Home > Credit Card Reviews > 4 Airline Credit Cards With Big Sign-Up Bonuses Right Now

Comments 0 Comments

[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Would you like a bunch of frequent flyer miles to book an award ticket? If you are into earning frequent flyer miles, then you can get a head start on your next big award trip by signing up for the right credit card and earning a sign-up bonus.

How Sign-Up Bonuses Work

The credit card industry is intensely competitive, and credit card issuers are willing to go to great lengths to attract new customers. What banks have learned over the years is that there are few incentives that are as attractive as large sums of frequent flyer miles that can be redeemed for award travel.

To receive one of these large sign-up bonuses, you have to apply for a new credit card and be approved. Then, most credit cards require you to complete a minimum spending requirement within a specified period of time, often three months. In most cases, once you’ve completed the minimum spending requirements, and your next statement is generated, then you should receive your sign-up bonus within a day or two.

Many people worry that applying for a new credit card and receiving a sign-up bonus will hurt their credit score. Although there are many factors that make up your credit score, including new applications, applying for a single credit card should have a negligible effect on your credit score and it may even improve it slightly as your credit history is extended.

Here are four airline credit cards that are currently offering big sign-up bonuses. 

1. American Airlines AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard from Citi

This card is currently offering 75,000 bonus miles after new applicants make $7,500 in purchases within three months of account opening, which is enough for two round-trip domestic award tickets in economy class, or a single first class ticket. (Full Disclosure: Citibank as well as Chase and American Express advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.) Other benefits include membership in the American Airlines Admiral’s Club airport lounge program for yourself and all authorized cardholders. You also receive priority service at check-in, airport screening and boarding. In addition, you receive your first bag checked free and a $100 statement credit towards the Global Entry application fee. There is a $450 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.

2. British Airways Visa Signature Card from Chase

This card is offering new applicants 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases within three months of account opening, plus an additional 25,000 miles after spending a total of $15,000 within a calendar year. Other benefits include 3x miles for British Airways purchases, and one mile per dollar spent elsewhere. Finally, those who spend $30,000 in a calendar year can earn a Travel Together Ticket good for a companion ticket on a British Airways award flight, although you do have to pay any tax, fees and carrier charges imposed by British Airways. There is a $95 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.

3. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase

This card is offering new applicants 30,000 bonus miles after spending just $1,000 within three months of account opening. In addition, you can also receive an additional 5,000 bonus miles after you add an authorized user who makes a purchase within three months of account opening. Finally, you can earn 10,000 bonus miles every calendar year you spend at least $25,000 in net purchases on your card. Other benefits include a free checked bag for yourself and a companion when you purchase tickets on United using this card. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

4. The Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express

This card (you can see a full review here) is offering new applicants to earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Other benefits include priority boarding, a 20% discount on in-flight purchases, and a free checked bag for up to four people traveling on the same reservation. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

All of these cards require applicants to have excellent credit. If you’re not sure of your credit standing, you may want to check your credit before you apply. You can view two of your scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.

If your credit standing doesn’t yet meet the card issuer’s requirements, there are steps you can take to improve your credit score, and apply once you do.

At publishing time, the United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase, AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard from Citi, and the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

Image: stevecoleimages

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team