Have you ever set out to open a new credit card only to end up frustrated or overwhelmed with the number and complexity of options? Unfortunately, it’s a common experience as of late. That’s partially because issuing companies are trying to target groups of people who use their cards differently in customized ways, leading to an abundance of options with unclear tradeoffs. That’s why AOPA regularly hosts articles explaining the ins and outs of the AOPA World Mastercard®, so while your mileage with a particular credit card may vary from the next person’s, at least you’ll have a clearer understanding of its features. After all, if you’ve landed here on our website, there’s a strong probability that our card is worth having in your arsenal. Our new streaming Cash Back1 category makes us even more competitive with popular cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, so let’s get into more specifics on how we differentiate ourselves.
First up is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. It’s popular for a reason – the card does a lot of things well for a very generalized audience. You probably won’t get your worst value with this card, but you’re also unlikely to maximize your benefits with such a generic offering. Like the AOPA World Mastercard®, the Sapphire Preferred also utilizes a point system for rewards, but doesn’t make a straightforward statement on what kinds of purchases qualify for what amount of points or how those points translate to cash back. We provide straightforward percentages for clients to understand how different purchases fit into their financial plans, and have further broken down our point system here. Also of note is that while clients support little other than the issuing institutions with Chase Sapphire Preferred purchases, every single purchase with an AOPA World Mastercard® supports our mission to grow and protect general aviation. An AOPA card wouldn’t be authentic to our brand if aviation wasn’t its center, so you’ll find that our World Mastercard® offers 4% Cash Back(1) on select AOPA purchases, 3% Cash Back(1) at aviation-related partner businesses, and 2% at FBOs, flight schools and for fuel. Generalized cards like the Sapphire Preferred don’t keep specific interests in mind like that.
A second card that can be used to illuminate the value of the AOPA World Mastercard® is the Wells Fargo Active® Card. A first difference between our offerings is that the Active Card has a flat 2% cash rewards rate that doesn’t honor any partnerships. AOPA has a collection of partnerships that clients can benefit from, including Aircraft Spruce, Jeppesen, and Sporty’s Pilot shop among others. Purchases from these partners boost cardholders’ Cash Back(1) earnings and support the aviation industry at the same time. Another similar difference between the cards as a result of the flat 2% system is that types of spending aren’t differentiated between with the Wells Fargo Active Card. The AOPA World MasterCard® boosts rewards for partners as mentioned, and additionally awards 4% Cash Back for most AOPA purchases. Plus, it ups the ante to 3% Cash Back for streaming or cable services. A final difference worth noting is the same as the above, which is that while the Wells Fargo Active Card benefits the cardholder and company with every transaction, the AOPA card goes above and beyond, by supporting the mission of safe and free general aviation.
To conclude, if you find yourself frequently racking up significant bills because of the purchases you make as a pilot, you’d do best by yourself to use a credit card that takes your pilot identity into consideration with its offerings. An AOPA World Mastercard® may not be the only card you need in your wallet, but having it supplemented by a general-use card is a solid financial strategy to maximize your returns as a general aviation pilot. Every single purchase supports the mission we’ve pursued since 1937 as a non-profit organization. It doesn’t get any better than that.