American Airlines' Response to Soaring Summer Airfare: Fly Now, Pay Later

American Airlines is promoting a branded credit card with a concept long used by purveyors of consumer goods like furniture – and one that may be of particular interest for travelers this summer: buy (or fly) now, and pay later.

Rising Summer Airfares: What You Can Do

How it Works

The American credit card which has no annual fee, allows users to charge $150 or more toward a flight, and if this bill is paid within six months, there are no interest charges. However, if you don’t pay off this bill, you will be charged interest (as always, read the fine print). Note: using this particular card does not provide additional perks such as bonus miles.

Airline Frequent Flyer Programs: What They Offer

Other Benefits of Airline Credit Cards

Other airlines offer a wide variety of cards that do provide extras such as miles and even free bags. Delta, for example, offers three different branded American Express cards that range from a $0 introductory annual fee gold card (which later jumps to $95) to the Delta reserve card with a $450 annual fee. All offer a free first-checked bag and numerous other lures.

How to Fly without Fees

United’s MileagePlus Explorer card also offers free bags plus priority boarding and they throw in a couple of passes per year to the airline’s VIP lounges as well. As you would any time you apply for a credit card, read all the disclosures carefully before deciding if it’s right for you – or if you really need another credit card.

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Published: June 4, 2012