Should you get an airline credit card or a Travel Rewards card?

The Select editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles that we think will be useful to our readers. We earn commission from affiliate partners on many offers, but not all offers on Select come from affiliate partners.

Subscribe to your favorite mailing list!

Our best picks in your inbox. Shopping recommendations to help improve your life are delivered weekly. Sign here.

Airline credit cards vs. travel credit cards

These two categories of credit cards may seem interchangeable, but they are actually very different.

An airline credit card is a co-branded credit card of a particular airline and its rewards can only be redeemed by that airline and its airline alliance partners. For example, the miles you earn with your Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card can only be used with Delta or its SkyTeam alliance partners such as Air France or Aeroméxico.

While airline credit cards are less flexible in terms of reward opportunities, they offer benefits for those who are loyal to a particular airline, including access to airline lounges, free baggage check-in, exemption from foreign transaction fees, and benefits designed to to help you earn elite. status faster.

For example, if you have a Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express card, you get access to Delta Sky Club® lounges and free checked baggage when you fly with Delta.

On the other hand, the Travel Rewards credit card is not tied to a specific travel brand, so the points earned can be transferred and used for all types of trips booked directly through the travel portal of the card or by transferring points to any number of partner hotels or airlines.

For example, the Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card allows you to earn Capital One miles, which can be redeemed through the Capital One travel portal for a variety of purchases, including flights, car rentals and hotels. You can also transfer your Capital One Miles to one of our many partner airlines and hotels.

3 questions to ask yourself when choosing between an airline credit card or a rewards card

Both types of credit cards provide excellent ways to save money on your upcoming trip, and one is inherently no better than the other. Everyone has different travel needs, habits and preferences, so it’s best to analyze your travel style and find what works best for you.

To get started, ask yourself the following three questions:

1. How do you usually travel?

If you tend to fly more than three times a year, an airline credit card may be right for you, especially if you live in a city that serves as a hub for a particular airline. For example, Delta has a hub in Atlanta, so a co-branded credit card like the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card would probably be a good addition.

If your travel style varies – a mixture of cruises, road trips, train trips, etc. – a Travel Rewards credit card may be more suitable for you, as you can earn and redeem points for more than…


About the author


Leave a Comment