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Let’s face it – while we may not like some credit card bonuses because they are too low or have restrictive application rules, the US credit card market is still better than most people around the world have access to! Take a look at this new credit card bonus from Aegean Airlines as an example!
US credit card bonuses are still better than most
Aegean Airlines has a credit card offer with Alpha Bank and recently launched their partnership with a new banking partner – Bank of Cyprus. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try and sell it to you because 95% of you can’t request it even if it would be a great deal for you! 🙂
Aegean Airlines used to have a great redemption table for US business class travelers between Europe and the US coming in for 45,000 one way and first class costing just 60,000 miles. That all changed about a few years ago now and while there are still some good spots, they are not so sweet to travelers in the US.
But their elite status is: still easy to maintain for those who earned first under the old rules that behaved as earn and kept for years. I have had Aegean Gold status (that’s Star Alliance Gold) for about 9 years now and still getting a lot of value out of it.
Anyway, here’s a look at Aegean’s new credit card offerings.
Aegean Mastercard for Consumers from Bank of Cyprus
The sign up bonus on this card is 3,000 miles – which count towards both award and elite (tier) miles, which is quite nice. But it’s only 3,000 miles! Compare that to even some of the mediocre airline credit card deals in the US right now and you’d have to multiply that by at least 15 times to get what the bonus is on those cards!
As for earning, it’s 1 mile for every 1 Euro you spend anywhere in Cyprus and 1 mile for every 2 Euros you spend outside of Cyprus. Yes, 0.5 miles per euro if you use the card outside of Cyprus!
The card is capped at 100,000 miles in a year. A new cardholder will receive a €20 discount on their next flights with Aegean as two such promotional codes will be loaded onto the member’s Aegean account. The card also comes with travel insurance, which is always a good thing for a travel card.
Finally, it also comes with an interest-free period of 20-40 days until the full balance is due.
The annual fee is €5 per month and €3 per month for each additional card. That equates to €60 per year for the primary card.
Compare this map with US maps
I will say that I do like the subscription-based annual fee subscription! That would be nice to see on the premium cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Instead of paying $550 once a year, it would be nice to have the option to pay $46 a month. Of course there would be many who would find a way to take advantage of that, so it would probably never work in the US. 🙂
When it comes to sign-up bonuses, check out the United Gateway Card. This card comes with a sign-up bonus totaling 30,000 miles after meeting the required spend within the required time frame. And it has no annual fee! So, you get 10 times more award miles with no annual fee compared to the new Aegean Airlines credit card.
Not only that, but the minimum you earn on the card is 1 mile per dollar spent and you can even earn 2 miles per dollar in certain categories.
When you move to the next map, the United Explorer Map gives new cardholders a 70,000-mile sign-up bonus after meeting all required spend. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year, and you get perks like a free checked bag and 2 United Club passes per year, as well as Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit.
If you’re looking for interest-free, there are also plenty of US credit cards with up to 18 months of interest-free rates for new cardholders.
For those who can get Cyprus Bank Aegean Airlines credit card, it is one of the best ways to earn miles. But it’s a good example for those of us who can get cards in the US that, even with devaluations and higher annual fees, there are still plenty of cards out there that offer extreme value compared to what some travelers have in other countries.
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