Best Airline Credit Card Bonuses

One of the ways you can use credit cards to your advantage is to choose rewards cards that offer travel bonuses. You can do even better if you get a credit card associated with one of the airlines. Most of these cards are through major issuers, so you can use them for everyday purchases, while building up miles at a specific airline. If there is an airline that you prefer, you can use an airline credit card to boost your frequent flier miles, and enjoy other perks.

However, you do need to think twice before getting an airline credit card. Airline credit cards often come with high interest rates, so they are not for those who carry a balance. If you carry a balance, it won’t take long for the interest charges to effectively negate the benefits of your airline rewards. Also, keep an eye out for annual fees and other costs. These cards are usually best for the frequent traveler.

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 Credit, Personal Finance, Reviews 

Citi PremierPass Card Review

At the request of a reader, I’ve taken a look at the new Citi PremierPass Elite Card, a multi-airline rewards card similar to many other travel rewards programs out there, and it doesn’t look like all that impressive a program. There are four tiers to the PremierPass Card: basic, Elite Level, CitiBusiness, and a Citigroup Chairman (though only Basic and Elite are technically titled PremierPass). The PremierPass Card was actually SmartMoney Magazine’s pick as the best travel reward program, and in my review of their picks versus mine, I selected no alternative since I’m not a fan of travel reward cards.

Let us compare the Basic & Elite cards against the the Gold AMEX Delta SkyMiles Credit Card.

PremierPass Basic PremierPass Elite Delta Skymiles
Delta Skymiles Credit Card
Annual Fee: $0 $75 $85
Point Accrual: 1 point per 3 miles flown, 1 point per dollar spent, points don’t expire if 1 purchase made in 3 years. 1 point per mile flown, 2 points per dollar spent at supermarket /gas stations/ drugstores, 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere, points don’t expire if 1 purchase made in 3 years. 1 point per mile flown on Delta, 2 point per dollar spent (always double points promotion),
miles never expire.
Sign On Miles: 10,000 points after $300 in purchases within 3 months 20,000 points after $600 in purchases within 3 months 17,500 points
Domestic Restricted* Coach (48 States) 25,000 25,000 25,000
Domestic Restricted* Coach (Hawai’i, Alaska) 35,000 35,000 35,000
Europe Restricted* Coach 50,000 50,000 50,000
Point Value Schedule: Schedule Schedule Calculator

* Restricted means the flight must be booked 14 days in advance and requires a Saturday night stay.

The verdict is if you want a travel rewards card, go with the Premier Pass cards over any of the individual airlines cards. The mileage you need per ticket is identical and you get the flexibility of using multiple airlines, a benefit which is crucial given the recent financial struggles of major carriers. Also, with the basic having no annual fee, carrying this card won’t cost you any money, unlike the Elite or either of the two major airline credit cards.

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