If you’re a frequent flyer and traveler, not just any credit card is going to suit you. You can probably save the most by using the best airline credit card available for the bulk of your credit card purchases.
But how exactly do airline credit cards work? And how do you decide which one will benefit you the most?
How Do Airline Credit Cards Work?
Not all airline rewards credit cards work exactly the same way, but they all offer some sort of a program whereby you can save money on future airline flights.
For the most part, you earn frequent flyer miles or travel points by buying airline tickets with the card, or sometimes, no matter what items you purchase with the credit card.
“Miles” may correspond to how many miles you’ve actually flown, but they really function like “points” and will not translate into how many free miles you can fly on them. Other times, points are earned based on how much money you spent on buying plane tickets or other specified items with the card.
Finally, you will redeem the points to buy tickets or get a significant discount on a ticket at least. It may be that so many flyer points are needed to get a specific size of discount OR it may be that you need, say, 10,000 points for flight A but 20,000 points for flight B. And greater flexibility comes in when deals like “any round trip anywhere in US for 25,000 points” are offered.
So while there are many variations on the system, all airline travel credit cards get you a free or steeply discounted flight after you use the card enough. Most, but not all, such credit cards give you points based on dollars spent using the card.
What Is The Best Airline Credit Card?
To know which airline credit card deal is best, you have to evaluate how frequently you fly, how liberally the card issuer distributes points, and how much those points are going to be worth.
But beyond the value of the rewards point system itself, here are some other factors to take into consideration:
- When are points credited and usable? Usually points are credited at the end of each billing period. Sometimes, they can only be used after you pay your card off.
- Is there an annual fee? If so, will you fly frequently enough to save more than you pay for the annual fee?
- How much would you save with a direct airline frequent flyer program membership VS with a airline rewards credit card?
- Does the credit card earn points that can be used with any airline or with just one or two? Are your preferred airlines included in the program?
- How high is the APR and the fees? How high is the credit line? How does the card do on categories that are important to all credit cards rather than just the ones specific to airline rewards cards?
- Is bad credit accepted? And will a credit check be run on you when you apply?
- If you’ll be flying internationally, you’ll want to know if the card has no (or a very low) foreign transaction fee.
How Can I Locate My Best Airline Card Deal?
At Bonsai Finance, we can help you quickly find your best deal on an airline credit card via our high-powered online search engines.
Comparing cards one website at a time can be a daunting and confusing tasks, but we make it easy to find cards with your most important criteria. And our helpful staff can answer any questions you may have.
We have helped many others locate their best airline credit card in minutes, and we can do the same for you!