Thursday, February 2, 2023

Which Credit Card Is Best To Buy Airline Tickets

Don't Miss

See Which Card Benefits Will Go Unused

Which American Airlines AAdvantage Credit Card Is The Best Value?

Also, list out the benefits you have with a particular airline card. Premium credit cards with large annual fees offer a long list of benefits such as status boosters, checked bag fee waivers, lounge access and statements credits for enrolling in TSA PreCheck/Global Entry that can easily go unused. Paying a high annual fee without utilizing the benefits can be a waste, so if you don’t travel often, look for airline credit cards with no annual fee or a low annual fee.

Best no annual fee airline cards

United Gateway Card
Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. Learn more.
On Chase’s Secure Website

Best For Luxury Travel Perks: The Platinum Card From American Express

  • Best features: The popular premium card from American Express comes fully-loaded with premium travel benefits, including luxury airport lounge access, Hilton Honors gold status, which entitles you to free Wi-Fi, late checkout and room upgrades , and an impressive list of travel credits thatll help you recoup its steep $695 annual fee. You can also earn 100,000 points if you spend $6,000 in your first six months, which we estimate to be worth around $1,000 when you book through AmexTravel .
  • Biggest drawbacks: The $695 annual fee is a big commitment, so carefully consider whether you travel enough to justify the price. You must redeem travel rewards through American Express Travel and, unlike with many Chase credit cards, you wont get a bonus for doing so. Some of the travel credits come with caveats that make them a bit tricky to track or maximize. For instance, the Platinum comes with up to a $300 Equinox credit but you receive $25 statement credit back each month on eligible Equinox memberships rather than the entire $300 credit at once .
  • Alternatives: The American Express® Gold Card comes with similar perks but at a lower annual fee.
  • Bottom line: This card ticks off all the boxes for big spenders and frequent travelers looking for luxury travel perks, particularly complimentary airport lounge access. But the sky-high annual fee is tough to justify if you only fly a handful of times a year, rarely dine out and hardly ever stay at hotels.

Who Should Skip An Airline Credit Card

  • Last-minute travelers. Airline rewards programs often have blackout dates and seating restrictions, so airline cards may not suit the procrastinator.
  • Balance carriers. If you carry a balance to the next month, you will incur interest charges, negating the benefits of rewards. If you are prone to carrying a balance, consider a top low interest credit card instead.
  • Those who live far from an airline hub. If you live in a midsize city, the airline of your choice may not fly there, making it more difficult to earn rewards.
  • Infrequent travelers. If there are only airline reward offered, it may be difficult to earn enough rewards to make the card worth your while.

Read Also: Does Paying Off Your Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score

Not All Points Are Equal

Remember that not all points are equal. Not every program values their points the same way, and points might take on different values depending on how you choose to redeem them. When you travel, the type of ticket you get as well as other factors go into what points end up being worth. When using your credit card points for airline tickets, make sure you pay attention and do the math.

For example, say I used Southwest Rapid Rewards points to book a flight. I pick out a roundtrip ticket for $312 or for 21,237 points. By dividing the cash cost by the points needed, I can get a value for the points. In this case, $312 / 21,237 = 0.01469, or about 1.5 cents per point. Thats a pretty decent value.

Different methods of redemption, like using the Chase travel portal, give you different point values, so you need to figure out how each program works for you and where youll get the most value.

Our Pick For: Traveling To Ireland

The Top Business Credit Card for 2020: Cashback, No Fee, Travel

The benefit: Companion ticket

How you get it: After your first use of the card for a purchase, and then on your cardmember anniversary each year thereafter. The card’s annual fee is $89.

Details: With the Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®, you’ll be eligible for an economy-class companion ticket upon your first use of the card and every year following, as long as the account stays open and in good standing. Be aware that you must book by phone, and also that the companion ticket is subject to restrictions, plus taxes and fees. In addition, you may also face a weekend surcharge of around $60 round trip.

Don’t Miss: Can You Make Credit Card Payments With Paypal

What Can I Use A Chargeback For

If your airline is still flying but you’re not ready to travel, you can cancel and get a voucher for the value of your booking. And if the airline cancels the flight, youre eligible for a refund.

But let’s say your airline suddenly goes under and you cant get ahold of them. Or maybe your flight has been canceled and the carrier doesn’t get back to you with a refund or simply refuses to help you. In these instances, you can use a chargeback as a last resort to recoup your payment.

The same is true if you booked a hotel, homestay, or excursion booking with a company that has gone out of business or is unresponsive.

Exhaust your options to get a refund from the company first, but if that doesnt work, request a chargeback.

Book With The Card Issuers Travel Portal

To redeem your rewards for airfare via the shopping or travel portal, simply login to the site and search for the flights youre interested in. You will see how many rewards the airfare you want requires.

If you dont have enough rewards, you can usually use your credit card to cover the remaining cost of the ticket. Once done, you can book the flight with your points or miles.

In most cases, you will have plenty of other options from which to choose, such as upgrading your seats to a more premium class, as you book your flight.

Recommended Reading: Is Mission Lane Credit Card Legit

Our Pick For: Delta Devotees

The benefit: Companion certificate

How you get it: Annually, once you renew your card. Terms apply. The card’s annual fee is $250.

Details: With this card, youll score a companion certificate for a domestic main cabin round trip each year . Terms apply .

The certificate can be used for a companion flying on your same itinerary within the 48 contiguous states. If you live in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, the certificate can also be used for certain flights, but check the cards terms and conditions for requirements.

Youll have to book and complete travel by the date thats listed on the front of the certificate.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card: Best Overall Southwest Card

BEST Airline Credit Cards 2022 – Best from United, Delta, Southwest, American Airlines, JetBlue …
  • What we love about the Rapid Rewards Priority card: There are plenty of features to help offset the $149 annual fee. Perks include 25 percent back on in-flight drinks and Wi-Fi, a yearly cardmember anniversary bonus of 7,500 points and a chance to earn a companion pass.
  • Who this card is good for: Loyal Southwest flyers looking for top value on domestic Southwest flights.
  • Alternatives: Travelers looking for more flexibility in the airlines they fly as well as with how they earn and redeem miles will want to look at a general-purpose travel card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

Jump back to offer details.

Don’t Miss: How Credit Card Debt Works

Should You Consider A No

The three biggest domestic airlines all offer credit cards with no annual fee:

  • American: American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card.

  • Delta: Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card.

  • United: United Gateway Card.

No-annual-fee airline cards are best for people who don’t travel regularly but still want to earn airline miles those who get a psychological boost from “getting closer to a trip” with each purchase. NerdWallet doesn’t recommend no-annual-fee airline cards for frequent flyers because while they earn miles and sometimes entitle you to a discount on in-flight food and entertainment, they lack the most valuable benefits of carrying an airline card:

For hardcore travelers, top-of-the-line cards with annual fees in the $450 range may offer all of the above plus VIP service, access to the airline’s airport lounges and other luxury perks.

If you fly a single airline a couple of times a year and you regularly check bags, you’ll easily save more money with an annual-fee card than with a no-annual-fee option. But if you’re dead-set against paying annual fees in any case, consider skipping an airline card entirely. Consider a no-annual-fee general-purpose travel credit card whose rewards can be used on any airline , or get a good cash-back credit card and save your cash rewards for your next trip.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

OneWorld member Alaska Airlines offers travelers excellent value across the board, particularly in terms of earning potential, average airfares, and general service. Alaska is the fifth largest airline in the U.S. with a focus on West Coast service, underserved markets in the Pacific Northwest, as well as Canada, Mexico, and Central America. By Alaskas math, Mileage Plan members earn 30% more miles than with other domestic loyalty programs. While Alaskas fees are on par with other domestic carriers, its flexibility around ticket changes and rebookings make it a favorite among flyers.

Also Check: How To Apply For Chase Credit Card

Where You Can Use Delta Skymiles

Delta is part of the SkyTeam airline alliance, which consists of more than a dozen airlines to which you can transfer miles. The sheer number of airlines in this alliance makes Delta SkyMiles a highly dynamic airline rewards currency:

  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Xiamen Airlines

Note, unlike typical credit cards, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all.

Avoid Cancellations Lost Baggage And Travel Accidents

Consumers are Now More Interested in Travel Credit Cards, Best for ...

When booking a flight using a credit card, you should always look for the travel protection that your card offers. The benefits may include trip cancellation, lost baggage, and flight accidents. Whether you choose the right plan depends on your travel needs, but many credit card companies offer some type of coverage. Many credit card companies also offer trip delay coverage. This type of coverage kicks in when your flight is delayed for an extended period of time. If you have any of these issues, your card company will reimburse you and arrange a new itinerary.

You May Like: How To Check Mastercard Credit Card Balance

Best For Unlimited Miles On Purchases: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

  • Best features: This premium travel rewards card from Capital One comes loaded with high-end benefits, including a large sign-up bonus, unlimited miles in all purchase categories , lounge access and a credit worth up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Biggest drawbacks: The $395 annual fee is a bargain compared to other premium credit cards, but it might still be too much for some.
  • Alternatives: While the Chase Sapphire Reserve does have a higher annual fee than the Venture X, it also offers more in terms of redemption value. Youll get 50% more value from your points when you redeem for travel with Chase .
  • Bottom line: This card is a great fit for travel enthusiasts with excellent credit who plan to take advantage of enough premium benefits to make the annual fee worth it. But if you dont spend much on hotels, flights, or car rentals, a card with a smaller annual fee may make more sense.

Read our Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card review or jump back to this cards offer details.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best For Flexible Travel Rewards

  • What we love about the Venture Rewards card: Capital One makes it easy for travelers to earn both a high rewards rate on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and a generous flat rate of 2X miles on all other purchases. Plus, the ability to redeem miles for statement credits toward travel purchases made within the past 90 days adds a unique dimension of flexibility compared to other flat-rate cards.
  • Who this card is good for: Travelers who want the freedom to earn boosted miles on any eligible purchase and transfer miles to different travel partners without being tied to a single airline or hotel chain .
  • Alternatives: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card could provide better value. Points are worth 1.25 cents when booking travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal25 percent more than the value of the Venture Rewards mile.

Jump back to offer details.

You May Like: How Much Credit Card Debt Is The Average American In

Best Personal Cards For Buying Airline Tickets October 2022

Below Ill talk about what I consider to be the best personal cards for airline ticket purchases. With each card Ill note the rewards points offered, how much I value those points, and the travel protection offered, if any.

Ill be sorting these cards based on a combination of my perceived value of the points offered plus the travel protection offered, if any. Some cards also offer extra bonus points when you book through a credit card portal, so Ill note when thats the case .

Everyone will have to decide for themselves how much they value the travel protection in comparison to the rewards points offered.

Reward for airline spending: 5x Amex Membership Rewards points Card annual fee:

Reward for airline spending: 2x Capital One Venture miles Card annual fee: $395Foreign transaction fees: noneTravel protection: trip cancelation and interruption coverage, trip delay coverage, lost luggage coverage

The Capital One Venture X offers 2x Venture miles on all purchases, so this isnt even a bonus category, but rather just a very well rounded return on spending, along with great travel coverage. Furthermore, if you book through Capital One Travel, then you can earn 5x miles on airfare purchases. Dont be alarmed by the annual fee, as the card offers a $300 annual Capital One Travel credit plus 10,000 bonus anniversary miles.

Is It Better To Earn Rewards Points Or Airline Miles On A Credit Card

BEST Credit Cards for Travel

Much of the time, points and miles are effectively interchangeable: Both are earned when you spend and may be redeemed in various ways. Still, it can be valuable to crunch the numbers to figure out whether a miles-earning card or a points-earning card offers you the most value when you choose to redeem them.

Read Also: What Visa Card Should I Get

Who Should Get An Airline Credit Card

  • Airline loyalists. If you often use a specific airline, an airline card can deliver boosted rewards and superior redemptions.
  • Frequent flyers. Want to earn lots of points or miles? Youll earn more if youre often traveling with your favorite airline.
  • Big shoppers. Many airline cards have an annual fee, so youll need to plan on using your card enough to recoup the cost of that fee.
  • Fine print readers. The rules of an airline rewards program can be tough to navigate, so make sure you are prepared to follow them.

Are Airline Credit Cards Worth It In 2022

If you travel frequently and tend to fly the same carrier each time, a good airline credit card could help you earn loyalty points faster. They could also entitle you to benefits that make flying more enjoyable or cost-effective, like priority boarding, a free checked bag, elite status and upgrades, when available.

While travel restrictions have mostly relaxed since the early days of the pandemic, you still may be traveling less than you did before Covid. Its important to carefully consider how often you plan to fly within the next year or so before deciding on whether to get an airline credit card.

Of course, if the card has no annual fee, we say its a no-brainer. While youre waiting around for your next trip to roll around, you may as well be accumulating points or miles to fund future getaways. If the card has an annual fee, you have more to think about, but the logic is the same. As always with an annual fee card, you should make sure that your estimated yearly rewards value is greater than the cost of the annual fee. If thats the case and youre OK with delayed gratification, theres no reason not to start earning points and miles while youre between trips.

When assessing whether or not an airline credit card is a good option for you, here are 5 things to look at:

Don’t Miss: How To Boost Credit With Credit Card

Earn Frequent Flyer Status

A popular way to earn frequent flyer status on a given airline is to book your flight with a credit card. Many airlines offer credit cards that allow you to earn frequent flyer status if you spend a certain amount of money on the card every year. These cards can cost quite a bit of money annually, but they can also make it easier for you to meet elite status requirements. The only downside is that you may not be able to use these cards on every single flight.

More articles

Popular Articles