Credit cards can be incredibly convenient and useful. You may plan to use your credit card for your monthly necessities and pay it back within the interest-free period. Perhaps you want to ensure you have emergency funds available at all times; there are many types of cards that you can choose from. Many people are starting to turn to credit cards that offer certain rewards. If you travel on a regular basis, then applying for a credit card that offers airline miles is a great choice to consider. We’ll take a closer look at the best credit cards that offer airline miles in the United Kingdom.
Let’s start by considering what the benefits are when it comes to the best credit card for airline miles UK. The benefits will depend on the specific credit card that you decide to opt for, but there are some general advantages that many of the top-rated options offer.
- Priority Boarding: Many airline mile credit cards offer priority boarding when you pay with the points you have accumulated or the card itself. When it comes to boarding, checking your bags is the first step that you need to complete. Unfortunately, this often means you’ll need to stand in a long line and wait for your turn. With priority boarding, you won’t have to worry about these long lines, and you’ll be able to get your bags checked faster.
- Discounts In-Flight: Another benefit is that many of these airline cards offer discounts for certain in-flight purchases you make. While you’ll still pay the full price for amenities like Wifi or when you order a meal on the flight, you’ll usually receive a cashback on these purchases in the form of points.
- Flight Discounts: Another major benefit is the fact that you can usually buy flight tickets at discounted rates if you own an airline credit card. This can be a great way to reduce the costs of your travels. Some of these cards may also offer a companion ticket when you book a seat on an airline.
- Travel Protection: People with airline credit cards usually travel frequently, which is why you’ll find that many of these card issuers offer travel protection benefits. There are different types of protection plans that these cards may offer, such as coverage for lost luggage.
- Lower Foreign Transaction Costs: When you travel out of the country, you’ll often need to pay extra fees when you swipe your card. This is due to a currency conversion that is required on the card. Fortunately, many card issuers that offer airline credit cards keep this in mind, which is why you’ll find some options offering low foreign transaction fees. Some cards may also provide waived fees for foreign transactions.
Apart from these particular benefits, another obvious advantage is the fact that you are able to accumulate points as you transact with the card. These points collect up and allow you to then redeem them for certain rewards – such as travel tickets, hotel stays, and rental cars.
One thing is certain – you can find a diverse range of credit card offers that come with airline miles. This can make you feel overwhelmed and unsure about which card is the right option for you. If you don’t spend some time doing research, you might end up with a credit card that does not live up to your expectations. This is why you need to understand what to look for in a credit card offer.
In this section, we’ll take a closer look at a few important factors that you should keep in mind when you assess the different airline credit card options that are available.
- Travel Benefits: Since you want to get a credit card for airline miles, it’s important to start by taking a closer look at the travel benefits that each option offers. Benefits like discounts on airline tickets and other travel-related factors are always useful. Some cards can also give you lounge access, free checked bags, and faster boarding.
- Annual Fee: Many of these cards have an annual fee associated with them. It’s important to consider this particular fee and how it will impact your budget. In addition to the annual fee, consider whether there are any costs involved with actually opening the credit card too.
- Interest Rate: Apart from the annual fee, the interest rate that you are charged on balance due on the credit card is another important element to keep in mind. Try to avoid cards with a high-interest rate, as this will lead to more costs in the long run.
- Interest-Free Period: If you want to use your credit card during the month and pay off the balance by your next pay date, then it’s also crucial to look for options that offer interest-free periods. There might still be other fees associated with the use of the credit card, but at least you won’t have to worry about paying interest on these transactions.
- Sign-up Bonus: You’ll find that several credit cards offer welcome bonuses that can add more value to your account. With this said, there are often certain requirements that you need to meet – such as spending a certain amount of money on the credit card before you qualify for the sign-up bonus. Keep this in mind while you assess the different credit card options.
- Reward Value: Another thing to consider is the value of the points and airline miles that you can obtain with a credit card. Try to find a card that offers maximum value for the points that you collect. Also, keep in mind what you can redeem these points for. Some of these cards have significant limitations on what you are able to get with the points that you accumulate.
When you keep these factors in mind, it’s easier to determine which credit card offers are the right choice for you in particular.
With so many credit cards, it’s hard to pick one that is going to be most beneficial for you in the long run. We’ve done an extensive research to bring you a list of the best credit cards for airline miles in the UK. We are going to share our findings with you in this section.
The first one on our list is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card. The card is not one of the cheapest on the market, but it surely offers a generous introductory offer that you can take advantage of.
The card uses Avios as a loyalty scheme, which offers excellent diversity in terms of how and where you can redeem the points you are able to collect as you use the card. As a welcome bonus, you are able to obtain 25,000 Avios, but you are required to spend £3,000 within the first three months after opening the card in order to qualify for this particular bonus.
There is a 56-day interest-free period, which makes this a great card for people who will make short-term purchases.
Here are some of the benefits of the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card:
- You can apply even if you have a low credit score.
- A great option for earning points on your regular daily spending.
- Earn as many as 25,000 Avios as a welcome bonus.
- Access to Global Assist, even in cases where you travel to a location outside the United Kingdom.
We should also consider a few potential drawbacks that you may note with this particular card:
- There is an annual account fee of £250.
- A high APR of 28.1% on purchases and balance transfers.
Next up is the Virgin Money Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus Credit Card, a great choice if you prefer to travel with Virgin Atlantic. The card has a relatively low interest rate of 22.9% APR, but it does have a variable rate, which is something to keep in mind.
You can earn points for your daily spending when you prefer to swipe the credit card. There are also some purchases that qualify for double points, which is a great way to collect rewards faster.
The introductory bonus gives you up to 15,000 points, but you’ll need to spend a minimum of £3,000 within the first 90 days after your application is approved. If you spend at least £10,000 within the first year, then you’ll also have the opportunity to either upgrade to the Premium package or get a free companion ticket for a flight.
The main benefits that you can expect from this card include the following:
- A very generous welcome offer that awards up to 15,000 Flying Club miles.
- You can earn a cashback of up to 15% with certain purchases.
- You also get access to a 50-day interest free period.
- Balance transfers accumulate 0% APR for the first six months.
- You also get access to Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots, which are available at more than one million worldwide spots.
There are, however, a few drawbacks that you should also consider:
- The 0% APR on a balance transfer reverts to 22.9% APR after six months.
- You need to pay an annual fee of £160.
- There is a 2.99% foreign exchange fee that applies to transactions that require a currency conversion.
- If you need a cash advance on the credit card, you’ll pay a 5% fee.
If you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, then the Barclaycard Avios Card may be a good choice to consider. This card does not have any annual account fees associated with it, and it has a very low-interest rate too. Note that this is not a premium card like some of the others we’ve looked at, but still a great option for travellers who want to get rewarded for their spending.
The interest rate of 25.9% APR is a bit higher compared to some of the other options, but the waived annual fee and the 56-day interest-free period make up for this.
When you open your account, you have the opportunity to earn as many as 5,000 Avios points as a bonus. This bonus will be applied to your account if you spend at least £1,000 within the first 90 days after you receive the card. It’s a much lower criteria than some of the other credit card options. You’ll also get a free British Airways cabin upgrade for a single flight if you spend £20,000 throughout a 12-month period.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that this card has to offer:
- Uses Avios as the reward system, which allows you to choose from a large selection of redemption options.
- The minimum monthly payment on the card is as low as £5, depending on your balance.
- There are no replacement card fees charged to your account. You can also get an additional card for free.
Here are some drawbacks to keep in mind:
- You pay 2.99% for a cash advance, as well as for foreign transactions.
- The welcome bonus is not as generous as some of the other offers.
- There is a £12 late payment fee.
A credit card that gives you airline miles every time you use it can help you save up points that reduce your travel costs in the future. It’s a great option for travellers who prefer a credit card with rewards that fit their preferences in life. We looked at some of the best credit card options that you can turn to. Start with these while also taking into account the tips we shared. While using your airline miles for travelling purposes, be sure to use a trustworthy luggage storage solution, such as Stasher, to keep your belongings safely stored while you enjoy the views and activities offered by your travel destination.
Hi! I am George and I am the Content Lead for Stasher.com. I love travel, writing, making music and meeting new and interesting people.