Do you know what might be my favorite thing in the whole world? Flying for free. I don’t know if anything gives me more of a rush than scoring free flights to places that are super expensive. We recently booked a trip to Paris for $20, and I swear, I felt like I had run a marathon I was so proud of myself. Our secret to booking free flights? Airline miles. Six years ago, after David and I had booked our first international flight (our honeymoon to Europe!), I decided there had to be a better way to fly, that didn’t involve spending thousands of dollars on airfare. So I became a woman obsessed, researching all the best airline credit cards. We’re big believers in airline credit cards if you want to travel – we know there’s a lot of advice out there that credit cards are the devil and will lead you to an uncontrollable pit of debt, but if you have a modicum of self-control, that’s just not true. We believe in only spending money that you have, and we put that money on credit cards, so we can save money by not paying for flights. I’m sharing my three favorite airline credit cards today, and why they’ve earned a place in my wallet.
-American Airlines Mastercard
The American Airlines Mastercard is our holy grail of airlines credit cards, especially for international travel. We love their sign up bonus (which is normally around 50,0000 bonus miles), but what we really love is the low taxes on international flights. For example, when booking a flight with American to Europe with miles, the taxes and fees might only be like $15, versus Brittish Airways, which might be $200.
-British Airways Visa
We don’t love using the Brittish Airways Visa card for international travel because the taxes are so high, but it’s GREAT for booking trips to Hawaii, and they have a really amazing sign-up bonus. Basically, the more you spend in your first few months of using your card, the more bonus miles you get.
-Alaskan Airlines Card
Alaskan Airlines offers 30,000 miles as a sign-up bonus, and they also have a companion pass that you’re entitled to every year that you’re a card member. Considering that Alaskan flies to Hawaii frequently, this is one of the cheapest ways to see the islands – you can book one flight with miles, and get the other for free with your companion fare.