AOPA World Mastercard®* vs. Citi® Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash card
is the turboprop of cash back cards: It earns an effective 2% cash back—1% when a purchase is made and another 1% when the purchase is paid for. Though it doesn’t offer the Mastercard Travel benefits, it does dual-purpose as a balance transfer card: New cardholders receive a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the standard variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. This card does not offer an introductory APR on purchases.
The AOPA World Mastercard may earn more cash back for the select few pilots who spend plenty of cash at AOPA and max out the 3% quarterly maximums every single time, but we don’t expect to see a pattern like that have much traffic. For everyone else, we suggest shooting a straight approach with something like the Citi Double Cash.
AOPA World Mastercard®* vs. Chase Freedom Flex℠
The Chase Freedom Flex won’t reward aviation-specific purchases, but its 5% cash back in capped rotating quarterly categories with enrollment, 5% on travel booked through Chase, 3% on dining and at drugstores and 1% on all other purchases will almost certainly return more cash back reward than the AOPA World Mastercard.
The Freedom Flex also offers trip cancellation insurance (it won’t cover unscheduled GA flight delays, though) and a number of other great perks and benefits, so we’re going with the Chase card in this match up. It’s worth noting that while some FBOs and gas pumps may be categorized as “fuel,” not all of them will. Many categorize as “Transportation Services” but they almost certainly won’t categorize as “Travel,” and anyway, it won’t be possible to book this kind of travel through Chase. Cards like the Chase Freedom Flex that may reward travel will not earn bonus points from purchases at FBOs like the AOPA Card will.
AOPA World Mastercard®* vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a $95 annual fee card that’s mostly about the value of Chase Rewards points and the additional benefits, like trip delay and cancellation insurance, baggage delay insurance, rental car collision damage waivers, extended warranty protection and more. The Chase Sapphire Preferred does earn points, including 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on dining and travel, but the best redemptions of these points are often on travel, as Chase Travel Rewards will redeem points at a better rate (+25% value) than on other redemptions as well as offer the option to transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to partners like United and Hyatt.
The AOPA Credit Card doesn’t have an annual fee, but it does have foreign transaction fees. The obvious answer here is that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a better card for those willing to pay the annual fee, make use of the extra perks and mostly redeem for travel. We believe that among the jet-setting pilots of the world, the Chase Sapphire Preferred—and even its much more powerful (and more expensive) sibling—the Chase Sapphire Reserve®—are among some of the best credit cards for pilots.