Credit Cards with Free Flights or Travel Credits

Compare credit cards offering free flights and travel credits to find the best travel rewards.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 28 May 2024

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Comparing credit cards with free flights and travel credits

American Express Velocity Platinum Credit Card

On website

Rewards program

Velocity Frequent Flyer

Points per $1 spent

1.25 points

Sign up bonus

60,000 points

Annual fee

$375.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get 60,000 bonus Velocity Points upon applying by 26 June 2024, getting approved, and making $3,000 in eligible purchases with your new Card within the initial 3 months. Offer valid for new Amex Card Members exclusively.
  • Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight between specified cities annually following your first Card spend each year.
  • Benefit from 2 complimentary Virgin Australia lounge passes each year at selected domestic airports.

Pros

  • Receive 60,000 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight between selected cities each year after your first Card spend each anniversary year.
  • Enjoy 2 complimentary Virgin Australia lounge passes each anniversary year at selected domestic airports.
  • Receive 100 Velocity Frequent Flyer Status Credits, when you spend a minimum of $50,000 within your card membership year.
  • Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
  • Get the Amex Experiences App to access information on Platinum benefits, travel offers, events and recommended merchants.
  • Add up to 4 additional cardholders for free.

Cons

  • The interest rates applied to balances carried over is on the high end.
  • There is no balance transfer offer on this card.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

On website

Rewards program

Membership Rewards

Points per $1 spent

1 point

Sign up bonus

N/A

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • No annual fee in the initial year, saving you $195.
  • Accrue 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent at major supermarkets and petrol stations.
  • Access $200 allocated for annual travel expenses, applicable towards eligible flights, hotels, or car rentals when booked through American Express Travel.

Pros

  • $0 annual fee in the first year, saving you $195.
  • Receive $200 to spend on eligible domestic and international flights, hotels, or car hire with American Express Travel.
  • Smartphone Screen Cover for smartphone screen repairs up to $500.

Cons

  • The ongoing purchase rate of 23.99%.
American Express Explorer Credit Card

On website

Rewards program

Membership Rewards

Points per $1 spent

2 points

Sign up bonus

50,000 points

Annual fee

$395.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Obtain 50,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points upon application approval and spending $4,000 on your new Card within the initial 3 months. T&Cs apply. Exclusive to New Amex Card Members.
  • Enjoy a $400 Travel Credit annually for flights, hotels, and car rentals when booked online using this card.
  • Benefit from complimentary domestic and international travel insurance coverage.

Pros

  • The 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when approved and reach spend requirement within the first 3 months.
  • Receive a $400 travel credit every year.
  • Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on purchases except for government bodies in Australia where you will earn 1 point per $1 spent (uncapped).
  • Get two complimentary entries per year to The Centurion® Lounge.

Cons

  • The $395 p.a. annual fee.
American Express Platinum Card

On website

Apply by 25 June 2024

American Express Platinum Card

Rewards program

Membership Rewards Ascent Premium

Points per $1 spent

2.25 points

Sign up bonus

150,000 points

Annual fee

$1,450.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Acquire 150,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points by applying before 25 June 2024, getting approved, and spending $5,000 on your new Card within the initial 3 months. T&Cs apply. Exclusive to New Amex Card Members.
  • Utilize a $450 Platinum Travel Credit annually for flight, hotel, or car rental bookings.
  • Indulge in up to $400 per calendar year when dining at a curated selection of over 1,400 hand-picked restaurants, both domestically and internationally. Terms and Conditions apply.

Pros

  • Receive 150,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Receive a $450 Platinum Travel Credit each year.
  • Enjoy up to $400 Global Dining Credit per calendar year.
  • Access to more than 1,400 lounges globally, including The Centurion® Lounge.
  • Get the Amex Experiences App to access information on Platinum benefits, travel offers, events and recommended merchants.

Cons

  • The annual fee of $1,450.

Credit cards that offer free flights or travel credits are specially designed to reward cardholders with travel-related incentives. These incentives can range from redeemable points for flights to complimentary upgrades, airport lounge access, travel insurance coverage, and more. By leveraging these benefits, cardholders can save money on travel expenses and make their journeys more enjoyable and cost-effective.

"As someone who's travelled extensively for both business and pleasure", David Boyd, the co-founder of CreditCardCompare.com.au, shares, "the significance these cards have brought to my travel planning is remarkable. I remember accruing enough points for a family trip to Bali, which was almost fully covered by rewards from my credit card."

Key features of credit cards with free flights or travel credits

  • Frequent flyer points: Many credit cards entice customers with reward points for every dollar spent. These points can be accumulated and redeemed for free flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses.
  • Complimentary flights: Some premium credit cards offer complimentary flights as a sign up bonus or anniversary gift. These free flights can be a game-changer for frequent flyers looking to reduce travel costs.
  • Travel credits: Travel credits provided by credit cards can be used to offset various travel expenses like airline tickets, hotel bookings, rental cars, and more. These credits can help cardholders save money on their travels.
  • Lounge access: Access to airport lounges can significantly enhance the travel experience by providing a quiet and comfortable space to relax before a flight. Many credit cards offer complimentary lounge access as a perk.
  • Travel insurance: Credit cards with travel insurance coverage can offer peace of mind to travellers by providing protection against trip cancellations, lost luggage, medical emergencies, and other unforeseen events.
  • Concierge services: Some premium credit cards provide concierge services to assist cardholders with travel arrangements, restaurant reservations, event tickets, and other concierge-related requests.

Example use case

Consider John, a small business owner who regularly travels interstate for meetings. John uses his business credit card for most expenses, from utilities to client dinners. Consequently, he earns points, which he redeems for his frequent flights. This saves him money, which he then invests back into growing his business.

What to consider before choosing a credit card for free flights or travel credits

  • Annual fee: Check the credit card's annual fee and determine if the benefits outweigh the costs, especially if you are primarily interested in the travel perks.
  • Rewards structure: Read the credit card rewards, including how points are earned and redeemed and the value they offer for travel-related rewards.
  • Travel partnerships: Check if the credit card has partnerships with airlines, hotels, and other travel providers to maximise the value of your rewards and travel benefits.
  • Bonus offers: Look for credit cards that offer attractive sign-up bonuses, such as bonus points, complimentary flights, or travel credits during the initial months of card membership.
  • Redemption options: Consider the flexibility of redeeming rewards and travel benefits the credit card offers to ensure they align with your travel preferences and goals.
  • Other benefits: Explore the additional benefits the credit card provides, such as purchase protection, extended warranties, travel assistance services, and more, to enhance your overall cardholder experience.