Study: Bank Rewards Cards Better Than Airline Cards
Signing up for an airline-branded credit card may not be the best way to score travel rewards. In a new study called "Card-Carrying Generosity," Wisconsin-based IdeaWorksCompany found that for casual fliers, a bank travel reward card probably provides better value than an airline card.
Among the 4 bank travel reward cards reviewed, the average return per dollar spent was approximately $0.02. Though co-branded airline cards essentially deliver two round-trip tickets after annual spending of $18,000, the higher thresholds on American, Delta, US Airways, and United cards render them less beneficial than American Express, Barclays, Chase, Citibank, and Southwest cards.
The Barclaycard Arrival card proved the most rewarding of the bank cards, with a return of $0.022 return per dollar. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card will win you nearly $800 of rewards after $18,000 of spending in the first year, and it comes with a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points; for a few hundred dollars more on US Airways, you'll get only one free domestic ticket, but you will enjoy a 5,0000 mile discount on reward redemptions.
Airline co-branded cards still come out on top for frequent fliers on premium long-haul flights, but bank travel reward cards offer the opportunity to earn rewards across airlines, and that flexibility can be a huge draw.
Photo credit: Credit cards via Shutterstock
Member Comments Post a Comment
Be the first to comment!
Fodor's Top News & Features
- 10 Places Where Summer Lasts Longer
- 10 Best Home Estate Tours in the U.S.
- 10 Things NOT to Do at Walt Disney World | Fodor's
- How to Tip When Traveling Around the World | Fodor's
- Top 10 Things to Do in Sonoma County (Besides Drink Wine)
- 10 Books to Read Before You Go to Paris | Fodor's
- Where to Go This Thanksgiving
- New Orleans' 10 Best Bars for Classic Cocktails
- Fall Travel: 5 Essentials for a Hudson Valley Escape | Fodor's
- Fall 2014 Guide to Chicago
- $82* & up -- Canada: Fare Sale from Across the US, O/WAir Canada
- $9.95 & up -- Rental Cars across the United StatesHotwire.com
- $19 & up -- Las Vegas Hotel & Resort Sale incl. ExtrasLasVegas.com
- $139 & up -- Bahamas Long Weekend Cruises incl. NassauNorwegian Cruise Line
- $25-$47 -- Amtrak: One-Way Northeast Fare Sale; Ends 10/2Amtrak
- $152 & up -- New Mexico 4-Star Resort, Save 60%El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa