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Consumers are DITCHING travel credit cards

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Transfer your balance to a flexible rewards card with lower interest.
The financial landscape is evolving, and our society is too. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many consumers feel about the safety of travel. Also, there’s no real timetable for airlines (if they survive the struggling economy) to resume flying on a consistent schedule.

As a result, many consumers are beginning to question why they would pay more interest as well as an annual fee for travel rewards and perks they may not be able to use. Here’s why you may want to consider switching to a credit card with benefits more in line with the “new normal.”

Some airline credit cards have interest rates as high as 24.99% APR (Annual Percentage Rate). In other words, if you carry a $1000 balance for the year, you’re paying an approximate $250 in interest! MONEY-SAVING TIP: If you often carry a balance, switch to a credit card with a lower interest rate. A lower rate can mean the difference of paying off your balance years earlier as well as lowering your monthly payment.

Airline cards often charge an annual fee upwards of $99 even if you don’t use the card. The annual fee may grant you perks such as checked bags; however, you are limited to that airline only. Plus, how likely are you to go on several trips in the next year to make the annual fee worth paying? Look out for other hidden fees, such as balance transfer and cash advance fees. MONEY-SAVING TIP: Switch to a credit card with no annual fee.

How likely are you to go on multiple trips within the next year? With a downtrodden economy, restricted travel, and the potential spread of the coronavirus, you’re betting that the airline you’ve selected will not only resume the same flights as before but also that it will survive going forward. MONEY-SAVING TIP: Use the rewards you are paying for. Select a card with flexible rewards for any airline, merchandise, cash, or gift cards.

Where can you find a credit card with all of these qualities and will stack up against the card you have now? There are several options both locally and nationally – often with not-for-profit credit unions. Out of all of them, we suggest you look into the University of Hawai`i Federal Credit Union’s (UHFCU) VISA Platinum Plus Credit Card.

Low, FIXED interest rate of 8.50% APR.

No annual fee, no balance transfer fee, and no cash advance fee.

Flexible rewards that can be redeemed online for any airline, merchandise, gift cards, etc. Plus, there are NO blackout dates, unlike many airline cards.

Contactless payment via mobile wallet.

We even compared the reward points needed to book a trip on Hawaiian Airlines. Many times, booking the flight took fewer reward points with UHFCU’s card than Hawaiian Airlines’ very own card!*

How is the service? UHFCU was a finalist for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s 2018 & 2019 “Hawaii’s Best” credit unions and offers some of the best deposit and loan rates on the islands. UHFCU makes it easy to bank with access at 50+ shared branch locations, 375+ ATMs, and a 5-minute online application at

Think you can’t join? You’re likely eligible! UHFCU serves faculty, staff, students, and alumni as well as their immediate family or household members. Join the University’s Credit Union and experience what it is like to be part of a team supporting your school, fellow classmates, professors, staff, and their families. Learn more at

*According to HawaiianMiles is a registered trademark of Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.

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