Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Airline Cards - Great Travel Reward Credit Cards

Rewards by Airline-Based

These cards can be a very good option if you fly one airline consistently. They are not for people who carry a balance, because interest rates tend to be quite high. During the past few years its rates have risen steadily.

Generally budget travelers believe that airline credit cards are a less than attractive option unless you live near an airport dominated by one airline or your company requires a particular carrier. Often it pays to also consider bank-based cards that can offer more reward options.

It is best to look at your finances and travel patterns before you look at specific cards. To travel reward credit cards you should consider some questions.

Please take these recommendations as a starting point for a more personal and in-depth study focused on your individual travel needs. When start your research, have a look at a few selections that worth consideration.

British Airways Visa Signature Card

Very few countries can match British Airways which offers great travel options around the world. The current offer is 50,000 bonus miles for signing up, and you'll get two BA Miles for every dollar spent on the airline's products. Reward partners such as American Airlines and Alaska Airlines combine with British Airways to offer about 600 destinations to which you can fly. You'll get 2.5 miles for every dollar spent with British Airways, and 1.25 miles for every other dollar spent. Chase Bank USA is the issuing company. It is 14.24 percent variable APR for unpaid balances.

The positive review: A large choice of domestic and international flights, and an offer of a second, free companion ticket when you pay full price for the first fare. The negative review: High annual fee of $95, and only U.S. residents are eligible.

American Express JetBlue Card

For those who fly mostly within U.S. borders, this card is set up a little differently from most: Receive one point for every eligible dollar you spend, including gas, groceries, and household bills. One-way award flights start at 5,000 points and round trip award flights start at 10,000 points. The variable APR for purchases is high at 15.24 percent. The annual fee is $40.
The positive review: Relatively short path to the first free ticket; lower annual fee than many other airline cards.  
The negative review: High APR, and JetBlue only flies in the U.S., Caribbean and Bermuda. There are more destination options from other cards.

American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card 

It is worth to have a look at Delta's extensive network of cities and partners around the world. In many fine outlets worldwide American Express is popular, but some budget travelers complain it skews upscale--and therefore is not as useful in their daily lives as other cards. Delta adds 20,000 SkyMiles after your first purchase. The annual fee is waived the first year, and $40 thereafter if you have a qualifying American Express Consumer Charge Card. If not, the annual fee is a rather steep $95. The APR for purchases is 14.5 percent. Miles do not expire as long as you do one of the following every two years: takes a qualifying flight on any Delta service; earns Delta miles through one of its program partners; or redeem miles for any Delta miles award. Not available in Puerto Rico, Saipan and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You can earn double miles for Delta purchases. Beware: though it takes $2 to earn each mile, there is no annual fee for Delta’s  "options" card.

The positive review: Including Air France, SkyMiles are also accepted on 13 international carriers, Air Jamaica and Singapore Airlines. Delta now awards 2,500 bonus miles when you make $10,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year. 
The negative review: The annual fee can hit up to $95 and there is an earnings limit of $60,000 of eligible spending per year.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Visa Signature Card

At the first time to use the card, new cardholders receive up to 16 Rapid Rewards (enough for a free round trip on Southwest). Another eight credits are awarded for balance transfers within the first 90 days and you'll get two credits on your anniversary date of starting the account each year. After that, you'll need to charge $1,200 on the card to earn a Rapid Reward point. It is 14.24 percent for APR.

The positive review: It could be very quick to get a free trip.  
The negative review: There is a $59 annual fee applied immediately -- no one-year grace period as found with many other offers.

Citi Platinum Select American Airlines Advantage Visa Signature

In the first year people use the card without annual fee and up to 40,000 bonus miles after $1,000 in purchases with the card in first four months. This choice combines the resources of a banking empire and one of the North America's largest airlines. It is 15.24 percent for APR.

The positive review: people have a chance to earn lots of bonus points without blackout dates for reward travel.  
The negative review: they will need to pay a steep annual fee of $85 at the beginning of the second year.

No comments: