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Last updated on June 1st, 2021
JAL USA Card
Earn 10,000 Bonus Miles
- Enjoy MasterCard travel assurances like extended warranty, insurance coverage, and 24-hour emergency services
- 5,000 bonus miles after first JAL international flight after approval
- 10% sector bonus miles for every flight
- Choose your own rewards earning potential
- Regular Purchase APR: 17.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR: 17.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, $20
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $35
At a Glance
The JAL USA Card is an airline rewards card targeted to frequent Japan Airlines travelers, as well as those relocating to the United States and looking for a card that offers rewards back home. The card provides 5,000 JMB bonus miles after first international Japan Airline travel, and 1 mile for every dollar spent after that. Premium members (an additional $50 per year cost) earn double the miles.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Are a Japanese citizen who has relocated to the U.S. and want to build credit
- Want access to JMB rewards and benefits in the US
- Want to earn 5,000 bonus miles after your first international flight as a cardholder
JAL USA Card Review
Airline reward credit cards typically target a wide array of potential applicants, but not so with the JAL USA Card from First Bankcard. The JAL USA Card is specifically targeted towards those who regularly fly with Japan Airlines (JAL) who live in the United States.
The JAL USA Card offers cardholders access to Japan Airlines discounts and benefits, which are normally reserved for those living in, or frequently traveling to, Japan. Basic rewards members earn 1 mile for every dollar spent, with no limit on the number of miles accumulated. Premium rewards members – a $50 annual charge – earn double miles or 2 miles for every dollar spent. Card holders also receive 10% off on JAL in-flight purchases when they use their card and 5% off when shopping at JAL partner airport shops. Also, new members earn 5,000 bonus miles when first fly internationally with JAL after they are approved for the card.
While the savings with the JAL USA Card are adequate; their limited reach hurts their value. The miles earned only apply to JMB mileage club, meaning that unless you are a frequent flyer with Japan Airlines, this card might not be for you. If you are, however, the JAL USA Card makes it easier to achieve higher JMB member status – allowing for seat upgrades, priority check-in, and additional baggage allowances on international flights.
In addition to the benefits of JMB frequent flyers, the JAL USA Card offers the typical benefits Visa card holders can expect. These include purchase protections, comprehensive fraud and liability coverage, and a 24/7 concierge service reserved especially for members.
For more information on the Oneworld Alliance, check out:
Should You Apply for the JAL USA Card?
Overall, the JAL USA Card is an adequate airline rewards card for those that frequent Japan Airlines, or those moving to the United States and are looking to build their U.S. credit score. For everyone else, however, the $20 annual fee (which rises to $70 with the addition of premium rewards earning) and the lackluster rewards and miles earning potential of the card mean that there are better options available elsewhere with other Oneworld airlines.