Gabe Douek

Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.”

Introduction 

Travel cards can come with an array of benefits. In a world with so many opportunities, how are you supposed to know which travel card fits your needs?

Thankfully, we’re here to help. If you’ve been specifically looking for a travel card that earns rewards on purchasing flights, we’ve got some information that will help you decide.

Overview: Best credit cards for purchasing flights

Whether you buy airline tickets often or only a few times a year, it’s good to have a credit card that will reap some travel rewards for airfare purchases. After all, you’re going to make the purchase anyway. You might as well start racking up rewards in the process. After looking at several travel credit card options, we’ve decided the Platinum Card from American Express is the best credit card option for purchasing flights. 

Platinum Card from American Express benefits

The travel perks of the Platinum Card from American Express are pretty much unmatched. This is because the credit card offers a wide variety of premium travel benefits.

First, new cardholders may earn 60,000 bonus points if they spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days the account is open. Given that these points are valued at 2 cents each, that’s a whopping $1,200 in travel credit for a sign-up bonus. Platinum Card from American Express users will also earn 5 rewards point for every dollar they spend on flights booked through airlines or the American Express Travel portal. You’ll also earn 5 points for every dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked through the portal. 

Say you spend $200 on a plane ticket with your Platinum Card from American Express. That purchase alone will net you 1,000 rewards points, valued at $20 back in travel credit. Even if you booked the flight with another travel card, you wouldn’t be getting that much back in rewards. That’s because American Express points are valued higher than the competition, and the card awards 5 points for every dollar spent on airfare. What’s more, American Express will give you up to $200 in airline fee statement credits every single year. 

Other travel perks offered by the Platinum Card from American Express include:

  • $200 Uber credit split by $15 credits each month and $20 in December
  • $100 fee credit for Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck every four years
  • Points transfer to 21 airline and hotel partners
  • Access to Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs when you fly with Delta
  • Automatic Gold status with Hilton
  • Automatic Gold Elite status with Marriott
  • Complimentary memberships with Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, Avis Preferred, and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive
  • Access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts

The card charges no foreign transaction fees and an annual fee of $550. Yes, the annual fee is really high. But, you can likely offset this cost with the $200 annual airline statement credit and rewards from purchases. 

Why you should use Platinum Card from American Express to purchase airfare 

Using a credit card to purchase airfare is a smart move for a variety of reasons. Many travel credit cards, like the Platinum Card from American Express, will offer bonus rewards for every dollar you spend on airfare. This can be a very valuable opportunity if you can turn those rewards into free flights or other free travel opportunities. Generally, it’s best to put the debit card away when buying airfare. Why not reap extra rewards on a purchase you were already going to make?

Even if you don’t capitalize on bonus rewards for airline spending, you can easily reap some cash back if you use a typical card to purchase airfare. Like we already said, you might as well get something for your airline purchase, which is bound to be a little more expensive than other purchases.  

What to look for in a travel credit card 

When it comes to researching travel credit cards, the first step is to evaluate your traveling and spending habits. Although everyone is different, there are still a few things you should look for in a travel card, regardless of how you spend.

First, you’ll want to make sure the card you choose does not charge foreign transaction fees. Many credit cards can charge up to 3% on all transactions made internationally. This can quickly add up if you choose to charge things frequently while you’re on a trip. Even if you aren’t much of a traveler who likes adventuring abroad, you’ll want to keep a card without foreign transaction fees in your back pocket. Having this kind of card will pay off even if it’s only for one or two trips you take overseas. 

Depending on the type of traveler you are, you may want to look for extra perks for your travel card. Some cards will allow you and a companion a free checked bag. Others will give you priority boarding and access to hotel lounges across the world. In most cases, you would want to capitalize on these opportunities. However, you should also know the most premium perks usually come with high annual fees. If you aren’t much of a big spender, you won’t be able to offset the cost of a high annual fee with the rewards you earn. For this reason, you should always evaluate your spending habits before applying for a new travel card. 

Is the Platinum Card from American Express right for you? 

While there are tons of travel credit cards to choose from, not every card is perfect for every spender. If you’re a big spender looking to cash in on airline purchases and other premium travel rewards, consider applying for the Platinum Card from American Express. This card has a high annual fee, but rewards and the extensive list of elite travel perks can make up for it.

If you aren’t a big spender and don’t plan on becoming one any time soon, consider a flat-rate travel card like the Capital One Venture card. This card offers 2 miles for every dollar you spend, and a low annual fee of $95 after the first year. 

“Many of the listings that appear on this website are from companies which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.”

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the listings that appear on this website are from companies which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.

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