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 to Go This Fall
- 10 Best Casino Restaurants in the World
- Top 10 Fall Trips for Food Lovers
- 11 Must-See Ch?teaux Outside Paris
- 10 Best U.S. Train Trips to Take This Fall
- World's Best Golf Resorts
- Europe's 10 Most Epic Hiking Trails
- Long Weekend in Palenque, Mexico
- Top 5 New York City Activities for Teens
- How to Pack Light for a Trip
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- $399 & up -- Puerto Rico: 4-Star Escape w/$100 Credit & AirCheapCaribbean.com
- $88 -- Palm Springs 4-Star Resort w/2-Night Stay, Save 60%The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
- $135 & up -- 4-Star Houston Hotel at the Galleria, Save 55%The Westin Oaks Houston at the Galleria
- $183 & up -- Manhattan Westin near Grand Central, Save 60%The Westin New York Grand Central
- $103-$126 -- 4-Star Lake Las Vegas Resort, Save 30%Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa
- $149-$179 -- Weekends at Dallas 4-Star Hotel, Save 40%The Westin Galleria Dallas