Which Airline Has The Best Rewards Card?

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Well, the answer to that question depends on your preferred airline, not to mention your travel and spending habits. We’ve compiled a short list of a few cards that will be well worth the traveler’s time to take a look at.

United MileagePlus Explorer Card

If you fly United, this card will get you a free checked bag and priority boarding for each flight. You’ll also enjoy two one-time passes to the airline’s airport lounges. The card comes with a $95 annual fee, and no international transaction fees. You’ll get two miles for every dollar that you spend on United tickets, and one point for every other dollar you spend with the card. You’ll also get 50,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 in the first three months, and spending $25,000 annually will get you another 10,000 bonus points. You can redeem your miles on United or its partner airlines, including international flights. If you use them on United, your reward seats are drawn from a special, separate pool, making them more available to you when you’re ready to book your flight.

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Like United’s card, this one comes with priority boarding on domestic flights, and it provides for one free checked bag for you as well as up to four other people on your reservation. Foreign transaction fees are waived, as is your first $95 annual fee. You’ll earn two miles for every dollar you spend in American Airlines purchases, and one-for-one on everything else. When you redeem your miles, though, you’ll get ten percent of them back, up to 10,000 per years. You’ll also save a nice 25 percent on in-flight food and beverags.

Southwestern Rapid Rewards Credit Card

As with the preceding cards, you’ll earn two points for every dollar you spend with Southwestern, and one point for every other dollar you spend through the Rapid Rewards Plus card. You’ll also get 40,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first three months. After each cardmember anniversary, you’ll get another 3,000 bonus points, or 6,000 if you go with the Premier card. The Plus card comes with a $69 annual fee, and Premier costs $99 each year. There are two notable perks with Southwestern’s deal. First, the point cost of airfare is linked to a seat’s real monetary cost, so you’ll always get a fair exchange rate for your points. And second, points you earn through this card will count toward qualifying for a companion pass; this earns you a free ticket for a companion for the remainder of the year in which you qualify and for the entirety of the following year.

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

This Delta card offers the same rewards rate as the preceding three cards, and it waives foreign transaction fees. You’ll also get priority boarding, a twenty-percent discount on select in-flight purchases, as well as discounted access to the Delta airport lounge. What sets this card apart is that, in addition to your own free checked bag, up to nine other people traveling with you can also check their bag at no cost. Additionally, when you make $25,000 worth of qualifying purchases, Delta’s annual Medallion Qualification Dollar requirement is waived, which can net you a variety of perks and upgrades. Each of these credit cards offers unique benefits, but not every traveler will be able to get the most out of each one. By matching a card to your own spending and flying habits, you’ll be able to get the one that is best for you.