Advertisement
credit & debt

Airline Rewards Cards Without the Fee

You can take advantage of new no-fee card offerings from Delta and United to buy plane tickets with miles or credits.

Frequent fliers can now sign up for a dedicated airline credit card from a major airline without paying up front. Delta and United have introduced no-fee cards that offer miles or credits that cardholders can redeem for flight purchases. The American Express Blue Delta SkyMiles card (16.74% to 25.74% annual percentage rate; 2.7% foreign-transaction fee) offers two SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at U.S. restaurants; other purchases earn one mile per dollar. Cardholders also get a 20% discount on in-flight purchases. By contrast, Delta’s Gold Delta SkyMiles card ($95 annual fee) pays out only one mile per dollar on dining, but it offers perks such as free baggage and priority boarding, and it charges no fee for foreign transactions.

Rather than rewarding you with United MileagePlus miles, the no-fee Chase United TravelBank card (16.99% to 23.99%; no foreign-transaction fee) offers cash back that you can use to purchase United flights. You’ll earn 2% back on United ticket purchases and 1.5% on all other spending. Plus, cardholders get 25% off in-flight food and beverage purchases.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Even if your preferred carrier doesn’t advertise a no-fee credit card, you may be able to bypass the fee. “It never hurts to ask if there’s a no-fee or low-fee alternative,” says Brian Karimzad, analyst for MileCards.com. For example, the no-fee Citi/AAdvantage Bronze MasterCard from American Airlines is generally not available to new applicants. But the issuer may be willing to give the card to customers who ask—especially those who already hold another of the airline’s cards. If your airline card has an annual fee, the issuer may waive it for a year on request instead of downgrading you to a no-fee version.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Medicare Basics: 11 Things You Need to Know
Medicare

Medicare Basics: 11 Things You Need to Know

There's Medicare Part A, Part B, Part D, medigap plans, Medicare Advantage plans and so on. We sort out the confusion about signing up for Medicare --…
September 16, 2020
5 Unfortunate Estate Planning Myths You Probably Believe
estate planning

5 Unfortunate Estate Planning Myths You Probably Believe

These all-too-common misconceptions can steer your estate plans in the wrong direction right from the start. Here’s how to overcome them and tips to b…
September 17, 2020
Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans
taxes

Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans

With the economy in trouble, tax policy takes on added importance in the 2020 presidential election. So, let's take a look at what Joe Biden has said …
September 18, 2020

Recommended

10 Things You'll Spend More on in Retirement
retirement

10 Things You'll Spend More on in Retirement

From reading materials to debt, the demands on your savings during your golden years might surprise you.
September 16, 2020
How to Catch a Rock-Bottom Rate
Buying & Leasing a Car

How to Catch a Rock-Bottom Rate

Rates on everything from home mortgages to car loans are at record lows. We’ll tell you how to qualify for the best rates.
August 27, 2020
Give Your Credit a Boost
Coronavirus and Your Money

Give Your Credit a Boost

When times get tough, your credit profile could take a hit. Here’s how to keep it in shape.
August 27, 2020
The Five Top Consumer Complaints
Smart Buying

The Five Top Consumer Complaints

Here are the top five complaints from a survey of state and local agencies from 19 states.
August 27, 2020