When you search for airline cards you may not care whether the card is offered by a bank or is a branded card offered by an airline. You are looking for the best deal you can get.
Credit cards issued by banks may offer more way to use air miles as they are often associated with more than one airline. If you don’t have one major airline that is used in your local area, the bank card may be what you need. Some of the often recommended airline cards are:
American Express Preferred Rewards Green Card
AmEx allows you to transfer points to any of 17 frequent flier programs and gives new customers 5,000 bonus miles just for opening an account.
You cannot use this card for revolving credit as it must be paid off monthly. There is a hefty fee for accounts carried to the next month and a $95 annual fee after the first year, too.
National City Visa Travel Rewards
Miles can be used for many purposes such as car rentals, hotels and even cruises. Good credit can get you a low interest rate of 10-12% and customers earn 2 miles for each dollar spent up to $2500. The minimum miles you can redeem is 25,000 which equals over $300 worth of air travel in the U.S.
For those who plan to use the card frequently the value of no blackout dates imposed is a real benefit. However, the air miles will expire four years after they are earned and can be redeemed only for travel to certain cities. This card is not available in all parts of the country.
Capital One No-Hassle Visa Card
The biggest benefit with this account is that miles do not expire. There is an introductory interest rate and the interest becomes a variable rate after that time.
This card has the benefit of no airline restrictions or blackout dates and there are no fees for balance transfers. Redemptions apply to purchases of a single ticket and there are some rather odd calculations on miles needed for dollars applied.
For those who fly on one airline all the time, the airline cards may be a better option. Interest rates on these accounts are high and have risen even more in the past year.
This restricts use of airline cards to those who pay off their credit card balance monthly as the return in miles is not enough to cover high interest charges monthly. If you live near a major airline hub and travel frequently, the airline miles card is a logical choice.
JetBlue Card (from American Express)
JetBlue has chosen to abandon the huge mileage numbers often added to other similar accounts. Each $200 of purchases charged results in one point added to your miles total.
You need only 100 points for a round trip ticket on JetBlue and you earn 50 points when you open your new account. There is an annual fee of $40 and when last checked the APR was 13.24%. Credit card interest rates are changing rapidly so consumers should check for the latest updates before applying for this card.
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
Linked to American Express, Delta offers flights throughout the US and internationally. New account holders are awarded 20,000 SkyMiles when they make their first purchase with their new card.
After the first year there is an annual fee that is $95 but is reduced to $40 for those who have an AmEx charge card. Delta advertises miles do not expire but you must take action within two years to extend them or use them so reading the fine print is called for here.
Citi Platinum Select American Airlines MasterCard
This is one of the few options connected with MasterCard that offers air miles on a credit card. There is opportunity to earn many bonus miles and there are no blackout dates. After the year there is an annual fee added to the account.
Applying for a credit card that awards air miles as a bonus can add a valuable benefit to those consumers who travel frequently and pay off their credit card accounts monthly.
Before choosing an airline card, read the fine print carefully as some cards offers by banks and airlines have restrictions that may not suit your purposes.
If you frequently carry a balance from month to month on credit cards, you should be cautious about airline accounts as the higher interest rates may cancel out any benefits you might earn.
I would also like to recommend you to read our guide on finding the top rewards program as well.