Should You Sign Up For Credit Cards From Airlines Outside The U.S.?

Every once in a while, I’ll see a post about a credit card from an airline outside the United States. The card is from a bank in the U.S. and marketed to Americans but why should I be interested in a card that earns points in a program from a foreign airline? I guess the answer depends on the program you’re collecting miles from and what you can do with them.

While some of these cards are for programs I’m familiar with, others are for programs I admittedly don’t know much about. While I might not ever fly on that airline, there’s plenty of opportunities to use miles on partner airlines.

While a single sign up bonus might not be enough for an award ticket, if the program is affiliated with a flexible points currency you can combine those points to get the award you want.

Employing a strategy of earning points in airlines outside the U.S. involves more work than just earning Membership Rewards, ThankYou Points or Ultimate Rewards. You need to know ahead of time if you’ll have any use for the points you’re earning. However, if you’ve already applied for the cards from the major U.S. airlines, these cards give you some additional options. I’d categorize this as a medium risk, medium approach to earning points and miles.

Here’s a list of some of the cards available in the U.S. that earn miles for foreign airlines:

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Mystery Flight Solved!, Citi Shenanigans, Large Hotel Closed, What Do With Cards You Don’t Use Often, & More!

Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

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Where Can We Go With United Miles When We Won’t Fly On United?

We’ve made a choice to avoid flying on United Airlines. For our normal travels, it doesn’t cause much of a hardship as we don’t live at a United hub airport. We’ve been able to find flights to where we want without using them and they’ve never been the cheapest or best option anyway. The problem is that we still have a stash of United miles that we earned from the United MileagePlus Explorer card sign up bonus. We didn’t renew the card but those miles are still ours and I need to figure out a use for them.

Thank goodness for airline alliances. United Airlines is part of the Star Alliance, which means we should be able to use those miles for flights on Star Alliance member airlines. You may also hear this being called “using miles on partner airlines.” So where can we fly from our home airport, or nearby, using our United miles?

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J.D. Power 2019 Report: The Best Airlines In North America

The responses of the annual J.D. Power 2019 North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM have been tabulated and analyzed and the top U.S. airlines have been announced.

We’ll cut to the chase and let you know that Alaska Airlines won first place for traditional carriers for the 12th consecutive year (!!!), and JetBlue and Southwest tied for best of all the low-cost airlines after Southwest grabbed the first place title from JetBlue for 2 years in a row.

Here are the rankings:

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Review Of Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge: Newark Airport

NOTE: Shortly after my last visit to the Air Canada lounge, they left the Priority Pass lounge network. 

Newark Airport – the place that stayed retro until it was cool again. Parts of Newark Airport look like you’re walking back into the late 1960s. I give them credit that they’re trying to refurbish the airport but most of the money has been spent by United to upgrade their base at Terminal C. The other two terminals have been left as a memorial to what airports used to look like.

Home to what must be the worst layout for a TSA checkpoint, terminal A is split into three bays, each consisting of several gates in a circular layout located at the end of a long hallway connecting the spokes to the main terminal. Each spoke has its own TSA checkpoint and there’s no way to go between spokes without leaving the secure area and going through screening again. So basically once you’re at your gate area, you’re stuck.

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Those flying from gates A10-18, home to Air Canada, JetBlue and Southwest, have few options once clearing security. You can sit at the gate or get food from Currito Cantina (Note from Sharon: I checked and nope, it’s not Burrito Cantina, with a B. It’s Currito, with a C. WTH is a currito?), grab a Boars Head sandwich or Ben & Jerry’s. The gate area is not the most relaxing of places to spend time, since it’s usually crowded, and that’s when there aren’t any delayed flights. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having to spend time around a bunch of people from Jersey when their plane is delayed. The phone conversations you’ll hear sound like outtakes from The Sopranos. (Remember, I grew up there so I can say that) 🙂


However, there’s one more option of where to wait for your flight – the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge.

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