimbursement,Trip Delay Reimbursement andEmergency Evacuation & Transportation.Theres a $450 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.
Ink Business Preferred Card
Chaseintroduced the Ink Business Preferred Cardin 2016, replacing the Ink Plus for new applicants. This card offers 3x points on airfare andeverything else that Chase includes in its travel classification. You also receive 3x points on all shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. Note that the 3x earning rate applies to the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases across those categories. Youll also earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. If you redeem those points for travel in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, youll receive 25% more value for them, plus you can transfer your points to Chase airline and hotel partners 1:1.
Although coverage isnt as comprehensive as with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Ink Business Preferred still offers a good array of travel protections. Even better, none of them require the purpose of the trip to be business.
New applicants can earn 80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on their card within 3 months of account opening. This bonus alone is worth $1,600 according to TPGs valuations. Theres a $95 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.