Best Airline Rewards Credit Cards April 2011

Before I get into the top picks, I want to mention a few things about these monthly best airline rewards credit card roundups.

The most up to date information can be found at the best credit cards page.

First,  effective immediately, I’m going to start putting an * in front of the cards that I’m an affiliate for.  In case, for some reason, I let the affiliate relationship get my better judgment, you’ll know about it.

Second, these cards completely ignore the best interest rates.  I’m assuming people who are trying to get the best credit card rewards are paying off their balances in full each month.

Third, I don’t account for credit scores.  You’ll need to do the leg work to see if you’re eligible for cards I mention.  I use both Credit Sesame and to track my credit score.

Fourth, be sure you read all the terms and conditions and confirm the details before applying for a credit card.

What’s getting left out:

Update April 6th, 2011: the Cap 1 100,000 miles match is dead.  They have given out all their miles. Even though I think it is currently the best offer on the market, I’m leaving out the Capital One Venture Rewards 100,000 miles match.  I’m leaving it out because I’m afraid that the miles won’t be available very soon, so I can’t in good conscience suggest you get that card this late in the game.  But, if you want to proceed at your own risk …

*#1: British Airways 100,000 Bonus Miles

    • Earn 50,000 bonus BA Miles after your first purchase plus an additional 50,000 bonus BA Miles when you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days.
    • 2.5 BA Miles for every dollar spent on British Airways purchases
    • 1.25 BA Miles for every dollar spent
    • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad
    • $95 annual fee

This offer expired May 5th, 2011.

Continental 50,000 Bonus Points

Be sure that you sign up for the Mileathon before getting the card as you will be able to get a few more bonus miles.  The reason this card is my first recommendation is because it is the only top mileage offer that does not have a minimum spend requirement.

Here’s what you get with the Continental OnePass Airlines credit card:

    • 50,000 bonus miles after your first purchase — enough for two round-trip reward tickets within the U.S. (excluding Hawaii) and Canada.
    • A waiver of the $85 annual fee for your first year.
    • 10,000 bonus miles annually when you spend $25,000 on your Card.
    • Two miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased directly from Continental.
    • One mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • Redeem miles for car rental and hotel rewards in addition to flights — a Cardmember exclusive.

This offer expired May 15th.

American Airlines 50,000 (Up to 100,000)

Up to 100,000 AA miles – You have to be a serious spender to make this one work.  You’ll need to spend $2,000 within four months of becoming a card member.  You’ll get an extra 25,000 points if you spend $10,000 in the first year.  Then spend another $10,000 in the second year for your last 25,000 points.

Apply or get details here.

Other Options Worth Consideration:

* American Express Platinum– 25,000 American Express Rewards points, BUT $450 annual fee.  However, it has a ton of great benefits like $200 airline credit and airport lounge access.

Southwest credit card –One roundtrip in the US.  I’ve found Southwest rewards incredibly flexible in terms of availability.

Chase Sapphire Preferred – 25,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first month.


Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

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