How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

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Credit Score Ranges Required for Popular Airline and Travel Credit Cards

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

If you’re looking for an airline or travel credit card, you may be under the impression that those cards are reserved for people with the highest credit scores.

But many lucrative airline and travel credit cards don’t require anywhere near a “perfect” credit score to qualify. However, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact credit score requirements of a new card since issuers use different credit bureaus and criteria to determine eligibility.

The data listed below shows the low and high credit score range required by major issuers for a particular card.

Know that some issuers also impose restrictions on the number of cards you can have or apply for. For example, Chase won’t approve you for a new Chase card if you’ve applied for more than five cards from any issuer in the past 24 months (known informally as the Chase 5/24 rule), and American Express limits the number of Amex cards you can carry to five.

Know also that issuers will also look at your income and current debt levels when reviewing your application to determine whether to approve you for a card.

Credit score ranges for popular airline and travel credit cards
Low score High score
American Express
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express* Excellent Excellent
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express* Excellent/Good Excellent/Good
American Express® Business Gold Card Excellent/Good Excellent/Good
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Excellent/Good Excellent/Good
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Excellent/Good Excellent/Good
The Platinum Card® from American Express Excellent/Good Excellent/Good
Bank of America
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Excellent/Good Excellent/Good
Chase
British Airways Visa Signature® Card Excellent/Good Excellent/Good
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Excellent Excellent
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card Excellent/Good Excellent/Good
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Excellent Excellent
United℠ Explorer Card Excellent/Good Excellent/Good
Capital One
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Excellent/Good Excellent/Good
Citi
Citi Premier® Card Excellent/Good Excellent/Good
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® Excellent/Good Excellent/Good

As expected, the combined average credit score for the cards mentioned above falls in the good-to-excellent range (670-850, according to FICO). This isn’t a surprise since these cards are often targeted to the banks’ best customers, and people who travel a lot tend to be a bit more well off than average.

What stands out is the lower credit scores for many cards. The credit scores listed above show that you may not need a 700+ credit score to qualify for the best mile and travel credit cards. Some cards like the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card and the United℠ Explorer Card offer wider acceptance beyond just “perfect” credit scores as issuers try to make rewards more accessible.

Credit card approval can also depend on your income or relationship with a bank, or even how many other rewards cards you’ve recently applied for.

| Disclosures
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
on Chase's secure site
N/A
16.74% - 23.74% Variable
$95
5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
750 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
American Express® Business Gold Card
American Express® Business Gold Card
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
15.74% - 23.74% Variable
$295
Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • MORE REWARDS: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases. **
  • **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • AIRLINE BONUS: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • PAY OVER TIME OPTION: Decide whether you want to pay eligible purchases in full each month—or pay over time with interest.*
  • *Terms Apply
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
17.24%-26.24% Variable
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • $100 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, receive a Credit to use toward future travel.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.
660 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
17.24%-26.24% Variable
$450
Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at
  • Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
  • Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits for purchases on the Card at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™. Effective 9/22/22, the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit will no longer be available. It will be replaced with a NEW benefit of up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $450 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
640 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
See Pay Over Time APR
$695
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
720 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

What to know before applying

If your credit score is below 700 and you’re looking to open a miles or travel credit card, keep a few things in mind:

Consider an airline-branded credit card. It’s not clear why, but co-branded airline cards from the major airlines, including American, Delta, Southwest and United, tend to have some of the lowest typical credit scores approved. That means if you have just good or fair credit, you may have a better shot at getting approved for an airline card.

Consider checking prequalified offers. See if you’re prequalified for a card before you apply. Many major travel rewards card issuers, including Capital One, Discover, Citi and American Express, have pre-qualification tools that allow you to see if you have a good chance of being approved before you fill out an application. Pre-qualification helps you shop around for the best card offers without hurting your credit score. While pre-qualification isn’t a guarantee of approval, it can help you narrow down your choices.

Review your credit report. Before you apply for a credit card, review your credit report from all three bureaus so you can make sure everything that’s on there is correct. Credit card issuers can pull one or all three reports from the major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). Applicant comments on CreditBoards.com show which credit bureaus the most reports were pulled from for each issuer:

  • Amex: Experian
  • Bank of America: Experian
  • Barclays: TransUnion
  • Capital One: Tends to pull all three
  • Chase: Experian
  • Citi: Experian
  • Discover: Mix of the three

Once approved for a card, make sure you pay off your balance on time and in full each month. Any earned miles aren’t worth the interest charges and late fees that you’ll incur if you carry a balance month to month or pay late.

Other than that, you shouldn’t be too afraid of rejection. If you have a steady income, aren’t carrying a lot of other debt and a solid credit history, you could be eligible for that coveted miles or travel card.

| Disclosures
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
on Bank Of America's secure site
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases
15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR
$0
unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire. 
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases. 
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions. 
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout. 
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR will apply.
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more points on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 spent.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap. 
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
on Chase's secure site
N/A
16.74% - 23.74% Variable
$99
Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit
  • Limited-time offer: Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 6,000 anniversary points each year.
  • Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass®.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
750 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
on Capital One's secure site
N/A
17.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$95
2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 5 Miles on
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

*The information related to British Airways Visa Signature® Card, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card and Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® have been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

 

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