General aviation pilots who use an AOPA credit card for aviation purchases at more than 4,500 qualifying FBOs are now eligible for a 5 percent credit rebate, nearly double the previous rate.
With the improved program, AOPA credit card holders can now earn as much as $250 in credit rebates per year, almost 6 1/2 times the annual $39 AOPA dues. The credit rebates are funded entirely by AOPA program partner MBNA America Bank and do not involve funds from AOPA, AOPA member dues, or any FBO.
"Other aviation associations talk about reducing your cost of flying," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "But AOPA was the first to walk the talk, and now we've made it even better." The previous credit rebate was 3 percent. The rebate was increased effective this year. (More information on the AOPA credit card is available online.)
The AOPA FBO rebate was launched in August 1997 to help cut the cost of flying for AOPA members piloting under FAR Part 91 for pleasure or personal business. Since that time, members have received more than $4 million in rebate credits on purchases made at qualified FBOs.
And unlike some other credit rebate programs, there are no long paragraphs of restrictions in fine print or sneaky exclusions in the AOPA 5% FBO Rebate Program. Anything purchased (up to $5,000) with an AOPA credit card from any of more than 4,500 qualified FBOs across the nation is eligible for the rebate. (A "qualified FBO" sells fuel and/or rent aircraft. Such FBOs are listed in AOPA's Airport Directory or online.)
"No tricks, no traps, no illusions," declared Boyer. "If your FBO sells fuel or rents aircraft—and most FBOs do—anything you buy from that FBO is eligible for the AOPA 5% FBO rebate, up to $250 a year!"
AOPA members need only highlight eligible purchases on their monthly statement and submit it by mail or fax to a special address or fax number at MBNA Bank. The 5 percent rebate then appears as a credit on the cardholder's monthly statement.
Members who use MBNA's special secure Web site for near-real-time monitoring of their AOPA MasterCard or Visa account can see the credit rebate on their statement the same day it is applied by MBNA.
Pilots show their support for general aviation each time they use the AOPA credit card, because the AOPA card also supports general aviation causes. Every purchase (not just those at FBOs) returns a royalty to AOPA for programs like the Airport Support Network—at no additional cost to the cardholder. That helps keep AOPA dues low and GA strong.
"The AOPA FBO Rebate Program is a win-win for all of aviation," said Boyer. "It helps support our FBOs—crucial to the utility of our airplanes—and it reduces your cost of flying."
AOPA's more than 365,000 members constitute 57 percent of all active U.S. pilots, some 75 percent of the nation's aircraft owners, and two thirds of active U.S. flight instructors.