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The Best Airline and Travel Rewards Credit Cards for Winter 2012

credit cards
The best airline and travel rewards credit cards.

The year is quickly drawing to a close, and that means millions of people will be booking airline flights across the state, across the country, or across the globe to visit their family.

A common mistake many people will make when booking their flights, however, is failing to purchase their flights with credit cards that offer great airline and travel rewards, thus missing out on some great benefits.

There are plenty of great options for airline rewards cards on the market right now, but this article will outline the top three cards that offer excellent airline and travel benefits.

American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card

The Amex Premier Rewards Gold card makes a great choice for travelers who plan to book flights during the holidays, as well as the rest of the year, but also makes a great choice for people who drive often, or who plan to go on long road trips this holiday season.

This is because the Premier Rewards Gold Card offers 3x points on money spent on flights, and 2x points on money spent on gas. As an added bonus, the card also offers 1 Amex Membership Rewards point for every dollar spent on other purchases. These points can be redeeming for free or discounted flights on a wide range of airlines.

The only drawback of the Premier Rewards Gold Card is the $175 annual fee, but the upside is that it’s waived for the first year you have the card.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card from Chase is a great choice for travelers who prefer Southwest Airlines, and don’t require broad-use points that can be redeemed on any airline. Right now, if you sign up for this card, you will receive 50,000 points just by spending $2,000 with the card in the first 3 months that you have it.

This translates into 2 roundtrip flights, which can be a huge savings if you are doing a lot of flying this holiday season. In addition, the card rewards you with 6,000 bonus points every 12 months that you have the card. There is a $99 annual fee for having this card, but it’s more than made up for with the free points and flights you can earn from using the card.

Citi Platinum Select American Airlines AAdvantage Card

The Platinum Select American Airlines AAdvantage Card from Citi is a wonderful choice for those travelers who frequently fly with American Airlines. This is because the card offers two bonus miles for every dollar spent with American Airlines, and another one bonus mile for every dollar spent on anything else.

If you fly with 4 other people, you will also get to check a bag for free. In addition, you will be awarded 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the initial 3 months that you possess the card. There is no annual fee in the initial year that you have the card, and it’s only $95 thereafter. As long as you are okay sticking with American Airlines as your primary airline, then this card can offer some pretty good benefits.

By doing a bit of extra homework on the cards above, as well as comparing additional airline rewards credit cards, you are bound to save some money, and even earn some additional benefits on the holiday travel you will already be doing this winter. Most of these airline rewards credit cards also offer great bonus points and benefits for the rest of the year as well.

Logan Abbott is the editor of MyRatePlan.com, a leading information and comparison shopping website for credit cards, phone service, satellite TV, insurance, and travel. He has over 10 years of experience as a credit card and personal finance expert.

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