Best Airline Credit Cards That Offer Bonus Miles In 2015

Top Travel Credit CardsOne of the best ways to ensure that you collect and utilize your frequent flyer airline miles or points is through the use of an Airline credit card that automatically records and tallies those benefits whenever you book a flight. These cards will of course also allow you to accumulate points through other purchases, and those points can equally be used to defray your travel costs when the time comes to book those expensive tickets.

There are a number of rewards credit cards that offer new cardholders bonus miles and points for signing up, which will get you to your goal that much faster. We have assembled a list of the nine top airline credit cards that offer such bonus miles, usually on the condition that you purchase a certain amount with the card in a defined period following your sign-up. Without further ado, here they are.

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card provides cardholders with 40,000 bonus points that are worth $500 in travel rewards, provided that you spend $4,000 during the first three months that you hold the card. Once you add the first authorized user, and make a purchase during the first three months, you will be given an additional 5,000 bonus points.

When you make travel purchases through Chase’s online mall, or make restaurant purchases, Chase will provide two points for every dollar spent. These points will not expire, and they are unlimited. When the time comes to redeem them, they can be used at any airline, or for hotels or other purchases, and they can also be redeemed for cash. A highly valuable feature is that there are no blackout dates or travel restrictions imposed when you redeem. There is an annual fee of $95, but it is waived for the first year.

2. BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card

This BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5 points for every dollar you spend using it. No limit is imposed on the total points you can earn, and the points will never expire. You can redeem the points for statement credit toward travel bookings made with the card. The card imposes no foreign transaction fees, which is obviously a plus for overseas travelers, and there is no annual fee.

The introductory 0% APR period lasts for twelve billing cycles, and after that, a variable 14.99% – 22.99% rate applies. Bank of America customers who maintain a bank account with BofA receive a 10% customer points bonus on all purchases. And if you apply online, you’ll get 10,000 bonus points once you use the card to purchase $500 in goods or services during the first 90 days that you own it.

3. Capital One’s Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Venture Rewards Card offered by Capital One allows you to earn a 40,000 mile bonus, worth $400 in travel, provided you spend $3,000 on purchases during the first 90 days that you own the card. You will also receive two miles per dollar spent on any purchase, allowing you to increase your mileage at twice the rate!

Many of the Visa Signature privileges are also available with this card, including advanced ticket sales for events in major venues, a concierge service that is never closed, and others. While there is an annual fee of $59, the fee is waived for the first year.

4. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card allows you to collect points on all of your purchases. The Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card also provides new cardholders with the chance to earn 50,000 points for two round-trip tickets, provided they purchase $2,000 in goods and services within the first 90 days after obtaining the card. Because they know you like to travel, the card imposes no foreign transaction fees.

You will also get two points for every dollar you spend on direct travel purchases made with Southwest, and on every dollar spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. Beyond that, you receive one point per dollar for all other purchases. The points are redeemable as travel credit against bookings with airlines as well as hotels, vacations, car rentals, and cruises, or if you prefer, you can redeem them for gift cards. The points never expire, and you will also receive 6,000 more points each year following your first card anniversary. Happy Anniversary! These powerful benefits, however, do come at the cost of an annual fee of $99,

5. British Airways Visa Signature Card

British Airways has gotten in on the Airline-sponsored card business with its British Airways Visa Signature Card offering. This card provides a generous 50,000 bonus points to new cardholders, provided they use it to make $2,000 in purchases during the three-month period after obtaining the card. And when you book a flight on British Airways, you will earn 2.5 points for each dollar you spend. Any other purchase made with the card earns you 1.25 points per dollar.

Once you have reached $30,000 in purchases within any calendar year, you will receive a Travel Together Ticket for a companion, usable within two years of booking. And once you get to that overseas destination, there will be no foreign transaction fees on your card usages.

An added plus is that this is a Visa card that incorporates smart chip technology, allowing you to make purchases in Europe, which has widely adopted such technology. There is an annual fee of $95, but the fee is waived for your first year.

6. United MileagePlus Explorer Card

The United MileagePlus Explorer Card, which provides 30,000 bonus miles, provided that you make purchases in the amount of $1,000 during the first three months. Cardholders are also eligible to receive up to 10,000 bonus miles per years, provided that they spend over $25,000 annually on the card. An additional 5,000 miles will show up on your account when you add an authorized user and make a purchase during the first three months.

When it comes to collecting miles for making purchases, the MileagePlus Explorer Card enables you to earn double miles for each dollar spent on a direct ticket purchase from United, and one mile for every dollar you spend on all other purchases with the card. The miles don’t expire, and they are unlimited. You can also redeem them for air tickets, car rentals, or hotel bookings. The cherry on top of all this is two complimentary one-time passes to the United Club, the airline’s airport lounge, per year, letting you dip your toe in travel the way it’s experienced by the upper crust. Probably even more valuable is that you will have your first bag checked in for free.

7. Citi’s AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard.

American Airlines travelers may be particularly interested in Citibank’s AAdvantage Plantinum Select MasterCard, which, for a limited time, will let you earn 50,000 American Airline AAdvantage bonus miles, provided that you spend $3,000 on the card during the first three months of card ownership. You will also collect double AAdvantage miles for each dollar spent on purchases, provided they are eligible purchases from American Airlines, and one AAdvantage mile per dollar spent on other purchases.

After you redeem your miles, you will be allowed to earn back 10% of those redeemed miles up to 10,000 AAdvantage miles per calendar year. The card also allows you to check your first bag for free when you fly with American Airlines. The card does charge an annual fee of $95, waived for the first twelve months, but when you add up all its advantages, that cost may well be worth it.

8. Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard.

Hawaiian Airlines has waded into the card business with its World Elite Mastercard. This card, which was designed with Hawaiian Air frequent flyers in mind, allows you to earn 35,000 bonus miles provided you spend $1,000 with the card during your first 90 days of account ownership. If you spend $10,000 or more within a year, you will earn 5,000 bonus points, and you will also earn one mile for every dollar you spend with the card, and two miles for every dollar spent on direct Hawaiian Air purchases.

The card comes with an annual fee of $89, and the variable APR is 15.99% to 24.99% on purchases and on balance transfers.

9. Wells Fargo Propel World American Express Card.

The Wells Fargo Propel World American Express Card provides solid rewards on airline bookings, regardless of what airline you select. Cardholders get 40,000 points once they have spent $3,000 during the first three months of card ownership, and they earn three points for each dollar of airline purchases. Hotel bookings earn two points per dollar spent, and all other purchases get one point per dollar.

The card allows you to get reimbursed up to $100 on airline charges including baggage, lounges, and in-flight purchases. Discounts are also available at the major car rental agencies of up to 25%, and you can get up to $100 off of certain vacation packages. Points are unlimited, and never expire. And because it’s for travelers, no foreign transaction fees are imposed.

An additional advantage of this card is that its owners, when renting cars, receive auto rental collision and liability insurance and trip cancellation coverage. The card offers an introductory 0% APR rate on purchases and balance transfers for twelve months, and after that a variable APR of between 13.99% and 21.99% will apply. The cardholders with stronger credit will receive the lower rates. The annual fee is a hefty $175, but it is waived for the first year.

Cheap Flight Tips – Don’t Pay Full Price

Find Cheaper FlightsIf you want to save money on your next flight, you can do so with ease. But, you can’t simply hope for the best and go to the airline’s website to get a good deal. No, with a bit of work, you can find the best deal on a flight. Here are six tips on how to get a cheap flight.

Check multiple sites: Sadly, if you are going to go to one site and look for a ticket, you are going to overpay. There are multiple sites where you can search for flights, and you need to take advantage of this by checking out the top five. Then, when you are looking at a deal, you need to take it further. Think about it, if you are looking for a good deal on a fight, you will want to take it further by checking out the website of the airline. Sometimes, you can find a better deal, all with minimal effort. Remember, if you are working hard and going to multiple sites, you are going to find the best deal.

Be flexible: Without a doubt if you are flexible with your search, you are going to find a good deal. For starts, if you are going on a vacation, look for flights the day before and the day after. Not only that, when looking for a ticket, you should look at different airports. For example, if you are going to New York, look at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark. When doing so, you can really open up the possibilities for flights you can find. Simply put, if you are flexible, you are going to pay the best price.

Consider two one-way tickets: Now, this is not always easy, but if you want to find a good deal, you should consider two one-way tickets (check out the always awesome To see if this works for you, it’s wise to search for the round trip ticket. Then, once you find a good deal, you should check two one-way tickets. Again, while it’s not always the best solution, it’s one worth considering.

Sign up for programs: If you fly often, you should sign up for miles programs. In fact, if you take a trip to Europe, you can often get enough miles for a one way trip in the United States. Since similar programs are free, there is no reason not to sign up for an account. To take this further, you should consider a credit card connected to the airlines. Remember, since you are going to fly and use a credit card, you might as well get free miles and flights in the future.

Last-minute: If you want to get a good deal, you should check at the last minute. While this is not ideal for people who love to plan, you can save some serious cash if you login to the airline website the day before. If you are retired or you work flexible hours you can find some serious bargains when flying last-minute.

Consider getting a ticket for a different destination and getting off sooner: Now, this is not always easy to find, but you can save some cash if you buy a ticket and get off early. For example, if you are flying to Dallas, you can buy a ticket to NYC, and then you can get off in Dallas. While the airlines don’t encourage this, it’s an easy way to save cash if you are flexible and don’t mind only bringing a carryon. Remember, the airlines don’t tell you this fact, but you can save some easy money if you buy a ticket to a different destination and get off early.

If you want to save money on your next airline ticket, you need to go out of your way to search a lot. Not only that, if you are flexible and don’t mind going early or late, you can save some cash. While true, think a little more, and you will save a lot more cash. When doing so, you can get the best deal, all without much effort. In the end, with a one-hour investment in time, you are going to find the ideal ticket at the best price.

How to get FREE Airline Tickets!

How to get Free Airline TicketsIf you want to hop on a plane and don’t want to spend any money, you will have a few options. Yes, there are people who routinely fly all over the world without spending a dime. However, this isn’t due to sheer luck. No, if you want to fly for free, you will have to know the way to game the system and get on that plane for free. With this in mind, here are the top five tips for flying for free.

Volunteer to get bumped: If you fly a lot, you have probably been on a flight where the airline asks people to voluntary take the next flight. Known as bumping, this is a great way to get some free tickets. To maximize your chances, you should have an open-mind about your arrival date. Not only that, if you are flying solo or in a group of two, you will increase your chances. Often, the airline will give you two free tickets and pay for your hotel room. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you will only arrive to your destination in a few hours. So, remember, if you want to get bumped, show up a bit early and rush up to the counter when the airline is looking for volunteers. This isn’t as easy as it was in the past as airlines now use algorithms to avoid this costly problem. But, if you are wise, you can take advantage of this multiples times. In turn, you can end up getting enough points and vouchers to take multiple trips.

Airline miles and signup bonuses: Without a doubt, if you are the spender in the house, you should have an airline credit card. Just by putting your monthly expenses on the card, you can get enough miles for a free round trip ticket, every year, if not sooner. In fact, plenty of traveling salespeople and small business owners rack up hundreds of thousands of miles. While true, you may have to pay a small ticket processing fee, which may amount to a few dollars. Either way, if you want to get on a flight for free with little effort, consider an airline miles card. Furthermore, if you sign up for a company that is offering a bonus, you may get a free flight by meeting simple spending thresholds in the first three months.

Frequent flyer mile programs: If you fly often, you need to sign up for airline frequent flyer programs. Think about it, if you take three or four trips a year, you will earn enough miles to get a free flight. Furthermore, you need to realize that many airline programs are connected. Then, when you go on a few trips, you are going to see your balance rise quickly. So, remember, anytime you fly, you need to use your frequent flyer miles as you don’t want o pass up a free trip in the future. With this, you must read the fine print and make sure you follow all the rules as you don’t want to see your hard-earned miles slip away because you forgot to follow a rule.

Complain: When flying, things happen, and it’s wise to complain if you feel that you were treated poorly. Often, when on a full and busy flight, you may not get the best service. While you don’t want to go out of your way to be rude, you should speak up. If you do, you may get free pints or miles. Other times, the airline will offer you a free ticket or voucher. Remember, while a lot of people simply take the bad treatment, you need to go out of your way to complain, if you feel it is justified. Not only can you fix the problem, but you can enjoy free flights in return.

Work for the company: Without a doubt, a lot of people work at an airline to get free travel. Think about it, if you are a travel junky and don’t mind flying on standby or waiting for the right flight, you can get on it for free. You will often see people who are flying this way, and it’s a great way to save cash. If you don’t like flying for work but still want to work for an airline, you can work behind the scenes or at the airport. Yes, if you want to fly for free and have some flexibility, you can do so if you work for an airline.

If you want to fly for free, you should try to think a little harder. If you do so and try to follow one of these ideas, you can go anywhere in the world for no money. Either way, remember to think outside the box if you want to arrive to your destination with more cash in your pocket.

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Happy in Havana: What to Do in the Cuban Capital

Lying just over 220 miles southwest of Miami, Havana was once a popular destination for American vacationers before the Castro revolution. (US citizens can still visit the country but only under specific reasons — tourist trips prohibited.) Now we both Cuba and the United States trying to normalize relations, Havana may yet become a popular haunt for American travelers.

The following are the top five things to do in a city that offers many diversions.

Stroll Malecón

The place to see and be seen, the Malecón, which is officially called the Avenida de Maceo, is a five-mile long road and esplanade that graces that graces the city’s coastline.

  • It starts from the Paseo del Prado in Old Havana and continues north and west to the mouth of the Almendares River. It’s an excellent location to mix it up with the locals who are out for a stroll and to admire the aging and often crumbling buildings of the Old City.
  • Make time to visit when a cold front blows in from the Straits of Florida. That’s when large waves crash over the sea wall often closing the road and allowing you to stroll right down the middle of the Avenida.
  • Some of the sights on this stretch include the Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta and Castillo de la Real Fuerza, both of which are colonial forts; a Monument to the Victims of the USS Maine; and the Hotel Nacional, a luxury hotel that was built in 1930.

Visit Museo Napoleónico

Over 7,000 objects associated with the French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, and his era are on display in one of the country’s greatest museums. Many were collected by Cuban billionaire Julio Lobo Olavarro, who amassed his fortune in sugar and finance. Others came from politician Orestes Ferrera, donations, and museum purchases. The museum building was built between 1926 and 1929 by Cuban architects Evelio Govantes and Felix Cabarrocas and is based on a Renaissance Florentine palace.
The following are among the museum’s treasures:

  • Paintings, prints, and sculptures from the Napoleonic era.
  • Lobo’s furniture from the Consulate and Empire period.
  • Military arms, uniforms, and regalia.
  • Death masks of Napoleon made two day’s after his death by Dr. Francesco Antommarchi, the emperor’s personal physician.

Note that a warning forbids tipping although the English-speaking guides will generally ask you for some cash. You’ll have to decide whether to report them or to give them some gratitude for explaining the Spanish-only descriptions.

Gawk at Fusterlandia

Get up close and personal with the city’s thriving arts community at Fusterlandia, a complex named after its creator, Jose Fuster.

  • This “Picasso of the Caribbean,” is a sculptor, painter, and ceramicist who is recognized as one of the country’s iconic artists. He lists Picasso, Gaudi, and Brancusi as his chief influences, which is fairly obvious from the riot of color and form that decorate the walls and walkways of his studio.
  • About ten years ago, the location was once a small single-family house in an ordinary fishing town called Jaimanitas. Since then over 80 neighborhood homes have been decorated by the artist creating a sprawling work of public art.
  • Expect mosaics, statues, maze-like passages, and fountains, as well as giant boards and tables at the local chess park that he developed. Yes, you can buy his paintings and ceramics, which helps to finance more decoration in Fusterlandia.

Wander Old Havana

As much a state of mind as a location, Old Havana is the colonial heart of the city and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982. You can enjoy street entertainers hoping for tips, marvel at working 1950s era Chevrolets and Fords, and be hustled by jineteros who’ll offer to find you accommodations and restaurants for a fee. Here are some of the sights in the old city:

  • The National Capital supposedly duplicates the Capitol in Washington DC and was built in 1929 to house senators and representatives.
  • Cabaña Historical Military Park features Morro Castle, a fortress, and a collection of antique arms, including a full-scale battering ram and catapult, 18th-century cannons, and samurai swords.
  • St. Christopher’s Cathedral boasts a baroque facade, a 19th0century neoclassical interior, and a 17-century wooden sculpture of the saint.
  • Producing over five million cigars a year, the Partagas Cigar Factory offers tours at 10 AM and 2 PM. You can stop at their shop, La Casa del Habano, any time to buy a smoke.

Attend a Performance at Gran Teatro de la Habana

The Great Theater of Havana had its first performance in 1837 and is the home of the Cuban National Ballet. The main stage hosts the International Ballet Festival of Havana, which showcases performers from around the world every two years. If you can’t catch the resident company in action, you can often watch operas, concerts, and zarzuelas, a Spanish theatrical performance that alternates between scenes that are sung and spoken.