Home Business & Finance Visa/Master Cards The pros and cons of an airline credit card: An unbiased review

The pros and cons of an airline credit card: An unbiased review

Well here is a conundrum every frequent flier faces; to go with an airline credit card or a non-airline credit card? Some might argue that the rewards aren’t what they used to be for an airline credit card. But here we are going to take a look at the pros and cons of an airline credit card so that you can make an informed choice. 

Airline credit cards: The historical perspective

Did you know that airliners were among the first business ventures to offer a personalized credit card with perks like additional flying miles and rebate rates? However, in the past few years, the reward programs are somewhat less rewarding in terms of flyer miles. But there are various advantages to offer still. 

Let us have a look at the advantages of an airline credit card. 

Airline credit card: The pros

About the flier miles

This is the primary feature of an airline credit card like the Southwest Airlines Credit Card where you can access frequent flier miles. You can earn a mile of flying with every dollar you spend and double miles if you are charged by the airline. Add up the miles, and you can access an award flight or various other reward options. 

When tickets are expensive

When you are looking for airline tickets with low advance notice, then the cost usually burns a hole right through your pockets. But with airline credit cards you can redeem the miles on such occasions. Keep in mind that the credit cards are incredibly flexible when it comes to travel dates and destinations as well. 

Associated perks

There are associated perks on offer like the free bag checking, which generally amounts to $25 per trip. You can also access priority check-ins and security clearance during boarding with airline credit cards. 

Now about the disadvantages!

Airline credit card: The cons

High APR

The primary disadvantage of an airline credit card is the high APR on them. You need to find the right credit card based on the interest rates on offer. Find the lowest interest card and use it sparingly to balance out the expenditure while flying around frequently. 

About the annual fees

This is another major problem as most of the airline credit cards have annual fees, and it is not cost-effective for occasional travelers. So keep in mind your requirements before making a choice. 

Undervalued rewards

Lastly, you need to keep in mind that most of the airlines have devalued their frequent flyer programs, so the miles are not worth much these days. Award flight miles have increased, and you will need to fly frequently to access the rewards. Often the non-airline credit cards offer better benefits than the official airline credit cards. 

In conclusion

There are still opportunities where you can use an airline credit card to gain access to the benefits. If you need to book a flight on low advance notice and avoid the peak periods, then these credit cards are the perfect options for you. But if you are looking to save on miles and add the credit for a family vacation, then you might get disappointed. Choose after careful consideration of the details.


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