It’s one thing to earn rewards and bonuses with your regular credit cards. But it’s another thing entirely when you use an airline co-branded credit card. If you’re a frequent traveler, then the rewards are more relevant and useful for your travels. You might even enjoy free flights and other travel benefits. These can include upgrades to better seats for your flight, avoiding the need for baggage fees, and priority boarding.
Here are the very best of these travel credit cards, as determined by the Readers’ Choice Awards, and the rewards you might get when you sign up for and use these cards:
Allegiant World MasterCard
Use this card, and it’s not just 1 point for every dollar spent all the way. You earn 3 points for each dollar on your Allegiant purchases, and these can include your air travel expenses, hotel fees, and car rental fees. You can also earn 2 points for each dollar on qualified dining options, and then you get a point for each dollar for everything else.
Your other possible benefits include a 15,000-point signup bonus, priority boarding when you’re flying, and even a free drink on each flight.
Amex Gold Delta SkyMiles Card
This is great if you favor flying on Delta Air Lines. Flying Delta is always a good option, since it’s one of the oldest airlines in the world. But with this card, you can fly Delta while you also enjoy priority boarding and free checked bags.
You may also find out that by using this card abroad, you won’t have to pay those pesky foreign transaction fees (typically 3% for converting to the local currency). There’s also a 30,000-mile signup bonus, though this comes with qualifying transactions.
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card
When you use the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card, the miles you rack up can be redeemed on travel with more than a dozen other airlines. Mileage Plan is actually one of the more generous frequent flyer programs, and awards miles based on the distance flown.
You also get a 40,000-mile signup bonus with a $100 statement credit. Other perks include discounted companion fares, no need to pay foreign transaction fees, and a free checked bag for up to 6 passengers on the same reservation.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card
This gets you 2 points per dollar on your Southwest Airlines purchases, along with partner hotels and car rentals. Then you get a point for each dollar for any other type of purchase. You’ll get a limited-time 65,000-mile signup bonus and also earn 3,000 anniversary points.
Southwest Rewards Priority Card
If you’re a fan of flying Southwest Airlines and you really want to stretch your budget, this this might just be the card for you. There’s a 65,000-point signup bonus and an additional 7,500-point bonus after each account anniversary. You won’t pay transaction fees, you can get upgraded boardings, there’s a $75 annual travel credit, and you get a 20% discount for your inflight drinks.
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
This is a new card with new benefits that might be more to your liking. You get a 40,000-mile and 10,000-Medallion Qualification Miles signup bonus. Then you also get free access to the Delta Sky Club, Status Boost, complimentary upgrades, Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit and 1 companion certificate each year.
Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
Yes, it’s another Delta with American Express Card deal. This time, you get 40,000 bonus miles as part of your signup bonus, along with 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles with qualifying purchases. Other perks include Status Boost, companion certificates, priority boarding, and a free checked bag. You also get 2 miles per dollar when you use the card in restaurants and supermarkets.