Are AIRLINE CREDIT CARDS Worth It?

Are airline credit cards worth getting? If you’re looking for a good travel credit card to earn points and miles for a future trip, the answer may seriously surprise you! Click “Show More” to see Ad Disclosure.

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QUESTION: Are airline credit cards worth it?

ANSWER: YES! But only for specific situations.

TOPIC #1: AIRLINE CREDIT CARDS ARE GENERALLY BAD FOR EARNING TRAVEL REWARDS ON EVERYDAY SPEND

Examples…

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
(Avg. value of 1 mile = 1.4¢)
2X American Airlines = 2.8% return
2X Restaurants = 2.8% return
2X Gas Stations = 2.8% return
1X Other Purchases = 1.4% return

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card
(Avg. value of 1 mile = 1.1¢)
2X Delta Air Lines = 2.2% return
2X Dining = 2.2% return
2X Groceries = 2.2% return
1X Other Purchases = 1.1% return

United Explorer Card
(Avg. value of 1 mile = 1.4¢)
2X United Airlines = 2.8% return
2X Dining = 2.8% return
2X Hotels = 2.8% return
1X Other Purchases = 1.4% return

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
(Avg. value of 1 point = 1.3¢)
3X Southwest Airlines = 3.9% return
2X Rapid Rewards Hotel & Car Rental Partners = 2.6% return
2X Transit & Commuting = 2.6% return
2X Internet, Cable, Phone, Select Streaming = 2.6% return
1X Other Purchases = 1.3% return

COMPARISON TO GENERAL TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS

Citi Premier Card
(Avg. value of 1 point = 1.7¢)
3X Restaurants = 5.1% return
3X Supermarkets = 5.1% return
3X Gas Stations = 5.1% return
3X Air Travel & Hotels = 5.1% return
1X Other Purchases = 1.7% return

American Express Gold Card
(Avg. value of 1 point = 1.8¢)
4X Dining = 7.2% return
4X U.S. Supermarkets (up to $25K spent) = 7.2% return
3X Flights = 5.4% return
1X Other Purchases = 1.8% return

Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card
(Avg. value of 1 point = 1.8¢)
5X Travel (portal) = 9.0% return
3X Dining = 5.4% return
3X Online Grocery = 5.4% return
3X Select Streaming = 5.4% return
2X Other Travel = 3.6% return
1X Other Purchases = 1.8% return

TOPIC #2: AIRLINE CREDIT CARDS ARE GENERALLY BAD FOR EARNING MILES ON YOUR PREFERRED AIRLINE

1. If you have a credit card that earns…
– Amex Membership Rewards points
– Chase Ultimate Rewards points
– Citi ThankYou points (currently only Citi Premier Card)
– Capital One Venture / Spark miles

…then you can transfer points to other airline programs, including Delta SkyMiles, United MileagePlus, Southwest RapidRewards, and others, many at a 1:1 ratio (e.g. 10,000 points = 10,000 miles)

2. Cards like the Amex Gold Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Citi Premier can transfer points into other airline programs, so using these general travel cards can often earn more miles, faster than airline credit cards.

TOPIC #3: AIRLINE CREDIT CARDS ARE GENERALLY BAD FOR FLEXIBILITY

– The miles you earn are only valuable for FLIGHTS on ONE primary airline and its partners.

– Contrast that with general travel credit cards, which earn points that can be used on virtually any airline, hotel, car rental, cruise, etc.

TOPICS 4, 5, & 6: AIRLINE CREDIT CARDS ARE GENERALLY GREAT FOR:

1. Earning miles quickly via welcome offers (e.g. big signup bonuses)
2. Earning elite status through spend (i.e. earn status from home while not traveling)
3. Perks & benefits (e.g. priority boarding, free checked bags, inflight discounts, etc.)

Disclosure: 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. The content in this video is accurate as of the posting date. Some of the offers mentioned may no longer be available. Mark Reese is not a financial advisor.

#travelcreditcards #airlinecreditcards #bestcreditcards