At any given time, there is an average of 9,728 planes in the sky, carrying 1,270,406 people with them. Now, can you imagine if each of those people were earning travel points on those flights?
That’s a lot of points to be had. And with airline credit cards, it’s easier than ever to be earning points towards your next flight. Not to mention the added perks many of those cards come with.
But how do you know what is the best airline credit card for you? Are there features you should be looking for when searching for your next card?
Let’s look at how you can narrow down that credit card search and find the airline benefits that are best for you and your travel needs.
Narrowing Down Your Choices
When choosing the best airline credit card for you, there are several different factors that need to be considered.
To make that easier, and less overwhelming, let’s first narrow it down a bit.
Do You Usually Fly with the Same Airline?
If you find that you fly with one particular airline more times than not, then chances are that could be the airline-branded credit card that you should go with. You should have no trouble beginning to rack up loyal points fast.
Or if you find you fly two or three different airlines on a regular basis, it wouldn’t hurt to consider getting more than one card. But at least you’ll have a narrowed choice of credit cards that may work better for you versus any others.
But if you don’t have a preferred airline, or you’ve been one that simply shops for the best deal regardless of airline choice, the next question will help you zone in a bit more on viable options for you.
Do You Fly Domestic or International?
Knowing where you want to travel to can be a big-time help when deciding on which airline credit card to get. Just as not all credit cards are the same, not all airlines travel to your desired locals.
Larger more established airlines fly to practically anywhere you want to go. If you like the flexibility of having numerous destinations and flight schedules at your fingertips, this may be a better option for you.
However, you may prefer domestic flights and have regional airlines close by. Some of these airlines offer unique benefits to their customers and can be a more attractive option to domestic travelers.
Is There a Hub in Your Area?
And if you’re still looking to narrow the field down, take a look at the airlines that fly out of your city. Or maybe even a city close by.
If your town is a hub for any particular airlines, it may be in your best interest to seriously consider their credit card.
Not only will you have better options of flight schedules, you’ll have the added convenience of booking flights close to home.
Choosing the Best Airline Credit Card
Now the first part is over. You have your airlines narrowed down to two or three choices. Maybe even one.
But most airlines don’t have just one card to offer. They usually come with several different cards to choose from.
Now it’s time to look at those options to finally decide which credit card will be right for you.
Is There A Sign-On Bonus?
Sign-on bonuses can be a big incentive when deciding which card to sign-up for. And with good reason. They can equal up to a lot of points towards free travel.
Depending on the value of each airline travel point, those bonuses can equal up to free round-trip flights!
So, it’s definitely worth looking into the value of each sign-on bonus when comparing cards.
Do You Need Added Perks?
How would free checked bags sound to you? Maybe having priority boarding has a nice ring to it? Or even built-in travel insurance for each of your trips?
Many airline credit cards come with attractive benefits for their customers, which can take your travel experience to the next level.
As you’re comparing the different cards, look at the perks that come with each. If you think having lounge access is something you would use frequently, make that a priority. Or if you like having the peace of mind knowing your luggage is covered in case it’s ever lost or stolen, keep that on your must-have list.
Knowing with features you will use, and the ones you won’t, can help you decide which card is the better option for you.
Annual Fee or No Annual Fee?
Usually, the more benefits the card comes with the more the annual fee will be.
If you are one that expects to take full advantage of those benefits, the annual fee may be well worth its price.
However, if the benefits are not something you think you will use much and they aren’t of much interest to you, going with a card that doesn’t carry the annual fee may be your best bet and save you some money along the way.
Choose the Card That Makes the Most Sense
Then finally, once you have weighed the pros and cons of each of these, you’ll start to have a clearer picture of which card makes the most sense for you.
Choose an airline that you can remain loyal to. Make sure the benefits included are ones that will best suit your travel needs. And makes sure any fees are ones that are outweighed by any perks.
Having an Airline Credit Card Can Help You Reach Your Travel Goals Faster
Once you have that airline credit card in hand and watch those points and benefits work for you, you will see your travel goals become closer and closer within reach.
And that s enough to satisfy the wanderlust in us all.
Want to know what the best travel credit cards are for 2018? Click here to find out!