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Air miles credit cards

Earn travel rewards when you spend

  • Collect points and get free or discounted flights

  • See your personalised chance of being accepted

  • Our soft search won't harm your credit score

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MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker not a lender. You must be 18 or over and a UK resident.

Compare our best credit card deals from 23 providers1

Shopping around is always important, especially when it comes to credit cards. We help you compare deals from leading providers across the market, so you can be confident to pick the best deal for your needs.

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1Accurate as of April 2024

How do air miles credit cards work?

Think of the points earned on air miles credit cards as rewards points because they don't always equate to actual miles. When you spend money using the card, you’ll accumulate points in an online account. Once you have enough points you can exchange them for free or discounted flights and other benefits.

  • Spend on your credit card as normal

    Pay for your day-to-day spending as you would with a normal credit card

  • Earn air miles reward points

    Get air miles reward points every time you use your card to make purchases 

  • Exchange points for cheap flights

    Once you’ve collected enough points, redeem them for cheaper flights, hotel upgrades, and other perks 

What can I exchange my air miles points for?

While it will depend on the specific card you have, you can exchange your air miles points for a variety of different rewards, including:

  • Cheaper flights

    Each time you spend money, you’ll earn points which you can convert into money off flights – often in the form of air miles

  • Upgrades/priority boarding

    With a sufficient balance of points you may be able to secure an upgrade on your flight or priority boarding to ease your travel

  • Lounge access

    You might qualify for access to airport lounges, with benefits such as complimentary food, drinks, wi-fi, newspapers and magazines

  • Companion flights

    Some air miles credit cards offer a free companion voucher, so you can take someone with you when you travel

What are the pros and cons of air miles credit cards?

There are several advantages to getting an air miles credit card, but there are also a few disadvantages it’s worth considering, such as:

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    Advantages

    • High value rewards If you regularly use your credit card and you're a frequent flyer, an air miles card could provide better rewards than other cards

    • Variety of perks From cheaper flights to lounge access to companion flights, there are a range of rewards to choose from

    • Bonus points Most air miles credit cards offer a generous bonus when you sign up and spend a certain amount in the first three months

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    Disadvantages

    • Annual fee You might have to pay a monthly or annual fee for your air miles credit card. Factor this in before deciding whether to apply

    • High interest rate If you don’t pay your card off in full each month, interest rates may be higher than on other credit cards

    • Lost benefits Depending on the terms of the card, if you miss or can’t afford a payment you could risk losing your reward points 

How to get the best travel rewards credit card

When comparing air miles cards there are a number of factors to consider, such as:

  • Where can you use it?

    Be confident you’ll be able to spend on your air miles credit card in enough places to earn sufficient points. Not all retailers accept all cards

  • Is it the right airline?

    Make sure you’re happy to be flying with the network of airlines linked to your air miles card. Most cards are tied to a particular network

  • What are the fees?

    Consider the annual fee and decide whether you’ll earn enough air miles points each year to make the benefits worthwhile – and also that you’ll make use of the rewards

  • Check your credit score

    Keep an eye on your credit score. A good credit rating gives you the best chance of being accepted for the top deals on air miles credit cards 

Why compare air miles credit cards with MoneySuperMarket?

  • We take the pain out of searching

    Say farewell to the hassle of sifting through countless options - we streamline the process, providing you with a carefully curated selection of credit cards

  • Compare deals from trusted providers

    We partner with only the most trusted and reputable partners, so you can compare deals and apply with confidence

  • You’ll see your chances of acceptance

    We’ll show you the percentage chance of being accepted for each credit card deal depending on your current financial status.

What are the alternatives to airline credit cards?

There’s a credit card to suit almost everyone, so if airline rewards and frequent flier miles aren’t quite what you're after, consider one of the following:

  • Rewards credit cards

    These cards earn you store points or vouchers that you can spend with certain retailers

  • 0% purchase credit cards

    Instead of points or vouchers, these cards charge 0% interest on spending for a period

  • Travel credit cards

    These complement airline cards, and make spending cheaper while you’re overseas

  • Balance transfer cards

    These are designed to let you consolidate debt and reduce how much interest you pay

Can I borrow money on my air miles credit card?

While you might be able to borrow money on your air miles credit card, it’s usually best avoided because it can be expensive. If you use the card to withdraw cash from ATMs, you will often be faced with significantly higher interest rates than on regular purchases. 

In addition, you may be charged a cash advance fee, typically a percentage of the amount borrowed, plus an ATM fee for withdrawing the cash. To make it worse, unlike regular purchases, cash advances start accruing interest from day one.

As well as avoiding cash withdrawals you should also prioritise paying the debt off on time and in full every month. Otherwise, you can face late payment charges and higher interest rates than with other credit cards.

Unlock better deals by getting on top of your credit score

If you want to keep up with your score, then you can check it with our Credit Monitor service. The benefits of using Credit Monitor are:

  • It’s free: It won’t cost you a penny to find out and monitor your score 

  • Won’t affect your credit rating: We carry out a soft search, which means a hard mark won’t be left on your file when you check your eligibility with us 

  • Offers made for you: We’ll show you the credit card, loan and mortgage deals you’re most likely to be approved for, and the better your score, the more favourable deals you'll be eligible for.

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Rebecca Goodman

Our expert says

"

Air miles credit cards can be really handy, especially if you fly frequently, and they can give you a range of travel discounts such as airport lounge access, discounted flights, or free upgrades. But as with any type of credit card, they are only worth it if you’ll use the benefits on offer. You’ll also need to pay attention to the smaller print such as annual fees and factor these in when working out how much you’ll save overall.

"
- Rebecca Goodman, Financial journalist

How to compare air miles credit cards with MoneySuperMarket

If you feel that an airline credit card could be right for you, the next step is to use the MoneySuperMarket Eligibility Checker to see what cards are available – and which are most likely to approve you:

  • Tell us about yourself

    We’ll ask you a handful of simple questions about you and your financial circumstances, and what you need from a credit card

  • We browse the market

    We’ll sift through dozens of credit card offers from across the market, and then show you the cards we think will suit you best

  • Pick the card you want

    You’ll be shown a range of credit cards, which you’ll then be able to sort according to APR, features and your chances of being approved

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Air miles credit cards allow you to earn points when you spend on the card, which you can then use towards the cost of future trips - and other travel-related rewards.

They can often be used to get free flights, reduce the cost of flights, get free access to airport lounges, or put towards upgrades. Better still, air miles credit cards can get you money off the price of hotels and car hire.

Aimed at frequent travellers, the more you spend on the card, the more points you’ll earn. There are many cards on the market and they’re usually tied to particular airline networks.

Air miles credit cards come with different levels of rewards and often have high annual fees, which can make it confusing to know which one to choose. MoneySuperMarket can help you compare and find the right air miles credit card for you.

This will depend on your lifestyle and spending habits. If you are a frequent flyer and have a high annual spend on your credit card – over £10,000, for example – then an air miles credit card could work in your favour. But often air miles credit cards come with higher fees than cashback cards, so the latter might be a better option if you typically spend less and don’t travel as much.

Air miles are provided on specialist credit cards where you might have to pick between your chosen airline schemes, such as Avios from British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. Some air miles credit cards such as those from American Express also let you earn rewards you can use on both schemes. Virgin Atlantic's Flying Club cards are also popular and powered by Mastercard

 Always check the terms and conditions of a card before signing up to see what air miles you might receive depending on how often you travel and how much you spend. 

One of the most popular air miles credit cards, Avios lets you convert points to air miles for the likes of British Airways, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas. 

You earn one point for every £1 spent – and if you spend more than £20,000 in a year, you get a free cabin-upgrade voucher. 

Depending on the card you get, you can get access to a host of travel benefits, including complimentary lounge visits, cashback on Deliveroo orders, and access to exclusive experiences. 

You get one point per £1 spent, and you can redeem your points for flight tickets or hotels. 



Depending on the card, you can get 0.75 or 1.5 points per £1 spent – and double the points if you spend with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays. And with the Virgin Money Back scheme, you can also earn up to 15% cashback from some top UK retailers. 

If you spend £20,000 in a year, you can unlock exclusive rewards, such as a free companion flight, upgrade, or Virgin Clubhouse pass. 

Whether you can get British Airways rewards depends on what type of air miles card you choose.

Look for Avios, which is the reward currency of British Airways and partners with many credit card providers such as American Express and Capital One. 

There are a number of things to think about before you get an air miles card.  Are you a high spender?  Air miles credit cards tend to work best for those who spend £10,000 or more on their credit card every year.

Factor in any annual charges applied on the card – and be sure the points and miles you’ll earn will be more than enough to cover the fee. 

Think also about whether you’ll be able to pay off your card balance in full every month. Air miles credit cards typically charge a higher  APR  than standard credit cards, so you should pay off your balance in full each month. 

Air miles cards tend to work best if you use them for all your regular day to day spending – building up a big points balance.

But if you’re concerned it might tempt you into overspending, or there’s a risk you’ll get into debt, they’re probably best avoided. You really need to be paying off the balance in full each month to be getting the maximum rewards. 



Yes, many credit cards offer various travel rewards beyond air miles. These rewards can include hotel stays, car rentals, travel insurance, airport lounge access, and even cashback on travel-related expenses. 

To maximise travel rewards, research and choose a credit card that aligns with your travel preferences and spending habits, and make sure to understand its specific rewards program and terms.

Air miles credit cards have lots of attractive features, such as cheaper flights, companion flights, lounge access and priority boarding, but they won’t be right for everyone. It will depend on several factors, including how much you spend on your card and how often you travel with the airlines where you can redeem your points. 

Typically, air miles cards are most suitable for frequent flyers who spend a lot on their credit card. Air miles cards often charge an annual usage fee – so if you aren’t going to build up a big tally of points the value of any rewards could soon be outweighed by the charges – making it not worthwhile.

Like all credit cards, it’s important to pay off your card balance in full every month or high interest rates will be applied. You should also never use the air miles credit card to withdraw cash as the fees and rates for this can be high.

If you’re applying for a credit card, you might be able to find a better deal if you look through offers from different providers before taking one out. With MoneySuperMarket you’ll be able to search through multiple credit cards and compare them by a range of factors, including their interest rates and any benefits and rewards they come with.

All you need to do is answer a few questions about yourself and your financial situation, and our Eligibility Checker will show your chances of being accepted for different credit cards. This won’t affect your credit score, so you can run a check without any worries.

Once you know which card you want, you can normally apply by phone, online, or in person if the provider has a high street branch. However, when you do apply, the provider will usually run a hard credit check – which will show up on your credit report – to confirm whether they’ll give you the card. If you’re accepted they’ll tell you your credit limit and interest rate, and soon you’ll be ready to start using your credit card.

MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.

  • Take control of your credit score by checking and improving it for free with Credit Monitor

  • Never overpay again with Energy Monitor, our energy monitoring service

  • Over 50 ways to Get Money Calm

So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.

But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.

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