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Added May 16, 2011 from: Joe Taylor
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Answered By Joe Taylor:
There are just too many variables to provide one clear-cut winner. The best airline credit card for you might not be the best for the next person. It all depends on what's going on in your life and in your career. There are three major factors to consider when choosing an airline card:

  • Location. When I lived in Charlotte, a major US Airways hub, that airline's affinity card was a great fit. After moving to Philadelphia, where I've got access to Southwest Airlines, their new Rapid Rewards credit card's really getting my attention.
  • Loyalty. The best credit card perks in the world won't mean a thing if you never use them. If you find that you always fly one airline, then that card will probably make more sense for you -- regardless of the perks on the other airlines' cards. However, if you prefer to use discount booking sites and prefer the flexibility of various carriers, then a loyalty card won't be of any use.
  • Lifestyle. A frequent flier may benefit from an airline loyalty card that provides access to the exclusive lounges. Parents traveling with young children may just want a card that helps to pay for the lowest fare available. Those who fly only occasionally might benefit from a card with a flexible reward program.
  • Budget. Rewards cards generally come with higher (sometimes much higher) APRs. If you think there's a possibility that you'll need to roll over a balance, you might want to think about a low-interest card instead. Also, airline cards often come with an annual fee that can range from $60-$495. You need to make sure that the perks that fee earns you are perks that you will use.

If it makes sense in your situation to have an airline credit card, you can compare the benefits here to find one that matches your needs from our list.

This question is about:  Frequent Flyer Credit Cards
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