Thanks to the Dodd-Frank Act that went into effect in late 2011, debit cards with airline miles have been going the way of the wooly mammoth.
AAdvantage Debit Card – Issued by Citibank, the $25 version = 1 AAdvantage mile per 2 dollars spent. The "premium" $65 version = 1 AAdvantage mile per 1 dollar spent.
Unfortunately both of the American Airline debit cards have been axed and they're not coming back. Not even the existing cardholders got to keep 'em – they've been issued replacement cards.
Alaska Airlines Debit Card – A Bank of America product, for $30 the account earns 1 mile per $2 in purchase and for spending on flights and vacation packages from Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air, it's 1 mile per $1.
This one is still around. To get it you will need to have a Bank of America checking account.
Continental Airlines Debit Card – Run by the folks at Chase, for a $25 annual fee = 1 OnePass mile per 2 dollars spent.
This was actually one of the first airline debit cards to be cut. Chase terminated the program a few months before the new legislation went into effect.
Delta Skymiles Debit Card – Offered through SunTrust Bank, the consumer version is $55/year and gives 1 SkyMile per dollar. There are double miles earned on spending with Delta.
This is one the best airline debit cards because it gives 1 mile per dollar and fortunately, it's still alive. To get it though you will need to have a checking account with SunTrust.
US Airways Debit Card – Bank of America checking account holders can request this optional card which offers 1 Dividend mile for each $2 in purchases, except for spending with US Airways which is $1 mile per dollar. The fee is $30 per year.
Being that most air mileage debit card reward programs are no longer in existence, if you still want to earn miles on purchases, you might have to switch to using the carrier's credit card instead, if you qualify. That being said, if you're opposed to credit because it interferes with your budgeting, then going with a cash back debit card will probably be the best alternative. It's still possible to earn up to 2% cash back through a debit card, believe it or not.
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Barry Norman is a contributor to and blogger at firstcredit.net. For over ten years FirstCredit.net has provided consumers free information helping them make sense of credit cards and the financial industry. Whether you are a longtime cardholder or looking for your first credit card, FirstCredit.net can help you make informed credit decisions.
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