Editor’s note: This is a recurring post with regularly updated card details.
If you fly often for business, why not get a credit card that earns miles every time you use it? Some loyalty programs allow you to redeem miles for free flights and other travel expenses while others treat miles more like points that can be redeemed for travel, shopping, or cash back.
The best airline business credit cards are:
- Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business: Best overall
- United℠ Business Card: Best for frequent international flights
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card: Best for ongoing rewards
- Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card: Best for low annual fee
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®: Best welcome bonus
- Ink Business Preferred Card®: Best for frequent domestic flights
- Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card: Best for free companion flights
The COVID-19 pandemic may affect some of the services and benefits of these travel credit cards. Be sure to check the issuer’s website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the latest information on travel safety and requirements.
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
Unlimited 2x miles with every swipe
- Introductory reward worth $500 in travel after you spend $4,500 within the first three months
- 2x miles per $1 spent
- Issue employee cards for free
- No foreign transaction fees
- TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry application fee credit
- You’ll pay an annual fee after the first year
- Doesn’t offer interest-free financing
- Airport security screening reimbursement: Either a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or an $85 statement credit for TSA Pre✓® once every four years.
- Purchase assurance: Most purchases made entirely with your card are covered if damaged or stolen within 90 days from the date of purchase. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per cardholder account per 12 month period.
- Extended warranty coverage: Doubles the original warranty time period and duplicates the coverage of the original manufacturer’s warranty up to a maximum of 12 months on most items you purchase.
- Travel medical emergency assitance: Provide referrals to medical services if you have a medical emergency while traveling. You’re covered if you’re 100 or more miles away from home and from the day you leave until midnight of the 60th day of your trip, or the day you return to your city of residence, whichever is sooner.
Why we like it: Capital One makes travel easy and wins our vote for the best overall card. You get an unlimited 2x miles on every business purchase with no blackouts, seat restrictions, or minimum to redeem. Use your earned miles on flights, hotels, or vacation packages, or transfer your miles to one of United’s 16 travel partners like Air France, Alitalia, Qantas, and Turkish Airlines. Earn a generous 5x miles when you book with Capital One Travel for hotel and rental cars. You can also apply miles earned toward any qualifying travel purchase by using Capital One’s Purchase Eraser, worth 1 cent per 1 Capital One mile. With this flexibility, you’re essentially getting travel discounts on expenses like airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxicabs, travel agents, and timeshares.
Within the first 3 months of account opening, spend $4,500 on purchases and earn 50,000 miles―equal to $500 in travel. Save during your first year by paying no annual fee, then $95 each year after.
United℠ Business Card
United℠ Business Card
Frequent United Airlines flyers who want to earn travel rewards
- Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
- Receive a 5,000-mile "better together" bonus each anniversary when you have both the UnitedSM Business Card and a personal United credit card.
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, dining (including eligible delivery services), at gas stations, office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting.
- Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, employee cards at no additional cost - miles earned from their purchases accrue in your account so you can earn rewards faster.
- Enjoy a free first checked bag - a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip (terms apply), 2 United ClubSM one-time passes per year, and priority boarding privileges.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for one year with DashPass, DoorDash's membership service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- $100 United travel credit after 7 United flight purchases of $100 or more each anniversary year.
- A very large introductory bonus offer
- $100 annual travel credit
- Priority boarding and inflight discounts
- Has an annual fee
- Saver awards space is limited
- United Club passes are limited
Why we like it: Redeem your earned miles with United Airlines or with one of its 35 Star Alliance partners, including Air Canada, Lufthansa, and Singapore Airlines. Earn 2x miles per $1 spent on United purchases, including flights, 2x miles per $1 spent on dining, gas stations, office supplies, and commuting, and 1x mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. You and your one traveling companion each get a free checked bag, as well as priority boarding, after MileagePlus Premier members but before general boarding. You also benefit from a 25% discount on in-flight purchases.
As an introductory bonus, earn 75,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 75,000 miles after you spend $5,000 total on purchases made in the first 3 months and pay a $0 introductory fee for the first year then a low annual fee of $99. With no foreign transaction fees and a network of international air partners, this card is a good choice for frequent international travelers.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
Frequent Delta flyers who want to access premium business Delta features
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer Ends 11/10/21.
- Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and on every eligible dollar spent on purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half mile per dollar), up to 50,000 additional miles per year. 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.
- With Status Boost®, earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, up to 2x per year getting you closer to Medallion Status.
- Status-like benefits: First Check Bag Free on Delta flights + Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
- Terms and limitations apply.
- Check your first bag for free on Delta flights
- Receive priority boarding
- Eligible for a Delta companion certificate
- $250 annual fee
- No free access to Delta Sky Club
- No interest-free financing period on purchases or balance transfers
- Delta benefits: Receive your first checked bag for free and access priority boarding.
- Travel accident insurance: Provides card owners with travel accident insurance up to $100,000.
- Purchase protection: Provides coverage for purchases that are damaged or stolen up to 120 days from the date of purchase. Coverage is limited to $1,000 for an item and up to $50,000 for all claims for one year.
Why we like it: It wouldn’t be an American Express card without a big welcome bonus. Earn 90,000 bonus miles, 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. MQMs are a requirement to qualify for Medallion status, Delta Air Line’s loyalty program. Each tier―silver, gold, platinum, and diamond―offers exclusive benefits like complimentary flight upgrades, priority boarding, and waived fees.
Earn 1.5 miles on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more and earn 3 miles per $1 on hotels and Delta purchases. Although the annual fee is a little steep at $250, we consider it to be one of the best business credit cards for travel.
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card
Travel rewards on Alaska Airlines travel
- Get 40,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.
- Get Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22) every year! That's right, EACH YEAR on your account anniversary get a companion fare from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22). Valid on all Alaska flights booked on alaskaair.com with no blackout dates.
- Save with a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation.
- Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- NEW! 50% off Alaska Lounge day passes and 20% back on inflight food, beverage and Wi-Fi purchases when you pay with your card.
- Get exclusive access to discounted redemption levels when you redeem miles for hotel stays at over 400,000 properties using Alaska Airline Hotels.
- Earn unlimited miles and travel with no blackout dates and no international transaction fees.
- Enjoy many money saving benefits, 800+ destinations, more than a dozen global airline partners and a low annual fee of $50 for the company and $25 per card.
- Introductory bonus miles offer
- Discounted companion fare
- Free checked luggage
- Miles aren’t transferrable
- Some blackout dates
- Employee cards aren’t free
- Free checked bag: Get a free checked bag for you and up to six guests on the same reservation.
- Purchase security: Bank of America may replace, repair, or reimburse you for purchased items that have been stolen or damaged.
- Extended protection: Receive an additional warranty coverage period in addition to the manufacturer’s warranty.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver: Receive coverage for car rental vehicles when you use the card for the entire purchase.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: Includes up to $1,000,000 in travel accident insurance and emergency ticket replacement.
Why we like it: Alaska Airlines not only services the West Coast, including Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii, it also flies to dozens of destinations across the country and internationally. Thanks to its recent partnership with oneworld® Alliance, you can use your miles to fly to 1,100 destinations on more than 20 different airlines. You can also redeem miles for discounted hotel stays through Alaska Airlines Hotels. Earn an unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and an unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on other purchases. Not only that, but in the first 90 days, get 60,000 bonus miles after you make $3,000 or more in purchases.
You get one free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation, a savings of $60 per person, all for a very low annual fee of $50 and $25 per card.
AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®
AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®
Business owners that frequently fly American Airlines
- Earn up to 60,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles Earn 50,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Earn 10,000 miles when a purchase is made on an employee card.
- Earn 2X AAdvantage® miles for every one dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, eligible office supply, telecom and car rental merchants.
- Earn 1X AAdvantage® miles for every one dollar spent on all other purchases.
- 5% AAdvantage® mileage bonus earned every year after your account anniversary date based on the total number of miles earned using your card.
- A large introductory bonus offer
- Discounted companion certificate
- First free checked bag
- No 0% APR offer
- No lounge access
- No TSA Pre✓®
- First free checked Bag: Get one free checked bag for you and up to four companions.
- Companion Certificate: Receive one discounted companion ticket, each card anniversary after meeting spending requirements.
- Preferred boarding: You and o to four companions can board before economy boarding.
- Inflight discounts: You’ll receive a 25% discount on inflight food and beverage purchases.
- AAdvantage Elite Status Benefits: Earn Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) that can be applied toward American Airlines tiered elite statuses and benefits including upgrades and free checked bags.
Why we like it: This card has one of the most attention-getting welcome offers. Earn 65,000 miles after spending just $1,000 in the first 90 days. Then, to get an extra 10,000 miles, make a purchase of any amount on an employee card before the first 90 days ends. Like Alaska Airlines, American Airlines partners with oneworld® Alliance and 20 different airlines, so you can use your earned miles to get where you need to go.
Earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, 2 miles per dollar on select telecom, office supplies, and car rentals, and 1 mile on all other purchases. In addition, earn $3,000 elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) if you spend $25,000 or more on purchases with your card. EQDs go toward achieving AA’s elite frequent flyer status. You also get preferred boarding, discounts on in-flight food and beverages, and earn extra miles via the AAdvantage Dining Program. Each year, get a 5% miles bonus based on the total number of miles flown the previous year.
Ink Business Preferred® Card
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Maximizing travel rewards at a lower annual fee
- Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
- With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring.
- With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
- Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
- Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Opportunity to boost the value of reward points
- Offers cellphone protection and trip cancellation insurance
- Does not offer an interest-free financing period
- Charges an annual fee
- Auto rental collision damage waiver: Coverage is primary—meaning it replaces any coverage your personal insurance might offer—when renting for business purposes. It provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad.
- Cellphone protection: You and the employees named on the phone bill you pay for with your card are covered for up to $600 in theft or damages per claim. You are limited to three claims per 12-month period, with a $100 deductible per claim.
- Trip cancellation and delay insurance: If your trip is canceled, you can be compensated up to $15,000 for prepaid expenses such as airfare or hotels. If your trip is delayed for 12 hours or more, you can be reimbursed up to $500 for your hotel room, meals, and transportation.
Why we like it: While some travel cards offer miles, others offer points. With the Ink Business Preferred® card, earn three points per $1 on the first $150,000 combined spent on travel, and select categories each account anniversary year. Plus, earn one point per $1 on all other purchases. You can redeem points with gift cards or even cash back, but points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Use these points―which never expire―for rental cars, hotel stays, and flights on most major airlines like Virgin, Southwest, and JetBlue.
Plus, here’s a generous bonus: if you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, you can earn 100,000 bonus points, equivalent to $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel if redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card
BEST FOR Receiving rewards on Southwest purchases
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
Receiving rewards on Southwest purchases
Why we like it: If you fly Southwest often, you may already know it’s the world’s largest low-cost airline, with more than 4,000 daily departures and 101 destinations in the United States and a few surrounding countries. The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business card may be a good choice if you’re a frequent domestic business traveler. Start by earning 60,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Earn two points for every $1 you spend on Southwest Airlines purchases, and one point for every $1 you spend on all other purchases. You’ll also receive 6,000 bonus points each account anniversary year and only pay a $99 annual fee.
If you frequently fly with another person, earn 125,000 points in one calendar year and get the highly coveted Southwest Companion Pass. Your companion will fly free, only needing to pay taxes and fees, for the rest of the calendar year and the following year. Maximize the welcome bonus by earning 60,000 points in the first 3 months, and you’re nearly halfway there.
How We Evaluated the Best Card for Miles
We researched dozens of cards to find the ones with the best deals for frequent business travelers. We primarily looked at miles earned but also took into account benefits, perks, immediate rewards, and ongoing rewards.
If the airport closest to you includes a hub for United, Delta, American, Alaskan, or Southwest Airlines, one of these cards may be the most convenient and the best choice for you. If you’re not loyal to any one particular airline, the Capital One or Ink card would provide you greater flexibility in how and where you spend your miles and points.
If you’re a business owner and not sure if a miles card is the best choice for your business, check our list of the best small business credit cards for more options and recommendations.