Credit Cards

This New Foreign Airline Card Bonus Shows How Great US Credit Card Bonuses Really Are

Written by Charlie

For a bit of perspective, take a look at this new foreign airline credit card bonus and compare it to US credit card bonuses to realize how good we actually have it when it comes to sign-up bonuses and perks!

Let’s face it – while we may not like some credit card bonuses for being too low or having restrictive application rules, the US credit card market is still better than what most people around the world have access to! Check out this new Aegean Airlines credit card bonus as an example!

US Credit Card Bonuses Are Still Better Than Most

Aegean Airlines has a credit card offer with Alpha Bank and has just recently launched their partnership with a new bank partner – Bank of Cyprus. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to sell you on it because 95% of you aren’t able to apply for it even if it were a great deal for you! 🙂

Aegean Airlines used to have an awesome award redemption chart for US travelers with business class between Europe and the US coming in at 45,000 one way and first class costing only 60,000 miles. That all changed just about a couple of years ago now and while there are still some sweet spots, they are not all that sweet for US-based travelers.

But, their elite status is still easy to retain for those that had first earned it under the old rules that acted like earn and keep for years. I have held Aegean Gold status (which is Star Alliance Gold) for about 9 years now and still get great value out of it.

Anyway, here is a look at the new credit card offers from Aegean.

Aegean Mastercard for Consumers from Bank of Cyrpus

The sign-up bonus on this card is 3,000 miles – which count for both award and elite (tier) miles which is kind of nice. But, it is only 3,000 miles! Compare that to even some of the mediocre airline credit card offers right now in the US and you would have to multiply that by at least 15 times to get to what the bonus on those cards are!

As for earning, it is 1 mile per 1 euro spent anywhere in Cyprus and 1 mile for every 2 euros you spend outside of Cyprus. Yeah, .5 mile per Euro if you use the card outside of Cyprus!

The card is capped at earning 100,000 miles in a year. A new cardmember does receive a discount of €20 of their next flights with Aegean as two such promotional codes are loaded into the member’s Aegean account. The card also comes with travel insurance, which is something that is always good for a travel card.

Finally it also comes with an interest-free period of 20-40 days until the full balance must be paid.

The annual fee is €5 per month and €3 per month for each additional card. That works out to €60 per year for the primary card.

Comparing This Card to US Cards

I will say I do like the subscription-based plan on annual fees! That would be nice to see on the premium cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Instead of paying $550 once per year, it would be nice to have the option to pay $46 per month. Of course, there would be many that would find a way to take advantage of that so it would likely never work in the US. 🙂

When it comes to sign-up bonuses, take a look at the United Gateway Card. This card comes with a sign-up bonus of a total of 30,000 miles after meeting the required spending in the requisite timeframe. And it has no annual fee! So, you get 10 times the award miles with no annual fee when 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 earn even 2 miles per dollar in certain categories.

If you step up to the next card, the United Explorer Card gives new cardmembers a sign-up bonus of 70,000 miles after meeting all the required spending. The annual fee of $95 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 fee credit.

Also, if you are looking for interest free, there are plenty of US credit cards that come with up to 18 months of interest free rates for new cardmembers.

Bottom Line

For those that are able to get the Aegean Airlines credit card from Cyprus Bank, it is one of the best ways they can go to earn miles. But, it is a good example to those of us who can get cards in the US that even with devaluations and increased annual fees, there are still plenty of cards that offer extreme value when compared to what some travelers in other countries have.

Still doesn’t mean that we have to go lightly on the US credit card companies when they do swipe at our benefits and hike our annual fees. 🙂

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

1 Comment

  • You should add another paragraph about market differences to put things in perspective. Swipe fees in the EU are much lower than those of the U.S.