Do Not Apply for an Airline Credit Card While on the Plane

Every time you turn around, it seems like someone wants you to sign up for a credit card – and there’s no worse place for a commercial offer than a plane. You cannot run, you cannot hide, and are probably tired and dehydrated. You’ve probably averted your eyes towards the end of the trip as flight attendants walk down the aisle with applications for an airline credit card. You can’t make out the harsh announcement of how many points are on the line, but you get the feeling that if you sign up today, you will get a whole bunch of them.

But is that a good idea? Should you keep your head down and look at the logbook crossword puzzle?

Answer: Skip these in-flight suggestions. It might seem like the rewards are worth it, but the timing hasn’t been set yet.

Avoid impulsive credit card bids

“If something about the flight experience makes you nervous, then now is not the time to apply for a credit card,” said Megan Horner, credit card publisher at . “When you’re not in the right mood, you can apply that you will regret later.”

Whatever that signup bonus is, it probably shouldn’t be applied on a whim. “Be sure to check the minimum spending required to earn these bonus points and check the annual percentage rate,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, consumer expert and co-author of the Hot Shopping Tips podcast. If you tend to keep a balance , this is not a financial decision that you need to make impulsively.

Applying for a credit card at cruising altitude puts you at a disadvantage, Horner said. You probably can’t go to the online comparison store easily, and paying for half an hour of Wi-Fi to do so will cut your initial bonus.

Check the registration offer

If you are thinking of applying, ask if you can take the brochure with you to review it later, Horner recommended. “It is very rare that you see a deal that must be done immediately.” There are several advantages to using your application. First, you don’t run the risk of jeopardizing your personal information, she said, as physical fitness can be lost and Wi-Fi in flight can be unsafe.

Plus, this extra time makes sure you get the biggest bonus. “Some airlines take time to update their brochures, so the check-in bonuses you see may not be the highest available,” Horner said. “And if you have a good credit rating, you probably want to wait and see if you get targeted offers online that are even better.”


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