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5 Tips for Choosing the Right Airline Credit Card

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Airline rewards credit cards allow you to earn points or miles that you can accumulate and redeem for free flights. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or you only take an annual vacation, an airline credit card can help you offset the cost of travelling. Here are a few things you should consider when you’re choosing an airline credit card.

Look at the signup bonus.

A signup bonus is a lump sum of rewards you can earn if you spend a certain amount of money on your credit card within the first few months (usually three months) of opening your credit card. Depending on the credit card, the signup bonus may be large enough for a free flight. The signup bonus alone can push a credit card to the top of your list.

Consider the annual fee.

Don’t overlook a great airline rewards credit card simply because it has an annual fee. Consider your credit card spending and your potential for earning rewards. If you can earn enough rewards to offset the fee – or if the credit card has other perks you can take advantage of – paying the annual fee might be worth it. Some airline credit cards even waive the annual fee in the first year.

Assess your loyalty to an airline.

Some airline rewards credit cards are affiliated with a specific airline brand. You’ll get the most out of your rewards when you redeem them for flights with their airline. You may be able to transfer your airline miles to another credit card, but you may lose some rewards in the conversion. Other airline or travel credit cards allow you to accumulate rewards that can be used with any airline. When you’re choosing an airline credit card, consider whether you want the flexibility of choosing any airline or you prefer to remain loyal to your favorite airline.

Examine the rewards program.

You can accumulate rewards much faster if the credit card allows you to earn rewards on all your purchases. That means every time you swipe your credit card, you’re earning rewards toward your next flight. Other the other hand, some airline credit card only allow you earn rewards on airline purchases, which means it could take longer to earn enough rewards for a flight unless you’re a frequent flyer.

Look at the fees for foreign purchases.

Many credit cards charge an additional fee on purchases made in currencies other than U.S. dollars. The typical foreign transaction fee is 3% of the purchase amount. That can add up if you’re spending a lot of money on an international trip. Choosing an airline credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee will help you save on purchases you make when you travel to other countries.

You’re not limited to just one airline credit card. If you spend enough and can afford to repay the balances you charge, you can use multiple credit cards to maximize your airline rewards. With airline credit cards, it’s important that you avoid paying any interest; doing so would offset the rewards you’ve earned. Always pay your balance in full and on time each month to get the most out of your airline credit card.

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Comments 1

Frank on Friday, 23 February 2018 14:28

The biggest rule of thumb is to stick to the airline once you have selected one. Unless you spend a LOT of money, it just doesn't make sense to divide it out among a lot of airlines. Stick with one.

The biggest rule of thumb is to stick to the airline once you have selected one. Unless you spend a LOT of money, it just doesn't make sense to divide it out among a lot of airlines. Stick with one.
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Monday, 19 August 2019

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