Airline Credit Cards / Travel cards, in general, are often a favorite for consumers, and in particular, branded airline cards. Most major airlines have branded credit cards. In addition to the features of a traditional card, airline rewards credit cards will usually have the opportunity to earn additional points or rewards that can be used to purchase airfare or upgrades on airline tickets, amongst other things.

Many people are loyal to a certain airline, whether it’s due to convenience or preference, making branded airline credit cards a good option for them. Airline credit cards tend to have some of the highest-value rewards on the market as well.

Highlighting Some of the Biggest Airline Rewards Cards

While there are numerous airline credit cards to choose from on the market, some tend to rank better in terms of perks, bonus offers, and other card features.

For example, the United Explorer Mileage Plus Card earns new cardholders 40,000 miles for spending $2,000 in the first three months and includes a $100 credit for bag-checking fees on round trip United Airlines Flights.

The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card is an American Express card that earns two miles for every dollar spent on Delta purchases, and one mile for every dollar spent on other purchases.

The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard includes the ability to earn 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening an account, while also giving the customer the advantage of having preferred-boarding status on most American Airline flights.

Does Having Multiple Airline Credit Cards Make Sense?

In some cases, it can be advantageous to have credit cards from multiple airlines. For example, if someone is a frequent flyer, but they split their flights between 2 or 3 airlines, it might make sense to have multiple cards for each of those airlines.

However, because of the perks and added features, many airline credit cards have relatively high annual fees. Before getting multiple airline cards, it’s a good idea to evaluate how often you’re flying and whether or not the annual fee will pay for itself with each card. It’s true with any card, not just airline cards, that it’s important to be able to justify the expense of an annual fee.

Sometimes people will sign up for multiple airline cards to take advantage of sign-up bonuses, but it’s important to make sure you’re not overspending to get these offers. For example, if you’re spending thousands to earn a sign-up bonus and you’re doing that several times, is it worth it?

Do Airline Miles Ever Change in Value?

Many airlines try to keep their miles consistent over time, but there can still be changes to be aware of. First, the miles you earn don’t change their value. Instead, what you need for redemption might change. This is because airlines will look at the average fares of flights at any given time to determine how many miles would be needed to cover a trip.

Also, if you wait until closer to departure time to book, you’re likely going to get less value from your miles because the cost of the flights goes up the closer to the trip it is. There are numerous businesses out there that help you track when the optimal time to buy flights is, with Fly.com being among the best flight-shopping sites.

A Few Perks That You May Experience with an Airline Rewards Card

Many airline cards come with some great perks in addition to the ability to earn rewards. Some of the perks that are common with airline cards include:

  • Free checked bags, at least on the first bag as long as you book your tickets with your airline card.
  • Companion passes can come with some travel cards, although this benefit is more limited than it once was.
  • Priority boarding
  • Seat upgrade opportunities.

Overall, if you fly maybe even a few times a year, an airline credit card can be a good option. To compare and decide which one is right for you, think about the rewards structure and how easy or difficult it is to earn rewards that will be valuable. Also, think about the annual fee and how long it will take the card to pay for itself.

If you’re considering multiple airline cards, be aware of the costs that come with each, and ensure that you’re going to be maximizing the value of each.

 

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