Best Airline Credit Cards of 2018

Hey I'm Adam Jusko from ProudMoneycom and in this video we are going to look at the best airline credit cards, this is credit cards directly from airlines, where you earn rewards directly from the airline

But before we do that I would ask you to please subscribe to our YouTube channel if you have not already and if you have already I thank you for doing so Now in looking at airline credit cards it is difficult to say what is best for everyone because there are many factors that come in and so our list may not be the list for you We'll talk about what some of those things are to consider before we actually go into what those specific cards are So first of all, what you should think about is what airlines do you have access to? If you live in a very large city you might have access to every airline and so it may not really matter when you think about one airline versus the other But if you live in a smaller city you don't have access to as many airlines, maybe only one or two real major airlines service your area

Then obviously it makes more sense to go with a card with one of those airlines than it does to go a different card from somewhere else, even if maybe the specifics look better of that other card You've got to think about how often do you travel? And you have to think about how much you might put on a credit card

The more you spend, obviously the more you're gonna get, and the more it's gonna make sense to pay an annual fee on a card, so that factors in as well How important are things like status to you, and getting into airport lounges? For some people that's very important For some people they just want to build up the points and they want to get free flights, that's pretty much the whole game to them, where other people they're traveling all the time and obviously those airport perks are something that makes sense for them In terms of our assumptions for this video, we're going to talk about someone that is sort of a somewhat frequent travel, not a complete road warrior, but somebody that maybe is putting about 1,500 bucks on their credit card every month, maybe 25 to 30% of that is with an airline — makes sense for us to do that, to talk about someone that is actually making purchases sometimes through the airline, because a lot of these cards are going to give you greater points when you've purchased through the airline If you don't ever do that and you're just trying to compile points, it's maybe a little bit of a different equation here

Companion passes are important to us — being able to not only use our miles but bring somebody else along with us for a discounted price or even free at times is good The lounge access and status are things that obviously are important to some people not important to everyone

so we don't weigh those quite as hard If you weigh them very large in terms of how you look at things then obviously you're gonna have a slightly different equation And finally we are also going to look at cards in a way of thinking of you actually holding on to this card for some time, not getting in, getting the bonus, and then getting out before you pay your annual fee

We are considering cards that you're actually going to hold on to for some time And part of the reason for that is because they're oftentimes, there are bonuses that come with holding onto the card, anniversary bonuses or yearly spend bonuses, that sort of thing So that is part of our assumptions as well So there are 9 cards here Most of these are consumer credit cards but there are also a couple small business credit cards that we're going to talk about too

You may not have a small business, or you may, but if you don't, there may be opportunities for you to even a side business that you have may give you the opportunity to still open a business credit card But if it's completely not interesting to you, you can just look over there during that time that I'm talking about those

So anyway, there are nine cards And the Number One is the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card What we like about this card is you get a bonus of 30,000 miles right at the beginning and you can also get what is essentially a "buy one get one ticket" opportunity if you meet that bonus You do have to pay your taxes and fees on that second ticket but it's essentially buy one and then get a companion pass You get three miles per dollar on your Alaska Airlines purchases Most of these airline credit cards are only going to give you 2 miles on the ones specific to the airline so that 3x is a good deal for Alaska

You get discounted companion passes each year and then you also have partner airlines So on the surface you may look at Alaska Airlines and not necessarily think it is something that is relevant to you, but American Airlines is one of their partners and then you have international things like British, Cathay, Japan Airlines, Qantas and that sort of thing Only a $75 annual fee on this card, so it gives you a lot without there being a huge annual fee to pay, and having that transfer to American is also a big plus for most people Number Two is the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card This card has a bonus, it gives you 35,000 miles if you meet the thresholds, plus you can get a $100 bonus after you make your first Delta purchase with the card, which we are assuming that you will do

In terms of the daily points, it's not all that great — you get two points or 2X miles on Delta, 1 point per dollar everywhere else you use the card You do have a companion certificate opportunity upon your annual renewal each year The bigger spenders of this card have sort of additional bonus opportunities Now I talked about sort of what our person is sort of what our assumptions are of who the actual or average user is in this particular list, but if you spend even more, if you're gonna go over $20,000 or that sort of thing, there are also more opportunities to get greater bonuses Let's see discounted Delta Club passes — a $29 fee that's okay if you really like to get in the lounge but that is a little perk that you have there It's a $195 annual fee for this one The companion certificate in particular, if you keep this card for the long haul, is something that we like and there's also a pretty nice bonus up front Number Three and Four are the two American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Select cards — one being the consumer and one being the business card We mention both of them because as of the making of this video the business card has a 70,000-point bonus opportunity, where the consumer card only is a 60,000-point opportunity

Both of these cards will, in addition to giving you the two points or two miles per dollar on American purchases, will also give you two miles per dollar on restaurant purchases and gas purchases So again if thinking of the normal 2X just on the airline purchases, to get it on some of the other purchases that you are likely to make with this card is a nice advantage There is no annual fee for the first year for either one of these cards, then it is either $95 or $99 depending on if you choose a consumer card or the business card Next is the United Mileage Plus Explorer card Somewhat similar, it has the 2X on restaurants and hotels in addition to the two miles per dollar on actual United purchases

You can get 40,000 bonus miles from that one No annual fee first year and then I think it's $95 after that, I can't even read my own writing here The next so those are sort of the top three or four or five cards Now these next ones are ones that we think are interesting for various reasons but maybe they're not quite as high as those cards that we just talked about The next is the JetBlue Plus card JetBlue obviously a smaller airline, not accessible to everyone, but they give 6 miles per dollar on JetBlue purchases, 2x at restaurants, 1x everywhere else You get a 40,000 mile bonus opportunity plus 5000 every year

A $99 annual fee JetBlue's points or miles aren't necessarily worth as much as maybe some of these other airlines but they're pretty generous with them, so if you fly JetBlue with any regularity that's not a bad card at all Southwest's business credit card is next And the reason that we point this one out is it has a 60,000-point bonus opportunity as of the making of this video The consumer card only a 40,000-point opportunity

This is a $99 annual fee card Southwest is not obviously known for its big perks so if you are a Southwest flyer and you like Southwest then this is sort of the card for you If you're someone that really wants those perks than Southwest is not necessarily the place where you're looking for them, which is why Southwest is a little further down Two more cards British Airways card — big bonuses You can get a 50,000 mile bonus upfront then there's opportunities even for another 50,000 if you spend a lot in that first year, but even that 50,000 at the beginning is good You're gonna get 3 Avios miles for every dollar that you spend with British Airways Now British Airways obviously is not the first airline that a lot of people think of which is why it's further down this list, but it again is another airline that is part of the oneworld alliance — you've got American and you've got other international airlines there too

So, big bonus from them, a pretty decent opportunity to earn miles with British Airways if that makes sense for you And then finally, we haven't really talked so much about cards that have the bigger annual fees Most of them I don't think sort of fit the profile of what we're talking about here, but if you're somebody that does spend an awful lot with your cards, sometimes they can make sense Our favorite of the ones that exist out there is the Delta Reserve card, which gives you a bonus of 40,000 miles plus 10,000 medallion miles You have that opportunity

Sky Club lounge access is part of the card You get an annual companion certificate If you know spend over $30,000 per year with the card you can even get further bonuses, so there's a lot going on on this card It's got a $450 annual fee so you have to be someone that spends a lot in order to really make this worth your while, but it does have some nice features for the frequent traveler especially if Delta is in your area and if you are a Delta fan So that is it a lot to think about there

I would love to hear what your thoughts are about the best airline cards Is there one that's really your go-to card? And are there reasons that maybe I haven't talked about here that you really like it? Thanks for watching Please go to ProudMoneycom where we do other credit card comparisons and personal finance reviews and all sorts of other fun stuff too Thanks