Airline Co-Branded VS Rewards Credit Cards

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2022 REWARDS CREDIT CARDS SHOWDOWN

You may think that co-branded airline credit cards are a must-have for frequent flyers because they offer rewards and sign-up bonuses and are loaded with perks. But have you ever wondered what those perks cost? Have you ever compared how much you could save with an airline credit card vs. a general travel rewards credit card? Well now you can!

Why Rewards Credit Cards Beat Airline Cards for Most Travelers?

Customize your spending

TRAVEL CREDIT CARD

AIRLINE CREDIT CARD

Discover it® Miles
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card
VS
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card
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card

Intro APR, Purch

0% Intro APR

N/A

Introductory Period (months)

15 months

N/A

Regular APR

14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR

18.99% - 27.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0 *See Terms

$0

Rewards Expiration

Rewards never expire.µ

Miles will not expire if you earn or redeem miles once every 24 monthsµ

CALCULATE**

SEE OTHER POPULAR TRAVEL CREDIT CARD OFFERS:

Intro APR, Purch Regular APR, Purch Annual Fee Key Feature
Any Airline
Any Airline
Discover it® Miles *See Terms 0% Intro APR (15 months) 14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR $0 UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match. APPLY
Bonus
Bonus
Citi Premier® Card N/A 18.99% - 26.99% (Variable) $95 For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening APPLY
0% Intro APR
0% Intro APR
Discover it® chrome *See Terms 0% Intro APR (15 months) 14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR $0 INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match. APPLY
Rewards
Rewards
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card N/A 18.99% - 27.99% (Variable) $0 Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening APPLY
VIP Benefits
VIP Benefits
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® N/A 18.99% - 27.99% (Variable) $450 Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® Bonus Miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening APPLY
No Foreign Fee Card
No Foreign Fee Card
PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card N/A 17.99% Variable $95 4X Points on all Travel categories for PenFed Honors Advantage Members APPLY
World Elite Mastercard
World Elite Mastercard
Luxury Card™ Mastercard® Black Card™ N/A 14.99% $495 ($195 for each Authorized User added to the account) Exclusive Luxury Card Travel® benefits (e.g., amenities, room upgrades and complimentary food and beverages). APPLY
Business
Business
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® N/A 18.99% - 27.99% (Variable) $99, waived for first 12 months Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. APPLY
These Credit Offers are Only for People with Excellent or Good Credit History.
Have Limited or No Credit History? Click here! Have Bad Credit History? Click here!

SEE OTHER POPULAR TRAVEL CREDIT CARD OFFERS:

Discover it® Miles *See Terms
Any Airline
Any Airline
Intro APR, Purch 0% Intro APR (15 months) APPLY
Regular APR, Purch 14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR
Annual Fee $0
Key Feature UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
Citi Premier® Card
Bonus
Bonus
Intro APR, Purch N/A APPLY
Regular APR, Purch 18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $95
Key Feature For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Discover it® chrome *See Terms
0% Intro APR
0% Intro APR
Intro APR, Purch 0% Intro APR (15 months) APPLY
Regular APR, Purch 14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR
Annual Fee $0
Key Feature INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card
Rewards
Rewards
Intro APR, Purch N/A APPLY
Regular APR, Purch 18.99% - 27.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $0
Key Feature Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
VIP Benefits
VIP Benefits
Intro APR, Purch N/A APPLY
Regular APR, Purch 18.99% - 27.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $450
Key Feature Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® Bonus Miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
No Foreign Fee Card
No Foreign Fee Card
Intro APR, Purch N/A APPLY
Regular APR, Purch 17.99% Variable
Annual Fee $95
Key Feature 4X Points on all Travel categories for PenFed Honors Advantage Members
Luxury Card™ Mastercard® Black Card™
World Elite Mastercard
World Elite Mastercard
Intro APR, Purch N/A APPLY
Regular APR, Purch 14.99%
Annual Fee $495 ($195 for each Authorized User added to the account)
Key Feature Exclusive Luxury Card Travel® benefits (e.g., amenities, room upgrades and complimentary food and beverages).
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
Business
Business
Intro APR, Purch N/A APPLY
Regular APR, Purch 18.99% - 27.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $99, waived for first 12 months
Key Feature Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
These Credit Offers are Only for People with Excellent or Good Credit History.
Have Limited or No Credit History? Click here! Have Bad Credit History? Click here!

SEE OTHER POPULAR TRAVEL CREDIT CARD OFFERS:

Discover it® Miles *See Terms
Any Airline
Any Airline
Intro APR, Purch 0% Intro APR (15 months)
Regular APR, Purch 14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR
Annual Fee $0
Key Feature UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
APPLY
Citi Premier® Card
Bonus
Bonus
Intro APR, Purch N/A
Regular APR, Purch 18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $95
Key Feature For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
APPLY
Discover it® chrome *See Terms
0% Intro APR
0% Intro APR
Intro APR, Purch 0% Intro APR (15 months)
Regular APR, Purch 14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR
Annual Fee $0
Key Feature INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
APPLY
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card
Rewards
Rewards
Intro APR, Purch N/A
Regular APR, Purch 18.99% - 27.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $0
Key Feature Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
APPLY
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
VIP Benefits
VIP Benefits
Intro APR, Purch N/A
Regular APR, Purch 18.99% - 27.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $450
Key Feature Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® Bonus Miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
APPLY
PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
No Foreign Fee Card
No Foreign Fee Card
Intro APR, Purch N/A
Regular APR, Purch 17.99% Variable
Annual Fee $95
Key Feature 4X Points on all Travel categories for PenFed Honors Advantage Members
APPLY
Luxury Card™ Mastercard® Black Card™
World Elite Mastercard
World Elite Mastercard
Intro APR, Purch N/A
Regular APR, Purch 14.99%
Annual Fee $495 ($195 for each Authorized User added to the account)
Key Feature Exclusive Luxury Card Travel® benefits (e.g., amenities, room upgrades and complimentary food and beverages).
APPLY
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
Business
Business
Intro APR, Purch N/A
Regular APR, Purch 18.99% - 27.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $99, waived for first 12 months
Key Feature Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
APPLY
These Credit Offers are Only for People with Excellent or Good Credit History.
Have Limited or No Credit History? Click here! Have Bad Credit History? Click here!
Updated: October 1, 2022

RELATED USER QUESTIONS

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Getting a travel rewards card is a great idea. These cards both come with high rewards on travel spendings. For example, you will earn 2x AAdvantage miles on American Airlines purchases with both cards, but the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card will also give you 2x miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery...

We all hear a lot about airlines miles and points and how vivid a life you're going to have once you start collecting miles. And while this frequent flyer miles science may seem confusing and complicated, in fact it's a piece of cake and everyone can learn how to earn for travel using credit cards. So, here we are to explain how travel credit cards work. Co-branded credit cards The first...

You can earn frequent flyer miles without boarding a plane every month and even without leaving house at all. The bottom line to mile earning is to spend, but in a smart way. There are two options to consider when choosing a credit card for earning miles - general travel rewards credit cards or airline co-branded credit cards. On the one hand, earning strategy with both types of cards looks...

HOW TO SAVE MORE WITH A TRAVEL CREDIT CARD?

Never carry the balance
1

Never carry the balance

It is recommended to never carry the balance on a travel rewards credit card to get the most out of earned rewards. When you carry the balance on your credit card, you are charged interest. Depending on the transactions, you may be charged interest on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers. If you pay your bill in full every month, you can avoid paying interest on purchases and thus save hundreds of dollars. In addition to paying off your card balance, try to make all monthly payments on time. Paying late your credit card bill can result in a penalty fee and APR. Average late payment fees range between $25 and $37, and penalty APRs may go up to 39%.

Never withdraw cash
2

Never withdraw cash

That's the most expensive transaction you can do with your credit card, especially when you withdraw cash while traveling abroad. Cash advance interest rates can be as high as up to 30% and the interest starts accruing on the day of transaction - there is no grace period for cash advances. That means you will pay interest in any case, even if you pay off the card balance next day. Add here cash advance fees which are charged for each transaction performed, ATM fees (some ATMs do charge fees) and you may get a jaw-dropping bill.

Never lose rewards
3

Never lose rewards

When you rcredit card allows you to earn miles, points or cash back on your purchases, make sure you know everything about terms and conditions of the rewards program. Know where you will earn biggest rewards, and if there are rotating categories, make sure you don't forget to enroll. Another important thing to be aware of is redemption terms. Many cards, especially co-branded airline cards, allow earning miles fast but members find it difficult to redeem them because of restrictions that are set by airlines. And when you cannot redeem your miles, they can expire or sit in your rewards balance forever.

**The tool is designed by Credit-Land.com for informational purposes only and it is not provided or sponsored by any of our partners. The results provided by this tool are hypothetical and are not influenced by payment considerations. The default calculation is based on data applicable to an average U.S. consumer. Credit-Land.com is not responsible for the consequences of any decisions or actions taken in reliance upon or as a result of the information provided by its tools.

+Please see the card's Terms & Conditions for more details of redemption conditions.

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