There are many credit cards out there that are co-issued with a specific airline, and these do offer bonus earn, typically at the rate of 2 miles for each $ spent.
But, these typically offer “less” value than points earned though a credit card directly, as points earned through credit cards are a lot more flexible and less susceptible to devaluations — something that the earlines are notorious for.
If you really want to be lazy then there are plenty of cards that offer around 1.5-2% back, but on our blog we look for value beyond what’s easily available. So in the end, in my opinion, you’re only left with two major credit card companies: American Express and Chase.
I typically value American Express points at somewhere around 2cents a piece, so when Amex has increased their Travel Category bonus on their Premier Rewards Gold Card to 3x, this card quickly became a no brainer to use when purchasing air travel from airlines direclty. Essentially you’re getting around 6% back on every dollar spent for an airline ticket that you purchase through an airline.
Chase points are very similar in value to Amex, and like Amex they have a variety of partrners, from airlines to hotels to even AmTrack where these can be redeemed at. The Sapphire card offers 2x points on travel purchases.
Which is better?
Obviously more points is better, but something to consider: Amex specifically states that bonuses are offered only on purchases made directly with the airline, where’s Chase offers their bonus on any travel category — rental cards, hotels, etc. It also comes down to which points you’re collecting and which airlines you use the most, but either way you can’t go wrong with utilizing either one of these.