Airline credit cards are perfect for people who frequently book flights with the same airline.  For instance, the Delta Skymiles Platinum Card is an excellent option for Delta loyalists.  You earn 3x miles for every $1 spent on Delta purchases.  This can be a great way to help pay for that trip to the South of France.  Plenty of other airline credit cards can make your travel experience much better with perks like free checked bags or priority boarding.  Finally, premium cards will go the extra mile by offering luxury benefits like lounge access or complementary first class upgrades.  Whether or not to get an airline credit card will depend on your travel preferences.

Who Should Apply for an Airline Credit Card?

Start with the carrier you prefer.  Much like hotel credit cards, jetsetters loyal to a single airline or alliance will get the most out of an airline credit card.  However, if you prefer to shop around for airline tickets, then a general travel rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a better option.  Airline credit cards simply don’t offer much in terms of flexibility.  Moreover, the best will charge an annual fee, although it is possibly to find one without.  Simply weigh the costs against the potential benefits.  Qualification also requires very good to excellent credit scores.  These cards tend to carry high interest rates, so it’s recommended you pay your balance in full every month to avoid extra charges and other credit card fees.

With that being said, we have compiled a list for some of the best airline credit cards below:

Pros and Cons of Airline Credit Cards

PROS

Easy to earn miles

Free checked baggage

Complimentary seat upgrades

Priority boarding

Save on in-flight purchases

CONS

Usually limited to one airline

Annual fees

Hard to earn bonus miles

Sign-up bonuses not as great

Best Airline Credit Card for Air France/KLM

Air France KLM credit card

Regular APR:

15.99 – 23.99%

Annual Fee:

$89

Foreign Transaction Fee: 

0%

Recommended Credit Score: 

670-850

CURRENT OFFER: 

 50,000 bonus miles points after you spend $2,000 in the first 90 days of account opening

THE BASICS

Earn 3x miles per $1 on purchases with not just Air France and KLM, but 17 other SkyTeam Alliance airlines!

1.5x miles on other purchases

5,000 bonus miles every year after spending at least $500

20 XP every year on account anniversary

For Fans of Delta Airlines

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express card

Regular APR:

15.74 – 24.74%

Annual Fee:

$0 intro, then $95

Foreign Transaction Fee: 

0%

Recommended Credit Score: 

670-850

CURRENT OFFER: 

50,000 Bonus Miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months of account opening

THE BASICS

Earn 2x Miles on Delta purchases, restaurants, and supermarkets; 1x Miles on everything else

Free checked bag

Spend $10,000 in purchases and get $100 Delta credit

Get 20% Back on inflight purchases

For Fans of British Airways

British airways visa signature airline credit card

Regular APR:

15.99 – 22.99%

Annual Fee:

$149

Foreign Transaction Fee: 

0%

Recommended Credit Score: 

670-850

CURRENT OFFER: 

50,000 bonus Avios points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening; spend $20,000 in a year and earn 50,000 more

THE BASICS

Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Iberia; 2 Avios for direct hotel bookings; 1 Avios for all other purchases

Up to $600 in statement credits when you book through British Airways

Spend $30,000 in purchases and get companion ticket

For Fans of American Airlines

AAdvantage American airline credit card

Regular APR:

15.99 – 22.99%

Annual Fee:

Waived first 12 months, then $95

Foreign Transaction Fee: 

0%

Recommended Credit Score: 

670-850

CURRENT OFFER: 

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $2,500 in first 3 months of account opening

THE BASICS

Earn 2x miles for every $1 American Airlines purchase, restaurants, and gas stations; 1x mile on every other purchase

FREE checked bag on domestic AA flights – up to 4 companions

Preferred boarding on AA flights

25% discount on inflight purchases

For Fans of United Airlines

United Explorer MileagePlus

Regular APR:

16.49%–23.49%

Annual Fee:

$0 for first year, then $95

Foreign Transaction Fee: 

0%

Recommended Credit Score: 

670-850

CURRENT OFFER: 

40,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months of account opening

THE BASICS

Earn 2x miles on United purchases, restaurants and hotel stays

Free first checked bag

Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry /TSA Pre✓ every 4 years

For Fans of Southwest Airlines

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Travel Credit Card

Regular APR:

15.99 – 22.99%

Annual Fee:

$149

Foreign Transaction Fee: 

0%

Recommended Credit Score: 

670-850

CURRENT OFFER: 

40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening

THE BASICS

Earn 2x miles for every $1 on Southwest Airlines purchases; 1x for every other

7,500 points each year on anniversary

No baggage fees

$75 Southwest annual credit

4 Upgraded boardings per year