If you want to enjoy cheaper flights or free upgrades on your air travel then an airline or airmiles credit card might be worth a look.

Whenever you spend on this type of card you rack up miles or points associated with certain frequent flyer reward schemes. 

These can then be converted into free flights (with just the taxes and charges to pay on top), upgrades or other useful holiday discounts on things like hotels or car hire.

British Airways Executive Club members, for example, need to build up Avios, while Virgin Atlantic's Flying Club members need to earn Flying Club Miles to bag discounts with the airline.

We've rounded up the best airmiles and airline reward credit card available right now.

British Airways American Express

The British Airways American Express card allows you to build up Avios. 

With it you can earn one Avios for every £1 you spend. 

As a bonus offer you get 3,000 bonus Avios if you spend £500 within the first three months of getting the card. 

Each year you are able to spend £20,000 you will also get a companion voucher, which will be valid for 12 months. You just have to pay the taxes and fees for each ticket on top.

The representative APR on this card is 22.9%.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

You can earn far more Avios with the British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card, which pays 1.5 Avios for every £1 spent on the card.

That's 50% more than the fee-free the British Airways American Express card. You'll also be able to rack up three Avios for every £1 spent with British Airways or BA Holidays.

However, it comes with a hefty £195 annual fee, so you'll need to ensure you earn enough rewards to effectively cover that charge.

As an introductory offer, you get 18,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 in your first three months with the card.

You also can get a complimentary companion ticket if you spend £10,000 or more each year, which is valid for 24 months.

The representative APR for the Premium card is a whopping 76% with the fee taken into account.

Virgin Atlantic White 

Virgin Atlantic's White Credit Card Account is a fee-free airmile reward account that comes with one American Express card and one Visa card to build up Flying Club Miles with.

Earn one Flying Club Mile for every £1 you spend on the Amex card and for every £2 on the Visa.

You'll get a bonus of 3,000 Flying Club Miles on your first purchase within 90 days of opening your account.

If you apply before 3 April 2017 you can get an additional 7,000 bonus miles if you manage to spend a total of £1,000 in the first 90 days.

Flying Club Miles can be used to get free or reduced Virgin Atlantic flights (plus taxes and charges), cabin upgrades (which is where the account really comes into its own) and companion tickets.

The representative APR on the account is 22.9%.

Virgin Atlantic Black

The Virgin Atlantic Black Credit Card Account offers double the benefits for an annual fee of £140.

With this account you get two Flying Club Miles for every £1 spent on the Amex and one Flying Club Mile for every £1 spent on the Visa.

As soon as you make a purchase on either of the cards within 90 days of opening the account you’ll get 18,500 Flying Club Miles.

The representative APR is 57.4% with the fee taken into account.

Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards Credit Card

The Lloyds Avios Rewards Credit Card helps you earn Avios points using two cards; an American Express and a MasterCard linked to the same account.

You can earn 1.25 points for every £1 spent on the Amex and 1.25 points for every £5 spent on the MasterCard. New customers get double Avios in their first six months with the account.

The account also gives you fee-free transactions abroad and a flight upgrade voucher if you spend more than £7,000 in one year.

The card attracts a £24 annual fee, making the representative APR 23.7%.

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Flybe Credit Card

The Flybe Credit Card offers the Spend&Fly loyalty programme. Unlike other airmiles credit cards there’s no points system, instead you’ll get free flights based solely on the amount you spend.

You can get a free return flight when you spend £250 within the first six months. You'll just have to pay taxes and charges.

Here’s what you can get based on how much you spend thereafter:

Credit card spend

Area

Reward

£4,000

UK

Free Just Fly or Get More UK bonus return flight

£5,500

UK

Free All In UK Bonus Return Flight

£6,000

EU

Free Just Fly or Get More European Bonus Return Flight

£7,500

EU

Free All In European Bonus Return Flight

When you reach certain spending thresholds, you qualify for a different class of free flight. Just Fly and Get More are the basic tiers of ticket, while All In offers more additional benefits.

Other perks of the card include discounts on airport parking, Avis car rental and hotels, as well as commission-free travel money.

The representative APR with the Flybe card is 18.9%.

Etihad Guest

If you're a regular flyer with Abu Dhabi’s national airline, Etihad Airways, the Etihad Guest Credit Card Account (powered by MBNA) could be rewarding.

The account comes with an Amex and a Visa card to rack up points with.

You can earn 1.5 Etihad Guest Miles for every £1 spend on the Amex and for every £2 spent on the Visa.

As an introductory bonus, you’ll get 5,000 miles if you spend a minimum of £250 on the card within the first 90 days.

The card also charges no interest for 12 months on Emirates flight purchases and 0% on balance and money transfers for six months (3% fee applies).

The card is fee-free and has a representative APR of 22.9%.

Emirates Skywards

Emirates has a similar reward scheme to Etihad and there are two sets of credit cards that allow you to collect Skywards Miles. The fee-free option is the Emirates Skywards account.

Again, you get an Amex and a Visa, with one Skywards Mile for every £1 spent on the Amex and one for every £2 spent on the Visa. You’ll get double points when making purchases directly through Emirates Airline.

You'll earn 5,000 Skywards Miles when you make your first purchase, within the first 90 days.

The card also offers 12 months interest-free on Emirates flight purchases as well as 0% on balance and money transfers for six months (2% fee).

The representative APR is 22.9%.

Compare airmiles and airline credit cards