Any airline cards worth keeping long term?

All about maximizing your rewards!
Members share tips and tricks for getting the most miles, & points.
13 posts
freyj6
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:29 am
Location: United States

Any airline cards worth keeping long term?

Postby freyj6 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:05 am

Despite spending a lot of time messing around with cards and points, I really haven't looked too deeply into airline specific cards. It seems that many people grab them when they offer 50,000 point sign up bonuses, but rarely are they better than Arrival or CSP or DoubleCash.

Am I wrong? Are there some cards worth keeping, particularly if they're known for offering big retention bonuses, or the points are useful enough if you fly certain routes?

For the record I'm based in Seattle, so generally the best prices come from Alaska, United, Delta, and occasionally Jet Blue, US Airways, AA and Virgin.

Any cards worth keeping?
Current Strategy

Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning


Battery111
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 284
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:40 pm
Location: Lawton, ok

Postby Battery111 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:02 am

Really just depends if you frequent a specific airline primarily or not. For example, close to 100% of my travel is on AA, so the card is nice for the reduced award ticket prices and the miles that I turn around and use for said award tickets. Also since none of the other cards transfer to AA there really isn't a substitute for me. Also if I didn't get free checked bags because of my status that perk would be useful as well.
Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard
AMEX Platinum
AMEX Everyday Preferred
USAA AMEX
Discover IT
Chase Freedom
Chase Sapphire Preferred
NFCU nRewards Visa

User avatar
djrez4
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:20 pm
Location: United States

Postby djrez4 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:52 am

Depends.

An example - if someone pays for a United Club membership every year, it makes sense to keep the United Club Visa.
[RIGHT][size=100]- Sapphire Preferred - Freedom - Ink - Platinum - Everyday Preferred -[/size]
[/RIGHT]

rockyrock
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:06 am
Location: Ventura, CA

Postby rockyrock » Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:07 am

I believe they are useful for lounge access, free checked bags, discounted inflight purchases, priority boarding, etc. Like Battery said, you can get some of these perks with status.

Right now I have a Citi Exec/AAdvantage card with Admirals club access. We fly from LAX and while I don't like the Admirals Club they do have a kids lounge inside the club. Also being able to get checked bags for my entire family saves me quite a bit each flight.

The main thing to look at though is would you purchase these perks if they weren't part of your card. In flight discounts are great to have but I rarely buy anything so it's not really a valuable perk for me. Lounge access is a perk I am willing to pay for so the AF on this card is a much better deal than just buying club membership on its own--especially because of the other perks the card offers. Free checked bags can save you hundreds each trip if you travel heavily or in great numbers. If you fly solo and only have a carry on this isn't a valuable perk for you.

On the other hand I have the Hawaiian Airlines WEMC and it is a POS. It was on the chopping block this year but they offered to waive the AF and offer me a spend bonus to keep it...The perks associated with it a terrible though.

YMMV
American Express (2005): Premier Rewards Gold & Blue Cash Preferred
Chase: Freedom & UA Club USAA: Signature Visa & American Express
Discover it Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines WEMC Synchrony Sam's MC
Navy FCU Platinum Visa Citi Double Cash & AT&T Access MC

Battery111
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 284
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:40 pm
Location: Lawton, ok

Postby Battery111 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:50 am

You know I've gone back and forth on getting the AAdvantage WEMC. I am an admirals club member so on the surface it would make sense since it would essentially cost the same amount I pay now. However, my annual membership is discounted based on status and I can renew with miles if I so desire, two things that don't apply to the WEMC. On the third hand (don't judge my mutation) the $95 I pay for an AF on my regular AAdvantage card kind of offsets my discount for admirals club membership making it a wash. Anyone know if citi will allow a straight upgrade or do they make you apply for the WEMC as a new app?
Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard
AMEX Platinum
AMEX Everyday Preferred
USAA AMEX
Discover IT
Chase Freedom
Chase Sapphire Preferred
NFCU nRewards Visa

Battery111
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 284
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:40 pm
Location: Lawton, ok

Postby Battery111 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:51 am

Also, sorry for the thread hijack
Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard
AMEX Platinum
AMEX Everyday Preferred
USAA AMEX
Discover IT
Chase Freedom
Chase Sapphire Preferred
NFCU nRewards Visa

freyj6
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:29 am
Location: United States

Postby freyj6 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:42 pm

^No worries :)

So in my position are there any that might be worth it?

-I don't really care about lounge access, priority boarding, etc.
-Many airlines offer free checked bags anyway, some (like Southwest) offer 2.
-I'd never upgrade to first or business class unless it was only like 10% more.
-I already have Arrival+ and CSP, although I'm likely to drop one or both of them when the fees come up

Are there any cards actually worth putting any of your spending on (besides their own flights)? Or cards where the annual points bonus is always > the annual fee?

Thanks!
Current Strategy

Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning

rockyrock
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:06 am
Location: Ventura, CA

Postby rockyrock » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:33 am

freyj6 wrote:^No worries :)

So in my position are there any that might be worth it?

-I don't really care about lounge access, priority boarding, etc.
-Many airlines offer free checked bags anyway, some (like Southwest) offer 2.
-I'd never upgrade to first or business class unless it was only like 10% more.
-I already have Arrival+ and CSP, although I'm likely to drop one or both of them when the fees come up

Are there any cards actually worth putting any of your spending on (besides their own flights)? Or cards where the annual points bonus is always > the annual fee?

Thanks!


No, you have two great travel cards, focus your spending on one of those. Airline cards are only good mile earners if you pay for your airfare with them and use it as an everyday card with several thousands of spend each month. Otherwise it takes way too long to earn miles, and it seems you aren't interested in any perks the cards offer so stick with what you have.

I believe Southwest is the last airline to offer free checked bags...
American Express (2005): Premier Rewards Gold & Blue Cash Preferred
Chase: Freedom & UA Club USAA: Signature Visa & American Express
Discover it Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines WEMC Synchrony Sam's MC
Navy FCU Platinum Visa Citi Double Cash & AT&T Access MC

rockyrock
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:06 am
Location: Ventura, CA

Postby rockyrock » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:41 am

Battery111 wrote:You know I've gone back and forth on getting the AAdvantage WEMC. I am an admirals club member so on the surface it would make sense since it would essentially cost the same amount I pay now. However, my annual membership is discounted based on status and I can renew with miles if I so desire, two things that don't apply to the WEMC. On the third hand (don't judge my mutation) the $95 I pay for an AF on my regular AAdvantage card kind of offsets my discount for admirals club membership making it a wash. Anyone know if citi will allow a straight upgrade or do they make you apply for the WEMC as a new app?


You may want to apply as you will be eligible for the application bonus. It's currently 50k miles after $5k spend in three months. I don't know the answer to your upgrade question.
American Express (2005): Premier Rewards Gold & Blue Cash Preferred
Chase: Freedom & UA Club USAA: Signature Visa & American Express
Discover it Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines WEMC Synchrony Sam's MC
Navy FCU Platinum Visa Citi Double Cash & AT&T Access MC

User avatar
Xorand
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:01 am
Location: TX

Postby Xorand » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:06 am

A little different slant, perhaps. My wife and I fly typically twice a year. I got the AmEx Delta Gold for the advanced boarding, free checked bags and the sign-up bonus. We don't put everyday spending on it, so I'm essentially getting discounted checked bags in the long term.

But, since we don't absolutely count on having the card available on a continual basis like I would with an everyday points/cash earning card like my BCP, I'll use the Delta card for situations such as a sit-down restaurant where the odds of having the information stolen are much higher (card out of sight). That way, if it gets compromised, waiting for a week or two to get a replacement is generally not an issue.
AmEx - Platinum (NPSL) , Blue Cash Preferred ($19,000), Gold Delta Skymiles ($8,500)
Chase - Sapphire Preferred ($14,000), Disney ($11,500), Amazon.com ($9,000), Freedom ($8,000)
CapOne - QuickSilver ($7,250) / Platinum Rewards ($7,250)



Return to “Rewards”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests