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At a Glance
Billed as the best credit card for pilots, the AOPA World Mastercard is designed to reward both aviation purchases and everyday spending. Pilots who use their card with AOPA partners will really see their rewards – and their savings – take off, thanks to exclusive perks only available with this card from Commerce Bank.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Are a pilot or own an aircraft
- Are a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)
- Spend the most money on aviation-related purchases
- Want to earn cash back rewards from purchases with APOA partners
- Want flexibility when it comes to redeeming their rewards
AOPA World Mastercard® Review
The AOPA World Mastercard is a cash back credit card that rewards cardholders for purchases with AOPA and its partners. Cardholders can save money on aviation purchases and enjoy up to 4% cash back rewards, a low intro rate, and no annual fee.
Earning Rewards with the AOPA World Mastercard®
AOPA members can use the AOPA World Mastercard to earn a variety of exclusive, lucrative cash back rewards designed specifically for pilots. Commerce Bank’s design for this card is to appeal to pilots who are active in their field by giving incentives for purchases directly with AOPA and its affiliates, as well as everyday spending. Here’s the breakdown:
4% Cash Back on Select AOPA Purchases: Cardholders will earn a whopping 4% cash back for every dollar they spend directly with the card’s namesake. Qualifying AOFA purchases include:
- AOPA membership
- Pilot Protection Services
- AOPA Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics (in-person and online)
- AOPA Event Registration
- AOPA Pilot Gear store purchases.
Advertising, aviation insurance, PAC donations and AFI Donations are excluded from this perk. This is the first bonus category for this card.
3% Cash Back with Select AOPA partners: Pilots can also earn 3% cash back every time they use their card to make a purchase with the following AOPA partners:
- Aero-Space Reports
- Aircraft Spruce
- SiriusXM Aviation
- Sporty’s Pilot Shop
If you regularly shop with these vendors, this perk is sure to catch your eye. This is the second bonus category for this card.
2% Cash Back on FBOS, Fuel and Flight Schools: For each purchase made with fixed base operators (FBOs), cardholders earn 2% cash back. This rate also applies to purchases of aviation and auto fuel, and money spent at flight schools. If you regularly fuel your jet, or your car on the way to the tarmac, these rewards can help your overall cash back totals soar. This is the third bonus category for this card.
1% Cash Back on All Other Purchases: The AOPA World Mastercard rewards every eligible purchase with 1% cash back. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying Amelia Earhart’s biography or a miniature replica of the first Wright plane – you’ll earn 1% cash back each time you swipe your card.
Each cash back 1% reward is equivalent to 1 point. There is a quarterly bonus point cap of 2,500 points, meaning that a maximum of 2,500 bonus points will be awarded per calendar quarter, for each of the bonus categories mentioned above. Once this cap is reached, all purchases earn 1% cash back. There is no limit to the number of non-bonus points a cardholder can earn each year. This process is repeated each quarter.
Not every transaction is eligible for rewards. Purchases made using Near Field Communication (NFC), virtual wallets, or similar technology may not be eligible for bonus points. Likewise, transactions such as cash advances, balance transfers, convenience checks, finance charges, traveler’s checks, money orders, and gaming chips do not qualify for rewards.
Redeeming Rewards with the AOPA World Mastercard®
The AOPA World Mastercard features a flexible rewards program. This means that cash back rewards can be converted to points and redeemed for a variety of great rewards. Cardholders can opt for:
- Cash Back (applied as a statement credit)
- Gift Cards
- Travel Discounts and Credits
A minimum of 2,500 points is required to redeem for cash back rewards. Values for redemption items like merchandise, gift cards, and travel may vary. To redeem rewards, cardholders must log into their online account.
World Mastercard® Benefits
AOPA World Mastercard cardholders are eligible for some exclusive (and appealing) perks and benefits from Mastercard. These include things like:
- A discount with Postmates: $5 off all orders over $25
- ShopRunner – an online shipping service that offers unlimited free two-day shipping and free return shipping at more than 140 online stores
- Onefinestay, which provides access to more than 10,000 high-end rental homes across the world
- Mastercard ID Theft Protection™ – access to a number of identity theft resolution services
- Cellular Wireless Telephone Protection – when you charge your monthly wireless phone bill to your card, you’re eligible for coverage for your cell phone. Receive reimbursement for the cost to replace or repair a stolen or damaged phone
- Mastercard Travel and Lifestyle Services – Enjoy a suite of benefits, amenities and upgrades across the travel industry, along with a complimentary personal concierge to help plan your vacation
- Mastercard Global Service™ – 24-hour worldwide assistance with lost and stolen card reporting, emergency card replacement and emergency cash advance
- Mastercard Airport Concierge™ – enjoy 15% off on airport meet and greet services at more than 700 destinations worldwide, as well as expedited security and immigration at certain airports
Competitive Interest Rates and Fees
Thanks to no annual fee, there are no extra charges to cause turbulence with the cash-back savings cardholders earn from the AOPA World Mastercard. Since there’s nothing that might offset those rewards, pilots can focus on more important things like aviation and enjoying the Mastercard perks that accompany the card.
The World Mastercard from AOPA also features a unique introductory bonus APR period: 1.99% for the first six billing cycles after opening an account. Applicable to both balance transfers and purchases, this introductory APR will help people who hold debt on another credit card pay it down without accruing significantly higher interest charges. Although 1.99% is higher than 0%, this is still a competitive introductory APR when compared to the standard interest rate that applies to an existing balance on another card.
Outside of the introductory period, the card offers an extremely competitive interest rate for applicants who qualify. The standard APR for purchases and balances for the AOPA World Mastercard sits approximately 5 points below the national average interest rate for cardholders with good credit.
Logging into your online credit card account is fast, convenient, and easy. AOPA World Mastercard cardholders enjoy a free online portal that gives them uninhibited access to their account. They can:
- Set up alerts and monitor suspicious card activity
- View and redeem their cash back rewards
- Set up autopay
- Sign up for E-Statements
- Add an authorized user
- Use Special Connections™, a unique feature that lets users access cash from other accounts at the ATM or in store
Should You Apply for the AOPA World Mastercard® from Commerce Bank?
The AOPA World Mastercard is a powerful financial tool for pilots and instructors who are affiliated with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, thanks to exclusive perks with the organization that are only available with this card. It allows pilots to earn cash back from many of the aviation-related purchases they already regularly make like airplane fuel, AOPA membership fees, pilot protection services, and gear. Cardholders can earn unlimited rewards and enjoy travel perks from Mastercard as they soar to ever-higher rewards.
However, this does not hold much value for anyone who is not involved in aviation. Most of the cash-back rewards are not useful for anyone who is not a member of AOPA. Luckily, there are other cash-back credit cards with similar rewards structures designed for everyday spending – no pilot’s license necessary. A card like the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers up to 3% rewards for purchases that fall into the daily spend most people make – groceries and gas stations. The Discover it® Cash Back Card offers 5% cash back in a rotating category that the cardholder can change every quarter, so they can maximize their rewards by earning cash back in the area they spend the most money.
Another thing to consider for folks who are interested in the AOPA World Mastercard is its introductory APR period. While 1.99% interest for six billing cycles can help a cardholder to avoid big interest charges, there are lots of cash back credit cards that feature an intro APR of 0%. Often, that introductory period is longer, too – the Discover it® Cash Back card mentioned above has an introductory period that lasts 14 months, while that of the Chase Freedom® Credit Card is 15 months. The longer the introductory period lasts for, the more opportunity you’ll have to pay down your balance without worrying about extra charges.
All in all, the AOPA World Mastercard® can really take off in the right hands – and pilots will love the perks it offers. For everyone else, a different cash back card is likely a better fit.