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The best air mile credit cards

The best air mile credit cards

You could save on the cost of a holiday with these top air mile reward credit cards.

lovemoney staff

Banking and Borrowing

lovemoney staff
Updated on 24 January 2016

An air mile reward credit card can help you cut the cost of a holiday.

Whenever you spend on the card you rack up miles or points associated with certain frequent flyer reward schemes. 

These can then be converted into free flights (with just the taxes and charges to pay on top), upgrades or other useful holiday discounts on things like hotels or car hire.

British Airways Executive Club members, for example, need to build up Avios, while Virgin Atlantic's Flying Club members need to earn Flying Club Miles to bag discounts with the airline.

A good way to boost your points total is with an air mile reward credit card. We've rounded up the best available right now.

Compare air miles credit cards

British Airways American Express

The British Airways American Express is a card that allows you to build up Avios. 

With it you can earn one Avios for every £1 you spend. 

As a bonus offer you get 9,000 bonus Avios when you spend £1,000 in your first three months with the card. 

Plus each year you are able to spend £20,000 you will get a companion voucher, which will be valid for 12 months. You just have to pay the taxes and fees for each ticket on top.

If you like the sound of this one you will need to have a household income of £20,000 and no history of bad debt to apply.

The representative APR on this card is 22.9%. Be warned, the bonus offer is only available until 10 February.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

For an annual fee of £150 you can get much more with the British Airways American Express Premium Plus.

Premium cardholders can earn 1.5 Avios for every £1 spend on the card. That's 50% more than what the fee-free the British Airways American Express card offers. You'll also be able to rack up three Avios for every £1 spent with British Airways or BA Holidays.

As an introductory offer you get 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 in your first three months with the card, so long as you take out the card before 10 February.

Plus you can get a complimentary companion ticket if you spend £10,000 or more each year, which is valid for 24 months.

But again you will need to have a household income of £20,000 and no history of bad debt to apply.

The representative APR for the Premium is a whopping 60.7% including the fee.

Virgin Atlantic White 

The Virgin Atlantic's White Credit Card Account is a fee-free air mile reward account that comes with one American Express card and one Visa card to build up Flying Club Miles with.

Earn one Flying Club Mile for every £1 spend on the Amex card and for every £2 spend on the Visa.

You'll get a bonus of 3,000 Flying Club Miles on your first purchase within 90 days of opening your account,

Flying Club Miles can be used to get money off or free Virgin Atlantic flights (plus taxes and charges), cabin upgrades (which is where the account really comes into its own) and companion tickets.

The representative APR on the account is 17.9%.

Virgin Atlantic Black

The Virgin Atlantic Black Credit Card Account offers double the benefits for an annual fee of £140.

With this account you get two Flying Club Miles for every £1 spent on the Amex and one Flying Club Mile for every £1 spent on the Visa.

As soon as you make a purchase on either of the cards within 90 days of opening the account you’ll get 18,500 Flying Club Miles.

The representative APR is 52% with the fee taken into account.

TSB Avios Credit Card

TSB also offers the chance to collect Avios with the TSB Avios Credit Card.

You actually get two cards: you’ll earn one Avios for every £1 spent on the American Express and for every £5 spent on the MasterCard. 

Other perks include double Avios on all spending on the American Express in the first six months and double Avios when you spend abroad.

The card comes with 0% on balance transfers for six months. If you have a balance you want to shift you can get 1,500 bonus Avios for every whole £1,000 you move from a single provider within the first 90 days. Bear in mind that each transfer attracts a 3% fee though.

The representative APR is 17.9%.

TSB Premier Avios

For an annual fee of £50 you can get more with the TSB Premier Avios Credit Card.

You’ll get 1.25 Avios for every £1 spent on the American Express and for every £5 spent on the MasterCard.

Other perks include double Avios abroad and a companion ticket when you spend £15,000 in one year.

The card also comes with 0% on balance transfers for six months and you'll get 1,500 bonus Avios for every whole £1,000 you transfer from a single provider within the first 90 days for a 3% fee.

The representative APR is 23.7%.

Flybe Credit Card

Flybe has revamped its credit card with the launch of its new Spend&Fly loyalty programme. Unlike other airmile credit cards there’s no points system, instead you’ll get free flights just based on the amount you spend.

As a nice little  welcome the Flybe Credit Card offers a free return flight when you spend £250 within the first six months. You'll just have to pay taxes and charges.

Here’s what you can get based on how much you spend thereafter:

Credit card spend

Area

Reward

£4,000

UK

Free Just Fly or Get More UK bonus return flight

£5,500

UK

Free All In UK bonus return flight

£6,000

EU

Free Just Fly or Get More European bonus return flight

£7,500

EU

Free All In European bonus return flight

When you reach certain spending thresholds, you qualify for a different class of free flight. Just Fly and Get More are the basic tiers of ticket, while All In offers more additional benefits.

Other perks of the card include discounts on airport parking, 10% off Avis car rental, commission-free travel money and exclusive discounts on hotels. 

The representative APR with the Flybe card is 18.9%.

Etihad Guest

If you're a regular flyer with Abu Dhabi’s national airline, Etihad Airways, the Etihad Guest Credit Card Account (powered by MBNA) could be rewarding.

The account comes with an Amex and a Visa card to rack up points with.

You can earn 1.5 Etihad Guest Miles for every £1 spend on the Amex and for every £2 spent on the Visa.

As an introductory bonus you’ll get 5,000 bonus miles if you spend a minimum of £250 on the card within the first 90 days.

The card also offer 12 months 0% on Emirates flight purchases and 0% on balance and money transfers for six months for a 2% fee.

The representative APR is 18.9%.

Emirates Skyward

Emirates has a similar reward scheme to Etihad and there are two sets of credit cards that allow you to collect Skywards Miles. The fee-free option is the Emirates Skywards account.

Again, you get an Amex and a Visa, with one Skywards Mile for every £1 spent on the Amex and one for every £2 spent on the Visa. You’ll get double points when making purchases directly through Emirates Airline.

You'll earn 5,000 Skywards Miles when you make your first purchase, within the first 90 days.

The card also offer 12 months 0% on Emirates flight purchases and 0% on balance and money transfers for six months for a 2% fee.

The representative APR is 17.9%.

Compare air miles credit cards

This article is regularly updated with the latest deals.

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