Top credit cards for airline miles and rewards

Let’s face it: travel can be expensive. From the cost of booking a flight and checking bags to paying for a hotel, a lot goes into seeing the world. These are the best credit card options for collecting travel miles.

Make your time in the air worth it. Image credit: Fabian Gysel
Make your time in the air worth it. Image credit: Fabian Gysel

With the right travel rewards card, it’s possible to save on flights by earning perks for every dollar you spend. These are the top selections for credit cards to earn travel miles and help you save money on your next trip.

American Express Platinum Card – The overall best card for miles and rewards

If you want to maximize your opportunity to earn travel perks, nothing compares to the Platinum Card from American Express. This card provides an opportunity to earn travel miles as well as to redeem accrued points for other advantages, providing an experience that’s the best of both worlds.

The miles start building when you open the card and start spending. Flight purchases made directly with airlines or via Amex Travel earn five times the points while all other Amex Travel purchases earn double points per USD spent. All other purchases earn one point per USD.

Rewards earned through the card can be redeemed as statement credit, or can be spent on a 1:1 basis on travel purchases through Amex Travel. This includes flights on dozens of member airlines, including Delta, Emirates, and British Airways, as well as hotel partners for the ultimate in savings opportunities. Cardholders also receive a 200 USD airline fee credit per calendar year. This card comes with a 550 USD yearly fee.

Chase Sapphire Reserve – The best credit card for airline miles

When miles are what matters, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is at the front of the pack. As Chase’s flagship travel card, swiping your way around the world with this rewards credit card can save you a lot in travel expenses. This card offers triple points on all travel-related purchases, such as flights, hotels, and rental cars as well as things like tolls and baggage fees, to help you rack up big rewards for regular spending.

Dining expenses are also worth three times the points. All other expenditures are worth one point per USD spent. Travel can be booked directly through Chase using travel miles, or reward points can be redeemed in statement credits to be used toward travel expenses. As with most Chase cards, travel, baggage delay, and rental car insurance are included.

In addition to great deals on airline miles for booking travel, cardholders can also enjoy a 300 USD annual travel statement credit to put toward any flight or hotel expenses, a Priority Pass membership, and a fee waiver for a Global Entry application, making it a top credit card for business travelers. This card requires a 450 USD annual fee.

These credit cards can help in all circumstances, including baggage delay. Image credit: izusek/iStock
These credit cards can help in all circumstances, including baggage delay. Image credit: izusek/iStock

Chase Sapphire Preferred – The best card for dining rewards

For travelers who want a reduced annual fee while still earning big perks for traveling and dining, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent option. This card offers double rewards on all travel and dining purchases, including restaurants, hotels, flights, and rental cars, to help you save big if dining out is a hobby in your household. Other expenses are worth one point for every U.S. dollar spent.

The savings on travel don’t stop there – if you used your accrued points to book travel, you will qualify for a 25 percent savings. This means that 60,000 points are worth 750 USD when used to book directly, making it easy to make the most out of your money when making travel plans. Cardholders can also benefit from trip cancellation insurance, rental car insurance, lost luggage, and baggage delay insurance. The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a 95 USD annual fee.

Capital One Venture Rewards Card – The best card for hotel points

If you want to save on travel while also saving on hotels, the Capital One Venture Rewards card makes it easy to book at your favorite destinations without breaking the bank. All purchases are worth two points per dollar spent on every transaction. These points can then be used for cash back or, for frequent fliers, on discounted hotels and flights through numerous travel partners.

The hotel perks don’t stop there – up until January 2020, cardholders can earn 10 times the reward points on all hotels listed on With the ability to redeem points directly when booking hotels, it’s possible to stay for free in hotels around the world with your extra point earnings, which is why it made the top of the list in our list of the best credit cards for hotel bookings. This card is free for the first year but costs 95 USD in annual fees in subsequent years.

Use your credit card to get hotel perks around the world. Image credit: Vesnaandjic/iStock
Use your credit card to get hotel perks around the world. Image credit: Vesnaandjic/iStock

Chase Freedom – The best credit card for additional rewards

As one of Chase’s most popular rewards cards, the Chase Freedom card makes points accrual – and points redemption on travel – easier than ever. This card features rotating categories that let you earn 5 percent. Common cash back categories include grocery stores, restaurants, drugstores, and Amazon.

Points can be redeemed on the Ultimate Rewards dashboard, which includes direct booking with dozens of partner hotels and airlines as well as vacation packages. Rewards can also be used for cash back, to purchase discounted gift cards, and directly on Amazon for extra perks. All cardholders are also covered by travel and car rental insurance. Best of all, this card has no annual fee.

With these credit cards offering travel miles, it’s more affordable than ever to travel across the state or around the globe. By offering the opportunity to earn extra miles on regular purchases and redeem travel directly, your credit card can help you fulfill your dreams of seeing the world. If you want to take your next trip in style, the right car service can elevate any experience. Book a Blacklane limousine to take you where you want to go.

The prices and benefits listed above have been sourced from each credit card website at the time of publication. The information has not been reviewed or edited by any of the listed companies.