The 9 best airline credit cards for earning miles to book free flights

Business Insider | 1/30/2020 | Sarah Silbert
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If you want to book free flights, a credit card from an airline or a bank that partners with frequent flyer programs is a must. Not only will you earn miles on every purchase you make, but you can also earn a welcome bonus that can jump-start your frequent flyer account balance and help you book an award flight sooner than you'd think.

There isn't simply one best airline credit card; the right option for you depends on what airline you fly, whether you're a loyalist or want flexibility, how you want to use your miles, how much of an annual fee you're comfortable paying, and several other factors.

Airline - Credit - Cards

Here are the best airline credit cards available now:

Personal Finance Insider chose its top airline card picks based on the value each card offers in relation to its annual fee. To make sure we were considering the best airline credit cards from every perspective, we also researched the recommendations and methodology of top airline card lists from other websites, including CreditCards.com, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, and Wirecutter.

Cases - Publication - Pick - Credit - Card

In many cases, each publication had a different pick for the best credit card for a given airline — and in that situation we arrived at our selection by returning to the question of which card offers the most value in return for its annual fee, excluding benefits that require spending extra money to unlock.

Note that we focused on credit card options for flying with major US airlines — including the "big three" of American, Delta, and United, as well as smaller popular carriers like Alaska, JetBlue, Southwest, and Hawaiian Airlines. If you frequently fly with another airline like Frontier, you may want to look into the co-branded credit card options, though we won't discuss those here.

Mind - Rewards

Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and...
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