Credit Cards Frequent Flyer Programmes ITA Airways

All About The New ITA Airways Volare American Express Cards

Since its launch in late 2020 ITA Airways hadn’t introduced a branded credit card like Alitalia used to have with American Express for its MilleMiglia programme. However that is no longer the case as the new Italian flag carrier has launched its own branded Volare frequent flyer programme credit card in collaboration with American Express.

In this post:

How Do The AMEX Volare Credit Cards Work?

These new ITA Airways branded credit cards work in exactly the same way other airline branded cards work. You use the credit card for your daily expenses and you rack up your miles in the Volare frequent flyer programme. Instead of receiving AMEX points you get Volare miles.

How Do These Cards Differ From a Standard American Express?

There are two substantial differences between a normal, non branded, American Express card and the ITA Airways branded cards:

  • + The American Express credit cards issued in collaboration with ITA Airways allow to grow your miles account faster.
  • You can only use the points you earn as Volare frequent flyer miles. You can’t use them for anything else or for reward flights on other airlines as you would do with a standard AMEX credit card

Therefore if you exclusively travel with ITA Airways these cards can be a great opportunity for you. If you travel with more than one airline you might want to consider a different option, such as a normal American Express card.

Which Card Types Are Available?

Just as for the standard AMEX Cards the ITA Airways Volare branded credit cards also come in 3 tiers:

  • Platinum
  • Gold
  • Entry Level Blu (AMEX Green Equivalent)

The higher the tier you apply for and you are part of the bigger the benefits you will receive as a holder.

All About The New ITA Airways Volare American Express Cards

How Many Miles Do You Get On Your Expenses With AMEX Volare Credit Cards?

Depending on the card tier you apply for and that you hold, you will get a different amount of miles on every Euro you spend on your daily expenses. In other words, the premium tiers offer a miles multiplier.

The ITA Airways branded American Express cards will build up miles as follows:

AMEX Card TierMiles for expensesMiles on ITA Tickets and Services
Platinum1.54.5
Gold1.252.75
Blu (Basic)*11.25

*The blue basic card is the equivalent to the Green standard card

What Benefits Do the ITA Airways Volare Branded American Express Cards Offer?

These credit cards will offer benefits both at the moment they are issued and during the years you hold the card. Just as before, even here benefits differ by card tier level:

AMEX Card TierPlatinumGoldBlue (Green)
Welcome Bonus100,00050,00020,000
Spending in 3 months6,000€3,000€2,000€
Points BackYesYesNo
ITA Lounge AccessUnlimited2 per yearNo
Priority BoardingYesYesYes
Fast TrackYesYesNo
Free Extra BaggageEvery FlightEvery Flight2 per year
Status LevelClub PremiumClub PlusClub Smart

Points back allows you to be awarded the equivalent in points for your expenses in ITA Airways miles once you reach at least 15,000 Euro spent per year.

How Can You Use ITA Airways Volare Miles?

Currently you can only use Volare miles on ITA Airways reward flights and services in a Cash&Points system. You can’t use these miles to book on other airlines even though they are part of the same Skyteam alliance. It’s quite a limited frequent flyer programme and quite far from what is usually found in the US. As things stand at the moment there aren’t all that many ways you can use these volare miles if not by travelling on the Italian airline itself.

Should You Choose These AMEX Volare ITA Airways Credit Cards?

Depends on your habits. If you travel exclusively with ITA Airways chances are this is the right credit card for you. If you travel with other airlines too, you might be better off applying for a standard American Express card, considering that you can only use ITA miles with them an no other operator.

Also consider that the sign up bonus isn’t all that generous. It’s likely you’ll find higher signup bonuses for AMEX cards out there. I myself got a Green AMEX card last year which included a 45,000 points signup bonus. All in all I personally prefer the extra flexibility a non branded credit card offers in terms of points transferring possibilities. This is even more the case with the current unclear situation at ITA regarding the future alliance membership. I would wait and see which alliance ITA actually ends up being in for the long term and then deciding if it aligns with our travel needs.

In that respect we should know something more about the Lufthansa-ITA Airways deal outcome by the summer of 2024. So not too long to wait now.

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