Sometimes trends are hard to spot, other times they hit you over the head. Today it’s the latter, as both United Airlines AND Delta Airlines announced new credit cards that don’t require an annual fee. In both cases, the airlines are giving more options to those who don’t travel enough to pay for a perks-laden airline card but who would still like to earn travel rewards on all their purchases.
United’s new credit card entry, issued in partnership with Chase, is the United TravelBank Card, which offers 2% earnings in “TravelBank Cash” on United purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases. You’ll notice that these are not MileagePlus miles. Instead, “TravelBank Cash” goes into your United account and can be used like cash to offset or completely pay for United travel. In this way, the card is really more like a number of general travel rewards cards on the market currently, except for the fact that your rewards are actually limited to this one airline. While you do get some other perks, like 25% off your United in-flight purchases and no foreign transaction fees, you have less flexibility to use the rewards you’ve earned.