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The best cards for your travel: U.S. / Canada – First / Business Class

by on Wed January 1, 2014 • No Comment

la-grande-melaskyline-of-new-york-41ac9005-abb5-49f0-8ecb-893048f18b7aDo you want to sit in the big seat for a special occasion?

Free drinks, the chance to board first, and act smug are all part of the treat.

While First Class flights in the U.S. typically cost about $850 roundtrip, the dirty secret is that the majority of people sitting in those seats don’t pay for them. They’re either upgraded because they fly a lot, or they’re using miles.

You can sit there too.

Your best bet is to earn miles with American Airlines.

They have the most First Class award seats available at the lowest price in our experience.

And stay away from Delta for these awards. They are among the least likely to make First Class award seats available at the lowest advertised price so you’ll probably spend 30% or more miles on many days.

A First Class award on American will set you back about 50,000 miles roundtrip if you pick a Saver level itinerary. High demand flights will set you back 100,000 miles, but you can mix and match – for example going one way at the Saver price and returning at the higher price – making it 75,000 miles.

It’s easy to earn 50,000 American miles quickly via credit card offers. If you already have a card, and it’s been open for more than 18 months you could be eligible to apply again and get a bonus.

Here are some card options. You can use our CardFinder to see which ones earn the most.

Pro tip: Another way to get first class in the U.S. cheaply is via Lufthansa’s Miles and More program. United is a partner of Lufthansa’s and for 35,000 miles round-trip you can get a seat in United First Class for domestic flights. That’s a big savings versus the 50,000 miles it usually costs if you use United miles. While you can’t mix Lufthansa miles with your United miles it’s actually not hard to earn Lufthansa miles within the U.S. thanks to bonus offers for the Lufthansa credit card, as well as the ability to transfer miles to Lufthansa from Starwood Preferred Guest.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived


Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

Still confused? Have a question?

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"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."

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