Review: AirTran Airways A+ Rewards Credit Card

Photo (cc) by redlegsfan21

Editor’s note: As of December 2012, the offer described below regarding the AirTran Airways A+ card has expired and is no longer available.

When it comes to offering incentives to apply for their credit cards, banks and airlines seem bent on outdoing their competitors.

Their sign-up bonuses have traditionally included perks like enough miles for a free domestic round-trip flight. And lately, they’ve gotten even better. Example? Chase’s AirTran Airways A+ Rewards Credit Card, which comes stocked with enough points for two round-trip domestic tickets on either AirTran or its merger partner, Southwest. And that’s not all…

Advantages:

  • Get a big sign-up bonus. New applicants will earn 32 credits in AirTran’s A+ Rewards program after spending $2,000 on their card within three months. This is enough for two round-trip domestic tickets.
  • Receive upgrade certificates. Cardholders will also be sent two one-way upgrade certificates for business class after making their first purchase.
  • Earn rewards for spending. Cardholders earn 2 reward dollars for each dollar spent on AirTran and Southwest, with 1 reward dollar for each dollar charged elsewhere. Twelve hundred reward dollars earn a credit, and 16 credits are needed for a round-trip award. Do the math and you find that only $19,200 of spending is needed to earn a round-trip – less than the $25,000 required by most airlines’ reward credit cards.
  • Get a renewal bonus. Cardholders will receive two credits each year when they renew their card. This is the equivalent of spending $1,200.
  • Credits can be used on Southwest Airlines. AirTran is being acquired by Southwest Airlines and the companies will allow credits to be transferred between their programs.
  • Use points on other airlines. AirTran offers a round-trip coach flight on another airline between the contiguous 48 states and Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, and Mexico for 50 points or a round-trip coach flight on another airline anywhere else in the world for 100 points.

Disadvantages:

  • Annual fee. There is a $69 annual fee for this card that’s not waived the first year.
  • Foreign transaction fees. There is a 3 percent surcharge on all transactions processed outside of the United States. This is unwelcome from an airline that serves many destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean.
  • Few perks. Unlike many other airline cards, cardholders will not receive checked bag fee waivers, priority boarding, or any other perks for holding this card.

Bottom line:

Get it if: You fly AirTran and Southwest, but don’t travel much internationally.

Forget it if: You’re too loyal to another carrier to be courted by AirTran and S0uthwest.

(Note: While we attempt to be completely objective when reporting on credit cards, this site may be compensated by issuers when a reader applies for a credit card through the links within credit card stories or on our credit card search page.)

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
These 5 Laptops Have the Best Battery Life
These 5 Laptops Have the Best Battery Life

Need a laptop that runs as long as you do? Check out these models.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on both everyday and occasional purchases.

Stop Overpaying for These 10 Common Purchases
Stop Overpaying for These 10 Common Purchases

The best price for many of these items is “free.”

7 Free Tools for Saving More Money at Amazon
7 Free Tools for Saving More Money at Amazon

Use these websites and other tools to save money — or earn extra cash — when shopping at Amazon.

It’s Worth Paying Extra for These 14 Items
It’s Worth Paying Extra for These 14 Items

Here’s where to find the sweet spot at the intersection of price and quality.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic
11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic

Many goods we take for granted have become tough to find in 2021.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.