The Top Airline Rewards Cards for 2016 Review

Reviewed: February 04, 2016
By FinanceWeb

The top airline rewards credit cards in 2016 help frequent flyers earn seat upgrades, hotel points, free flights and much more. Airline credit cards are critical for business travelers since the cost of domestic flights remain high this year. The right card can save thousands of dollars each year on domestic and international flights. Therefore, it is important to review some of the top airline reward cards of 2016.

The American Express Gold Delta Sky Miles Credit Card

Delta is the largest airline in North America, and cardholders that frequently fly Delta earn 30,000 bonus miles after $1,000 in purchases during the first three months. Delta has a crossover rewards plan with Starwood Hotels, and cardholders can double dip their Delta Sky Miles and Starpoints when they book flights with Delta. The same feature applies when travelers book a stay at any Starwood Hotel. On purchases made directly from Delta, cardholders earn two miles per every dollar spent and one mile per every dollar spent on all other purchases. Cardholders enjoy the luxury of checking their first bag for free, which can save hundreds of dollars on round-trip flights.

Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card From Southwest Airlines

The biggest feature for this card is zero foreign transaction fees, and that is good news for business travelers that spend plenty of time overseas. The card offers 25,000 points after $1,000 in purchases during the first three months of opening the account. Purchases made directly through Southwest earn cardholders two times the points and all other purchases earn one time the points. Points do not expire on the Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, and there are no blackout dates. After one year from the enrollment date, cardholders receive an additional 6,000 points. For every hotel and car rental partner, the card offers two points for every one dollar spent, and the card offers two points for every one dollar spent on purchases through Southwest Airlines.

The Mileage Plus Explorer Card From United

This airline rewards card offers 30,000 bonus miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first three months. Cardholders receive two one-time United club passes each year and priority boarding. There is no annual fee for the first year, and the fee is $95 annually after the first year. Since United flies all over the world, frequent United fliers should apply for the Mileage Plus Explorer Card. There is no limit to the amount of miles cardholders earn, and points do not expire as long as the account is open.

Tips for Finding the Best Airline Rewards Card

Frequent flyers should apply with the airline they remain loyal to and apply for an airline rewards card if they travel more than five times a year. Rewards are not the only consideration when applying for an airline rewards card. The annual percentage rate, fees and regular interest rates always dictate the quality of any credit card.