Airline

Monkey Miles Airline Credit Cards

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How it Works – Airline

Airline credit cards are part of your supporting cast. I would suggest choosing them based on the airline you fly most, where you think you may travel next, and how the card’s benefits could elevate your travel. The main benefits I keep an eye on are free bags, priority boarding, priority upgrades, elite status waivers and fast tracks.

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

3.7
3.7/5

This is the entry level Southwest Rapid Rewards® credit card that helps ease the path to Companion Pass, earns a couple EarlyBird Check-In® passes and lowers the requirement for Companion Pass next year.

Offer:

Earn 85,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$69

Points Earned

Southwest Rapid Rewards

  • 2x on Southwest purchases
  • 2x on transit including commuting and rideshare apps
  • 2x on internet, cable, phone, and select streaming
  • 3000 point anniversary bonus:
    • After you account anniversary you’ll receive 3000 Southwest points
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In(R) each year
  • 10k Companion Pass Point credit each year
  • $69 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

 For $69 you can lower the requirement for Companion Pass, earn points to hit it quicker*, get a couple EarlyBird(R) check in passes and 3k points on your account anniversary. Not too shabby for $69 and I’d argue a better deal than the midtier Premier card.

*You’ll get a 10k point credit toward Companion Pass meaning you’ll need to hit 125k instead of the normal 135k

Remember that you are ineligible for a Southwest personal card if you already hold one, and you won’t get the bonus if you’ve received a Southwest personal card bonus in the past 24 months.

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Non Affiliate  

Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.

Barclay Aviator Red

4
4/5

Earn American Loyalty points, free first checked bag and 25% in flight savings

Welcome Offer

70k AA miles (see benefits)

Annual Fee

$99

Points Earned

American Aadvantage

Easy way to earn loyalty points, get a free checked back, and 25% off in flight purchases. With the bonus being after a single purchase and paying the annual fee in full, it’s a super easy way to replenish your account quickly. This is a card to add if you’re over Chase’s 5/24 or not concerned with it.

  • 70k welcome bonus if you do the following in 90 days
    • 70k after First Purchase 
    • Pay Annual fee in full
  • Annual fee of $99
  • Preferred Boarding
  • First free checked bag
    • up to 4 companions
  • Companion Certificate if you spend $20k or more on the card
  • 25% inflight savings

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Chase United(SM) Business Card

4.0
4/5

Chase United(SM) Business Card comes with United perks including first free checked bag for you and a companion, 2 United Club passes per year, and a $100 United credit if you fly United more than 7x in a year

Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open

Annual Fee

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.

Points Earned

United Miles

 
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Receive a 5,000-mile “better together” bonus each anniversary when you have both the UnitedSM Business Card and a personal Chase United® credit card.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, dining including eligible delivery services, at gas stations, office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting.
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, employee cards at no additional cost – miles earned from their purchases accrue in your account so you can earn rewards faster.
  • Enjoy a free first checked bag – a savings of up to $160 per roundtrip (terms apply), 2 United ClubSM one-time passes per year, and priority boarding privileges.
  • $100 United® travel credit after 7 United flight purchases of $100 or more each anniversary year.
  • Member FDIC

We’ve seen 150k after $20k spend in 6 months

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

This card is kind of the business version of the United Explorer card.

It comes with a $100 United travel credit if you buy more than 7 flights in a year.

It also comes with 2 United Club passes, first checked bag for you and a companion, and if you carry it alongside a United personal card, you’ll get 5000 bonus miles.

For $99 a year, I’d say this is a better card than the Explorer and doesn’t count against your Chase 5/24 number.

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

3.7
3.7/5

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is the best Southwest credit card offering an annual $75 travel credit, 4 upgraded boarding passes ( when avail ), and 7500 points each year you hold the card.  

Offer:

Earn 85,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$149

Points Earned

Southwest Rapid Rewards

  • 3x on Southwest purchases
  • 2x on transit including commuting and rideshare apps
  • 2x on internet, cable, phone, and select streaming
  • 7,500-point anniversary bonus:
    • After you account anniversary you’ll receive 7500 Southwest points
  • $75 annual Southwest travel credit:
    • During your cardmember year, you’ll get a $75 travel credit to use on Southwest – these don’t include upgrades or inflight purchases, but the great thing is that it does count towards purchasing tickets.
  • Four upgraded boardings per year ( when available ):
    • Want to get in that sweet A1-A15 spot? You can use these at the ticket counter or gate to jump to the front.
  • 10k Companion Pass Point credit each year
  • Annual Fee $149
  •  

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The biggest reason you get a Southwest credit card is to help you get the enviable Companion Pass where you can bring along an extra person for just the taxes and fees of their ticket, and this card earns points that count towards earning that CP.

This is the premium Southwest credit card and offers extra perks like a $75 travel credit to use on Southwest and 4 upgraded boardings a year so you can slide into the A1-A15 boarding group and it gives you 7500 Rapid Rewards on your account anniversary.

You’ll get a 10k point credit toward Companion Pass meaning you’ll need to hit 125k instead of the normal 135k

Remember that you are ineligible for a Southwest personal card if you already hold one, and you won’t get the bonus if you’ve received a Southwest personal card bonus in the past 24 months.

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Non-Affiliate Link

The information for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. 

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

3.6
3.6/5

If you’re looking for a way to expedite your pathway to the Southwest Companion Pass the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card will undoubtedly help.

You’ll also get 2 EarlyBird Checkin® each year and 6000 Southwest Rapid Rewards on account anniversary

Offer:

Earn 85,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$99

Points Earned

Southwest Rapid Rewards

  • 3x on Southwest purchases
  • 2x on transit including commuting and rideshare apps
  • 2x on internet, cable, phone, and select streaming
  • 6000 point anniversary bonus:
    • After you account anniversary you’ll receive 6000 Southwest points
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In(R) each year
  • 10k Companion Pass Point credit each year
  • $99 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

This is the midrange Southwest Personal card that offers 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year + 6000 Southwest points upon account anniversary and comes with an $99 annual fee

You’ll get a 10k point credit toward Companion Pass meaning you’ll need to hit 125k instead of the normal 135k

Remember that you are ineligible for a Southwest personal card if you already hold one, and you won’t get the bonus if you’ve received a Southwest personal card bonus in the past 24 months.

Learn More

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Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

3.7
3.7/5

If you have a small business and want to earn points that help you get a Southwest Companion Pass faster – The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card could be a good card to check out.

Welcome Offer

80,000 Rapid Rewards® points after $5,000 spend in the first three months

Annual Fee

$199

Points Earned

Southwest Rapid Rewards

 

  • 4X points on Southwest purchases
  • 3X points on Rapid Rewards®  hotel + car partners
  • 2X points
    • rideshare
    • social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services
  •  
  • 9,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • Annual Fee $199
  • Member FDIC

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

If you sign up for this card alongside a Southwest personal card they points combine and help boost you to Companion Pass. 

Remember that Companion Pass is good during the year you achieve it as well as the year after. So if you can earn it during Jan/Feb you can get it for nearly 2 years. 

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Non-affiliate link

Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®


4
4/5

If you’d like Admirals Club® access this is a way to get it cheaper than you’d pay if you bought it directly from AA.  

Welcome Offer

100k AA miles after $10k spend in 3 months

Annual Fee

$595

Points Earned

American Airlines AAdvantage® Miles

The primary reason you’d add this card to your wallet is to gain access to the Admirals Club when flying AA, JetBlue or a One World Partner, at a discount.

How’s that?

The card’s annual fee is $595, but a membership bought via AA is $650 a year. So you’re getting a nice discount. The Primary cardholder also has their membership attached to their loyalty number so you don’t even need to show your card to gain entrance. Pretty nice, really!

Both primary and authorized users can bring immediate family (partner/spouse and kids under 18 ) or two guests with you. 

  • Admirals Club® membership 
    • for you and up to two guests 
    • immediate family members traveling with you
  • Authorized Users
    • $175 for 3 authorized users 
    • $175 per AU after that
  • Credits
    • Avis or Budget car rentals every calendar year
      • Up to $120 back
    • Grubhub purchases
      • Up to $120 a year
      • up to a $10 statement credit each monthly billing statement
    • Lyft Credits
      • Up to $120 in Lyft credits
        • $10 Lyft credit each month
      • Caveat: must take 3 rides per month to get credit
  • Loyalty Points Bonuses
    • 10k bonus after hitting 50k Loyalty points in same status qualification year
    • 10k bonus after hitting 90k Loyalty Points in same status qualification year
  • First domestic checked bag free
    • up to 8 companions
  • No fx fees
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • Annual fee $595

We have seen between 80k and 100k with spend up to $10k in 3 months. 

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

a close-up of a credit card

Non Affiliate link 

Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.

Citi® AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

3.8
3.8/5

Enjoy preferred boarding, a free first checked bag for you and up to 4 companions, and earn American Airlines Loyalty points on every dollar you spend. 

Welcome Offer

50k AA miles after $2500 spend in 4 months 

Annual Fee

$99 waived for the first year 

*See Rates and Fees

Points Earned

American Miles

You’re basically able to audition this card for a year and see if you take advantage of a free checked bag, value preferred boarding, and if you don’t. you could always downgrade to the no fee version. 

  • Free 1st checked bag for you and up to 4 companions
  • 25% off in flight purchases on food and beverage
  • 2x AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent
    • gas stations
    • restaurants,
    • and eligible AA purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after $20k spend during your account year
    • must renew your card
  • No FX fees
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights

Best Ever: 75k after $3500 in 4 months

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Reader Referral Link

Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

3.7
3.7/5

If you’re looking to get perks on Delta like a free checked bag, or 15% off Delta award tickets this is the entry level Delta Amex cobrand card.

Welcome Offer

70k Delta SkyMiles after $2k spend in 6 months

Annual Fee

$0 first year then $150 *Rates and Fees; terms apply

Points Earned

Delta SkyMiles

 

This card is for the Delta customer who flies a few times a year with a checked bag, but doesn’t hit elite status. You could easily recoup those fees with this card and enjoy 15% award flights on Delta. Make sure you look at the Amex Application Rules here 

  • Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $150.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. 
    • Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • $200 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a year, you can receive a $200 Delta Flight Credit to use toward future travel.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.
    • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • You can check your first bag free on Delta flights, saving up to $60 on a round-trip Delta flight per person.
    • For a family of four that’s a potential savings of up to $240 per round-trip flight.
  • Receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights; board early, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • $100 Delta Stays Credit: Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Members can earn up to $100 back annually on eligible prepaid Delta Stays bookings on delta.com.
  • Take up to $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible Delta in-flight purchases after using your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • With Send & Split®, you can send money and split your Card purchases with any other Venmo or PayPal user, directly from the Amex App. Enroll today.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Learn More

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Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

3.7
3.7/5

If you’re a Delta loyalist looking to earn some MQMs for status, want an annual domestic main cabin companion certificate, free first checked bag, and 15% off award flights.

Welcome Offer

85k Delta SkyMiles after $4k spend in 6 months

Points Earned

Delta SkyMiles

 

There are a few ways I can see keeping this card in your wallet if you’re a Delta loyalist that can recoup the $350 annual fee. Make sure you look at the Amex Application Rules here 

  • You take advantage of the domestic main cabin companion certificate for flights that price over $350
  • You can make use of the new statement credits that went into effect 2/1/24
  • You don’t have status that wavies bag fees, but fly enough with checked bags to recoup a few first checked bag fees a year 
  • You’re sitting on a lot of Delta miles and the 15% savings comes in handy when redeeming Delta award tickets
  • Earn 85,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Receive a Companion Certificate on Main Cabin domestic, Caribbean, or Central American roundtrip flights each year after renewal of your Card. The Companion Ticket requires payment of government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Receive $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and get closer to Status with MQD Headstart.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • Earn $1 Medallion® Qualification Dollar for each $20 of purchases made on your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card in a calendar year and get a boost toward achieving Medallion Status for next Medallion Year.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Receive Zone 5 Priority Boarding on Delta flights; board early, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members and Reserve Card Members.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $350 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

3.7
3.7/5

The biggest reason to get this, aside from SkyClub access which you can get from the Amex Platinum, is the potential MQM boost via spend + the domestic companion certificate that includes domestic 1st class. 

Welcome Offer

95k Delta SkyMiles after $6k spend in 6 months

Points Earned

Delta SkyMiles

I think most people are attracted to this card because of the SkyClub access when traveling on Delta and access will change come 2/1/25. Make sure you look at the Amex Application Rules here 

However, you can get that via the Amex Platinum card which I’d argue is a much better card dollar for dollar.

The biggest reason I’d take a closer look at this card is 

You purchase at least 2 first class tickets every year for more than $650 a piece. This card comes with a domestic companion certificate that you can use on first class. You’d still need to pay taxes on that extra ticket, but that could pretty easily recoup the annual fee right there.

  • Earn 95,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club® and bring up to two guests or immediate family members at a rate of $50 per person per visit when flying Delta. Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter.
  • Receive four Delta Sky Club® One-Time Guest Passes each year when you fly together on Delta. After that, you may bring up to two guests at a per-visit rate of $50 per person, per location.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Receive $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and get closer to Status with MQD Headstart.
  • Earn $1 Medallion® Qualification Dollar for each $10 of purchases made on your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card in a calendar year and get a boost toward achieving elevated Medallion Status for next Medallion Year.
  • Receive a Companion Certificate on First Class, Delta Comfort+®, or Main Cabin domestic, Caribbean, or Central American roundtrip flights each year after renewal of your Card. The Companion Ticket requires payment of government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • $240 Resy Credit: With the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Resy Credit, earn up to $20 per month in statement credits on eligible Resy purchases using your enrolled Card.
  • $120 Rideshare Credit: You can earn up to $10 back in statement credits each month on U.S. rideshare purchases with select providers after you pay with your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. Enrollment Required.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • With your Card receive upgrade priority over other Medallion Members within the same Medallion level and fare class.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

a credit card with a gold triangle design

Learn More

Affiliate Link

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

3.7
3.7/5

Enjoy a free first check bag + 15% off award flights operated by Delta.

Welcome Offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles after spending $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 7/17.

Annual Fee

$0 first year; $150 after that *Rates and Fees; terms apply

Points Earned

Delta SkyMiles

If you utilize the free first checked bag + 15% off award flights enough you could offset the ongoing annual fee. 

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles after spending $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 7/17.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150
  • Card Members save 15% when booking Award Travel with miles on Delta flights when using delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • Additionally, you can receive a $200 Delta Flight Credit to use toward future travel after you spend $10,000 in purchases in a year.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases at U.S. Shipping providers and at U.S. providers for Advertising in select media on up to $50,000 of eligible purchases per category, per year.
  • Earn 2 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and on every eligible dollar spent at restaurants.
  • Earn 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.
  • Check and stow your bag with ease: First Checked Bag Free on Delta Flights + Zone 5 Priority Boarding.
  • Elevate your travel experience with an annual statement credit of up to $150 after using your Delta Gold Business American Express Card to book prepaid hotels or vacation rentals through Delta Stays on delta.com.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible Delta in-flight purchases after using your Card.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel overseas.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

a credit card with a white and grey triangle pattern

Learn More

Affiliate Link

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

3.8
3.8/5

Free first checked bag, 15% off award flights, an annual domestic main cabin companion certificate, and a pathway to earn MQMs are the primary reasons to take a closer look at this card. 

Welcome Offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 95,000 Bonus Miles after spending $8,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 7/17.

Points Earned

Delta SkyMiles

The main focus of supporting cards is to yield benefits on hotels and airlines you frequent the most or prefer. 

If you’re taking a Delta flight with someone once a year, you could probably offset the annual fee with the main cabin companion certificate. Add in some checked bags, 15% off award flights, and there is a pathway to extracting more value than the annual fee.

Honestly, after the recent Delta program changes, this card is hard to justify paying the annual fee on an ongoing basis

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 95,000 Bonus Miles after spending $8,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 7/17.
  • Enjoy a Companion Certificate each year after renewal of your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card. The Companion Ticket requires payment of government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Earn 1.5X miles* on eligible transit and U.S. shipping purchases, plus single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more. Terms and miles cap apply. *If your purchase qualifies for a category that has a higher mileage accelerator, only the higher accelerator will apply.
  • Get closer to elevated Status next Medallion® Year with MQD Headstart and MQD Boost: receive $2,500 Medallion Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and earn $1 MQD for each $20 of purchases with your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card Members save 15% when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • With the $120 Resy Credit, earn up to $10 per month in statement credits on eligible Resy purchases using your enrolled Card.
  • Earn up to $10 back each month after using your enrolled Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card for U.S. rideshare purchases with select providers.
  • Not a Medallion Member? Card Members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members and Reserve Card Members.
  • Receive Zone 5 Priority Boarding on Delta flights; board early, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • Elevate your travel experience with an annual statement credit of up to $200 after using your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card to book prepaid hotels or vacation rentals through Delta Stays on delta.com.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  •  

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

3.7
3.7/5

The biggest reason to get this, aside from SkyClub access which you can get from the Amex Platinum, is the potential MQM boost via spend + the domestic companion certificate that includes domestic 1st class. 

Welcome Offer

95k Delta SkyMiles after $6k spend in 6 months

Points Earned

Delta SkyMiles

I think most people are attracted to this card because of the SkyClub access when traveling on Delta and access will change come 2/1/25. Make sure you look at the Amex Application Rules here 

However, you can get that via the Amex Platinum card which I’d argue is a much better card dollar for dollar.

The biggest reason I’d take a closer look at this card is 

You purchase at least 2 first class tickets every year for more than $650 a piece. This card comes with a domestic companion certificate that you can use on first class. You’d still need to pay taxes on that extra ticket, but that could pretty easily recoup the annual fee right there.

  • Earn 95,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club® and bring up to two guests or immediate family members at a rate of $50 per person per visit when flying Delta. Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 15 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; to earn an unlimited number of Visits each year starting on 2/1/25, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter.
  • Receive four Delta Sky Club® One-Time Guest Passes each year when you fly together on Delta. After that, you may bring up to two guests at a per-visit rate of $50 per person, per location.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Receive $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year and get closer to Status with MQD Headstart.
  • Earn $1 Medallion® Qualification Dollar for each $10 of purchases made on your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card in a calendar year and get a boost toward achieving elevated Medallion Status for next Medallion Year.
  • Receive a Companion Certificate on First Class, Delta Comfort+®, or Main Cabin domestic, Caribbean, or Central American roundtrip flights each year after renewal of your Card. The Companion Ticket requires payment of government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights and no more than $250 for roundtrip international flights (both for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • $240 Resy Credit: With the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Resy Credit, earn up to $20 per month in statement credits on eligible Resy purchases using your enrolled Card.
  • $120 Rideshare Credit: You can earn up to $10 back in statement credits each month on U.S. rideshare purchases with select providers after you pay with your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. Enrollment Required.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • With your Card receive upgrade priority over other Medallion Members within the same Medallion level and fare class.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Members with an eligible ticket will be added to the Complimentary Upgrade list, after Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Chase United Gateway(SM) Card

3.8
3.8/5

No annual fee and earn 25% back on United in flight beverages or premium beverages in United Clubs

Welcome Offer

30k United Miles after $1k spend in 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Points Earned

United Miles

 

  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United(R) purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United(R) purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at gas stations, on local transit and on commuting
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Gateway Card
  • Member FDIC

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

If you occasionally fly United and you’d like in flight food/beverage discounts, then I guess this is one to consider.

Personally, if you want some real United perks, start with this card’s big brother the United(SM) Explorer Card – it has an annual fee, but there is much more substance to it.

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Chase United(SM) Explorer Card

4
4/5

The Chase United(SM) Explorer Card offers Free first checked bag, Priority Boarding, 2x United Club passes + 1 year of Comped DashPass.

Welcome Offer

Limited-time offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open

Annual Fee

$0 first year; then $95

Points Earned

United Miles

  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United(R) purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck(R) or NEXUS fee credit
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Explorer Card
  • Free first checked bag – a savings of up to $160 per roundtrip. Terms Apply.
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Member FDIC

We have seen 70k after $3k spend in 3 months with a waived annual fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

If you occasionally fly on United, but don’t have status or care about earning it, this card could come in handy. 

You and a companion get your first checked bag fee waived which could = $140 roundtrip combined, or if you travel alone, $70 roundtrip.

Priority boarding could be helpful in getting overhead space, and you’ll get two United Club passes each year you keep the card. 

You’ll get 25% back on food, beverages, WiFi that you purchase on board

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Chase United Quest(SM) Card

4
4/5

Chase United Quest(SM) Car is a United Airlines premium card offering $125 flight credit, two 5000 mileage credits, 2 free checked bags, and more.

Welcome Offer

Earn 70,000 bonus miles + 500 PQP after $4k in 3 months

Annual Fee

$250

Points Earned

United Miles

  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3x miles on United(R) purchases
  • Earn 2x miles on dining including eligible delivery services, select streaming services, and all other travel
  • Earn 1x mile on all other purchases
  • Up to a $125 United® purchase credit and up to 10,000 miles in award flight credits each year (terms apply)
  • Earn up to 6,000 Premier qualifying points (25 PQP for every $500 you spend on purchases)
  • Two 5K-mile anniversary award flight credits. 
  •  1st and 2nd bag roundtrip
    • For you and companion = up to $360 roundtrip
  •  Enjoy priority boarding privileges
  • Global Entry, TSA Pre Check, Nexus Fee Credit
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks 
  • Member FDIC

We have seen up to 100k after $5k spend in 3 months

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

$250 is a lot for an annual fee and the same as the Amex Gold…so you want to make sure you’re extracting value. 

The biggest areas you’ll find that value are the $125 United purchase credit and the two 5000 mile award flight credits. 

These credits are refunds when you book United award flights, so effectively, if you use United miles two times in a year, you’d get 10k miles back.

If you bought United flights, you’d get up to $125 back.

So…if you’re spending more than $125 a year on United and taking more than two award flights, it could make sense to have this card over the Explorer since you’re netting out at $125 vs $95 and getting 10k miles redeposited in your account.

If you value United miles around 1.25 cents a piece, you’d effectively erase the annual fee

You could also consider the perk of getting 2 free checked bags roundtrip, for you an a companion, but in all honesty…how often are you checking two bags?

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Chase United Club(SM) Infinite Card

4.1
4.1/5

The Chase United Club(SM) Infinite Card comes with United Club access, IHG Platinum status, 10% off on saver flights, 2 free checked bags, and the ability to earn PQPs via spend to help earn United status

Welcome Offer

Limited-time offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after $5k in 3 months

Annual Fee

$550

Points Earned

United Miles

  • Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • United Club Membership
  • $525 Annual Fee
  • United Premier Access
  • Earn 500 Premier Qualifying points for every $12k spend you put on the card
    • maxed at 8,000 PQP ( goes to 10,000 PQPs in 2024 )
  • IHG Rewards Platinum Status 
  • $100 Global Entry/TSA Pre credit
  • Free first and second checked bags – a savings of up to $360 per roundtrip (terms apply) – and Premier Access® travel services
  •  
  • Clear perks
  • Earn up to 10,000 Premier qualifying points per calendar year (25 PQP for every $500 you spend on purchases)
  • 10% back on Economy Saver Award tickets
  • 25% back on inflight purchases
  • 25% back as a statement credit on premium drink purchases made in United Clubs with their United Card.
  • 4x United Miles on:
    • Gas
    • Office Supplies
    • Restaurants
    • And Local Transit ( to include taxis, mass transit, tolls, and ridesare)
  • 2x United Miles on
    • travel
    • restaurants
    • eligible food delivery services, including Caviar, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Seamless
  • No blackout dates
  • Member FDIC
  • No foreign transaction fees

We have seen 120k after $6k in 3 months

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

This is the flagship United credit card and really only makes sense if you travel a lot on United and want lounge access.

Typically, lounge access is going to cost you $650 a year, but this card comes with it as a perk and only has an annual fee of $550.

The other big perk, and this is really important if you like United but don’t have status, is the 2 free checked bags for you and a companion. Those fees could add up fast, and with status requiring higher and higher spend, could end up saving you quite a bit of money.

Other notable benefits: You’ll also get IHG Platinum status with a $75 statement credit towards IHG hotel purchases and 10% back on Economy Saver flights

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Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card

4.1
4.1/5

The Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card earns Aeroplan 25k status, pathway to elite status boost, free 1st checked bag you + 8 companions, and more

This is arguably the best airline credit card for the money

Welcome Offer

70k bonus points after $3k spend in 3 mos

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Aeroplan Miles

 

  • 70,000 bonus pointsafter you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • $95 annual fee
  • 3X points for every dollar spent on dining, takeout, and eligible delivery services
  • 3X points for every dollar spent at grocery stores
  • 3X points for each dollar spent directly with Air Canada
  • 1 point for each dollar spent on all other purchases
    • Bonus 500 bonus points for every $2,000 spent in a calendar month
      • Max of 1500 bonus points per month
  • Aeroplan 25K Elite Status for the remainder of the first calendar year + following calendar year
    • Retain 25k status by spending $15k in a calendar year
      •  Earn 25K Status through the next year after spending $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Status Level Up through Spend
    • Earn a one-level status boost next year after spending $50,000 in a calendar year
  • $100k Spend Bonus
    •  50% off Priority Rewards + companion benefits
  • Aeroplan travel bennies:
    • Free first checked bags on Air Canada flights
      • 1 for primary cardholder and up to 8 additional travel companions
  • $100 credit toward Global Entry, TSA Precheck or NEXUS every four years (as reimbursement for the application fee charged to the card)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Mastercard World Elite benefits
  • Member FDIC

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

Aeroplan is Air Canada’s loyalty program and has more partners than any other program in the world ( yes, including credit card programs ) with more than 50 ways to redeem your miles. 

If you’re looking to take longhaul flight in the near future on one of their partners, this could be a great way to stack up some points, get 25k status to unlock Priority Award, and earn enough points to be well on your way to roundtrip business class to Europe or Asia.

If you do a lot of work in Canada or fly Air Canada quite a bit, this is chock full of bennies for you, and is well worth the $95. 

For everyone else…I’m not sure it’s worth using up a 5/24 slot, or prioritizing above other transferrable card products.

Non Affiliate

Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.

Barclay Aviator Red Business

4
4/5

Earn American Loyalty points, free first checked bag and 25% in flight savings

Welcome Offer

Up to 75k – see card benefits

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

American Aadvantage

Easy way to earn loyalty points, get a free checked back, and 25% off in flight purchases.

  • 80k welcome bonus
    • 60k after $2k spend in 90 days
    • 10k after employee card makes a purhcase
  • Annual fee of $95
  • First free checked bag
    • up to 4 companions
  • 3k EQM bonus after spending $25k/year
  • 25% inflight savings

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

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Non-Affiliate

Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.

CitiBusiness® AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

3.7
3.7/5

No annual fee the first year, domestically you’ll get a first checked bag free, 25% discount on WiFi, and it doesn’t count against you 5/24 number

Welcome Offer

75k AA miles after $5k spend in 4 months

Annual Fee

$99 waived for the first year

Points Earned

AA Miles

Effectively this is the business version of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® with benefits like a first checked bag free of charge domestically, 25% off Wifi when you pay with the card, no fx fees, etc

The biggest difference is adding this card won’t affect your Chase 5/24 number

  • Get a free first checked bag on domestic flights
  • 25% off AA in flight Wifi
    • need to pay with your card
  • Preferred boarding
  • Earn 2x
    • Cable and satellite, telecom, car rental, and gas stations
  • 1x everywhere else
    • 1 AA miles + 1 Loyalty point
  • No fx fees

75k after $5k spend in 4 months


We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists what the highest offers: 
You can find that spreadsheet here.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

How it Works – Airline

Airline credit cards are part of your supporting cast. I would suggest choosing them based on the airline you fly most, where you think you may travel next, and how the card’s benefits could elevate your travel. 

The main benefits I keep an eye on are free bags, priority boarding, priority upgrades, elite status waivers and fast tracks.

Miles' Top Credit Cards

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