Home > Credit Cards > Ditching United? Here Are 4 Solid Airline Credit Card Alternatives

Comments 0 Comments

[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners here —Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard and JetBlue Plus Card from Barclaycard. Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

With video of a passenger being dragged off one of its planes going viral, United Airlines has faced public outrage all week. The company vowed to no longer have police remove passengers from overbooked flights, but some consumers may still feel wary. (United Airlines did not respond to Credit.com’s request for comment by press time.)

If you’re thinking about taking your business elsewhere, these four cards from other airlines may be worth considering.

British Airways Visa Signature Credit Card

Why We Picked It: A sweet signup bonus and the opportunity to earn a companion ticket.

Rewards Details: Travelers earn 50,000 bonus Avios, (the British Airways version of points), after spending $3,000 in the first three months. They’ll earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after they spend $10,000 within the first year. In terms of rewards, cardmembers receive three Avios per dollar on British Airways purchases and one Avio per dollar on everything else. Every year you spend $30,000, you’ll earn a Travel Together ticket good for two years, allowing you to bring a companion on a reward flight without using additional Avios.

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable 16.74% to 23.74%

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Why We Picked It: This card offers a competitive rate of return and a rarely seen points redemption.

Rewards Details: In-flight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights net a 25% discount while members earn two miles for every dollar spent on AA purchases and one mile per dollar on everything else. Redeem your miles, and you’ll get 10% back, up to 10,000 miles per year. Spend $1,000 in the first three months, and you’ll earn a 30,000-point bonus. [Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.]

Annual Fee: None the first year, then $95

APR: Variable 16.49% to 24.49%

JetBlue Plus Card From Barclaycard

Why We Picked It: This popular card offers a stellar rate of return for loyal fliers, a 10% point redemption and a free first checked bag.

Rewards Details: Fans earn six points on JetBlue purchases, two points on dining and groceries and one point on everything else. They can also earn 30,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Points are redeemable for any seat on JetBlue flights, and there are no blackout dates. Every anniversary, members receive a 5,000-point bonus.

Annual Fee: $99

APR: Variable 12.74%, 20.74% or 25.74, based on creditworthiness

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus

Why We Picked It: A decent rate of return and the chance to score a Companion Pass after taking 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 110,000 qualifying points. First and second checked bags fly free.

Rewards Details: Travelers earn two points for every dollar spent on Southwest Airlines flights as well as hotel and car rental partners. They earn one point for every dollar spent everywhere else and receive a 3,000-point bonus every anniversary. Spend $1,000 in the first three months, and you’ll earn 40,000 points.

Annual Fee: $69

APR: Variable 16.74% to 23.74%

Want more options for cards that help you earn miles? Here are more of our favorites.

Before You Apply

Remember, before you apply for any credit card it’s a good idea to check the terms and conditions to ensure it’s the right fit. Another smart move is checking your credit to make sure you’re able to qualify. (You can view two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.) If the annual fee is too high or the rewards aren’t something you’ll use, consider applying for a simple cash-back card or a card that focuses on building your credit.

At publishing time, the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard and JetBlue Plus Card from Barclaycard are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

Image: encrier

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.



Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team