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Coffee, Tea or Credit?

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A few days ago I was on a Delta flight heading back to Atlanta from New York City. The flight attendants had just served the snacks. I opted for the biscotti-like cookies because I simply can’t say no to those things.

So I’m relaxed, eating cookies and reading my Kindle when I hear this announcement: “We’ll be coming through the aisles to offer you the opportunity to become a SkyMiles member and to apply for a Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card.” My relaxation was officially over. I put on my credit card hat and requested the application.

There were repeated announcements about the card’s features, such as the perk of being able to check a bag for free. This type of marketing certainly gets your attention after you’ve just paid $23 to check one bag. And the promise of 25,000 bonus miles (basically a free flight) if you meet certain criteria doesn’t hurt either.

The competition among travel—and especially airline-branded—rewards credit cards has been getting intense. That’s why you see some amazing bonus offers. Remember the Match My Miles Challenge by Capital One’s Venture Rewards Credit Card? That promotion matched your miles on any airline credit card up to a 100,000 miles per card. It was such a hit the promotion ended much earlier than expected.

I think the competition has encouraged the airlines to become a little creative when it comes marketing. On a plane, you’re a captive audience. Personally, I didn’t like having to listen to a mid-flight credit card spiel. If this happens to you, just be sure you take the time to research other credit card offers before making a decision. There are a lot of choices and many of them give you the flexibility to fly on any airline.

What about you? Have you been handed a credit card application during a flight?

Image: KatieMadeline, via Flickr.com

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