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Air Miles credit cards

Compare credit cards for points you can redeem on flights

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  • See your chances of being accepted

  • Searching won’t harm your credit score

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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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151% of those accepted could save this amount. Calculation based on transferring an average £2,000 balance (UK Finance August 2021) to a 0% card over 12 months, with a 2% balance transfer fee, compared to an average interest of 21% (Bank of England August 2021), minimum repayment of 5% per month. Limited is a credit broker, not a lender. We compare products from a number of lenders. UK only. 18 years+. Subject to status.

What do air miles credit cards offer?

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 perks. They can often be used to reduce the cost of flights, put towards upgrades, or to get money off the price of hotels and car hire or even wine, for example. 

Aimed at those who travel a lot, 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, such as the Avios loyalty scheme - where points are converted into British Airways air miles. 

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.

With a pre-approved credit card, the deal you see is what you get

When you apply for an air miles credit card, it’s not always clear what deal you’ll be offered or whether you’ll be accepted. But when you’re pre-approved, you know the deal you see is the deal you’ll get – you’ll know where you stand, with information that will help you make the right choice./p>

  • Apply with confidence

    When you’re pre-approved, the interest rate, interest-free period and any fee are all confirmed – the only thing not guaranteed is your credit limit

  • Tailored to you

    You’ll see your chances of being approved for all air miles credit cards, so you can easily compare your options

  • You’re in safe hands

    This helps protect your credit score as you’re less likely to be rejected when you apply

How air miles credit cards work?

It’s best to think of the points earned on air miles credit cards as rewards points because they do not 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 when you book.

  • Spend on your credit card as normal

  • Earn air miles reward points in your account

  • Exchange points for benefits such as cheaper flights

The advantages of air miles credit cards

Airline credit cards often suit people who want to travel often (although they can still pay great rewards and perks to those who don’t). For those who do take many trips the possible benefits might include:

  • 1

    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

  • 2

    Lounge access

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

  • 3

    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

  • 4

    Companion flights

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

  • 5

    Priority boarding

    With a sufficient balance of points you can usually secure priority boarding, which lets you get on the plane earlier

  • 6

    Points top-up

    Some airlines grant you bonus points if you use their card to buy flights, and you may also be able to top up with your own cash

Are air miles credit cards worth it?

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.

How to get the best air miles 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 

What to consider before getting an air miles credit card

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 over-spending, 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.

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

  • Cashback credit cards

    This type of card pays you back between about 1% and 4% of everything you spend

  • 0% purchase credit cards

    Instead of rewards, 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

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

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. 

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.