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Posted: April 13, 2017

Ditching United? Here Are 4 Solid Airline Credit Card Alternatives

By Jill Krasny

With video of a passenger being dragged off one of its planes going viral, United Airlines has faced public outrage all week. The company vowed to no longer have police remove passengers from overbooked flights, but some consumers may still feel wary. (United Airlines did not respond to’s request for comment by press time.)

If you’re thinking about taking your business elsewhere, these four cards from other airlines may be worth considering.

British Airways Visa Signature Credit Card

Why We Picked It: A sweet signup bonus and the opportunity to earn a companion ticket.

Rewards Details: Travelers earn 50,000 bonus Avios, (the British Airways version of points), after spending $3,000 in the first three months. They’ll earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after they spend $10,000 within the first year. In terms of rewards, cardmembers receive three Avios per dollar on British Airways purchases and one Avio per dollar on everything else. Every year you spend $30,000, you’ll earn a Travel Together ticket good for two years, allowing you to bring a companion on a reward flight without using additional Avios.

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable 16.74% to 23.74%

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Why We Picked It: This card offers a competitive rate of return and a rarely seen points redemption.

Rewards Details: In-flight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights net a 25% discount while members earn two miles for every dollar spent on AA purchases and one mile per dollar on everything else. Redeem your miles, and you’ll get 10% back, up to 10,000 miles per year. Spend $1,000 in the first three months, and you’ll earn a 30,000-point bonus.

Annual Fee: None the first year, then $95

APR: Variable 16.49% to 24.49%

JetBlue Plus Card From Barclaycard

Why We Picked It: This popular card offers a stellar rate of return for loyal fliers, a 10% point redemption and a free first checked bag.

Rewards Details: Fans earn six points on JetBlue purchases, two points on dining and groceries and one point on everything else. They can also earn 30,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Points are redeemable for any seat on JetBlue flights, and there are no blackout dates. Every anniversary, members receive a 5,000-point bonus.

Annual Fee: $99

APR: Variable 12.74%, 20.74% or 25.74, based on creditworthiness

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus

Why We Picked It: A decent rate of return and the chance to score a Companion Pass after taking 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 110,000 qualifying points. First and second checked bags fly free.

Rewards Details: Travelers earn two points for every dollar spent on Southwest Airlines flights as well as hotel and car rental partners. They earn one point for every dollar spent everywhere else and receive a 3,000-point bonus every anniversary. Spend $1,000 in the first three months, and you’ll earn 40,000 points.

Annual Fee: $69

APR: Variable 16.74% to 23.74%

Want more options for cards that help you earn miles? Here are more of our favorites.

Before You Apply

Remember, before you apply for any credit card it’s a good idea to check the terms and conditions to ensure it’s the right fit. Another smart move is checking your credit to make sure you’re able to qualify. (You can view two of your credit scores for free on If the annual fee is too high or the rewards aren’t something you’ll use, consider applying for a simple cash-back card or a card that focuses on building your credit.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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