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

CA4Closure
Regular Contributor

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


@Loquat wrote:

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.


Yes, I work for the US Navy (civilian but retired USN Captain). I never even thought about Alaskan Airlines! My territory is the western US but my superiors are in Washington DC. 

Message 11 of 21
CA4Closure
Regular Contributor

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

I have flown on 737 jets and they are uncomfortable on long flights (to Florida). My preferred jet is the Boeing 767. Best seats in the industry. Flights to Hawaii are about 5 hours and sitting in cramped seats is no fun. That is why I usually fly business class. 

Message 12 of 21
Janus
Senior Contributor

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

You were in the Navy but can't stand cramped spaces!? lol

 

Maybe you should go for the CSP with that 80K offer? Stockpile those points then go for an Airline card close to the end of 2020's BS. I'm curious if the incentive offers might get better in a few months, since spend seems incredibly low and they'll want more new customers? If the saying is true that things get worse before they get better, espcially with flu season returning.  






Message 13 of 21
longtimelurker
Mega Contributor

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


@Loquat wrote:

@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.  


And, on the flip side, if we don't get through this in a good way for ages, having spent the AF on a less useful card isn't going to be your major concern.

Message 14 of 21
notmyrealname23
Established Contributor

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


@CA4Closure wrote:

@Loquat wrote:

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.


Yes, I work for the US Navy (civilian but retired USN Captain). I never even thought about Alaskan Airlines! My territory is the western US but my superiors are in Washington DC. 


Alaska Airlines is a 100% narrowbody fleet, and mostly flies 737s. If you want to fly a widebody to Hawaii I would stick with Hawaiian.

 

I love it when people bad mouth the Alaska Airlines mileage program, because I've been using it for nearly two decades to fly longhaul business and first class on awards to Europe and Asia (and use Alaska as a primary, if not exclusive airline out of my home airport in Seattle), and people who reject it out of hand for competitors mean less competition for my award redemptions. So please, whatever you do, DO NOT USE ALASKA AIRLINES MILEAGE PLAN. IT'S TERRIBLE. Smiley Very Happy

First Tech FCU Choice Rewards World MC 35k
Fidelity VISA Signature 11.5k
Capital One Quicksilver 11k
Amex Gold NPSL
Amex Green NPSL
SoFi MC World Elite 8k
PayPal Synchrony MC 6.4k
Citi AA Mileup 6.9k
Petal2 VISA 6k
AMEX Hilton Aspire 6.2k
DiscoverIt Cashback 5k
Amazon/Synchrony 5k
Hotels.com 5k
AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 3.1k
Apple Card 3k
Cathay Pacific/Synchrony 2.5k
AMEX Delta Gold 2.2k
Target 800
Ch 13 filed 12/13 discharged as paid 1/19
Message 15 of 21
Loquat
Moderator

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


@notmyrealname23 wrote:


Alaska Airlines is a 100% narrowbody fleet, and mostly flies 737s. If you want to fly a widebody to Hawaii I would stick with Hawaiian.

 

I love it when people bad mouth the Alaska Airlines mileage program, because I've been using it for nearly two decades to fly longhaul business and first class on awards to Europe and Asia (and use Alaska as a primary, if not exclusive airline out of my home airport in Seattle), and people who reject it out of hand for competitors mean less competition for my award redemptions. So please, whatever you do, DO NOT USE ALASKA AIRLINES MILEAGE PLAN. IT'S TERRIBLE. Smiley Very Happy


Saying that Alaska doesn't fly a widebody premium product isn't bad mouthing, it's the truth.  Like the OP, if I had a choice, I wouldn't want to spend 7 hours (even front of the house) on a 737-900.   I'd rather fly (and have) DFW-HNL with American via the 787 Dreamliner...but that's just my preference. 

Message 16 of 21
K-in-Boston
Moderator

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

Alaska's nearly unbeatable for international partner awards and Fifth Freedom routes like the recently-defunct New York to Vancouver in Business or First on Cathay Pacific.  While my sample size is low, my issue with them has much more to do with their own soft product than the hard product.  Bad IRROPs handling, tablets for IFE and a rather pathetic "snack" for a meal (and Alaska does not even offer special meal ordering) with limited drink service in F on a transcon?  🤔  That's not even counting the horrendous tiny completely segregated part of the terminal that Alaska uses at BOS (which I also experienced with Virgin America prior to the merger).

 

FWIW I have no problems with 737 transcons that I do fairly often and will happily take them on the A321neo if Delta decides to start using them for transcons now that the range is long enough.

Message 17 of 21
notmyrealname23
Established Contributor

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


@Loquat wrote:

@notmyrealname23 wrote:


Alaska Airlines is a 100% narrowbody fleet, and mostly flies 737s. If you want to fly a widebody to Hawaii I would stick with Hawaiian.

 

I love it when people bad mouth the Alaska Airlines mileage program, because I've been using it for nearly two decades to fly longhaul business and first class on awards to Europe and Asia (and use Alaska as a primary, if not exclusive airline out of my home airport in Seattle), and people who reject it out of hand for competitors mean less competition for my award redemptions. So please, whatever you do, DO NOT USE ALASKA AIRLINES MILEAGE PLAN. IT'S TERRIBLE. Smiley Very Happy


Saying that Alaska doesn't fly a widebody premium product isn't bad mouthing, it's the truth.  Like the OP, if I had a choice, I wouldn't want to spend 7 hours (even front of the house) on a 737-900.   I'd rather fly (and have) DFW-HNL with American via the 787 Dreamliner...but that's just my preference. 


"when it comes to opening up reward seats and Alaska is even worse."

 

That was you up there.


Like I said, please keep telling everyone how horrible Alaska is for award seats. Miserable. Terrible. I'd like to redeem at least another million on them, and keeping the crowds out of the way would do me a solid.

 

I still think OP should stick to Hawaiian if they want a widebody to Hawaii though. Can't disagree on that.

 

Also: I've flown AA, Delta, Alaska. United in standard domestic F. They're all "OK, fine but nothing great" when it's not their lie-flat seats (and since Alaska doesn't have those they'll lose when it's a lie-flat).  But I wouldn't argue much with anyone who wants their favorite out of recliner first class.

First Tech FCU Choice Rewards World MC 35k
Fidelity VISA Signature 11.5k
Capital One Quicksilver 11k
Amex Gold NPSL
Amex Green NPSL
SoFi MC World Elite 8k
PayPal Synchrony MC 6.4k
Citi AA Mileup 6.9k
Petal2 VISA 6k
AMEX Hilton Aspire 6.2k
DiscoverIt Cashback 5k
Amazon/Synchrony 5k
Hotels.com 5k
AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 3.1k
Apple Card 3k
Cathay Pacific/Synchrony 2.5k
AMEX Delta Gold 2.2k
Target 800
Ch 13 filed 12/13 discharged as paid 1/19
Message 18 of 21
Citylights18
Established Contributor

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

I don't have the same level of experience on quality of flights but I see a lot of value if you can get a card from an airline which is transferrable 1 to 1 with your point ecoysystem.

 

Chase (Southwest, Untied, Jet Blue)

AMEX (Delta, Hawaiian, Jet Blue)

Citi (Jet Blue)

 

That is all I could find running flights between Seattle and Honolulu. American and Alaska are of course out there.

Official travel point totals as of 1/21/20 (402,672 Total Points)
Chase Ultimate Rewards 147,239
World of Hyatt 92,558
Southwest Rapid Rewards 61,000
AMEX Membership Rewards 53,751
AA Advantage 15,244
United MileagePlus 13,316
British Airways Avios 11,332
Hilton Honors 2,081
NASA Platinum Rewards 1883
Citi Thank You 1,670
Marriott Bonvoy 1,350
Expedia Points 740
Jet Blue TrueBlue 285
Delta Sky Miles 123
Virgin Atlantic Virgin Points 100
Hotels.com Rewards 6/10 ($135.99)
Message 19 of 21
CA4Closure
Regular Contributor

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


@Janus wrote:

You were in the Navy but can't stand cramped spaces!? lol

 

Maybe you should go for the CSP with that 80K offer? Stockpile those points then go for an Airline card close to the end of 2020's BS. I'm curious if the incentive offers might get better in a few months, since spend seems incredibly low and they'll want more new customers? If the saying is true that things get worse before they get better, espcially with flu season returning.  


I was a fighter pilot (F-14s and F/A-18 Super Hornets). I am only 5'9" but sitting in the cockpit wasn't that bad. Submarines, I couldn't handle! Thank God I served on aircraft carriers or Naval Air Bases! Officer bunks were way better than Ensign or Lt. JG's had! 

Message 20 of 21
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