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Review: Top 5 Airline CardsAugust 23, 2019
If you are a frequent flier, it’s probably a good idea to apply for an airline card. Before you choose one, take into consideration a critical factor: where you live. Many local airports are dominated by a single airline (for example, Atlanta’s airport is dominated by Delta). In that case, choosing a card of the same airline should prove to be beneficial. However, in instances where airports offer a multitude of airlines, you can choose from a wider range of card options.
Here are some good ones.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: This is a general travel card, and its rewards can be converted into miles for multiple carriers. It offers a bonus of 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Earned points can be transferred at a 1:1 rate with several airlines’ frequent-flyer programs, including United, Southwest, British Airways, Air France/KLM and Virgin Atlantic. Moreover, they are worth 25% more than the standard 1 cent when you use them to book travel through Chase. This card charges no foreign transaction fees and has a variable APR between 17.74% - 24.74%. There is no annual fee for the first year, and then you are charged $95 from the second year onwards. It is recommended for consumers with a credit score between 690 – 850 and it's a great pick for its flexible redemption and sign up bonus.
- United Explorer Card: What makes this card unique from others is that it offers holders two free United Club lounge passes per year and primary rental car insurance. Apart from this, customers can earn a sign-up bonus of 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months that the account is open. Rewards are 2 points per $1 spent on restaurants, hotels and eligible purchases from United and 1 point per $1 on everything else. Finally, you can claim a free checked bag on each flight for you and one other person on your itinerary. The card also offers reimbursement for the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. This card charges a variable APR between 17.74% - 24.74%. It has no annual fee for the first year. After that, you are charged $95. It is recommended for consumers with a credit score between 690 – 850 and can be extremely useful for those who frequently use domestic airlines, especially United.
- Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express: With this card, up to 9 people on your itinerary can check their first bag for free. Too, cardholders get priority boarding and discounted lounge access. You earn a sign-up bonus of 30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Rewards are 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta, and 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases. The variable APR for this card is between 17.74% - 26.74%. There is no annual fee for the first year, after which you are charged $95. Recommended for consumers with a credit score between 690 – 850, it is especially popular for its checked bag benefit and a favorite among frequent Delta fliers.
- Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard: Benefits include a free checked bag for you and up to four other people on your reservation, priority boarding on domestic flights, and a discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases. You earn a sign-up bonus of up to 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles: 40,000 AAdvantage® miles after making $2,000 in purchases in first 3 months and 10,000 after making a total of $6,000 in purchases in first 12 months of account opening. Rewards include 2 miles per $1 spent with American Airlines, at gas stations, and at restaurants, and 1 mile per $1 spent elsewhere. You also can earn a $100 flight discount if you put $20,000 on the card in a year. And when you redeem miles, you’ll receive 10% of those miles back, up to 10,000 miles per calendar year. The card charges a variable APR between 17.99% - 25.99%. The annual fee is $0 for the first year and $99 from the second year onwards. There are no foreign transaction fees. It is recommended for consumers with a credit score between 690 – 850.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card: The unique benefit of this card is that it offers a bonus for booking hotel stays and car rentals through Southwest’s partners, such as Hertz and Hyatt. You earn a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, and a 6,000-point anniversary bonus, regardless of spending. Rewards include 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases, as well as Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. The card charges a variable APR between 17.74% - 24.74% and an annual fee of $99. Recommended for consumers with a credit score between 720 – 850, the card is a great option for frequent fliers on domestic routes.
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