Airline credit cards for fair credit can be a good way to save money on travel and enjoy a few perks to make your trip even easier. There are two main types of airline credit cards: branded credit cards associated with an airline that usually offer perks like priority boarding, free checked bags, and frequent flyer miles and general travel rewards cards that usually offer a specific rebate on all travel expenses like airfare, car rentals, and hotel stays.
General travel cards are usually the best bet if you want the highest amount of cash back with the ability to book through third-party websites for the best deal, but branded cards offer the greatest benefit if you fly frequently on the same airline and want airline benefits. Here are some of the best airline credit cards for fair credit and great credit.
Capital One Venture Rewards Card
The Capital One Venture is one of the best all-around travel rewards cards with an unlimited 2x miles earned on every $1 you spend. Travel whenever you want and book with any airline or hotel without worrying about getting the best deal. The card has a $0 intro annual fee that’s $59 afterward. It also comes with a generous 40,000 point signup bonus if you spend $3,000 during the first 3 months. That’s worth up to $400 in travel credits! To qualify for the Venture card, you will need good to excellent credit.
If your credit is only good to fair and you can’t get approved for the Venture, the VentureOne Rewards card is another option with no annual fee and an unlimited 1.25 miles on every $1.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the most popular travel rewards cards for people with good to excellent credit. Recently named as the best card for Flexible Travel Redemption by Kiplinger’s, the Sapphire Preferred earns 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on everything else. You can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to popular hotel and airline loyalty programs or get 25% more value for your points when you redeem for hotel stays, airfare, car rentals, and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
The card has an excellent signup bonus of 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 during the first 3 months. That’s worth $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The card has a $95 annual fee (waived the first year) and requires good to excellent credit.
Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
This co-branded American Airlines credit card is a great choice if you fly frequently on AA and have at least good credit. The card allows you to earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage miles back up to 10,000 miles per year and earn double AAdvantage miles on eligible American Airlines fights. You also get priority Group 1 boarding on AA flights and a free first checked bag on domestic flights for you and up to 4 companions. When you use your card, you can even save 25% on in-flight food and beverage purchases. The card has a $95 annual fee but it’s waived the first year. After spending only $1,000 during the first 3 months, you will earn 30,000 bonus AAdvantage miles.
British Airways Visa Signature
If you fly British Airways, the British Airways Visa Signature from Chase can help you earn elite status and free flights even faster. The card earns 3 Avios points for every $1 you spend on British Airways and 1 Avios for every $1 spent elsewhere. Every calendar year you spend $30,000 or more, you get a free Travel Together Ticket that’s good for 2 years. The signup bonus for the card is 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $3,000 during the first three months.
The British Airways card requires excellent credit and it has a $95 annual fee that is not waived the first year.