Choosing a good airline credit card makes it easy for you to earn miles on your regular spending, get on a fast track to elite status, and score special airline-related benefits like free checked bags or priority boarding. But making this choice can be tough at times. Here we bring you things to note, and how to choose an airline credit card.
How to Choose an Airline Credit Card (co-branded airline credit card)
A co-branded airline credit card can be a good option if you’re loyal to an airline. These cards are best for frequent flyers who can stay loyal to a specific airline or airline alliance. But if you prefer to shop among various carriers to find the best price you should opt for a general travel credit card instead.
If you like to check bags and score free perks when you fly an airline. Airlines that offer free checked bags can help you save money, and can be a boon for flyers who want to enjoy priority boarding and other special treatment.
If you want airline miles and have a plan to redeem them, these cards might be the best. But note that airline miles might be difficult to redeem especially for big families or during peak travel times which can make them limiting in some cases.
Which Airlines Flies Where You Want to Travel?
Start by figuring out which airline will serve you best. This is dependent on where you live and where you are traveling to.
If you’re unsure, you can do some research online to find out which airlines operate out of the airports you fly out of and which routes they offer. Some airlines have a page on their main website that explains where they fly and where they don’t fly as well.
You can also make use of some airlines websites page dedicated to their routes and offerings.
Which Credit Card Benefits Are You Willing To Pay For?
In as much as some airline credit card gives you loads of value, most of these cards typically come with an annual fee between $95 and $450. The good news is many cards with lower fees will waive it in the first year, offering you 12 months to try out benefits.
These are benefits you can secure with the right airline credit card;
- Discounted airport lounge entry
- Early boarding on your plane
- Free checked bags for you and sometimes several companies
- Elite qualification miles enable you to reach elite status.
- Priority check-in as you arrive at the airport
- Airport lounge membership
- In-flight discounts on food, internet access, as well as other travel incidentals
- Companion tickets that enable a companion fly free
- There’s global entry or TSA Precheck credit.
If you have a fair knowledge of which airline you prefer, you should still take a closer look at the benefits each of their co-branded credit cards offer. Then take a look at airline card annual fees and how their benefits might suffice for paying them.
For Elite Status?
Note that you typically have to fly often to earn even the lowest level of elite status with a major airline, this simply isn’t a consideration for everyone. If you’re a business traveler or you have numerous travel plans, earning elite status and the perks that come with (i.e. free upgrades, priority boarding, free checked bags, more miles on airline purchases, etc.) may be essential.
Another essential thing you should check out before getting that airline credit card is the welcome bonus. Most airline credit cards offer welcome bonuses of up to 60,000 miles if you can spend several thousand dollars within a few months. Ensure that you check on these bonuses and compare them before you decide on whether the required spending threshold is feasible to meet up with.
Note also that airline credit cards are not always the best option for your everyday spending because they rarely give you more than 1 mile for regular purchases. Thus you may want to consider pairing your airline credit card with a general journey that offers better bonus categories and a broader spectrum of travel benefits.
Don’t just assume, check before you apply for that airline credit card, so you can get the best deal that suits your airline needs.