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Does it Make Sense to Apply for an Airline Card right now?

CA4Closure
Regular Contributor

Does it Make Sense to Apply for an Airline Card right now?

I was contemplating getting an airline card like Hawaiian Airlines (Barclays) because I travel a lot to and from Hawaii. I average 10 trips to Hawaii every year. But this Pandemic has slowed this travelling down quite a bit and the benefits are not there to even consider this card. Yes, I should have applied for this card when they were advertising 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 for the first 3 months. 

I divorced Capital One earlier this year after a 20 year marriage. The divorce was contentious. There was no reconciliation on Capital One's part so I closed both my Platinum and Quicksilver cards which both had a total credit line of $10,000. Discover and Citi Bank (Costco) both made up for that with huge CLIs so I wasn't worried about utilization %. I now have NO credit cards with monthly fees. 

I am a Hawaiian Airlines frequent flyers member and through this benefit, I get bumped up seating to business or first class but would like to earn free flights to other destinations Hawaiian Airlines flies to like Japan. My monthly spend on this card would be around $10,000 for business use including hotel, car rental and related expenses.

Pre-Pandemic, my travels were mainly to Washington DC, Washington State, Florida, Texas, Colorado and Hawaii.

What would be your suggestions on Airline cards right now?

Message 1 of 21
20 REPLIES 20
Saeren
Mega Contributor

Re: Does it Make Sense to Apply for an Airline Card right now?

I mean there is still a pandemic going on with every reason to believe it's going to be even worse once flu season starts. If you aren't currently traveling, I wouldn't get a travel card. 





Message 2 of 21
Brian_Earl_Spilner
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Does it Make Sense to Apply for an Airline Card right now?

Honestly, with as much as you fly to Hawaii, I'm surprised you don't use Alaska Airlines. Coupling that with American Airlines would get you all over the country as well as the ability to transfer miles.

 

Sticking with Hawaiian Air, you could always get into the Amex ecosystem. Both MRs and Bonvoy points transfer to Hawaiian and Delta can earn rewards on inter-island hops now. Doubt the latter would be of any interest seeing as how you have status with Hawaiian.




Message 3 of 21
Janus
Senior Contributor

Re: Does it Make Sense to Apply for an Airline Card right now?

I would hold off until things hopefully settle down later next year, with the whole quarantine issue you'd be wasting 14 days of your vacation. Not to mention what would happen if you happen to get a false positive on testing. If they're still doing that, IDK..

 

Like was mentioned before if you do travel quite a bit to hawaii already you should have probaly signed up long ago, or at least with Alaska which often turn into a HA flight on the return trip. Unless you specifically choose the Airline at booking.






Message 4 of 21
UpperNwGuy
Valued Contributor

Re: Does it Make Sense to Apply for an Airline Card right now?

I think this is a bad time to get an airline card.

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Message 5 of 21
Loquat
Moderator

Re: Does it Make Sense to Apply for an Airline Card right now?

What most in this thread have ignored is that fact that you stated that you spend $10k a month on business travel. I'm going to venture a guess that if you're still traveling that means you're probably in an essential business that requires you to thus making the comments about not traveling because of the pandemic moot.

With that kind of spend I would look towards an points earning card than an airline specific card. But with that being said, I would go with an airline that you particularly like to fly. Does you no good to get an Alaska Airlines card if you don't like their metal and don't fly their routes.

I know in my experience Alaska is famous for floating the 737-900 from SeaTac to HNL. While it's a decent flight the First Class cabin isn't anything more than a bigger seat. If you're looking for a luxury experience then you're going to have to think in terms of an airline that fly widebody aircrafts.

You mention travels to DC, Florida, and Texas. Depending on the area within those states you'd do okay with American as they have hubs at DCA, MIA, and DFW.

There are many airlines cards to choose from so you have to determine who you like to fly with have an appreciation for their loyalty currency.

I will say that American and Alaska Airlines are one of the few who have no transfer partners besides Marriott which brings about a completely different conversation. Those airline miles can be extremely hard to earn so if you're going to favor either of those, getting a card from them would help increase your miles earnings.

Sure they both have travel partners but American is not always generous with their partners when it comes to opening up reward seats and Alaska is even worse.

Something to consider when making your decision.

Message 6 of 21
Hoben02
Valued Member

Re: Does it Make Sense to Apply for an Airline Card right now?

Your best bet would be to look for a transferable points card. Right now the csp has a very large bonus, maybe you don't mind flying swa to hawaii

Message 7 of 21
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: Does it Make Sense to Apply for an Airline Card right now?

If you're going to be putting that kind of spend down, if you see an elevated offer I'd go for it if it does more for you than the typical travel portal purchases with MRs, URs, TYPs, etc.  Alternately, you might consider a JetBlue card.  JetBlue and Hawaiian have reciprocal awards and mileage earning, but I am not sure if booking an award on JetBlue stock would let you retain your Hawaiian elite benefits or not.  I know with Delta they have SkyMiles earnings on island hops only as mentioned upthread, but Medallion members get no other perks when flying Hawaiian.

 

And as also mentioned upthread, Amex MR cards may be a great option due to transfers to both Hawaiian and JetBlue (although the transfer ratios may not be as good as other programs).

 

Whether your flying has been suspended or merely decreased, it's still a great time to be padding those frequent flyer accounts for the future.

Message 8 of 21
Loquat
Moderator

Re: Does it Make Sense to Apply for an Airline Card right now?

@K-in-Boston I agree wholeheartedly.   We will get through this and what better way to ease back into a sense of normalcy than to have a stock pile of points and miles.  

Message 9 of 21
CaptJOB
Regular Contributor

Re: Does it Make Sense to Apply for an Airline Card right now?

I got the Delta Gold card in March and the Citi AA Platinum in April(was only going to get the United Explorer but 5/24). If all goes to plan the AA bonus might net me $1,600 worth of travel next year for my honeymoon. The Delta points are a nice little cushion if I don't want to spend cash on a ticket. I don't think there's anything wrong with applying for an airline card right now.

Message 10 of 21
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