What is a Airline Credit Card

by John_S on October 10, 2010

Airline credit cards enable holders to earn points for car rentals, hotel bookings, and free flights among other things. These cards also help you make savings by earning points valid for 250 major airlines, with which you can fly for free. In addition, airline credit cards are an excellent option for people who are regular passengers on one particular airline. Sustaining a balance on these cards is not a great idea as they carry high interest rates, which have been continuously on the rise in recent years. Basically, airline credit cards are suitable if you live near an airport served by one major airline or you are committed to a single carrier for whatever reason (safety, comfort, free air miles, etc).   

Аs with all credit cards, it pays to shop around and weigh different options. Below is a list of the most popular ones you may choose from.

Delta is a global travel leader with a vast network of partners and destinations around the world. Currently, Delta and American Express have a joint offer for loyal customers of American Express as well as for new clients. Delta advertises 20,000 free miles on its flights after the first purchase with American Express. For those who own an American Express Consumer Charge Card, there is no fee in first year and USD 40 thereafter. If you do not own this card, the fee is $95 a year. The annual interest rate is 13.24 percent. On the minus side, your miles will expire unless you fly, earn miles on Delta through a partner of the company, or get miles for Delta awards. The company also offers a card without a fee, but you have to pay $2 for each mile. The Delta Sky miles option is valid with 13 international carriers. Delta also offers 2,500 free miles on every $10,000 spent in a calendar year. On the minus side, the company has set a $60,000 limit per year.

Another offer worth considering is advertised by Southwest Airlines and Visa. New Visa Signature cardholders receive eight rewards immediately (the first time they use the card) and another eight for transferring balance on it within the first three months. The 16 rewards will get you a free round trip on this airline, which is a key perk. One disadvantage is the annual fee of $59, which is charged immediately after your application for an airline credit card is approved.

A third offer is by American Airlines and MasterCard. This is one of the few possible MasterCard options, along with Continental. Without an annual fee the first year, the companies offer up to 25,000 bonus miles after you charge at least $750 on the card in the first four months. The annual interest rate is 13.24 percent. The annual fee rises to $85 during the second year.  With the American Airlines AAdvantage Program customers earn air miles faster by setting up recurring payments or adding an authorized user to the account. The list of reduced mileage award destinations includes the Southwest, Southeast, Midwest, Northeast, Mountain, West Coast, and Canada. Award travel is valid for couch class, business, and first class. However, mileage awards can be claimed only from the primary card account of customer. Am additional payment of $20 is due for award travel.

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