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Earn A Whopping 50,000 Bonus Miles With These Travel Credit Cards

 @ismati.mangla@ibtimes.com on August 19 2014 3:02 PM
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Both Delta and United are offering hefty sign-up bonuses on their branded credit cards. Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Flying isn’t the only way to rack up frequent flier miles on your airline of choice. Most major carriers offer co-branded credit cards that come with bonus miles when you sign up -- and often feature benefits like free checked baggage, priority boarding and double miles on airfare purchases.

If you’re a Delta or United traveler in the market for one of these cards, now is the time to sign up. Both airlines are touting some hefty bonuses -- namely, 50,000 miles, an increase from their typical 30,000 mile offers. Just remember: Airline credit cards, which typically come with annual fees and relatively high APRs, are for users who pay off their balance at the end of the month. As Daraius Dubash, co-founder of MillionMileSecrets.com, puts it, “Know your limits. These cards require organization to track minimum spending, pay on time, and earn all the bonuses. If that’s not you, skip these cards.”

Here are the best bonus offers around right now:

Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express

Welcome offer until Sept. 8: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 during your first three months. Get a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase within three months.

Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Reward earnings: 2 miles for every dollar spent on Delta purchases, 1 mile on everything else.

Other benefits: First checked bag free, 20% discount on in-flight purchases, priority boarding, discounted Sky Lounge passes.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles American Express 

Welcome offer until Sept. 8: Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after spending $1,000 during your first three months. Get a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase within three months.

Annual fee: $195

Reward earnings: 2 miles for every dollar spent on Delta purchases, 1 mile on everything else. Earn 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $25,000 in a year.

Other benefits: Annual companion certificate, first checked bag free, 20% discount on in-flight purchases, priority boarding, discounted Sky Lounge passes.

United MileagePlus Explorer Visa from Chase

Welcome offer until Sept. 2: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 during your first three months. Earn 5,000 miles for adding an authorized user and making a purchase in the first three months.

Annual fee: $95, waived the first year 

Reward earnings: 2 miles for every dollar spent on United purchases, 1 mile on everything else. Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $25,000 in a year. 

Other benefits: First checked bag free, priority boarding, 2 United Club passes per year

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