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What do you mean by Air Miles?

Air miles is generally related to the airline loyalty programs offered by airlines to their frequent flyers. It is carefully designed to attract regular customers by providing air rewards. On every purchase with these airlines that offer air miles, you get points or air miles. Later they can be redeemed to reduce the ticket charge for your next trip or to get a free air ticket. Many credit cards provide air miles as rewards when you book your air ticket using the card. To avail the air miles feature without having to use a credit card, you have to enroll in the frequent flier’s program offered by different airlines. Some airlines give different names to air miles like CV Points (Vistara Airways), FR Points (Air India) etc.

Can I Earn Air Miles on a Credit Card?

You can earn air miles by using credit cards. Credit cards that offer airline miles are large in number. You can earn air miles on all your purchases but the air miles rate differs depending on the card and transactions. Here are some ways through which you can earn air miles on a credit card.

  • Air Miles as Welcome Gift

Credit cards award free air miles as a welcome gift when you use them for the first time. Basic credit cards will not have this feature. Credit cards with joining and annual fees offer these kinds of welcome gifts. For example, Citi PremierMiles Credit Card, one of the best credit cards to earn airline miles, offers 10,000 Miles as a welcome bonus.

  • Air Miles as Milestone Bonus

Air Miles are rewarded by the credit card companies as a milestone bonus once you reach a specific threshold of the purchase amount. Airline miles credit cards offer them in the form of miles. 

  • Accelerated Miles

Certain credit cards offer extra miles on booking flight tickets through the bank’s affiliated platform. By doing so, you can earn accelerated miles. If you book air tickets through the Air India website or through the Air India Mobile app, Air India SBI Signature Credit Card will credit you airline points.

  • Air Miles Conversion

Some banks offer credit card reward points that can be converted into selected airlines’ air miles. You can choose them for a more flexible earning as well as a redemption rate.  

Redeem Air Miles

Credit cards air miles programs are of two types; co-branded air miles program and general air miles program. You can redeem air miles in both of them.

Redeeming Co-branded Air Miles

Redeeming Common Air Miles

Offered by co-branded credit cards.

Offered on non-specific or common credit cards.

You will have a complimentary membership to the airline’s frequent flyer program. If not, you can register for one and link it to your credit card.

It can be redeemed across different airlines.

You can redeem the air miles directly while booking your tickets on that airline.

Transfer the accumulated air miles to the airline of your choice from the list of eligible airlines while booking a ticket.

Best Credit Card to Earn Air Miles

Here are the top 5 best credit cards for airline miles.

Credit Card

Air Miles

SBI Air India Signature Credit Card

  • For every Rs. 100 spent, earn 4 reward points. 

  • For every Rs. 100 spent on Air India tickets, get 30 reward points.

Citi PremierMiles Credit Card

  • For every Rs. 100 spent, earn 4 miles. 

  • On every airline transaction with partners, earn 10 miles each.

Standard Chartered Emirates World Credit Card

  • For every Rs. 150 spent, earn 3 Skyward Miles. 

  • For every Rs. 150 spent on Emirates transactions, earn 6 Skyward Miles.

Axis Bank Miles & More World Credit Card

For every Rs. 200 spent, earn 20 reward points.

HSBC Premier Mastercard Credit Card

For every Rs. 100 spent, earn 2 reward points. 

*All reward points mentioned can be converted to air miles.


If you have decided to choose one of the best travel credit cards, go for the one that offers a good welcome bonus. Look for credit cards co-branded with the favorite airlines of yours so you can join one of their best airline miles programs.

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