We all need to fly somewhere one of these days. Credit cards help us do that. One strategy for many is the sign-up bonus, another is the bonus points you earn from spending in varied categories. This post is to view several credit cards co-branded with airlines that offer some of the best deals for 2014. Let’s see which ones fit the bill!
Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®
With an $89 fee for the premium version of the card, it better deliver on some great benefits, and boy does it! First, you’ll get 40,000 miles once you spend $3000 in the first three months. Then, you earn two points per dollar on every purchase, meaning you’ll earn 2% back on every dollar spent (and a bit more if you redeem for travel since the card offers a 10% points rebate). Furthermore, you can use your points on any flight that you choose to, not limiting yourself to award availability like other airline credit card frequent flyer programs.
Link: Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
Southwest is a solid option for domestic travelers, as it goes nearly everywhere in the United States (especially the Midwest). With the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier credit card, you’ll receive 50,000 miles after $2,000 in spend within the first three months of opening your account. In addition, you’ll receive 6,000 miles each Cardmember Anniversary. Spenders receive two points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases, and one point per dollar on everything else. The card also has no foreign transaction fees.
American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
American Express is always a great bank to do business with. Their Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card gets you 30,000 Delta SkyMiles when you make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. In addition, a Delta purchase in that same time frame will net you a $50 statement credit. You’ll receive priority boarding and a free checked bag, too! The annual fee is $95, but that is waived the first year.
Business Link: Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card
For those that live on the West Coast of the United States, this card is indispensable. You’ll immediately receive 25,000 miles just on approval. You’ll receive 3X per dollar spent on Alaska Airlines, and 2X per dollar on everything else. The airline is not in a major alliance, but has many partners like Delta, American, and Emirates, making it easy to redeem award travel. This card carries a $75 annual fee.
Many times, it comes down to geography when choosing an airline branded credit card. Should one really have a Southwest credit card if they live on the East Coast? There are better options out there. Same goes for the Alaska Airlines credit card. If you’re ‘all over the place,’ maybe its best to stick with one the ‘big guys’ like Delta, American, or United.
It’s all about the analysis of your travel habits and to see if one card benefits you better than the others. In addition, I would say that a very large sign-up bonus with an airline you don’t normally fly may be a good reason to get a card as well, especially when there is no minimum spend (Alaska Airlines).