Saving Money with Airline Credit Cards

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This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.

Choosing an Airline credit card is very much a matter of preference. Often it depends on who services the routes for the destinations you fly to the most. Sometimes it comes down to a specific experience that will make you gravitate towards (or away) from a specific carrier. Other times, you may be looking to just gain some lucrative bonus points to put you over the top for that trip you want to book. However you go about your decision we feel these should be a part of your short-list.

AA – Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select Card

aaplatselect

  • Earn: Two miles for every dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases; one mile for all other purchases
  • 10% rebate on miles spent
  • Group 1 boarding
  • First checked bag is free
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year

We love the 10% rebate on miles spent. Sometimes we forget about this and it’s nice to see the surprise in our accounts. We also love that flight can be redeemed for as low as 7,500 points.

United – MileagePlus® Explorer Card

Two free passes to United Club each year

Two free passes to United Club each year

  • Earn: Two points for every dollar spent on eligible United purchases; one points for all other purchases
  • Two United Club passes each year for your travel
  • Priority boarding
  • First checked bag is free
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year

The two United Club passes are very helpful but beyond that this card is pretty vanilla. If you like to fly and accrue miles with United it’s a good way to help raise the points balance.

Delta – Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

deltagoldcard

  • Earn: Two points for every dollar spent on eligible Delta purchases; one points for all other purchases
  • Discounted Delta Sky Club® access
  • 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on all eligible in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and entertainment
  • Priority boarding
  • First checked bag is free
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year

Again, another pretty vanilla card here. If you like flying with Delta and want to bank miles with them, go for it.

Southwest – Rapids Rewards Premier Card

southwestcc

  • Earn: Two points for every dollar spent Southwest flights, and hotel and car rental partners; one points for all other purchases
  • 6,000 points for your cardmember anniversary
  • Bags fly free®
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Earn up 15,000 Tier Qualifying Points for A-List status
  • $99 annual fee

We like the ability to accrue points faster for their coveted Companion Pass which requires 110,000 points—the bonus alone should get you close to half way there. There are also unlimited Rewards seats with no blackout dates or seat restrictions, and no change fees—simply pay the difference in fares; you’ll even be refunded if the new fare costs less. The 6,000 points issues on your anniversary doesn’t hurt either.

jetBlue – jetBlue Plus Card

jetbluetblogo

  • Earn: Six points for every dollar spent on eligible jetBlue purchases; two points at restaurants and grocery stores; one points for all other purchases
  • 5,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary
  • Save 50% on inflight purchases of food and beverages
  • Priority boarding
  • First checked bag is free for you and up to three companions
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $99 annual fee

We like not having blackout dates and the ability to redeem for any seat. jetBlue also has the ability to pool points to share with your family.

British Airways – British Airways Visa Signature® card

ba_avios

  • Earn: 3 Avios for every dollar spent on British Airways purchases; 1 Avios per dollar for all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $95 annual fee

We like British Airways for their mileage-based award chart. You can fly for as little as 4,500 Avios (off-peak for flights under 650 miles). In the US, the lowest tier is 7,500 Avios but it’s still a decent value, especially for last minute flights where tickets are usually extremely expensive. This post provides a couple of good examples where Avios is a worthwhile redemption option.

Use the Card Match tool to reveal your best bonus offers. You’ll be on your way to redeeming those points in no time.

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2 Responses to "Saving Money with Airline Credit Cards"

  1. andy says:

    Don’t forget that you get access to the Citi/AAdvantage reduced mileage awards with the Citi/AAdvantage cards! These are great opportunities to get round trip domestic award tickets for as low as 15750 miles.

    Furthermore, the United MileagePlus Explorer card gives you increased saver award availability, which is great for avoiding the expensive standard award rates.

    Reply
  2. Skip Ryan says:

    Please note: The American AAdvantage card’s first bag free only applies to domestic flights and not international flights.

    Reply

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