What's the Best Credit Card to Earn Free Domestic Flights?
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
TPG reader Stacey tweeted me to ask:
@thepointsguy—"What's the best travel rewards credit card to earn free flights for domestic travel?"
The answer to this question depends heavily on another: what airline(s) do you like to fly?
I think the 50,000 point sign-up bonus offers on the Southwest credit cards are a great deal, and are worth over $700 in Wanna Get Away fares. Plus, the Southwest Companion Pass can potentially double the value of your ponits, and if you get it soon, you'll get almost two full years of free companion travel. It's an incredible perk, and it's fairly easy to get if you earn the bonus on both the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card.
As for other options, the United MileagePlus Explorer and the Gold Delta SkyMiles card have offered sign-up bonuses of 50,000 miles in the past year (though not currently). The US Airways Premier World Mastercard and the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard also currently offer 60,000 miles, which is generally enough for two domestic round-trip flights at the saver level. The US Airways card also gets you a 5,000 mile discount on US Airways awards, which is a great perk.
If don't want to be aligned with a specific program, get the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, both of which will give you sign-up bonuses worth $400 or more to use toward booking any flight you want. The advantage of these cards is that you can book yourself on any flight, and you'll earn miles and elite credits for your trip.
Clearly, you have a lot of options, so first decide which airline you'd prefer to fly, and that will make it easier to pick the best card to suit your needs.