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Best Credit Cards - Rewards (Air Miles & Points) Cards from Our Partners

If you're looking for the best credit cards to earn air miles or points for your purchases you've come to the right place.  MoneyRates.com has assembled rewards credit cards here.

Take your purchases farther with a rewards credit card that gives you miles or points for your preferred airlines and travel partners. Don't miss out on introductory offers and the best rewards credit card deals that literally go the extra mile. From airline tickets and car rentals to hotel rooms and vacation packages, a rewards credit card can give you something back for your spending.

Card Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases and 1 point per $1 everywhere else
  • Use the points you earn like cash to pay for almost any purchases you've made.
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Card Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases - Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits
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Card Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on travel and dining and 1X miles on all other purchases
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
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Card Rating
  • Get Pre-Qualified for a Platinum Visa credit card
  • Choose your card design from our premium gallery
  • Keep an eye on your credit information with free online monthly credit score tracking
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Card Rating ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Created for those with Excellent Credit and approval is based on your credit rating and application review.
  • Travel Rewards - cardholders who enroll in the program receive one point per net dollar spent
  • Choose any U.S. based airline or ticket class. No blackout dates or seating restrictions.
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Card Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • 20,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 within the first 3 months of opening the Card account
  • Earn 5 points on airfare purchases
  • Earn 1 point on all other purchases
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Card Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Earn 25,000 Bonus Points when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days* as part of our Industry - Leading Rewards Program
  • Exclusive 24-Hour Concierge Service
  • VIP Treatment at over 3,000 Properties
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These quotes are from credit card issuers which have paid for a link to their website. Offers are subject to change without notice and may not be the same for all consumers.

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Best credit cards: air miles and points

By Doresa Banning | Money Rates Columnist

With the wide variety of reward options available now, it's no wonder that credit cards offering miles and points are a popular choice. After all, who doesn't like free trips, food and other goodies?

Earning your rewards

With rewards cards, you earn points or frequent-flyer miles when you make purchases. In most cases, you don't earn points or miles with cash advances, balance transfers and payments.

With most of these cards, you earn between one and two points or miles for each dollar you charge on the card, depending upon your card's terms. Some card issuers will award multiple points for each dollar you spend on purchases at certain locations such as gas stations with your 2012 gas credit card, grocery stores, drugstores and car rental agencies. You might also receive a bonus, such as 30,000 miles or 60,000 points (again, it depends on your specific card) for signing up or for reaching a spending amount within a given time period. Some even offer a free flight after your initial purchase when certain conditions are met. The more miles or points you accumulate, the greater your reward.

Because of the array of options, it's often easy to find a rewards card that suits your lifestyle and spending habits. For example, if you enjoy frequent travel, a card offering frequent-flyer miles would be a better fit than one offering points to be redeemed at one or more retail stores. Conversely, a big shopper might prefer the points card.

Redeeming your rewards

Some cards require you to accrue a certain number of points or miles before redeeming them while others allow redemption anytime. What you can redeem the miles or points for depends on your specific credit card's program. Typical redemption rewards include airfare, hotel stays, rental cars, vacation packages, cruises, airport parking, as well as other goods, services and gift certificates. You may be limited to redeeming your frequent-flyer miles with certain airlines. In some cases, when cashing in your miles, you may only fly on low-volume travel days and when seats are available.

When the time comes for redemption, keep in mind the average monetary value of one frequent flyer mile or one point is 2 cents. Most frequent-flyer programs let you use both miles and cash to purchase airfare or other rewards, which means that if you don't have enough miles for a flight, you can use the miles you have and pay the balance with cash.

With some of these credits cards, your miles or points will expire if you don't use them within a certain period. With others, such as those offered by many larger airlines, the miles don't expire as long as there's some activity on the account every three years. However, airlines can change their expiration policies at any time. In addition, you could forfeit any accumulated rewards if you close your account.

Other fine print

Some credit cards that earn points have a cap on the number of points you can collect. With others, you can earn 'til your heart's content.

Because rewards credit cards are more expensive for the issuers to manage than typical account, they tend to have higher APRs, often in addition to an annual fee. And while most airlines offer free enrollment, you'll likely encounter fees down the line for things such as processing your miles or having an inactive account.

And as with any credit card, paying your account balance monthly ensures you get the maximum benefits.

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