The CheapOair credit card offers high rewards rates for booking travel through CheapOair’s website and apps. With no annual fee, the card aims to help frequent CheapOair customers maximize savings on flights, hotels, rental cars and more.
However, there are some significant limitations with the CheapOair card that travelers should understand before applying. This post will cover the key features, pros, cons, and fine print details so you can determine if the CheapOair credit card is a good fit.
Overview of the CheapOair Credit Card
CheapOair is a popular online travel agency that allows customers to book discounted airfare, hotels, cruises, car rentals and more. The CheapOair credit card, issued by Synchrony Bank, enables cardholders to earn points on CheapOair purchases that can be redeemed for travel discounts on future bookings.
The card comes in two versions:
- CheapOair Visa – The basic no-annual-fee card earning rewards on CheapOair spending.
- CheapOair Visa Signature – Includes additional Visa benefits like rental car insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and more.
While the high earn rates seem appealing at first glance, there are some significant drawbacks to the program that travelers should understand.
The Pros of the CheapOair Credit Card
For those who frequently book travel through CheapOair, the card does offer some potential advantages:
High rewards rates – Cardholders can earn up to 8x points per $1 spent on CheapOair, with no cap on earnings.
Redeem points for travel discounts – Points can be redeemed toward flights, hotels, cruises and car rentals booked on CheapOair.
No annual fee – There is no yearly fee for the basic CheapOair Visa card.
Visa Signature perks – The Signature card includes travel protections like rental car insurance, roadside dispatch, and lost luggage reimbursement.
Easy points earnings – Points can rack up quickly when booking airfare and travel on CheapOair.
For loyal CheapOair customers, the card presents an easy way to earn rewards toward future bookings. But there are also some considerable cons to weigh.
The Cons of the CheapOair Credit Card
While the CheapOair card may seem appealing on the surface, here are some of the major drawbacks to consider:
Limited flexibility – Points only redeemable on CheapOair is restrictive compared to other travel cards.
Low redemption value – With 1 point worth only 0.5 cents, the rewards don’t hold as much monetary value.
Mediocre sign-up bonus – At only $50 back for spending $500, the welcome offer is quite lackluster.
Foreign transaction fees – Card charges a 3% fee on purchases made outside the U.S.
High APR – The ongoing variable APR is a very high 29.99% as of 2023.
Unclear approval criteria – Exact credit score requirements are not disclosed.
Limited benefits – Beyond the Visa Signature perks, there are few other benefits.
The CheapOair card locks you into earning and burning points on one booking site only. For flexible travel rewards, other cards are a better option.
How the CheapOair Credit Card Works
If you understand the limitations but still want to maximize savings on CheapOair, here is an overview of how the card and rewards work:
- Application is submitted online and evaluated based on creditworthiness.
- Once approved, cardholders earn the following points per dollar spent:
- 8x points for CheapOair flights booked on the app
- 7x points for flights booked on CheapOair.com
- 6x points for other CheapOair travel
- 4x points at restaurants
- 2x points on all other purchases
- 1 point is worth 0.5 cents when redeemed for travel discounts.
- Points can only be redeemed through the CheapOair website toward future bookings.
- There are no limits on how many points can be earned.
- Points don’t expire if there is account activity at least every two years.
- The variable APR is high at 29.99% so balances should be paid in full each month.
- Visa Signature card includes perks like rental car insurance, lost luggage coverage, and more.
The card aims to provide rewards for loyal CheapOair customers, but comes with restrictions compared to other travel cards.
Should You Get the CheapOair Credit Card?
The CheapOair credit card offers high rewards rates for spending on CheapOair’s website. However, here are some key questions to ask yourself when deciding if it makes sense for you:
How often do you book travel through CheapOair? If it’s your go-to site for finding deals on flights and hotels, the card could offer substantial savings over time. Frequent CheapOair users will get the most value.
Do you maximimize flexible travel rewards? Since its points only redeem on CheapOair, the card limits the way you can use rewards. If you prefer transferable points, it’s not the best option.
What’s your credit score? The approval criteria is not disclosed. If your credit is fair or poor, you may not qualify. Those new to credit may be better off with a secured card.
Are you comfortable with the high APR? Interest charges will be steep if you carry a balance month-to-month. Make sure you pay in full.
How much would you value the Visa Signature perks? The extra rental car and lost luggage coverage could be worthwhile for frequent travelers.
For those who frequently use CheapOair, the card can provide substantial savings on future bookings. But it lacks flexibility compared to many other travel rewards cards.
Alternatives to the CheapOair Credit Card
If you want more flexible travel rewards, here are some alternative cards to consider:
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – Earns valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can transfer to airline and hotel partners. Has a $95 annual fee.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – Miles can be redeemed for any travel purchase or transferred to partners. $95 annual fee.
Wells Fargo AutographSM Card – Earns points worth 1 cent each that redeem for cash back, travel, gift cards and more. No annual fee.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card – No annual fee card earning 1.5x points on all purchases redeemable for travel statement credits.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card – Earns 4x points on travel and at gas stations with no annual fee. Redeems for travel credits.
Each of these cards offer more flexible redemption options, valuable rewards, and often better welcome bonuses than the CheapOair card.
How to Apply for the CheapOair Credit Card
If you’ve decided the CheapOair Credit Card fits your budget travel needs, here are the steps to apply:
- Go to the CheapOair Credit Card website and click “Apply Now”.
- Review the terms and eligibility information and click “Continue”.
- Fill out the secure application with your personal information and submit.
- If approved, you will receive your new account number and card in the mail within 7-10 business days.
- Activate your card and make a purchase within 90 days to earn your signup bonus.
Be sure to provide accurate information on your application and have a clean credit history for the best approval odds. There are no foreign transaction fees during the intro period, so the card can be used right away for international trips.
Tips for Earning and Redeeming Points
Here are some tips to maximize the rewards you earn with the CheapOair Credit Card:
- Put all CheapOair bookings on the card to earn 3x points. Paying with points is easy during checkout.
- Set your CheapOair account to automatically charge to your card for easy earnings.
- Take advantage of CheapOair sales, coupons, and promotions to earn bonus points on top of your regular spending.
- Don’t forget to add your CheapOair Credit Card to airline frequent flyer programs to earn miles too.
- Download the CheapOair app to conveniently access bookings and points balances on the go.
- Consider redeeming points for longer flights to maximize the value. Short flights may be cheaper paying cash.
- You can pool points with authorized users on your account for bigger redemptions.
- Whenever possible, redeem for direct travel to get the full 1 cent per point value.
The CheapOair credit card aims to provide discounts to loyal CheapOair customers through its high rewards rates of up to 8x points per dollar spent. However, the points only redeem for CheapOair travel and have relatively low value, while approval criteria is unclear.
While frequent CheapOair users can benefit, the card lacks the flexibility that many leading travel rewards cards offer. Carefully weigh the pros and cons before applying to make sure it aligns with your credit profile and travel preferences. For many, a card earning more valuable and transferable rewards may be the better choice.