If you travel so frequently that the airport has become your second home, you may want to consider applying for an airline credit card. There’s plenty of travel perks that come along with having one that’ll make it worth your while. Here’s how to get approved for an airline credit card.


What is an airline credit card?

An airline credit card is a co-branded credit card tied to a particular airline. It offers its users rewards in the form of frequent flyer miles. You can earn a certain number of miles for every dollar you spend and eventually redeem those miles for free flights and other travel perks. An airline credit card can be great for you if you fly often for work or pleasure.


Benefits of airline credit cards include:

  • Priority boarding
  • Seat upgrades
  • Free checked bags
  • Concierge services
  • Travel protection
  • Airport lounge access
  • Discounted in-flight purchases
  • Elite membership status
  • Earned miles


How to get approved for an airline credit card

Below are a few steps you may want to consider before you run to your nearest keyboard to apply for an airline credit card.


Have a good credit score

You’ll need a good to excellent credit score ranging between 670 to 850 to qualify for most airline credit cards. The better your credit score is, the better chance you’ll have of getting approved, but it’s also possible to be denied even with an excellent credit score.


Maintain a stable income

Creditors want to know that you make enough money to afford your new credit card and that you’ll be able to pay them back in full and on time. Crunch the numbers to confirm that you can afford to add a new line of credit into your monthly budget. Be sure to account for your mortgage or rent, car payment, and any household utilities, among your other payments, to ensure you can take on an extra expense while still having some breathing room.


Practice good spending habits

Since credit issuers look for a high credit score, having a history of good spending habits is essential to get approved for your airline credit card. Manage your debt-to-income ratio wisely by not maxing out your credit cards. Try to keep a low balance and only spend up to 30% of your credit limit. It’s also beneficial to pay your bills on time and in full every month.


Relationship with your bank

Applying for an airline credit card with your bank or credit union can help your odds of being approved. If you’ve been a member for some time and already have a checking and savings with no overdrafts, your bank may feel more comfortable about extending a new line of credit to you.


Check for prequalified offers

When you’re prequalified for an airline credit card, the lender only does a soft pull of your credit, which doesn’t affect your credit score. Knowing that you’re already prequalified will also help you decide to narrow down which card you want before you apply for a credit card. Many credit card lenders will have a website where you can seek out prequalifications directly.


The Bottom Line

If you travel often and prefer a specific airline, getting an airline credit card can significantly boost your traveling experience with perks like seat upgrades and elite status. Having an excellent credit score and sufficient income will put you in the right direction to get approved. You can also check for any cards you may already be prequalified for and reach out to your bank or credit union for a better chance of approval.